As always, if you're not supposed to be here, please leave. In other words, if men kissing,
fucking, or doing anything remotely sexual offends, disgusts, or angers you then you should get
out of here. This story includes sex between two men. But it is at heart, a love story. Plenty of
sap, romance, and professions of love. So be warned. This work is copyrighted and may not be
used without explicit permission from the author.

Comments, suggestions, complaints are all much appreciated and welcomed at

Also I thought I should mention that while David and Sam do not use protection in this story,
you should. This is fiction where most things end happily. Alas life is not always the same.
Better be safe than sorry.

Much thanks and gratitude to Ron, for editing and proofreading this chapter. His able assistance
is so very much appreciated.

I want to take a minute and thank all of the dedicated readers of this story. Some have followed
the story from the very beginning and it means quite a bit to me.

I thank all of those who have sent feedback and e-mails. They are all greatly appreciated. Keep
them coming. I love hearing from everyone.

"Steady as the Rain" - Dolly Parton



Present Day

"And how did your night go?" asked a smug Greg as I stepped into the apartment.

"Just fine and dandy," I said hanging my coat up.

"Like a hard candy Christmas?" He asked innocently.

I laughed and plopped down on the couch next to him. "It actually went well. Really well.
Except..." I turned and faced him. "He tried to kiss me."

"And?" He asked surprised.

I shrugged, "I moved away."

"You did what?" He asked incredulously.

"I had to. I mean I haven't... I haven't kissed anyone since..." I smiled sadly. "... since Sammy. It
just... it didn't feel right."

Greg placed his hand on mine. "What'd he say?"

I laughed. "Well it was kind of awkward for a second. But I guess he got the picture." I sighed.
"It's not that I didn't want to kiss him."

"You found him attractive you mean? You were attracted to him?" Greggy asked in a very shrink
like kinda way.

I smiled. "Oh yeah. Very, very attracted. It's just..."

"You felt like you were cheating on Sam."

He hit the nail on the head.

I nodded. "I know it sounds stupid. I mean I went on a date with the guy. Hell, I was the one who
asked him out. But when it came time for it... the kiss... I just, I couldn't do it." I shrugged. "Jack
was great though. He was nice about it."

"You're okay then?" Greggy asked concerned.

"I don't know," I said honestly. Because the truth was I didn't know how I felt.

He raised his eyebrows.

"I'm okay I guess. I just... I don't know... I'm not really sure how to feel." I stood up confused.
"Mikey's sleeping?"

He smiled. "We watched "From Here to Eternity." He got embarrassed cause he cried when
Monty died. He went to bed."

I shook my head and smiled. "I'm gonna go check on him."

"Come back when you're done. I don't wanna go to bed yet." He picked up two DVD's. "We can
either watch "Breakfast at Tiffany's" or "Roman Holiday." Your pick."

"I'll think about it."

I walked down the short hall to Mikey's room. The door was open slightly but there was no light
on so I figured that he was sleeping. I opened the door and I found him sound asleep on the bed,
on top of the covers. He had on a pair of pajama pants and a tee shirt. I smiled. I couldn't believe
how much he was turning into a man right before my eyes. A handsome man too. He took after

I tiptoed in to cover him up. I kissed him on his forehead and his eyes fluttered open.

"Hey Dad," he said sleepily.

"Hey yourself."

"How'd it go?" He smiled.

"Not too bad. It was fun. I'm glad you talked me into it." And I was, even if the end of the
evening was a semi-disaster.

"Did you kiss him?"

My eyes almost bulged out of my head.

He smiled innocently. "What? I saw you and Dad kiss what? Hundreds of times. It's not like I'm
not used to two men kissing."

I laughed. "I know but I'm your father. Isn't that... like gross." I did my best to imitate him.

He shrugged. "I guess." He smiled. "But did ya?"

I smiled. "No. I didn't."

He rolled his eyes. "You didn't freak out on him did you?"

God! Even my son could tell.

I shook my head. "We just weren't ready for that yet. That's all." I said simply. "Now go back to
sleep." I made my way to the door. "Night."

