Chapter Three: A Chance To LOVE

a story by: Solace Lenity

This is a story about, well,  love and chance.  It is for the most part, a work of pure fiction, though some of the situations discussed are drawn from life experiences (particularly the romantic ones).  Though not in the beginning, this story will eventually contain sexual acts between consenting adults.  Gay characters have gay sex, so if this bothers you, or if it is illegal to read such materials due to your age or where you live, then please do not read further.  All copy rights are held by the author, so please do not duplicate, print, alter, or resubmit (or anything else I may have missed ) this story without first obtaining written permission from the author. 

Further notes:  This story will address several social issues in a perspective in which you may or may not agree.  It is also a story centered around life and love between friends, family, and partners, along with romance, and it is not intended to be a jerk-off story.  There are spiritual and paranormal themes which affect the lives of the characters.  Finally, the story is told in the various points of view of the characters involved.  (To make this process easier, each character's story is distinguished by a specific color and font style dedicated to that character.)

This is my first attempt at writing fiction of any kind.  If you have any comments, ideas, suggestions, etc., I would love to hear them. I have greatly enjoyed the comments I have received thus far and wish to thank you all for taking the time to send them.    Please contact me via solacelenity@yahoo.com


I was really happy for Kal in finding love, but I knew that was not the path for me, at least not now anyway.  I am just not interested in settling down, because I still have too much left in life to live.  Perhaps, someday, I will feel differently.  But, for this time in my life, I just want to experience the world, at least my little part of it.  I don't want to look back one day and regret not doing something. 

Sure, I made mistakes, and I will probably make a billion more before my life has ended, but those mistakes are what makes me who I am.  And I like who I am.  So, I can honestly say I have no regrets.  Like my delve into drugs.  I was a pure mess, but Kal and company helped me through it.  I wondered what purpose it served for a while.  Now, I know it was for a good cause.  I am proud to say that I am a substance abuse peer counselor at the mission.  And with Mic's guidance, I lead three support groups.  I don't think our purpose in life is to avoid making mistakes.  I think it is to learn from our mistakes and help others with this knowledge.

Kal and Kanawha, what a sexy combination they made.  So help me, I would gladly tango with either of those guys (let's not even mention the thoughts of a three-way).  I could tell, however, that their dance card had been punched full by destiny, for they would slowly waltz their lives only with one another.  Hey, I can spot a member of Club V  from a mile away, and these boys were definitely charter members.  Hela had whacked me good for bringing it up to Kal earlier, but I was honestly just trying to point out that some guys, like me for one, are highly interested in getting it on.  I just wanted him to be prepared for the possibility that sex could come up.
  I mean, it is a natural course of action, after all.  Sure, Kal may not have sexed it up with someone, but I knew he had thought about it.  He is a man, ya know.  The fact that he was dating another man only made it all the more important for him to be prepared, because his date had to have thought about having sex at some point, too.   It is not only logical, but it is also natural, like I said... part of being a sexual being.    It relieved me a little seeing them together, because I knew they had both saved themselves for just one dance... the last dance... the one that would take them through this life and into the here-after.  In watching the two of them... the way they responded to one another... the way Kal kept biting his lip... the way Kanawha kept stroking Kal's hand... the look that was in both their eyes... and the passion that was so evident in their kiss... and the fact that they are both just so damned gorgeous... well, I knew it was going to be one hell of a dance, once they got their asses out on the dance floor, if ya know what I mean.

Kanawha's response to my question put me at complete ease, and I no longer felt like Kal needed our protection as far as he was concerned.  He had even won Hela over to his side, which is a miracle in itself.  When the guys left, I was itching to get hooked up for a little while.  Those plans were shot, however, the moment Hela gave me the look.  Two glances, one towards Jew and Shaft, the other towards our new set of twin friends, and I knew exactly what she wanted to do.  And she was asking for my help in setting the stage, so what else could I do. 

'Divide and conquer time.' I thought, as I suggested we have a movie night.  Knowing Mic's intuitive abilities and her soft-spot for romance, I left her in Hela's group... along with victims group one, Jena and Ethan.  They were to fix snacks.  I took the remaining group, along with victims group two upstairs to the movie room. 

Being an old hotel, this place is huge.  Upstairs on the second floor, there is what was once a music salon, where people used to come to listen to piano and other kinds of instrumentalists.  We decided to make it into a hub for our interactions with one another.  There are two things our group enjoys the most:  movies and music (my kind of movies are a little different from everyone else, hehehe, as my definition of action and what a thrill is seems to be a bit bolder than your average person in this house).  So, we utilized our resources and our connections at the mission to create the movie room.  There were a bunch of lounge chairs and couches throughout the hotel.  Shaft and I are rather good with tools...
and yea' I am good with more kinds of tools than those found in a bedroom for any of you smart asses out there (hehehe, you are my kind of people)... so we fixed up the furniture and little by little reupholstered them as we could afford it.  We took several of the loungers and couches, along with accent tables, for furniture in the movie room.  From the mission, which is funded by some kind of private grant and located in an old elementary school, we scored a projector and a movie screen.  Later on, Jew bought us a laptop projector, and when you hooked that up to a DVD player and surround sound equipment, it made for one hell of a theater.  So we call it the movie room.  There is also a lot of sound equipment and instruments in there from Shaft and Cole's old garage band days, along with a kick ass stereo Mic's husband had bought her for their anniversary last year. There is also a baby grand we have restored.  Sometimes, we Karaoke... we all love to sing, though some of us are much better than others.

We also did a lot of fixing up to the place... some of the bathrooms, each of our bedrooms, the laundry, kitchen, the lobby(which is our living room downstairs), and the movie room.    Though we still had much to do in completely restoring the old hotel, it was a rather nice home, if I do say so myself.  The founder, which is the guy who started up the mission, purchased this hotel along with the school.  We get to live here, rent and utility free, in exchange for our work at the mission and here at the hotel.  Every few months, we are allotted so much money to use towards refurbishing her.  We also each get a small spending allowance once a month, which we use for food, books, and other essentials.   It is a great undertaking, and a lot of hard labor, but we all work together and actually have fun doing it.

"Th-thank God!" Jew said as we entered the room, breathing deeply to calm himself.  "I can... uh... speak again." He began doing his kata routine to help further calm himself.

Shaft chuckled, "I know what you mean there guy.  I needed a break from gushing myself."

Putting two and two together, I figured out that Jew was battling his stuttering problem again, no doubt due to his Jena-induced hormonal high.  "Oh, Jew, you poor guy.  Is it that bad?"  I asked.

"Do you remember me... mmm... in kindergarten." he said slowly and deliberately.  When Jason is relaxed, he can concentrate and form what he is trying to say in his mind.  With a deliberate and steady pace, he can overcome his stuttering (Sometimes he mmm's and uh's in the middle, but he does not stutter.  Most of the time, when it is just the seven of us, he doesn't even do that.  He had been doing really well all week, in fact).  In times of excitement and nervousness, however, his calm is gone along with his concentration, and his stuttering returns with a vengeance (He and I have been working on this, though, and he is making great progress).  I just smiled and shook my head yes.

"Well, it's like being... mmm...  five all over again." he said, and his expressions just added to that image as I pictured him as he was the day we met.  He was so cute back then, but he was a doll baby now.  A real looker, if you ask me. 
God, I had such a crush on him for several years, but we ended up being really close friends, and I just love him to death.  I think if I ever had a soul mate, it would be him.  We just have that kind of relationship.  We confide in each other.  Not that our whole group does not confide in one another, it is just that Jew and I tend to turn to each other more so than to anyone else.  Maybe that is why I am studying to be a Speech Pathologist.  "Uh... hormonally, like in seventh grade." he added, stopping his kata.  Boy, did I remember those years.

"Oh, sweetness!  I can only imagine."  I grabbed him into a hug and ran my fingers through his hair.  "We'll figure out something.  Just try and stay calm and focused.  Believe me, I know that is hard, 'cause I can't focus on much of anything other than a good piece of ass." I said, as I lowered my hand and pinched him on his ass cheek.  "See what I mean!"

Jew just laughed.  "Maybe, you can... mmm... I don't know, sit between us and keep me laughing, s-so I don't have to... uh... you know, speak."

