Tim and the Guys


Chapter 17

The following fictional narrative involves sexually-explicit erotic events between men.  If you shouldn't be reading this, please move on.

In the world of this story, the characters don't always use condoms.  In the real world, you should care enough about yourself and others to always practice safe sex.

The author retains all rights.  No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the author's consent.  

Thanks and love to Tom for always patiently and carefully doing the editing chores and to the rest of my Nifty Six colleagues for being the wonderful people they are.


Fall term classes began right after Labor Day.  Even though I was a junior now, higher in the pecking order, and could have shared a nice suite in the "jock dorm," I decided to take a small apartment off campus.  In the dorm I would have had a jock roommate, and chances were 9 out of 10 or more he'd be straight.  I had learned enough about myself to know I didn't want that.  I needed my privacy.

I didn't miss Paul.  We had provided each other a service, and I always had the feeling that, even though he was great at scratching my itch, he looked down on me.  Whether it was what I had done with Philip or me being a hungry bottom, I don't know.  I wasn't about to get a complex or anything, but I thought I was giving him pleasure, so I never understood his sometimes superior attitude.  Maybe he was just a cocky bastard.

Anyway, I had developed a need, so when I saw a flyer announcing the first meeting of the SGA, I made a note to go.  It wouldn't be the same without Philip, but I might meet some nice guy there.  Em Cates used to go to those meetings.  Even though he had teased me and called me "boy," I knew he was just joking around.  We'd had a good time last spring, and I wouldn't mind some more of that big cock of his.

I got there early so I could see who else had come.  As I was drinking a Coke and looking around, somebody groped my ass.  I turned around too quickly and sloshed some Coke onto my fingers.  As I licked it off, I saw that my groper was Emerson.  Standing next to him was Raul Velazquez, a guy I knew from the tennis team.  Both were grinning at me.

"Hey, dudes!"  I stuck out a fist, and Em tapped it with his.

"Hook, my man.  Good to see ya!"

"Yes, Hook," Raul said, tapping fists with me, "it is good to see you."  He pronounced my name to rhyme with "Luke."

"Great to see you guys!"

Emerson put an arm around each of our shoulders.  "I think Gretchen has things under control here."  He glanced at Philip's successor as president of the SGA, who was getting ready to start the meeting.  "Why don't we go get a beer and chill somewhere for a while?"

"Okay by me," I said.

The three of us went quickly to the door, but we got a slitty-eyed look from Gretchen on the way.  Outside, I discovered that they had come in Raul's car, a black Beemer convertible two-seater.

"You'll have to sit on my lap, Hook," Em said, "but it isn't far."

"Okay," I said.  I had no objection to that.  There were worse things than being whisked away by those two hotties.

Raul unlocked his car, got in, and put the top down.  Then Em got in and I sat on top of him.  As we pulled out of the Union parking lot, I asked, "Where are we going, guys?"

"We have much beer at our apartment.  Em [it sounded like "Aim" as he said it] and I are roommates at the jock dorm this year.  You don't mind if we go there?"

"No, that's cool!"  But things warmed up quickly.  I could feel Emerson's big, hard cock pressed against my ass, and when he began to lick my ear, I jumped.

He chuckled.  "You don't like that, Ethan?" he asked, drawing out the first syllable of my name.

"You just took me by surprise.  I'll give you an hour to stop."

It was Raul's turn to chuckle.  "Calm yourselves, amigos.  We're almost there."

"Aim," who hadn't belted himself in, was making little humping movements against my ass and sticking his tongue in my ear.  I'd worn tight jeans, of course, since my whole reason for going to that meeting was to pick up a guy.  My cock was painfully hard, trapped sticking down my left leg.  Raul had a big grin.

Since the top was down and we were on lighted streets, anyone could see what Em was doing with his tongue.  I didn't really mind.  The fact we were doing it in public made it even more of a turn-on.

"Did you guys plan this?"

"Si!  Aim thought you might be there.  And we didn't want you to be lonely, missing your jefe, Philip."

`My "jefe"?'  I wish!  But this looked like it could turn into a hot evening.  My dick got even harder, and my heart-rate increased.