"It's okay Dad," he said quietly.

I turned around. "Okay to what son?"

"To love again."


Chapter Nine ~ Steady as the Rain


          Raindrops tumble to the ground, making puddles all around
           Drops of rain that look like tears, fall on my window pane
     Raindrops seem to harmonize with teardrops falling from my eyes
               And my tears keep falling down as steady as the rain


"And the side effects of the treatment are?"

I looked up at Matt, my friend, my ex-lover, Sammy's doctor, desperately searching for the
answers that I wanted, that I needed.

He sighed. "I won't lie to you David. The chemo and the radiation are gonna knock the shit out
of him. Yesterday was his first radiation treatment. That was why he was so tired." He leaned
against his desk. "The chemo will make him nauseous and..."

"He'll lose his hair," I said quietly.

He nodded sadly. "But we need the treatments before we can even think about operating. It's
imperative that we shrink down the tumor before..."

"Before it spreads somewhere else," interrupted Sammy from the doorway. He'd gone to the

He came behind me and started massaging my shoulders. "You okay?"

I turned around with a puzzled look on my face. "Me? After what I did to you last night..."

He smiled and placed a finger to my lips, silencing me. "We talked about that already. It was a
misunderstanding. And, it was mostly my fault."

I nodded and stared at my feet, trying my hardest not to cry, like I'd been doing for the past
twelve hours.

He cupped my chin. "Hey. Look at me."

I looked up at his smiling face. His smile was infectious, even at sad times.

"It's okay. Really." He kissed me softly on the lips and pulled me into a hug. "Matt
here is gonna make everything all better." He looked over at Matt. "Isn't that right Doc?"

Matt smiled. "We're sure gonna try."

I nodded. But I was still so out of it.

"Why don't we get you set up for the treatment today." Matt said to Sam. He looked at me. "Wait
here for a minute."

He led Sammy out of the room. I plopped down in the chair, threw my head back and closed my

This could not be happening. It was just all such a horrid nightmare. My Sammy could not
possibly have... stage three stomach cancer.

I rubbed my eyes, sighed, and thought back. I replayed the events of last night in my mind.

I was so mean to him, accusing him of being unfaithful, questioning why he didn't
pick Mikey up. And then he told me and I just... I couldn't believe it. I just stood there and
watched as the man I loved broke down and cried.

He cried for a long time last night. I held him and tried to assure him that everything was going
to be okay. I tried my best to love him, protect him. But how could I protect him from this?

"He's all set." Matt said, breaking me from my daydreaming.

"Good." I looked up at him. "I guess." I said uncertainly.

He stood in front of me, sitting on the edge of his desk.

"You okay?"

"Why the fuck does everyone keep asking me that." I asked exasperated. "I'm fine. I'm not
dying." I stood up. "I don't have cancer." I said, tears beginning to stream down my face. I
furiously wiped them away, not wanting to get emotional.

Matt pulled me up and into a hug. "It's okay, David. It's okay to be upset."

I pulled away. "It's not. It's... I don't have time to be upset. I have to call... and we have to tell
Mikey... oh God... how are we..."

He wrapped his arms around me again. "You need to relax." He looked at me pointedly. "And
get some sleep. Why don't you lie down here on the couch and try to get some rest..."

"I can't. I can't sleep. I need to... I need to...

"It's okay." Matt said soothingly.

I pulled back again and looked Matt in the eyes. "You have to promise me that he's going to be
Okay, Matt. You have to promise me that you'll do everything you can to help him, to make him
better." I slumped back down in the chair. "Without him, without my Sammy... I'm nothing."

He sighed. "I will do everything in my power to help. I promise you that." He walked behind his
desk and sat down. "I want him to see another oncologist. Vernon Hale. He's brilliant. I studied
under him and he's a personal friend. I've already called him."

I looked up confused. "You don't want to be his doctor."

He shook his head. "I'll be his primary oncologist. But I want him to see Hale." He sat back.
"There's dozens and dozens of new treatments and experimental medications out there. Hale
knows about all of them. If anyone knows anything... it'll be him."