I smiled at his putting the 'I don't know'  and
'you know' where he did.  It was one of the things I suggested he try to use.  I love him no matter what, and I could care less about him stuttering or not, as far as his worth as a person goes that is.  He wants to be as close to a 'normal' life as possible, though, so it makes this a top concern for me.  He thinks people judge him because of his stuttering, and as much as I hate it, he is right.  So, to make his conversation skills better, I suggested that he say something like 'I don't know' after he mmm'd or uh'd to make the other person realize that he was thinking about what he was saying.  Most people do not know just how much concentrated effort  it takes my Jew to speak as fluently as he does.  I was just radiating with pride as I kissed his cheek.  He blushed and grinned ear to ear from having my approval.

"Well, darling, although I would love to be in a two-way or thee-way with you any day," I started, winking at him, "I think the presence of a girl in that little triad would make my poor Willy wilt."  He chuckled and blushed a little more.  "Of course I'll run interference for you, if you need me too.  We're tight, you and me.  Just give me the signal."

"Thanks, Roe." he said, hugging me closely.

"I have a feeling, though, that Hela has something up her sleeve... besides her ugly arm, that is. " I joked.

Cole looked up from consoling her brother.  "That's what I gathered as well.  Oh, heaven help us.  Hela is on a mission!" Silence then fell, as we each contemplated the possibilities of the evening.

"Well, I guess we should get everything set up."  Shaft said, breaking the silence.  We all pitched in and got things ready. 

Soon, Hela's group arrived with the snacks.  I leaned into Jew and whispered, "Remember, we are all here for you, studly-dudly.  You just give the signal."  He nodded.

"Well group, I have an idea that I think will be great fun, especially for Roe and Jew."  Hela said.

"What's that?"  I inquired.

"Grease."  Hela said slyly, and I totally understood.  Jew sighed with relief as, of course, he did too.  For one thing, Jew had a great singing voice, one that I knew would really impress Jena.  But, the more practical application of Grease was that it was a musical, one which we all acted out the parts and performed the numbers as the movie played.  Hey, Don't knock it till you try it.  It is great fun and entertainment (too bad none of the guys would act out any of my movies, if ya feel what I'm sayin').  And singing was one of the therapies Jew used, both as a kid and an adult, to help him with his stuttering.  See, when he sings, he does not stutter.  When he doesn't stutter, he doesn't worry about someone else, in this case Jena, laughing at him or thinking he is a loser.  When he doesn't worry, he can relax and concentrate on what he is going to say, which means he does not stutter. Yea, there are more technical aspects to it as well, but this is the important part.  I had to hand it to Hela on that one, she had a brilliant plan in mind for Jew.  I just wondered what she was planning for Shaft.

"OK, I am game with that, but I get to play Rizzo."  I demanded.  Ethan looked at me questioningly, so I said, "We act out the parts and sing the numbers along with the movie... and we have three trunks full of props for this shit.  Riz is my favorite.  She is a trashy ho' bitch, just like me."

"I don't really know the movie well.  Jena watches it a lot, but I don't..." 
Ethan started, but I cut him off.

"Gurl, what do you mean?   I thought all fags loved Grease?"

"Well, this Fag doesn't know if he likes it or not, cause he hasn't really watched it all the way through.  I SO love Moulin Rouge, though." he shot back. 'Well, I hope that Shaft is paying a bit of attention here, as his object of affection just confirmed that he is indeed a member of our little Fraternity' I thought, and I could see Hela's appreciation of my manipulating the situation.

"Oh, thank God!  Gurl, you had me worried." I said, clutching my heart.  "Moulin Rouge, well, we will do that one next, but you have to play Satine.. you sassy little bitch.   As for Grease, don't you worry.  I have sheet music." I said, winking and handing him a folder with all the songs from Grease in it.  He looked at me perplexedly.  I smiled.  "What kind of queen would I be if I weren't prepared?"  Truth is, I had the sheet music because Jew used it sometimes in his therapy.  Shaft or Cole played the piano while he sang.

Everyone laughed at that.  Then, with Hela's help, everyone either chose or was given her or his part.  Jew was Danny, of course, and Jena was Sandy.  Jena and Ethan were a little hesitant at first, but they really got into it quickly.  They even commented that they thought Kanawha would love our interactive movie idea, and then burst out laughing (I seriously wondered what that was all about).  It was such a blast.  I mean, hell, it is just so damned campy, how could you not have fun.  I should mention that  Mic and I cannot sing for shit.  Hela and Jew totally kick ass, while the rest of our group sings rather well. They don't seem to mind our not so tuneful accompaniment.

I have to tell you, though, that Jena can really belt out a tune.  I cried when she sang Hopelessly Devoted to You.  It was beautiful, and, she looked at Jew an awful lot while doing the number.  Ethan had a nice voice, too, but we'll talk about that one later.  I think Jew really communicated how he felt while singing some of the songs, particularly Your the One that I Want.  The way Jena stamped out her q-tip (she says she deplores smoking) was priceless.  And when she grabbed his hands and placed them on her body, saying the lines 'If your filled with affection your to shy to convey, meditate in my direction. Feel you way', well, I thought his pants were gonna pop open.  I don't know if anyone else noticed or not, but I am always checking to see what is in the basket... I just cannot help it... and he had a really big basket that was hard to resist checking.  Well, needless to say, Grease ended well. 

Now, as for Moulin Rouge.  It was apparent that Ethan should be Christian because his voice was even better than Ewan McGregor's, something I never thought I would live to say.  But, for it to work, we needed to pair them up, so we assigned Shaft as Christian and Ethan as Satine.  However, the two of them decided to change parts, seeing as their voices were better suited that way (Shaft has a great voice, but it is just a tad bit deeper and has a more airy quality to it).  I, of course, played the Duke, and we stuck Hela with being Harold Zidler.  Our Like a Virgin was rather humerus to say the least, though I thought for sure those big breasts of hers were gonna strangle me.  As for Ethan and Shaft, well, they were musical poetry in motion, quite into the parts.  I think that is why Shaft was bold enough to grab Ethan's talent, so to say, just as Satine does to Christian in the movie.  They both blushed big time when it happened, but I think Shaft was impressed by the size of his talent regardless, hehehe.  Ethan sang Your Song flawlessly, and their rendition of Elephant Love Medley was fantastic, but the best, by far was Come What May (both versions presented in the movie).  I just hoped the words they sang from their hearts proved to be true for both their sakes.

Tired from singing, and still no arrival from Kal and Killian, we decided to watch a girly movie.  Mic chose Dying Young, which really started to get a reaction from Cole.  However, before she could object, Ethan enthused it as being his favorite.

"Really?" Hela inquired.

"Oh, yea.  I know it is sad and all, but it is just so romantic.  Hillary and Victor are both looking for a reason to live, and they find it in each other... Love. 
At the beginning, she took care of him because it was her job, and that purpose gave her a reason to live.  But later, Hillary cared for him out of love, and he was her reason for living.  She had no guarantees at all, but she loved him anyway.   I mean, lord, she is a nurse.  She knew he could get sick again, but she took a chance and followed her heart.  She saw him as the man she loved, not as her patient or a guy with blood cancer.  Victor fought to get better because he loved Hillary.  I know he fooled her into thinking he was better, and he said he wanted her to see him with hair, but it was so much deeper than that.  He wanted to make sure that she loved him for being him, not for being a sick man she felt obligated to love." He was so animated when he said this, so we all knew it came from his very soul.  And the more he talked, the more moved to tears we all became... Jena, maybe because of the story, but the rest of us had our own reasons. "I could totally understand his position.  Was it really love, or was she only playing along with it so that he would have a reason to fight and get better?  He just had to know the truth.  And, yea, it ends tragically, but it is still romantic.  They took their chances on real love, and even if it were for but a brief moment, they had real love.  What more could you ask for out of life?  No one has any guarantee of tomorrow.  I could be hit by a car tonight.  All you can do is make the most of the moment, for you never know if you will have another one.  I just... um..."

Shaft stood to his feet and pulled the totally (but pleasantly) surprised Ethan into one whopper of a passionate kiss.  "M-m-m.  Not that I'm complaining, cause I have been just dying for you to do that all evening, but what was that for?"  Ethan said.  He noticed Shaft's tears and wiped them with the tip of his finger. 

"Let's just say you inspired me to live for the moment." Shaft softly replied as he kissed Ethan again.  "We'll talk about it later.  Right now, lets just cuddle up and watch your favorite movie."  He then took Ethan's hand and led him to one of the loungers, where he lay with Ethan wrapped up tightly in his arms.

Even I had nothing to say about that.  I was crying way to much.  Hela even let me hug her, she was so touched.  Mic and Cole came over and joined in for a group hug, and Cole whispered, "God bless you both for this.  And you, too, Mic, for your intuitiveness in picking that movie.   I... He..."  but the tears of joy took her voice.  And really, she did not need to say anything, because we all knew what she meant.