Raul pulled into his parking space.  We climbed out.  "Aim" and I stood up carefully and adjusted our packages.  Raul put the top up, locked the car, and we went up to their suite.  When we got there, Cates said, "You didn't really want a beer, did ya?"

"Not now.  Maybe later."

The two of them practically dragged me into a bedroom where a race began to see who could get naked the quickest.  It was a dead heat.  Man, I wish you could have seen those two!  We were all about the same height.  Cates was a coffee-with-cream-colored bi-racial guy with blue eyes and a perfect bod for the swimmer he was.  His dick was much darker than the rest of him, thick, and a couple of inches longer than mine, so it was at least 8 inches.  Raul had skin almost as dark as Em's, but while Em was pretty smooth, the Spaniard had black hair on his chest, belly, and ass.  His tool was long like Em's, but it was very thin, a kind of pencil-dick.

I was embarrassed by the farmer's tan I'd gotten from working at the garden center in a tee and shorts all summer.  It seemed like no matter how much I laid by the pool on weekends, I couldn't really get it evened out.  And, just to remind you, I have two reasons for my nickname because my dick curves to the left when it's hard.

I just kind of stood there, enjoying the view.  They had planned this party, so I was cool with letting them make the next move.

They pulled me over to the king-size bed and pushed me down on my back.  One got on each side of me, and they began to lick and nibble and suck.  It didn't take long before I lost track of who was doing what.  While one was licking a nipple or pulling on it with his teeth, the other was giving me a hickey on my neck.  While one was tonguing my ear, the other was tonguing my navel.  Then Raul was sticking his tongue down my throat while Em was giving me a hickey on the inside of my thigh.  I suffered some kind of mental meltdown.  All I could do was lie there and wiggle around and moan.  I must have sounded like a real slut.  I'd never experienced anything like that before.  Not even Philip had done so much in such a short time just to make me feel good.  And I felt gooood!

After a while they flipped me over onto my belly and proceeded to give me simultaneous hickeys on my butt cheeks.  By then I had hickeys everywhere and figured it would be some time before I could go to the gym.  

When they had decorated my backside to their satisfaction, they flipped me over again.  Putting me in the middle of the bed, Emerson pulled my legs up so that my feet were somewhere near my ears and began to suck on my toes, alternating from one foot to the other.  Raul wasted no time going after my exposed pucker.  By that time I couldn't have said anything that made any sense.  I was just groaning and cursing and trying to beg them not to stop, but I don't know whether they understood the words.  And that's about when I lost my first load.  I think I actually yelled, and then splattered cum all over my face.  Since I was yelling and shooting at the same time, I got a couple of spurts of cum in my mouth.  The guys stopped what they were doing and began to lick the rest of the cum off my face and chest.  Then we had a three-way kiss, swapping cum and spit back and forth.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, in my 20 years had ever given me an inkling I could feel like that!

We collapsed in a heap of sweaty arms and legs and cocks for a few minutes.

Finally, I pushed up on one elbow and looked at the two hunks lying beside me.  "Guys, you haven't come!  I don't know what you got out of that, but thanks.  That was fan-fuckin-tastic!  Now, how about I do something for you?"

Raul grinned.  "Aim tells me you have a very promising ass.  And a need."

I looked at "Aim" and grinned.  "Tattle-tale.  A gentleman never tells."

Em chuckled.  "Jus' goes to show I ain' no gentleman," he said, exaggerating the accent.

"Well, you may be surprised to learn that I've had a chance to practice a lot this summer.  Who wants to go first?"

Cates grabbed some lube from the nightstand and handed it to Raul.  "Senor Sexy here hasn't had the pleasure, so let's let him have first honors.  I think I can find something to do while he's exploring your ass with that toothpick."

"Toothpick!  Bite me!" Raul said, but he was laughing.

I wasted no time in getting in the middle of the bed doggie style so both my holes were available.  While Raul was loosening up my butt, Em lay down on one elbow and began to french with me.  So there I was, one hot guy deep kissing me while the other was finger-fucking me.  Of course my cock was totally hard again.  