He picked up some papers. "I was thinking sometime today, preferably early. He's going to be
extremely tired after this second treatment so I don't want him to over exert himself."

I nodded, absent mindedly.

"Hey." He said softly. "This is a lot to take in. But I'm here David." He smiled. "When we...
when we broke up, I knew that we weren't meant for each other. But when I saw you on New
Year's Eve and I saw Sam and the way you two just..." His eyes glistened. "... looked so good
together. I thought I'd be jealous. But I wasn't. I was so happy for you David." He leaned
forward placing his hands on the desk. "I'm not going to let this disease destroy your family. You
two are perfect. You belong together."


"I'll just have a cop of coffee." I said exhausted.

I was in the hospital cafeteria. Sammy was getting his treatment. I spoke with Matt and then told
him to tell Sammy that I just needed to make some calls and I'd be back. I just needed to clear
my head for a minute or two and get some jolt of caffeine or something.

I paid the cashier and walked over to the windows. I took a swig of the awful hospital coffee and
burned the roof of my mouth. Cursing myself, I chucked the cup into a nearby trash can.

I stood there for a few minutes just staring out the window. Seeing nothing, comprehending
nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I thought about the first time we'd met. That night nearly five years ago that I was driven out of
my apartment because of two sex crazed sluts next door. And on the street, on the street of all
places, I met Sam Warren. I could still see his face. The way it looked. Not that it had changed at
all. But the look he had. What he wore. What he smelled like. I remembered all of that.

I remembered that night after dinner when we went back to his apartment. The anticipation. The
sexual energy that permeated through the room that night. The sex was wonderful of course, but
more than anything, it was him that made it magical. I remembered the countours of his face as
he lay beneath me. The sounds he made.

Life after was just... perfect. Absolutely perfect. Sammy coming into my life completed what
was missing. I finally reunited, fully, with my parents. And then Mikey, the little perfect creature
who was brought into our life. The little boy who completed our family.

I sighed. How in the world do you tell a little boy that his father is sick? That he has a terminal
illness and that possibly... he could die?

I felt two strong arms circle around me and pull me into a tight hug and instantly I knew whose
they were.

And it was then, in my father's arms, that I finally broke down and cried.


"You know what Daddy?" Mikey asked enthusiastically as we walked home from school.

"What bud?"

"I like school a lot."

I nodded, trying my best to not let my horribly sad, depressed mood get in the way of conversing
with my son. It couldn't though because as bad as a mood I was in, whenever I was around
him, it was like an instant high.

I smiled. "I'm glad."

"I know." He continued. "I didn't think I was gonna like because I was afraid that no one would
play with me. But..." He stopped walking and placed his hands on his hips. "Everyone wants to
play with me."

I picked him up. "That's cause your Mr. Popularity." I held onto him as we walked.

He touched my face. "What's the matter Daddy?"

I smiled. "Nothing sweetheart. Daddy's just really tired."

He nodded and placed his head on my shoulder. "Me too."

"Rest your head on my shoulder and take a nap bud."

He was a little heavy but we were only a block away from the apartment. I spotted my mother's
car parked across the street. My Dad had taken Sammy back to the apartment while I ran to get

I stopped at the front door and rang the buzzer. I'd forgotten my key this morning. Seconds later,
I was buzzed in and I made my way up the three flights of stairs and stopped at the door. I
relished this one moment of calm. I still didn't know how would we would break the news to
Mikey, if we would break the news. I opened the door and stepped in, finding my parents sitting
on the couch talking quietly.

"Where's Sam?" I asked nervously.

My mother stood up. "He's lying down." She took Mikey into her arms. "Why don't you..."

I was already ahead of her.

The bedroom door was ajar and I opened it quietly, finding him on the bed lying on his back,
sound asleep. I smiled, genuinely smiled for the first time that day.