So, we all settled in for the movie and a good cry. 


I was not the least bit worried when Killian said "I think we need to talk." for I was sure he knew what needed to be done.  

The little guy kept trying to look away, but Killian kept bringing the kid's gaze back to his own.  I knew the shame the little guy felt, because I was still connected to him emotionally.  "I 'm real sorry about all this.  Truly I am."  he began, and his eyes were flooded with tears of regret.  "I was desperate.  I needed some money, or they were gonna hurt me."

"Who was going to hurt you?" Killian asked, and I could feel the certainty Killian had, which lead me to believe that he already knew all of the answers.

"There's this gang of guys.  If you don't give 'em money every week, they hurt you... " he paused.  I could feel his terror he had over these boys.  "Normally, I get lucky begging for food money.  But, not this week.  I have to have it to 'em by 10:30, or they'll come lookin' for me.  One of the kids last week didn't pay up.  They found him yesterday at the trash dump, beaten to death."  My heart was breaking for the poor child, but I trusted Killian enough to let him call the shots on this one. 
"So, you decided to rob us, is that right?"  Killian calmly inquired.

"Look, I don't wanna die.  I really wasn't gonna hurt nobody.  The gun ain't even loaded. I was just gonna take what I needed, just fifty bucks.  You guys looked like you could've afforded that much."  He stopped and looked at me.  "When I got close enough to see you guys, I recognized ya, and I got real mad."

"I am sorry about today.  I feel just awful about it."  I stated. Then, it hit me. "Hey, why did you say those things and try to hit me to begin with?" 

"Look, every time I see ya, you look at me like I am some low-life trash.  I'm just a kid.  I can't help it that I ain't rich."  he replied, and I could feel the hurt within him.

"I don't think I have ever seen you before today." I rebutted.

"Yea, ya have.  We see each other almost every day.  And it is always the same look you give me.  Like I am disgusting and you are so much better'n me." he shot, and I knew he spoke the truth, because I could feel it if he were lying.  "Well, I thought I'd return the favor today when I saw ya bein' all touchy feely with him." He then pointed to my love.  "I figured that most people look down on that sorta stuff, so I was in a position to look down on you for once.  Truth is, I don't really care 'bout that, you two bein' together and all.  I have too many other things to worry 'bout, like my next meal and stuff."

I felt like the lowest form of slime to ever exist at this point.  I could feel all the hurt I had obviously caused him, even though I could not remember ever doing so.  "Again, I can only apologize for my actions towards you.  I hope you can forgive me." 

"Its OK."  he said.  And I was relieved, for I felt his feelings towards me change.  He then resumed talking with Killian.  "Like I said, I really wasn't gonna hurt ya', but I got all mad.  I'm real sorry about that now though."

"Let me say this, and you just think about it." Killian started.  "Now granted, you told us the gun was not loaded, and I believe you.  But what if one of the two of us had a gun, and ours was loaded.  What if we were so frightened that you were going to hurt us, that we shot you?"  The kid thought about my love's words for moment and then shivered as the reality of what he said sank in.  Killian then continued, "Yea.  Guns are weapons.  They are not toys.  Weapons are used to defend, protect, hurt, kill, and destroy. In every instance there, someone gets hurt or dies."  He paused for a reflective moment.  "Now, as far as needing the money, I understand your motivations, but it is still wrong to take something from someone else, regardless if they can afford it or not.  There are other ways to get money, you know." 

The kids eyes grew huge when Killian said this, and he immediately reacted. "I don't wanna do that stuff.  Some of the kids do that, but I don't wanna do that."

'Oh, thank God.'  I thought.  'At least he was spared that much.' "He is not talking about hustling, kid." I carefully explained.  "What about getting a job, or doing legal things for people, like mowing lawns?"

"Who'd hire me?" he sadly stated.   "If I came to your house and knocked on your door, just wantin' to see if you'd let me cut your grass, what would you do?  Look at me."  With his arms raised, he twirled about in a circle.  "You would call the police, not even botherin' to answer your door.  You'd think I was some low-life thug tryin' to rob you or somethin'."
With complete shame, I had to admit that I would have done just that.

"Is there no one at home to turn to? No one in your family?" Killian asked.  Even I knew the answer to that one, because the loneliness he was feeling was so very strong.

"What family?  What home?  Look, I don't have nobody.  I live on the streets.  They put me in those state homes, but the streets are better'n living there.  They've got so many of us orphans to look after, they prob'ly never even noticed I's gone.  No one came lookin for me anyway."  he replied in sorrow

"Well," I said, "We'll just have to see what we can do about that.  Right now, though, I am kinda hungry.  We were on our way to go eat when we ran back into you."

"Oh, right." the little guy muttered, as he felt broken-hearted and let down.  "Well, maybe I'll see ya' around sometime."  Then, he slowly began to depart.

"Well, kid." I stated  "Are you not coming with us?"

I could feel his excitement and surprise as he asked,  "You mean it?  After what I did?  You want me to come with you?"

Killian answered his last question.  "To dinner, for starters.  To live, if you like."

"WHAT?" he exclaimed.

I knew he needed reassurance, so I said, "Yea, kid.  WE WANT YOU." I just felt that he needed to hear what I knew we both felt and thought.  "There is just something very special about you.  Somehow, I know we will never be able to live our lives without you being there with us."  He ran and hugged us both, and we all cried a bit.  I kissed his forehead and said, "Well, kid, I think you are a little bit too old to be called kid, so I was wondering if you have a name."

Killian shot me a look as if to say 'What?  You mean you have to ask?  You don't know?' I gave a look back to Killian that assured him I had figured it out.  I mean, I knew he was given to us by God, and we had met him in the gardens, so it just had to be.  Then, he confirmed it.  "My name is Chance.  Chance Samuel Givens."  With that, we headed towards the car. 

"I am Kanawha Darkstorm, and this is Killian Lord."  I offered as we walked and he clung to us both. "Chances given."  I mumbled to Killian, and he just looked at me.  "Chance Samuel Givens... Chance S. Givens..." 

"Well, is that divine or what?"
he laughed.

"Guys, I don't know if I should go with ya'... to eat that is." 
Chance started.  "I am all dirty and stuff, and people will laugh and stare at me.  If they even let me in." he said, rolling his eyes and throwing his hands up in defeat.

"Not where we are going, little buddy."
I offered.  "I'd tell ya where, but it is a secret surprise for Killian, and I don't want to ruin it.  But trust me, you'll be fine."  With that, our little Chance just perked right up. 

"You know,"
my love said, leaning his head on my shoulder, "Just when I thought the night could not get any closer to perfection, all this happened.  Just goes to show you that no matter how good things get, they can always get even better."

"Only you could be so optimistic."
I said as I drew him into a passionate kiss.  "Most guys would have wanted a refund after this."  I joked.

"Lucky for you I am not most guys!" he skillfully rebutted.

"How right you are, my love.  How right you are."  I said caressing his cheek and looking into his eyes.

"Um.  Guys?"  Chance said to gain our attention.  "If you can keep from humpin' each other in the parkin' lot, we might at least make it to the car."  We both laughed at that.  His belly growled, and he blushed.  "Sorry, but I'm kinda hungry."

"Well, then, I guess we better get going."  As I opened the door for Chance and Killian, I asked.  "Chance, buddy, how old are you, anyway."

"Fourteen.  Why?" he said as he got in the back seat. 

"I just wondered how long it would be before I get to take you for driving lessons is all."  I said, as Killian sat down and I shut the door.  I walked around to the driver's side and opened the door.

"What is today?"  Chance asked.

I sat down and shut my door.  I thought a minute and realized that he probably didn't keep up with the dates that much, considering his recent living situation.  "Today is August the 15th."

"You have four months and three days."  He said, excitedly.  "Then, I turn 15 and can get a learner's permit.  Hey, how old are you guys, and when are your birthdays?"

"I am 25, and I will be 26 this Saturday." Killian said.

"Your shitting me!" I said, as Killian swatted me.

"Language." he warned.  "And no, I was born on August the 19th."

"Sorry." I apologized as I rubbed my arm.  "This is just too freaky.  We are both orphans. We both lost our parents on our 6th birthday's.  And, we were both born on the exact same day!  Now, how weird is that?"

"What?  Oh, Wow.  That is just... Wow."  Killian muttered.

"You guys each lost both your parents on your sixth birthdays?"  Chance asked.  We both shook our heads in confirmation.