I could have gone on like that for a while longer, but I felt the bed shift as Raul positioned his cock at my pucker.  When he did that, Em knelt with his big dong pointed at my mouth.  Raul plunged in.  It surprised me and I huffed a little as he entered, but it didn't hurt.  I leaned forward and licked the precum that was dribbling from Cates's throbbing cock.  He scooted a little closer, and soon I was sucking him as Raul fucked me.  For a while they alternated their thrusts, so we were all rocking back and forth, but then as they got more excited, they began to thrust together, in at the same time, out at the same time.  I was in piggy heaven.  

Cates was laughing.  "Listen to the dude!  He's squealing.  And that feels SO fine on my pecker.  Man, Hook, you sure enough do like this, don't ya?"

I grunted something like umm hmm, and he moaned.  Raul moaned.  I moaned.  And the rhythm just kept on.  I didn't care if they ever got their rocks off.  I could have kept that up all night.  My cock was making a puddle of precum on the bed, but that was their problem.  I just wanted it all to go on forever.  

I wondered if there really was something pathetic about being so happy getting fucked at both ends, and then I decided I really didn't give a shit.  It felt too good to worry about.  And they had shanghaied me, so they must have wanted me there.  So I was giving them what they wanted, they were giving me what I wanted.  Everyone was happy.

Em leaned forward, so his head was over my back.  I felt Raul's weight shift a little, too, and wondered what was going on.  Then from the sounds I could hear, I knew that they were leaning over me and kissing.  That went on for a long time, but they never changed the rhythm of their thrusts.  

Raul was the first to come.  He let go of my hips.  I could tell he was arching his back as he began doing short, quick stabs into me.  Yelling something like "Aieeee!" he came.  I could feel his skinny dick throb as it pumped out his load.  My own cock let out another batch of precum, and then Cates grabbed me by the ears and shot his own load into my mouth.  I'd sucked Philip's cock and Paul's cock, but I'd never had so much cum in my mouth as Em put there that night.  Even though I tried to swallow it all, it was dribbling down both sides of my chin.  Since I was resting my weight on my hands, I couldn't catch it.  Em reached down and wiped one stream off with his finger and offered it to Raul.  Then he wiped up the rest and licked his own cum off his finger.  The only cum we hadn't all three shared that evening was what Raul had pumped into me, and fortunately no one suggested we share that.

Again, we collapsed together, sweatier than ever, and just snuggled for a while.  I think maybe that was the best part.  I didn't know either of these guys very well.  But there was something nice, you know, about just cuddling, like three puppies.  I loved that.

I don't have any idea how much time had passed when Raul said, "Aim, we are forgetting our manners.  We promised our guest a beer."  He jumped up and went to the kitchen.  In a flash he was back with three cans of beer.  We sat Indian fashion in a triangle on the bed, drinking beer and talking about how great it had all been.

"But, Em, don't you want to fuck me in the ass?" I asked, sticking my lower lip out like a little boy.

"Oh, yeah, my man.  But I'll take a rain check, okay?  Surely and undoubtedly we gonna do this again, ain't we?"  Again, he pushed the accent a little.

"I certainly hope so," Raul said, showing his sexy grin.

"Well, I suppose we do have to go to class and maybe even study once in a while, but other than that, I'm available.  Seriously, I never imagined it could be like this.  Thanks, guys.  You can kidnap me anytime."

"We won't need to kidnap you any more, will we?"  Raul asked.

"Nope.  You might find me pounding on your door."

Cates laughed at that.  He'd heard about what I did to Philip Halifax the second time I was with him.  "Well, Ethan, you'd better have all your clothes on when you come poundin' on our door.  This is the jock dorm, remember, and you'd be in deep shit if you stood out there naked `n' knockin'."

We all laughed at that.

"Well, guys, I have an early class, so I'd better get home.  Let me see which of the clothes are mine."

"I don't think you'll be allowed to take all those clothes with you.  We're gonna take some of them for souvenirs."

Raul giggled.  "He wants to keep something to sniff while you're gone."

"Cates!  And I thought I was a pig!  Whatcha gonna do, make me go home naked?"