And at that same moment Sammy's eyes fluttered open. He smiled too. "What are you smiling

I walked over to the bed and crawled in. "I was thinking how, even with all the sadness today,
just one look at you, lying there sleeping so peacefully." I caressed his face. "That makes me

He rolled over on top of me and placed his head on my chest.

"Do you believe in heaven?" He asked quietly.

I didn't want to be talking about this. The doctor said that we should think positive. That we
should look on the bright side.

"I do." I said simply. "I also believe that neither of us will be entering there anytime soon."

He picked his head up. "I believe in heaven." He smiled animatedly. It was so good to see him
smile like that now. He had emotion. "Did I ever tell you bout the calley?" He asked, his
adorable southern accent more pronounced than I'd heard it in awhile. It was funny because
when I first met him, it was so thick but as time passed, he lost some of it. It did reappear now
and then like it did now. And I loved every second of it.

"No." I smiled. "That some kind of sex club down in Tennessee?"

He laughed. "No. I didn't learn any of the perverted things I know now until I met you. I'm
certainly not complaining mind you." He rested his hands on my chest. "The calley was this alley
behind our first house. Not the one you went to. The first house that I remember living in.
Anyway, we had this alley. Not like an alley in New York. But this narrow walkway separated
by two big barns."

I smiled, watching him talking about something other than well... anything about today.
"I called it the calley." He laughed. "Mama used to yell from the back porch, "Samuel Thomas
Warren, where are you?" And I'd scream, "Downt' the calley."

I ran my fingers through his hair. "What was there?"

He smiled. "Other people's garbage." He looked at my skeptical face. "Well there was nothing
else to do. I used to go down there everyday and just rifle through the junk people used to throw
out. This was when we lived within a closer distance to other houses." He smiled goofily. "And
this story is really making me sound like white trash, ain't it?"

I laughed. "No baby. You ain't white trash. Come on. Tell me the rest."

He smiled. "Anyway, it used to be just random stuff. Old clothes, broken dishes, things like that.
But one day I went down there and I found this old shoebox. I just figured it was an old pair of
shoes or something but I opened it anyway. I found this thick stack of letters. They looked old. I
didn't know or recognize the names on there and I wouldn't dare ask Mama because she'd think
it was stealing." He smiled. "That didn't stop me from reading them though. They were letters
from a woman to her husband. I thought at first that he was at war or something because she was
telling him all that she'd done each day like he wasn't there. But after getting through about
thirty of them, it became obvious that he wasn't at war or anything like that. He'd died." He
smiled sadly. "Everyday she'd write him." He said with wonder. "She never missed one day. And
every single letter ended with the same thing. I'll see you up in heaven soon."

He looked up at me again and for the first time today, I saw fear in his eyes.

"What's the matter?" I asked stroking his face.

"I don't want to..."

I put my fingers to his lips. "Please don't talk like that. You heard what Matt said today. They
think they'll be able to do the surgery by the end of next month."

He nodded. "I know. I just..." He laid his head back down.

I rubbed his back. "It'll be okay. I promise you. It's all gonna be okay."

We laid there for what seemed like an hour, not saying anything all.

"I'll have to quit my job." He said suddenly.

I smiled "Some well deserved rest. That's all."

"What about Mikey's tuition and the bills... how are we..."

I interrupted him. "We'll worry about that when it happens. We have some savings. And Mikey's
tuition is manageable. I'm so not worried about that right now." I lifted his head up to look at me.
"What I'm worried about is you."

A tear fell down his cheek.

"I'm worried that you're giving up and you can't do that. You... no we, are going to beat this. I
make that promise to you today. I will never let anything happen to you." I started to tear up and
he caressed my face gently with his hand. "Nothing is ever going to tear us apart. Not cancer...
not anything.  I won't let it."


I walked out of the bedroom, even more exhausted than when I'd entered. Not the tired kind of
exhausted where you just want to curl up and sleep. But rather the kind where you want to do so
much at once and you have no idea where to start. I went into Mikey's bedroom. He was sleeping
peacefully on his bed, Fred at his feet, sound asleep as well. I smiled and made my way to the
living room, expecting to find my mother and father.