"Wow.  I am so sorry."  he offered, patting both our shoulders as he sat in the middle of the back seat.  "I don't really remember my mother.  She died from cancer when I was three.  I just have one picture of her, and I keep it with me all the time."  He fished into his back pocket and produced a warn picture for us to see.

"She was lovely."  I told Chance as I held the picture.  Killian agreed and handed back our little guy's treasure.  Chance seemed somewhat proud that we thought his mother lovely. " You know, you look a lot like her." I said as I put the keys in the ignition. 

He positioned himself so he could see in the rear view mirror.  "I guess I do." he smiled.

"Seatbelts." I instructed everyone.  "Let's go eat."

On the drive, Chance asked where we worked, and
I told him about my work-study through the university.  Killian told him about his work at the mission, which is when he thought to call one of the social workers employed there for his help in getting things squared away with our keeping Chance. That conversation spawned several more questions from Chance, which we both answered.  Soon, we arrived at our destination.  Killian had been so engrossed in talking with Chance, he never realized where we were until I opened his door and he looked around.

"Oh!  What a great little surprise this is.  You arranged for dinner, here?" he asked, excitedly.

"Yep.  I couldn't think of anywhere else I would rather eat than our little
, so I called and talked with Valerie.  Oh, by the way, did you know she and her husband Ed, the guy who does all the cooking, own the place?  I would have never thought it, the way she was just so casual with us and all.  Anyway, I hope this is OK with you."  I said.  His reply was but a rather strong, passionate kiss, which left me a little too excited, if you know what I mean. Thank God we were wearing jackets, because those pants did not leave much to the imagination.

"Oh, they have great food here."  Chance said.  "I get breakfast here a lot.  Sometimes dinner too." 

Then it hit me, and I began to wail with guilt and shame. I just fell to my knees and hugged him close. 
He was that kid I saw almost every morning digging through the garbage trying to find something to eat.  The one I have always been so flippant about.

"Yea, Kanawha. That 's how I know ya."  he said, running his fingers through my hair and holding my head close to his chest.  "It's OK, though.  Really.  I forgive ya, just like ya forgave me.  Now, we both just have to do better."  he said, lifting my head and smiling at me.  Gently, he wiped the tears from my eyes.  Killian was puzzled, but Chance just pushed it all away.  "It's all just water under the bridge.  Nothin' to worry about now." 

'He may forgive me and let it go, but I promise you, God, I will never let this boy go needing anything ever again.  He will know I love him for as long as I draw breath.' I vowed.

I stood and grabbed my little guy up into a big bear hug, raising him up off the ground.  "You know, you really are something special!  I am so glad we finally have each other."  Chance then kissed me on the cheek and hugged me back.

"You know, a guy could get a little jealous with such a nice looking young man kissing his boyfriend."  Killian joked, and Chance just giggled and kissed me again on the cheek.  "Oh, you wanna play dirty, do you?"  my love jested as he tickled Chance's sides.  Chance just squirmed and shrilled with laughter.  "What do you say we go have our first family meal?"  This brought out smiles in all of us, and we happily went inside the
café.  There, at our little table, was a candle lit dinner, set for three.


It is always a wonderful experience to be a vessel for the good Lord's work, but seeing that little Chance smile, and I had to just thank our maker for allowing me the privilege to be a part of bringing the three of them together.  If my only purpose in life was to assist this moment into being, then my life was well worth it.  Ed came up behind me and rubbed my back.  "So, this is why I have cooked so many special orders, only for you to box them up, bag them, and then throw them in the garbage can out back?"  I gently shook my head as his arms wrapped around my waste and he leaned his head over my shoulder to watch the three of them.  "I knew you had your reasons, but I never knew they were this important.  To think we were feeding this poor kid the only meals he had to eat."  Then, he kissed my cheek.  "Thanks for letting me be a part of this, Val.  You just don't know what this means to me."  He said, as his tears fell on my shoulder. 

"I could never ask for a better life, nor a better person to share it with, Ed.  And I should be the one thanking you for letting me be a part of this.  You were the one who thought of opening up this place.  None of this would have been possible without you."  I said, leaning my head back and snuggling my face against his.  "I guess we should start this meal out.  I know poor Chance is hungry again.  Breakfast only lasts so long, you know."

With that, Ed and I entered with drinks and salads on the serving cart.  "Unsweetened tea for two, and a large chocolate milk for this fine looking lad."  I said, patting Chance's head.  "I am so overjoyed to see that everything has worked out."

Killian and Kanawha both stood and embraced me.  "Thank you so much, for everything."  Kanawha said.

"Oh, sugar, it wasn't me who arranged for all this.  I just gave you his message.  That is all.  He is the one who gave your love a Chance."  I said smiling. 

"Yea, but you helped watch over the little guy, feeding him and all every morning, while I just..." he started, but I interrupted him.

"The past is gone, and the future is not ours to claim.  All that we have exists in the here and now. Forgive yourself and move on.  Chance has.  Learn from your past and make the most of the present."  I said.  He nodded and half-smiled.  Then the lovers thanked Ed for helping watch over the little guy.  Ed just blushed and winked at me as he set the salads on the table.  "Now, get to eating.  Your little one is hungry." I smiled and swatted them both lightly on the shoulders.

"Will you and Ed please join us, at least."  Kanawha asked. 

Then, Chance looked Ed and me with those hazel eyes of his, saying "Please.  I owe you guys a lot.  Ya may not know it, but you did somethin' special for me.  I just wish there was somethin' I could do to pay ya back."

In all the years I have loved him, there has never been a moment I have ever felt regret for marrying Ed Chambers.  He just continued to remind me why. "Well, we could always use a little help around here.  But it would have to be after school or on the weekends.  And, of course, you would have to be paid to do it, 'cause our insurance does not allow us to have volunteers." Ed said, and we all smiled at him. 

"You mean it?  You'd hire me?" Chance enthused.

"Of course I would."  Ed replied.  "An honest, caring young man like yourself must be a hard worker.  Of course, we will have to get you a special work permit.  But I have a friend from church who can take care of that.   So, would you like the job?"

"Oh, would I!"  he exclaimed, jumping up and hugging Ed.  Killian and Kanawha just smiled and mouthed their thank you's to Ed, who just turned beat red with all the sudden attention.  My Ed can be pretty insightful sometimes, and I made a mental note to thank him properly later on tonight. 

"Well, then it is settled.  You are officially my little helper." Ed said, ruffing up Chance's hair.  "Now, why don't you go on and eat a little something."  he smiled.

"Not unless you join us, boss."  Chance said.  "Otherwise, I can't eat neither.  Seein's how I work here now." What a smile that little fellow has.  That was all it took to melt Ed into a pinky ring just Chance's size.

"Well, if you give us a few minutes, we will get everything ready and be back to join you, then." Ed said, turning towards the kitchen.  He stopped and turned back to Chance.  "Hey, are you sure you aren't the boss?  It kinda seems like it to me."  he joked, and Chance just giggled.  He made it as far as the kitchen, when he turned again and asked, "Well, squirt, I just wondered if you would like to help cook for everybody.  I sure could use your help if you are willing."  Chance just glowed with excitement as he raced to Ed's side.  "I'll let you handle everything out on this end, darling." he said to me with a wink. I knew that was his way of apologizing for fussing earlier because I brought back fixings for five special dinners, not three. While at the market, he told me 'Ya better make it five, Val', so I did.   Accepting his apology with a nod, I smiled to myself.

"You certainly have a great husband."  Killian enthused.

"You just don't know the half of it, boys." I smiled.

"So, tell me about it.  I see many big picture things, but not the small details that I find interesting to know."  I began  "I also may be able to answer a few questions... if he gives me the answers and allows me to, that is.  But, we can see anyway.  So tell me about it."

Killian began telling me everything from his perspective and all the things that were going on with his gifts.  Isn't it amazing how God gives us all completely unique gifts.  Though similar in both being gifts of knowing, Killian's gift was vastly different than my own.  He relayed to me how he saw symbols from another language he did not know, but could interpret their meaning.  I then asked him to draw a few of the symbols he saw, especially the one he was unable to interpret.  He explained to me that the symbols often moved, which also added to the meaning.

"Hmm.  You know, Killian, when I first learned of my gift, it came and went as yours does currently.  But, I learned to harness it through prayer, meditation, study, and practice.  It is no different than singing or drawing, which are also great gifts from God.  His gifts or talents are meant to be used, and through their use, we get better with them.  But, I think you actually have two, maybe three, gifts there that you are using simultaneously, so it is no wonder you are having some problems with it.  I would like to set up some time with you to explore this further and see if we cannot figure it out together. If you are willing, that is, Killian."