Raul took me home in the Beemer, but they allowed me to wear only my jeans and sneakers.  They said I could claim the rest when I came back the next night.  Fortunately, I didn't bump into any of my neighbors as I went from Raul's car up to my apartment.  I almost wished I had.  What the hell!  People need to be shook up once in a while.

*          *          *


At my next session with Dr. Conkley after Trey and Chaz told me about me and Tim Mead being lovers for over a year, I told her what they had said.  You can predict what she asked me.

"How do you feel about that?"

"Come on, doc, how do you think I feel?  Confused.  I remember the guy as a professor.  I'll admit I thought he was sexy."  (There was no problem, obviously, in our meetings about my being gay, and I'd long since learned the best way with her was just to be forthright about everything.  She was cool about all that.)

"Yes, I understand that you would be.  How do you feel right now about Tim?"

"I feel sorry for him."

She didn't say anything, so I went on.

"Look, even if I can't remember what was between us, he obviously does.  And if he loves me as much as Trey and Chaz say he does, then it must be tough for him."

"How does he act when you see him?"


"Why do you think that is?"

"Well, duh!  He doesn't want to be pushy.  He's a smart guy, doc.  And a decent guy, too.  I can tell that he doesn't want to, uh, presume on our previous relationship."

"And how do you react to him?"

I had to think that.  "I suppose I respond to him.  I try to be friendly.  But we're very correct with each other.  Polite but at arm's distance."

"And what do you think is going to happen between you two in the future?"

"Nothing, unless I get rid of this damn amnesia."

"And what if your memory returns?"

"Doc, you tell me.  How will I feel?  Is it possible for me to want to grab him up and take him to bed?"

She paused, looking at me intently.  Then she smiled.

"Yes, it's possible.  When the memory returns, IF it returns, you may be instantly ready to resume what you and Dr. Mead had."

"Sounds scary."

"It won't be, if that's the way it works out."

"But . . . ?"

"But it may not work that way.  Ced, it's entirely possible that you could never regain your memory, as we've discussed before."

"Uh huh."

"But, think about this.  It's also possible that you will remember everything, every intimacy, all the things that two lovers do and share.  It may all come back, perhaps slowly, perhaps all at once.  And though you remember it all, you may feel absolutely nothing for your former lover.  Nothing at all."

*          *          *


Trey was a senior English major and I, being a newbie, was teaching mostly lower-level courses that fall.  But he and I did occasionally bump into each other in the halls of our building.  One day in October he stopped by my office just after my 11:00 class.

"Hey, Trey!  Good to see you.  What's up?"

"Something you'll be I interested in, I think.  Want to have lunch?"

"Sure.  Shall we go to the Union?"

"Please, not that.  I'd rather see what's available at Noplace, if that's okay with you."

"Hey, I'll risk one of their burgers and a beer if you will."

He grinned.  "Deal, professor."

As it turned out we both had excellent reubens, fries, and beer.  I didn't have any afternoon classes that day, so I didn't have to worry about burping in the middle of a class discussion.

After we our food and beer were delivered to our table, he asked me how classes were going.

"I'm really enjoying it, Trey."

"How about your students?"

"Well, this isn't Brown, but they're a pleasant lot, and some of them are really bright and appealing."

"For example?"

"Well, there's Mike Cronin.  Do you know him?"

"Nope.  But this is a big university.  Tell me about Mike."

"He's a sophomore, a transfer from the University of Indiana, I believe."


"Oh, nothing, except he's bright, great looking, sexy, and gay."

"Rick, you don't have anything going with this kid, do you?"

"Oh, of course not.  In fact, he lives with an older lover, a guy about 35, and they are, he says, totally committed.  I just mentioned Mike because I think he's English major material, and he seems to like my class a lot.  He stops by to talk after class often, and I enjoy chatting with him.  I'm going to suggest he major in English and that I be his advisor."

"But that's all?"


"So," I said after chewing a bite of sandwich, "what's the news?"

"Rick, please don't think I'm a gossip."

"I wouldn't."

"Well, there's news about our mutual friend."



"So, give!"

"He and Max went to Kenyon for their Homecoming Weekend, and when they came back, they were together."

"As opposed to coming back separately?"

He chuckled.  "No, Rick.  They are now a couple."