I found a note instead from my mother saying that they went to get some groceries at the store
and they'd be back in an hour. I sat down on the couch and just sighed.  

I wanted to make everything better. I wanted to protect him. I would do everything in my power
to take this pain away from him. To just take away all of his hurt. I closed my eyes,
remembering everything he'd been through. A horrible childhood with an abusive father, losing
his best friend, his first love, losing his mother, then his father, as terrible as he was. Now this.

I looked up and decided that now seemed to be the first time to do something that I hadn't done
in quite awhile. I just jumped in head first.

"I know that we haven't had the best relationship the past few years. And I know that it sounds
terribly hypocritical of me to be calling on you now." I smiled. "The last time I prayed, I think I
was still in high school. But I suppose it doesn't hurt to try. I'm not even going to try and make
sense of why this happened to him. I've never been a big fan of the line... God works in
mysterious ways. I do know this though. He's a good person and he doesn't deserve any of the
terrible things that have happened to him." I laughed bitterly. "Rapists, murderers, terrorists.
They all deserve to be punished. But instead, Sammy, my Sammy, a man who doesn't have a
mean bone in his body just keeps getting pummeled over and over again with tragedy after
tragedy." I sighed. "I'm sorry but I just don't see any justice there whatsoever. Whether it be
mysterious or not."

I sighed again. I was getting absolutely nowhere. I was just making myself more angry and I
knew I'd end up crying.

"Anyway, I just make this plea. Help him. Help him be strong and be able to fight. He needs to
fight. He can't give up. Help him during his chemo treatments. Help him when he's sick. Help
him when I can't be here for him. Help him when he's having the surgery. I'm not asking for
miracles. I'm far too pessimistic for that. But all I ask... the one thing I ask... is that you give him
strength for what lies ahead."

I heard a soft knock on the door. It opened seconds later and Greggy's head popped in.

"You talking to yourself now?"

I could tell that he was trying to make light of a bad situation. Obviously, either my parents or
my sister had called him.

I smiled. "Whoever said I was picture of mental sanity?"

He laughed and sat down next to me. "Certainly not me." We sat there for a few minutes and
then he reached for my hand. "I'm sorry."

I smiled genuinely. It meant a lot. Greggy knew me and Sammy well. And he also knew that I
wouldn't want to be asked how I felt.

"Thanks." I said quietly.

"He's sleeping?" He asked.

"Yep. So is Mikey." I said leaning back and closing my eyes. "He looks so tired Greggy."

"So do you."

"I'm fine." I said, yawning. "It's only gonna get worse you know." I stated bluntly.

"Well we'll just take everything one day at a time then. I'm here. Isabel is here. Your parents are
here. We're all here for you. For both of you. He smiled. "I'm here now. I'll keep an eye on
Mikey. Why don't you go lay down for awhile. Stay with him. He probably needs to be held
now." He said softly.

I sighed. "You're right." I stood up and he followed.

He pulled me into a hug. "Everything is going to be alright."

I nodded. "I know."

He pulled back and smiled. "Go be with your husband."

I walked into the bedroom and found him sleeping like I'd left him. I stood there studying him,
all of his features. The rhythm of his breathing. The contours of his face. His lips, his nose, his
chin. The way he smiled in his sleep.

I laid down and he instinctively curled up to me wrapping both a leg and an arm around me.

I closed my eyes and lay there with the man that I loved more than life itself. The man who I was
so afraid to lose. I needed to be brave. I needed to be strong, like a rock, for him.

But at that very moment, I was more uncertain than I'd ever been in my entire life.


     Raindrops just keep falling down, beating out there rhythmic sound
                         Dancing as they play their sweet refrain
     Memories of you crowd my mind, cloud my eyes and I start crying
              And my tears keep falling down as steady as the rain


Well that's that one folks. I tried to make it longer but it was just getting a little too sad for me.
The next chapter will be out soon and it'll be a bit more on the positive side.

Thanks again to everyone who's written and to Ron, who makes these chapters readable.