"Oh, please, call me Kal.  All my friends do." he smiled, and I graciously accepted his friendship.  "I was hoping you would offer to do that.  I just feel like I could have intervened more if I had better control and understanding about how it works."  Kal related.

"Well, it all works out according to God's plan, not ours.  But, I agree that control and understanding are important here, because you will be using your gifts a great deal in the days to come.  That much I know for sure."  I replied.  Then, I turned to Kanawha, who was fascinated by Kal's gift and the symbols he had drawn. "Now, tell me how things went for you.  I know your gifts are starting to surface.  Explain to me everything you can think of about the experiences."

Kanawha told me about his reoccurring dream and his being able to sense Chance's presence.  He elaborated about the voice speaking to him in the alley way.  He described in details as best he could about the energies taking the shapes of the animals in his dreams, except he had never seen the bear who was around him.  Kal interrupted and told us of his reoccurring dream, which was almost identical to Kanawha's.  This explained the bear, but, it also brought up a question for Kal and Kanawha as to why Kanawha saw a badger, yet Kal saw a bunny.  When the animals transformed, Kanawha saw an eagle, while Kal saw a dove.  Kanawha said that the badger he saw did not change, or at least he did not see it change.  He admitted that it might have while he was holding Chance.  Finally, he discussed how he could feel emotions from Chance.  Even now, he was still connected to him.

"Well, the dreams seem to be a manifestation of the gift of knowing.  It is odd that you both had such a similar dream, which I am sure was indeed the same dream, but the one you were saving was somehow different.  Maybe it is just your perceptions of the world around you, maybe not.  Something to ponder later on, but for now, I cannot answer that one."  I counseled. "As to the voice, well God speaks to us all in whatever ways we let him.  You are lucky to have such a clean-cut voice, believe me.  To me, he whispers like a gentle breeze.  It took me a long time to learn to hear and listen to his voice.

"Now, the animal-shaped energies you saw, that one I can answer and explain.  That gift is the discerning of spirits.  You have the very rare gift of seeing the spirit or soul of a person and the state in which that soul exists.  The badger was injured.  Little Chance's very soul has also been injured.  The fox was loving and trusting of you.  Well, it is obvious what kind of a man Kal is."
I said pointing to him as he blushed profusely.  "I also think that your heritage has something to do with your seeing their souls as animals.  Many Native American stories and folk lore are filled with the presence of animal spirits, and each one held special meanings.  Perhaps, you might want to get in touch with your heritage." 

"Maybe you're right about that." Kanawha softly said.

"Sensing Chance's presence seems to be tied to sensing his emotions, and that, dear, is empathy.  Kanawha, You are able to put yourself emotionally in another's shoes, so to say.  It is not mentioned in the Bible when the gifts are explained, per say, but it is hinted at several times through the stories.  However, empathy stems from love, which is mentioned in the Bible as the greatest of all gifts.  I think you both have that gift in many forms." I paused.  "I know you love Chance, and I feel certain that is why you remain connected to him now.  Can you sense Kal?"

Kanawha searched within himself a minute.  "Yea, I can.  Quite strongly in fact.  I think I have since the instant we met."  He pondered for a moment.  "Look.  I am not normally so touchy feely, but since I met him, I have been just oozing with emotion.  Do you think that is why?  Am I feeling his emotions and not my own?"

I just laughed and shook my head.  "Oh, son.  Heavens no.  Kal just awakened a part of you that you buried deep the day you buried your family. 
You said that in your dreams, Kal touched you and you were healed.  His love for you has enabled you to love again.  I do believe some of the internal peace you have been exhibiting has come from your sensing the love he feels for you, though.  Perhaps you have sensed the peace about him as well."

"Yea, I think you are right about that, too.  I am not really into people much, but I knew I had to go through with meeting everyone tonight, like it was a necessary evil or something.  Let's just say that it made me rather nervous while I was getting ready this evening.  I even hurled a few times just thinking about it.  But, the closer I was to his front door, the more it all subsided.  As soon as I saw Killian, though, all I felt was his love, and every bit of my nervousness and doubt  just faded away."
Kanawha related.  Then, he reflected a moment.  "So, will it always be like this?"

Again I laughed.  "No, child.  Everything you are experiencing is so new to you, and it is overwhelming.  It was like that with me and my gift, too.  But, in time, you will find a balance.  You won't be exactly the way you were before, because you have changed and grown.  But, you won't be oozing with emotion either." I consoled.

"Thank God." 
Kanawha said with relief.  "It is just too weird being so squishy around everybody.  It is just SO not me. A little bit is OK, I guess, because it has helped me relate better to Ethan and Jena... well, even Hela for that matter.  I am just not ready to be quite so open." he admitted.  "But, I LOVE Killian and Chance so much, and
I don't want this love I feel for them to ever go away.  I need this love to be real." Tears filled his eyes, as he looked to his beloved.  "I was so lost and alone before I met you. I don't want to go back to being that empty shell of a man again.  I just hope you still love me when I am me once more."

Kal was touched by this, and rubbed his lovers hand.  Nothing needed to be said, because his eyes said it all, and Kanawha's eyes mirrored that love right back to Kal.

"I am glad to hear you say that, because I believe that your empathy is intertwined with another gift, the gift of healing.  Only, the gift of healing works within you in an emotional capacity.  Chance seems to be much better than the state in which you found him, and I am certain it has everything to do with you.  I believe the emotional apex and release was a healing point for our little guy.  For his soul to be completely healed, though, he is going to need your love and support.  And, at times, that might mean you have to get squishy for him."  I laughed. 

"I would do anything for that little guy.  If helping him meant that I had to stay this way, then I would gladly do it."
he smiled.

I realized that our time to talk privately grew very short.  "Look, let's set aside some time later to discuss this further.  That is just the general gist of it all, but our time right now is short." I said, glancing to the kitchen, and they nodded their understanding.  "You have all you need to go on for now, anyway." I assured them.  'But there is so much more to it all, boys.  So much more to learn and discover.  And so much more you have yet to do down your path. And your journey is only getting started.' I thought to myself.

Within a few minutes, Chance and Ed were carting in dinner, and we reset the table for five.  You just had to love that little guy, and it was so apparent that Ed was falling quickly for him.  Hmm.  So was I for that matter.  He was just a wonderful young man.  Everything was set on the table, and we were ready to do some fine dining. 

"Um, guys?"  Chance started.

"Yes, my little man."  Kal answered.

"You know, it's been a real long time since I ate with other people 'round me.  So, if I do somethin' wrong, please don't get mad and hate me or nothin', OK?"  he softly asked, looking at us all with those huge hazel eyes of his.

"Never, Chance."  Kanawha answered.  "Nothing you could ever do would make any of us hate you.  And none of us here have perfect table manners either, so don't worry so much." He said, running his fingers through Chances hair. 

"You need some help cutting up your steak?"  Kal asked.  Chance nodded yes, and he moved over a little to help him out.  "You do it like this, son." he said, demonstrating, but Chance just could not concentrate on what he was doing.  He just gawked at Kal, smiling like he has probably never smiled before.

"Did you mean that?  Did you mean what you just said?"  he asked excitedly.

"Well, yes.  Son, this is how you cut up a steak." He joked.

Chance just beamed.  "See, there.  You just said it again.  Do you really mean it?"

"Well, if everything goes as I am just about certain it will, it will be legal.  But in our hearts, yes.  You are our son, Chance." Kal smiled, and Kanawha agreed whole-heartedly. Of course, we were all a bit teary after that.

Then, Chance broke the silence again.  "M-m-m.  This stuff is good.  I never ate no steak before." he said with his mouth full.  I am sorry, but I had to laugh.  He was just so cute.  I am, after all, only human.

"Hehehe.  I remember my first time eating steak." I said, covering from my slip of laughing.  "My Aunt Betty cooked it, and it was just terrible.  I think an old sneaker would have tasted better.  Of course, nothing Aunt Betty cooked was very good." 

Ed, chimed in with complete agreement, and Chance just giggled. "Good thing she wasn't cookin for us today, huh, boss?"  Ed just grinned and laughed.

"Ed.  Chance.  I have to say this is the best steak I have ever had." I smiled.

"Well, actually, Chance is the one who cooked the steak.  I just told him when to turn them and when to take them off.  He was the master chef today."  Ed slyly bragged.