It was my turn to laugh.  "Well, they waited a decent amount of time."

"You knew?"

"I think only a blind person wouldn't know."

"Well, Tim seemed blind for a long time."

"But Trey, this has a lot of potential problems."

"Tell me about it.  Tim is so happy with Max, and Max is practically delirious.  But those two are the ethical twins.  Both are wracked with guilt.  What about Cedric?  What will happen if his memory comes back?  They can't enjoy their happiness because they're so worried."

"I can understand that.  It is a problem.  I know for sure, and you know even better than I, how much Cedric and Tim loved each other.  I picked up on that the first evening I met them."

"Yeah.  And I understand you and your friend Ned confronted Max and Tim about that at Stefan's."

"We did.  I wonder if that had anything to do with nudging them closer together."

"I think it may have.  Chaz had a heart-to-heart with Tim one day just before fall term began, too, and Tim says those two events really pushed him to see how unfair he'd been to Max, how much he'd been taking him for granted."

"What a mess.  I really can see that Max loves Tim, and from what I've heard, Tim's loved Max since they were freshmen together.  But do you think Tim is IN love with Max, as Max obviously is with him?"

"Good question.  I thought Tim was totally besotted with Ced.  They talked about some sort of marriage or commitment ceremony.  How could you not love Ced?"

"How not indeed?" I asked.

"But Max has prior claim, after all, and with Ced's memory gone, perhaps never to return, what's Tim to do?"

"Some would say he should wait longer."

"Is that the way you feel?"

"Trey, it's none of my business, except that Tim and Cedric are both wonderful friends."

"It must be hard on you that Ced doesn't remember you."

"You know, I think, that I took to Ced the night I was here for my interview.  When they came to Chicago, he was the one who was polite while Tim was being bearish.  And he is the one who persuaded Tim to give me the benefit of the doubt until they had heard my side of the story about Doug."

"Yes, I'd heard all of that."

"Well, then, perhaps you can understand why I think I love Cedric."

"Whoa, Rick!  Love?  What kind of love?"

"I don't know.  You and the guys in your brotherhood all love one another.  That doesn't mean you are in love with one another, does it?"

"No, but it's a pretty strong feeling."

"Okay.  I have strong feelings of attraction to Ced.  It's not just sexual, though God knows he's incredibly hot.  From the beginning, I have just found him one of the most desirable men I've ever met.  But, of course, he was with Tim, and I wouldn't do anything to mess with their relationship."

Trey smiled.  "For real?"

"For real."

"Have you given Cedric any idea that this is true?"

"Certainly not!  As I said, I wouldn't think it honorable to try to make a move on Ced so long as he and Tim were lovers.  Or, in this case, so long as there was a chance his memory would return."

Trey poured us each a bit of the last of the beer in the pitcher.  "Does the new relationship between Tim and Max change your thinking any?"  He studied my face.

"I'm not sure.  What do you think?  Cedric and I have seen each other only once since his accident.  It was that day at the Phoenix.  Wouldn't it seem strange if I tried to see him?"

"Not necessarily.  Chaz and I have told him about you, about the trip to Chicago and, I hope you don't mind, about the whole thing with Doug."

"Jeez, Trey.  He won't ever want to have anything to do with me now."

"Don't underestimate Ced.  He knows about Doug, about how Doug has forgiven you.  He loves Stan, and he feels if Stan's happy, that's cool."

My heart was beating harder than it should, and I hoped it wasn't the reuben.  "Trey, I sense that you're quietly suggesting something here."

He gave me that sleepy, sexy grin of his.  Chaz was a lucky man.  "No suggestions at all, Rick.  I've just suspected that you really liked Cedric.  Now that Tim's affections are otherwise engaged, shall we say, there's no reason why Ced shouldn't have a good man, is there?"

"No, of course not.  Things could get messy, though, if he gets his memory back."

"But it would be less messy, wouldn't it, if Cedric's affections were also directed elsewhere?"

"That makes sense.  But why me?"

"For one very good reason."

"And that would be . . . ?"

"I think you would love Cedric the way I want him to be loved.  The way he deserves to be loved."