"Son, I don't know what you did, but you can cook for me any day." Kanawha praised.

"Well, just don't forget to cook for me too. OK, son?"  Kal further added.  Chance was just glowing from all the praise, and I leaned over and rubbed my husband's leg in appreciation.

Overall, Chance did rather well with his first real dining experience.  He tried everything offered. 
Though tentative at first, he soon found that he even liked broccoli.  Honestly, I do not think there was one item on the menu he did not enjoy.

I was so pleased to see that Kal and Kanawha did not try to correct him, which I feel certain would have embarrassed poor Chance and further hurt his fragile self-perception.  Rather, they showed him by correct example and allowed him to pick up on the questionable behavior.  I think it builds better self-esteem in our impressionable children.   He asked Kal a question, once, and Kal held up his hand showing him to wait, then brought his hand near his mouth so Chance could see he was chewing.  When finished chewing and swallowing, he answered the question.  From then on, Chance did the same.  He observed us all and imitated our behaviors.  He had slurped a couple of times, but he noticed Ed drink his milk without doing so, and the behavior ceased. 

As seconds were offered, Chance eagerly accepted, immolating the manners he had witnessed.  He even ate two pieces of blueberry pie.  He ate his fill, and I was so thankful that he would never again go to sleep hungry. 

After dinner was over, we sat and drank coffee and hot tea.  "So, where do we go from here?  What do we do now?"  Kanawha asked.

I responded sagely, "Well, you go home.  You make a life for yourself and your family.  You learn to live together as yourselves, as a couple, and as a family.  Then, you work on your relationships with all those friends you two have.  As the time presents itself, you find your destiny.  Just know that in this, there are no second chances.... hehehe... he is one of a kind!"  They both just laughed, feeling somewhat relieved.  'What a ride you boys are gonna have.' I mused to myself.  'And what a destiny you have waiting on the road ahead.'

The fella's offered to help clean things up, but Ed and I refused their help.  We told them it was probably time to be getting Chance to bed, and they agreed, seeing that it was a little later than they had realized.  Kanawha tried to pay, but Ed refused his money, telling him that he never charged for a family member's meal.  The boys all smiled at that and thanked us both repeatedly. 
Chance asked Ed to be sure and call him when he needed him to work again, slipping him the phone number Kal had given him when he had asked.  We said our goodbyes, and the nice young family was on their way home. 

"Ed, Darling.  Lets just leave this until the morning.  I have something else in mind to do with you besides scrubbing dishes." I smiled.

"Lead the way, then, darling."  He said eagerly.  And off we were to bed.  A few hours later, our little portion of the earth stopped moving, and we finally settled into sleep.


I know it was not the smartest thing Jena and I have ever done, but, we did it anyway.  And the worst part of it is, it was all my idea.  We secretly followed the big guy to check out this Killian that had stolen his heart.  Of course, he knew all about it.  After he talked to Killian a few moments and grabbed him into a hug and planted a huge kiss on him, he then turned.  He let us know he knew we had followed him, summoning us from
the bushes where we were hiding.  Frightened, I asked if he were mad or going to hurt us.  He just responded that we best get our asses in there, so we high-tailed it to the front door.  He then introduced himself, Jena, and I to the herd of people in the house.  Kanawha finally introduced us to Killian.

He was truly everything Kanawha had said he was.  And the way they interacted, without saying a single word, all those mannerisms just let you know they were truly in love. 'So this is the guy who has made such a drastic change in the big lug.' I thought, sizing him up.  He was quite gracious, and had such a wonderful smile as he welcomed us and shook our hands.  When he referred to Kanawha as Love, I just knew I liked him.  He then told us everyone called him Kal, which I thought fit him better for some reason. 

He then introduced us to everyone.  Sis about shit herself when she saw the one they called Jew.  I wondered if I would ever be able to call him that without feeling guilty.  I guess I am just too politically correct or something.  Then, he introduced us to another set of brother/sister twins.  Cole was beautiful, but she did not hold a candle to her brother.

His hair was black, but not raven black like the big guy's.  It was much softer, just like his darkly tanned skin looked like it would feel... like velvet or silk.  His hair was cut close on the sides and back, but was longer on top. And, the curls just kind of cascaded loosely off to one side without a definite part.  His body seemed to be covered with more of that soft black hair, but his face was clean-shaven.  He was thin, almost lanky if he were not so short.  He seemed to be my size, which was a complete thrill to me.  I mean, he was someone I could look eye to eye.  Being short, you really get tired of looking up to people and having them look down at you.  He wore a dark green, loose-fitting T and baggy tan cargo shorts.  He was barefoot, which I thought was so ironic, because I hate wearing shoes and socks with a passion.

He had such a nice, thin nose, but full, luscious lips with an awesome set of teeth.  They just lit up the whole place when he smiled.  His eyes were so deep brown, it was hard to tell his pupil from his iris... the kind of eyes in which you could get totally lost, and I felt myself drowning in  them quickly.  Overall, he looked quite young, but I knew we were around the same age from Kanawha's story earlier.  Truth be told, I looked like a teenager myself, and oh, how my hormones were racing like one!

As we mingled, though, he just sort of drifted off.  'Too, good to be true, Ethan.' I told myself.  'Just like it always is.'  I sulked.  I looked around the room, trying to forget he was even there.  After all, there was no sense in pursuing something not meant to be, I justified to myself.

This was a really nice place.  There were various hardwoods used throughout, mostly in cherry and mahogany.  The room we were in was quite spacious, with a lot of antique furniture.  Lots of warm, vibrant colors were used, and it added a homey feeling to the place.  I was looking at the intricate plasterwork on the ceiling, when I commented on how lovely the place really was.  Jena agreed, then Hela suggested Kal take us on a tour, grabbing Kanawha to stay with her.  Jena and I took this as our opportunity to find out more about Kal and, well, rake him over the coals a little.  Kanawha was our best friend and big brother.  We loved him.  Of course we were going to protect the big lug.  Neither of us wanted to see him hurt any more than he had already been in his rather tragic life.  Kal, of course, answered all our loaded questions with the right answers, and I welcomed him to our family.  We did explain that if he hurt Kanawha, we would take it out in trade.  Maybe it is a southern thing, but we wanted to make our intentions known.  He took it in stride, and we soon found out that Kanawha had been under a test of his own. 

As they drove off, Hela invited us to stay, which I thought would be fun.  Maybe it is the smart ass in me, but I so wanted to act like a mad father to Killian and Kal as they came home.  It just struck me as funny.  Anyway, Roe suggested we watch a movie, and he took half the crew with him as Hela and Mic took Jen and I to the kitchen to fix some snacks. 

That Mic is really something.  She so played Jena about Jew. But, when it was all over, I realized that if Sis was a violin in their orchestra, then I was the cello.  I just never saw it coming until the truck had splattered me on the highway.  She slyly lead me into admitting I was gay after letting me know Shaft was gay, too.  I then found out he was single and had never dated anyone that they new of since they had met him.  Of course, they all knew I had a major bone going on for Shaft, but Hela indicated that she thought it was mutual and a 'match made in heaven'.  Oh, she was so the mastermind.  How dumb can a man get?  Looking back, I realize I was but a jukebox, so totally playing any tune they wanted me to play... and they were shoving dollars up my ass all evening!

We went up to the movie room, which I must say was an awesome and innovative idea.  Hela decided that we were going to watch Grease, which I have never really watched much of before.  Roe was appalled by my
admitting this, and his whole attitude was really pushing my buttons.  Before I even realized it, he had me outing myself as a homo... a homo who loved Moulin Rouge, no less.  I also found out at this point that they sang and acted out the movie, which seemed a little crazy to both Jena and I.  Lord, they even had trunks full of costumes and other props.

But, it did not turn out to be so bad and was actually quite fun, I must admit.  Jena was Sandy opposite Jew's Danny.  I have to say, they made beautiful music together.  I know she is my sister, but Jena has a lovely voice.  Jason was really amazing, and I thought they fit together so well.  'I just hope Jena can keep that big mouth of hers shut until he gets to know her.' I snickered inwardly. 

Roe had decided that I would be Satine in Moulin Rouge.  He was the Duke, for which he did really well acting the part... but, oh God!  His singing sucked!  It could make paint peel off the walls! Hela, on the other hand, she just brought the house down.  What a voice!  Anyway, Shaft was to play Christian.  We decided to switch parts, due to our voices.  We were so into our parts, and I think into each other by this point.  In one part, he grabbed my southern gentleman, and I was pulsating.  We both blushed when it happened, and I so wanted him to do it again. 