"Damn, Trey.  You don't miss a thing, do you?"

He grinned.  "Rick, it's not always a blessing to have this, whatever it is.  It's often a burden."

"Yeah, I can see how that could be."

He was going to walk home.  I had to go back to the office.  On the sidewalk in front of Noplace, I said, "Trey, you are a good friend.  To Tim.  To Cedric.  And to me.  Thanks."

We hugged long enough to attract some stares.  

"Follow your heart, Rick.  And don't hurt Cedric, or I'll have your balls!"

I laughed.  "I hear you."

*          *          *


I've read that the olfactory sense is perhaps the strongest trigger to the memory.  That's the way it worked with me.

There had been this bottle of Eternity aftershave in my medicine cabinet ever since I came home from the hospital.  I couldn't remember ever using it, and I figured it might be going strong.  So, I took off the cap and sniffed it.  

At that moment everything started coming back.

I remembered that course I was taking with Tim, that I bought a bottle of Eternity because he used it and I wanted to use it, too.  As I was thinking about that, I remembered Keesha's accident.  And then I remembered coming back to campus and hearing what the guys had done to Tim.  I was so furious my hands began to sweat, and my heart was pounding.  I wanted to beat up on my three best friends.  

Then I knew I had done something drastic, something that took a lot of courage, but I couldn't remember what.  

Gradually, I saw moments of our life together, not in chronological order, but in bits and pieces.  I had smelled the Eternity in the morning, and I called Dad's office and said I wasn't well and wouldn't be in until at least afternoon.  I needed time to process the memories that were coming back.  Shareese, the receptionist, said she'd tell Dad and I was to take it easy.

I didn't get myself any breakfast.  I just flopped down in a chair in the living room with the bottle of aftershave.  I remembered Max coming to town and how insecure I felt, how badly I'd behaved.  I remembered the party at Dr. Fairchild's house and how proud of Tim I'd been.  I also knew that that was when he and I had in effect come out on campus.  

I remembered the whole problem with Rick, and how upset I'd been with Tim over the way he'd acted toward Rick.

Then, after some orange juice and toast, I remembered that Sunday morning when I went to Tim's apartment with the cd of the pictures Mark had taken.  I was scared to death.  I thought he might call the cops or at least curse me out and tell me to get lost.  I don't know where I got the nerve to grab him up and carry him to the bedroom and spend the day making love to him.  He could have called me a fucking queer and ordered me out.  Or, as I said, called the police.  But he didn't.  We became lovers that day, and we remained lovers every day, every night, until I had my accident.

It came back piecemeal, but over the course of the morning, it all came back.  I sat there and cried and cried.  Finally, exhausted, I shaved and showered.  I masturbated in the shower, thinking of Tim, of all the hot sex, of all the tender love we'd shared.

It occurred to me that I should call Dr. Conkley, but she could wait.  I had to go see my Timmy.  I dressed carefully, picking out a sweater I remembered he liked.  I chose a pair of 501's he said made my ass look good.  I didn't splash on any of the Eternity because I remembered he didn't wear it any more.  I dumped it down the drain and threw the bottle in the trash.

The phone rang.  It was Mom.  "Cedric, Shareese says you aren't well, baby.  What's wrong?  Should I come over there?"

"Angel, I'm fine.  In fact, I'm more than fine.  I've just remembered everything.  I'm on my way to campus.  I've got to see Tim!"

"Child, don't you move.  I'll be right there."

I knew better than to argue with her when she used that tone of voice.

"Do you want me to come over there?"

"No, boy, just sit still."

Two minutes later, she was there, panting a little from the climb up the stairs to my apartment over the garage.  She hugged me, squeezing me much harder than a woman her age should be able to.  

She pushed me away, tears streaming down her face.  "Praise the Lord!  I've been praying for this day!"

I kissed her forehead.  "Thanks, Angel.  Me, too.  Should we call Dad?"

"I'll do that in a minute."

"Oh, good, you can do that while I go see Tim?"

"Sit down, Cedric."

"Yes, ma'am."  Again, there are times when you don't argue with your Mama.

"You musn't go see Tim right now.  Maybe you should call Dr. Conkley."