Singing with him just felt completely natural, so right... and his voice, well, it just made my whole body quiver.   There were too many perfect moments for the two of us to kiss, but I was just far too shy to take advantage of them.  Apparently, he was as well, for each magic moment never happened.

When the Rouge ended, Kanawha and Kal were still not back, so we decided to watch a movie movie.  Mic chose Dying Young, and I was elated.  It is such a wonderful, romantic movie.  I told her so, and Hela seemed surprised I found it to be romantic.  So, I explained why.  In the middle of my explanation, Shaft just up and grabbed me into the most breathtaking kiss anyone could ever imagine. 
"M-m-m.  Not that I'm complaining, cause I have been just dying for you to do that all evening, but what was that for?"  I said.  He had tears running down his delicate cheeks and wiped them with my fingertip. 

"Let's just say you inspired me to live for the moment." Shaft answered softly, and then he kissed me again with even more passion!  "We'll talk about it later.  Right now, lets just cuddle up and watch your favorite movie."  He then led me by the hand to one of the loungers, where I lay wrapped tightly in his arms.  He smelled so good, and I was lost in total bliss.

During the movie, I realized that we were continuing to inspire one another, because I was completely boned up as he held me.  I could also feel his appendage poking me in the small of my back.  'At least we have a blanked over us.' I mused.  It just felt really kinky having a room full of people around us and we were snuggled up in our current state.  'The hell with them.' I thought, as I pressed back into him slightly.  His hand, began ever-so gently stroking my chest, and my nipples became so hard they almost hurt.  He began tracing my left nipple with his right index finger, which just made me tingle all the more.  He leaned his head to my ear, and gently whispered, "Are you..."  To answer the question he was asking, I pulled his other hand with my own and brought it to my not-so-little soldier.  The sensations of his whispering in my ear and his touching my most private private made my whole body shudder.  He continued, never missing a beat, "...enjoying this movie?  I know I sure am." Then, he gently nibbled my ear.

"Oh, yea!"  I enthused quietly.  "It's my favorite.  And right now, I think we are at my favorite part." I said, as he rubbed my throbbing erection, causing me to lean further back into him. 

"It's quickly becoming my favorite, too."  he again whispered, continuing to nibble on my ear.  "But I am afraid we might reach the ending a little to quickly.  It's been years since I have sat through it."

I inquired, a little heart-broken with this admittance.  "How long has it been since you have seen it?"

"A little over 26 years." 
he giggled. 

I sighed with relief as I thought 'You little shit!'  "Well, I have only watched it alone in the privacy of my own room, if that counts." I snickered.  I was really having a southern heatwave, so I admitted, "But I agree with you, the ending is going to happen way too soon."

We both eased off and returned to snuggling, as he once again whispered into my sensitive ear, "I just wish we had bought tickets for a private screening."

"Or picked a night when the theater was a lot less crowded." 
I agreed.

He snickered.  "Yea, and I think we have a few previews we need to watch first, before we get into the movie."

I was so pumped up on hormones, but I agreed.  "Yea, but I feel sure this is one movie I am going to want to watch with you over and over again."

He just laughed softly and whispered yet again, totally shuttering my body. "I sure hope so.  I sure hope so."

With that, we settled back into the movie.

As the credits began, and everyone had their tissues, Shaft asked if I wanted to step outside on the balcony.  Seeing that our conditions had subsided, I agreed.  As we walked through the room towards the balcony, Jena, who was snuggled up next to Jew, winked at me, showing her approval and her wishes for everything to work out.  I gave her a smile back to show my appreciation for her gesture and my approval of Jew, as well as conveying my good wishes for her.  Most of the time, Jena and I really don't need words.  I guess being soul mates, we just know. 

The cool night air felt so inviting as we stepped out on the balcony.  Shaft rested against the railing, and I stood in front of him, gazing into the black pools of his soul, gently wrapping my arms around his waist.   He stroked his hands up and down my back as he returned my gaze.  After what seemed like an eternity, he broke the silence.

"Ethan, I have something I need to tell you before this goes any further.  And I will totally understand if you want to just walk away and never look back, but promise to just be up front with me, OK?" he said nervously, as his lip twitched slightly.

"I promise."  I replied, thinking 'OK, here it goes.  The big bomb to ruin your life, Ethan.'

"Ethan, I believe I really love you, and that just makes this so much harder." he said, as tears filled his soulful eyes.  "I know when someone begins a relationship, they promise to be together forever, and that is the way it should be, I guess.  But, Ethan, I just can't do that.  I cannot promise you forever. I can't even promise you tomorrow."  Tears trailed down his moonlit face as he continued. "I have a really bad heart.  I was born with it.  There were so many defects to correct, they did not think I would live to make it out of the hospital.  I have had so many surgeries through the years, and I have almost died a few times in the process."  He looked away.  "My last surgery was a year and a half ago, but I know it will not be my last.  I have always felt it was unfair to ask this of anyone, but tonight, you gave me hope in finding someone to love... something I had given up on years ago."  He looked at me again.  "What I am asking is, can you find it in yourself to love me anyway, with no promise of tomorrow?  Can you love me for the person that I am and not out of guilt or a sense of obligation?  Can you just love me for being me?" he asked, and I joined him in his tears. 

I just could not think.  I admit, it was not something I really wanted to hear.  But, it had already been said, and the reality of it all struck home with a vengeance.  There were no words to offer him as to what I felt in that moment.  I so completely understood him and all the pain he must have been through.  But, I pushed that aside and went with how I truly felt.  I just slowly pulled him into me and kissed him with all the passion I have longed to give to someone for my entire lifetime.  I loved him!  As crazy as it might seem, I was completely head over heels for him.  As the tears continued to run down my face, I looked into the depths of his deep, dark eyes and finally replied, "You know, I cannot promise you tomorrow, either.  No one can.  But, I can promise you this moment, and I will gladly give you all that I am, for as long as l draw breath.  Can you accept my love? Can you accept me as your lover and not see me as a man saddened by his lover's tragic heart condition?  Can you just accept
me as the man who loves you?"

He then kissed me passionately and said, "Till my dying breath, Ethan.  Till my dying breath."

I smiled at him, "For what more could I ask?"  And kissed him once again.  "Um, we can still, you know, watch the movie. Yes? Oh, God! Please say yes!" I whispered in his ear.  He just giggled and kissed me yet again, and each time, I noticed, they just kept getting better.

Then, we heard them, the sniffles of our nosy friends standing at the balcony doors, eavesdropping on our conversation.  I turned and we both looked at them all.  Then, Cole ran to us both. "Oh, Thank you God!  I have prayed for this for so, so long!" she wept.  Jena quickly followed, and we were soon surrounded in a huge hugfest of well-wishers. 


I'm just going to say that Kal was adorable, and I think he and Stormy make a fine couple.  The others were nice, and I was happy to see Kanawha handling the crowd of people so well.  But, I want to focus upon something much more interesting.  Jason Edward Wilson.  Jew was so fine! 

He stood at six foot one, with a nicely toned and developed body.  He wasn't hulkish like Kanawha, but I liked it.  Lord, did I like it!  His skin was a warm golden-brown, and his almond shaped eyes gave him an exotic look.  His poker straight hair was very dark, but still what I would call brown.  It was layered and fell to his shoulders.  His dress just spoke comfort, well worn jeans and a black A-frame shirt.  He seemed ether really shy or nervous, probably both.  But the way he looked down at the ground and scoot his foot back and forth reminded me of a young child, and I found that to be so attractive.  He just had this child-like quality about him.  He nervously chewed his lower lip as he looked up at me through his thick, long lashes.  Damn.  Why is it that only men get a great set of lashes?  His honey-brown eyes met mine for only a second, but in that instant, I was completely infatuated with Jew.  But, he just kept moving further and further away from me.  I did notice, thought, that he seemed content to watch me from a distance.  It seemed romantic to me, for whatever reason, and I found myself looking back at him frequently. 

After Kal and Stormy left, Hela asked Ethan and I if we wanted to stay and see how the date went.  Ethan and I agreed quickly.  I have to say I liked Hela almost instantly.  I think we are kindred spirits or something.  Anyway, Roe suggested we watch a movie, and we were divided up into groups.  Hela, Mic, Ethan, and I were to make snacks.  I so noticed that for the most part, the women were stuck in the kitchen, but did not comment.  While preparing munchies, I found out that Jew was the straight boy of the group, and I was so glad to hear that.  Guys that look like him are often too good to be true and usually end up being gay. 
Hey, I live with two of them, OK.  His shyness led me to believe that he was sensitive.  Do you know how hard it is for a woman to find a handsome, sensitive, single, heterosexual man?  Next to impossible, I'm here to tell you.  So, yea, I was thrilled.  I outed my attraction to him, and then outed Ethan's attraction for Shaft.  Like I even had to.  'Payback is a Jena!'  I mused to myself as he looked so shocked about it.  Anyway, Hela let him in on the fact that it was mutual.  Are all men so blind to what is going on in the romance department, or what?  