"I will, of course, dear.  But what's the rush?  I need to see Tim.  He must have been miserable all this time.  And, Mama, I want to hold him.  It's been so long!"

Tears were streaming down her cheeks.  "Child, it's been too long."

"What do you mean?"

"You know the doctors all said you might never get your memory back, and the longer you went without getting it back, the less chance you had of it returning?"

"Yeah, but it's back!"

"Uh huh.  I wish God had let it come back sooner."

I felt cold, clammy.  Something was wrong.  "Why is that, Mama?"

"Because, child, Tim has a new lover."


"Yes.  Those two have loved each other since they were freshmen in college.  Max was right there for Timmy every step of the way while you were in the hospital and after you came home and he wasn't allowed to see you.  He held on and held on, waiting for your amnesia to disappear.  But finally, finally, Tim and Max recognized the feelings they had for each other.  I don't know for sure, but I think even Trey and Chaz encouraged them to wake up and realize the love they'd always shared."

"How long have they been together, Angel?"

"Not long, a week or so.  But Trey says they are both very happy."

"So you're telling me that I have to forget Tim?"

"No, baby.  You'll never forget Tim.  You'll always remember the love that you and he had.  But if you go back to him now, you are going to create one terrible mess, and someone's going to get hurt."

"So what should I do?"

"It's not for me to tell you, baby.  But I want you to stay home this afternoon and think long and hard about everything.  You'll do the right thing, I know."

She came over and gave me another of her mama bear hugs.  "Remember, Cedric, your father and I love you.  And we've always been proud of you.  Whatever you decide to do now, we'll support you.  Just don't do anything until you've thought about it a lot."  She kissed me.  "I'll be at the house.  You come over there after a while.  I'll call your dad and Keesha and tell them your memory's back.  We'll have a celebration dinner at home, just the four of us."

"Yes, Mama."

She left, and I fell into a chair.  I cried some more.  It was so fuckin' not fair!  I'd gone through the physical pain of the accident and the recuperation from it.  I'd had all those sessions with Dr. C.  I'd felt SO guilty because I couldn't remember my time with Tim.  And now that I did remember, if I claimed him, he'd have to reject either Max or me.  How could I do that to him?  To myself?  

I wandered into the bathroom and took a shower.  After I dried off, I dropped onto the unmade bed.  I fell asleep almost at once, as if I had been running on adrenalin for months and suddenly needed to crash.

When I woke up, it was late afternoon.  I knew I needed to get dressed so I could go to the house for drinks, dinner, and the celebration.  I knew what I had to do.  I still loved Tim.  I would always love him.  But I had seen him with Max at the pool party a month ago, and I had heard what Angel said.  Max obviously loved Tim as much as I did.  And if Tim recognized that and loved Max in return, I'd be a selfish bastard to interfere.

I remembered that Dr. Conkley had said I could get the memory back but that my feelings for Tim wouldn't necessarily be the same.  I thought about that.  I didn't think I could fake the memory loss.  I'd be bound to slip up sometime, so I had to admit that my memory was back.

The best thing I could do for Tim was just to apologize to him, tell him that, though I could remember our time together, the feelings just weren't there.  That's what I had to do.  What I would do.

I began to sob.  Soon I was crying uncontrollably.  I needed to get myself together and go across the way to the family celebration, but I just couldn't.

The phone began to ring.  I couldn't answer it.  I couldn't talk to anyone, so I let the machine get it.  After the fourth ring, I heard, "Ced, this is Rick Modarelli, and I was wondering . . . "

The End.

I want to thank all of the wonderful people who have stuck with this story since I began posting it in October 2002.  I extend my admiration to you readers who discovered it late and did a reading marathon to catch up with the postings.  To all of you who have written me, my heartfelt thanks.

I want to say a special thank-you to Evan Bradley.  This story would have ended after the first four chapters if he hadn't encouraged -- and prodded -- me to continue it.  Thanks, Lion!

I hate to see the end of this series.  These guys are like my children, and I'll miss them.  I hope you will, too.  I expect to start posting a new series, "B & G," in the College section soon.  Please watch for it.  Love to you all.  --TM