Hela had some plan in mind as to how to get Jew to quit turning tail every time I was nearby, so we went up to the movie room.  On the way up, Hela turned to me and said, "Now, when the moment presents itself, just be direct with him.  Let him know you are interested.  Then, he might just calm down enough that we can cage his spastic ass."  Mic laughed and agreed with Hela's idea.

As soon as I walked in, Jew tensed up and started breathing heavily, trying to calm himself.  Mic and Hela had his numbers down right for sure!  And, as much as I hate to admit it, my heart just melted seeing him there like that.  He was just so damned adorable.

Hela announced that we were going to watch Grease, which I really like.  Roe agreed so long as he was Rizzo, and at that point I thought 'What the hell is that supposed to mean?'  Ethan must have had the same look as I, because Roe explained they act out the movie and do the musical numbers while they watch.  He said he and Riz were both a 'trashy ho' bitch' and I had to laugh.  Ethan admitted that he really did not know Grease, and Roe went kind of ballistic on Ethan.  Then Ethan  confirmed his sexuality for Shaft to hear.  Damn, they were the most sneaking, conniving people I had ever met.  I felt so at home here!  Ethan brought up his love for the Rouge, which was promised to be next, except Ethan had to be Satine.  The mental images of him in a Satine costume or even just a tiara for the ending just had me tickled.  Ethan is not exactly macho, but he is definitely not a flamer. 

Anyway, we were in the Grease movie, at the slumber party just before Hopelessly Devoted To You, and I sat down next to Jew.   He started to scoot over, but I turned to him and laughed, "I am a bitch, but I don't bite."  then he got even more nervous and began fidgeting and bouncing his leg up and down really fast.  I just laughed again.  "You are just too damned cute.  You know that?"  He just blushed and smiled, taking side-ways glances at me through those eyelashes of his.  This was the opportunity Hela mentioned.  "I really mean that, you know.  I think you are completely adorable, and I would really like to get to know you.  You don't have to be so nervous, OK?"

He just exhaled this huge breath, and I giggled.  Another side-ways glance, and a smile was my reward.   He formed his words several times, but said nothing.  Then, he finally spoke, "Thanks."  Though be it quickly spoken, he did finally speak.

"See, now that wasn't so bad, now was it?" I smiled, and he blushed even more. 

Another silence fell, then he spoke again. "I, um, you know, get nervous, and mmm I guess stutter s-sometimes." he said, looking towards the ground.  Silence again.  "S-so, um, I guess, you um, aren't um, you know, interested." his shaky voice sadly stated.

I just giggled, 'cause it was just so cute.  And I told him so, "I swear, you just get harder and harder for me to resist, you know that?"  He looked up at me like I were crazy, so I explained. "I said I was a bitch, but I did not say I was stupid.  Or shallow for that matter.  Here you are, a great looking, single, sensitive guy... who is not gay, mind you.  What do you think I would say?" His face lit up with hope, then, he blushed again and looked down.  "So, you get a little nervous and stutter.  Big deal.  I used to piss my pants.  Now, that is a hard one to live down, let me tell you."

he questioned somberly.

"Yes.  Really.  So, I can relate to what you must go through.  But, you don't have to worry about that with me.  I like you, and I would like to see what happens from here if you want.  And personally, I think you have a lovely voice."  I smiled, as I leaned in and kissed his cheek.  His face just glowed.  Then, I realized it was time for the big number...  My favorite song in the whole movie.  "Hold that blush.  I'm up."

Then, I did my part and sang my song.  The whole time, Jew and I never broke eye contact.  No matter where I walked in that room, his eyes were locked to mine.  And I realized, as I sang that song, that I actually was feeling completely devoted to Jason Edward Wilson.  After the number, he looked up at me through those lashes again and then... slowly... hesitantly... he took my hand.  God!  I so loved acting and singing out movies then! 

Our last big number, Your the One That I Want, was amazing.  When I grabbed his hands to put them on my hips and sang 'feel your way', I took a quick peek in the pantry.  It looked like a loaf of French bread to me!  And... HE WAS STRAIGHT!!!  I was ecstatic.

The Rouge went well, with Ethan as Christian and Shaft as Satine (They switched parts, but it really fit better that way).  They were fabulous together.  Ethan even got felt up, though I don't believe he minded a bit.  The best number, though, was Roe and Hela's Like a Virgin.  Lord, was that comical!  And Hela could seriously sing.  Roe REALLY sucked, though.

Jew was getting quite comfortable with me too, and started talking to me more and more.  There were fewer and fewer hesitations and stutters as the night went on.  He was just beyond anything I had ever hoped to find.  I was falling for him, hard and fast.

After the Rouge, Kal and Stormy had still not made it back, so we decided to watch an actual movie.  Ethan was thrilled when Mic suggested Dying Young.  It is his favorite of all movie.  Hela inquired about this, and I just cried as he explained his reasonings.  Everyone else seemed to be touched by his explanation as well.  Then, in the middle of it, Shaft rose up and quickly grabbed Ethan into a big passionate kiss.  I leaned to Jew and whispered, "Good.  He shut him up.  He was totally ruining my makeup."  and he snickered. 

They were so adorable together.  They just looked like two teenage boys.  And as Shaft lead Ethan to a lounger by the hand, well let's just say that Tammy Fae had nothing on me.  They just snuggled up together like two little love birds, but they were more like two horny pigeons.  Hey, I know my brother.

Jew and I snuggled up on one of the sofas as well.  I felt so at peace in his arms.  We watched and cried through Ethan's favorite.  How little did I know the significants of this movie and the part it would play in my little knight's life.

As everyone was using their tissues when the movie finished, Ethan and Shaft went out on the balcony.  Everyone was crying, and I just found it too odd.  Cole came over and embraced me.  She then told me about her brother's heart condition, and I just wailed.  'Poor guys!'  I thought.  But I knew what the ending would be, because, like I said, I knew my brother.  We all slowly walked to the balcony door to, well, watch.  Now, it sounds so intrusive, but you just had to have been in the moment to understand. 

I honestly think it was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever witnessed.  It was the most bitter-sweet, for sure.  As we eavesdropped and Shaft explained himself, I was so impressed by his sense of honor and resolve, being so straightforward about it all.  But you could tell it was breaking his fragile little heart at the same time.  I know it was breaking mine.  When he asked Ethan if he could love him anyway, with no promise of tomorrow, there was nothing but a fine powder left to my heart it had broken so much.  The kiss was very moving.  Ethan said that he could only promise this moment and would gladly give Shaft everything that he was for as long as he drew breath, asking him if he could accept him as the man who loved him.  When Shaft replied with my dying breath, both Cole and I totally lost it.  I guess that is how they caught us eavesdropping, but we all rushed out to give them our love and support. 

My little knight, my hero, my soul mate, my little brother... he was in love.  And I truly knew Shaft was the luckiest man on this earth, because they came no better than my Ethan.  It was at that very instant when I realized just how amazing the grand design is.  How could I have ever doubted or forsaken it?  I have no doubt that Kal was created solely for Stormy, just as Ethan had been created for Shaft.  Both Stormy and Shaft suffered from a broken heart, one emotionally, one physically.  As Kal had made such a difference in Kanawha, I just prayed that Ethan could do the same for Shaft.  Perhaps it was the moment, perhaps it was one of our moments, but I grabbed Jew into a passionate kiss, all the while praying that we could somehow make each other complete as well.  To think, this morning, we started out as three lonely friends.  'The Lord truly moves in mysterious ways,' I thought, 'and when he moves, he really moves.''


We were ridin' back to 'the house' as Killian called it.  I was so excited.  So much had happened to me in the last couple hours.  I had a job, which I never thought  I'd ever have.  I had a home, which was a dream come true for me.  But the best part was I had two dads!  I had a family, and I was thrilled! 

I just couldn't believe my good fortune.  I was richer'n any boy could be right then.  I had two guys who wanted me.  They even said it.  "WE WANT YOU."  I never thought I'd ever hear someone say somethin' like that to me, but it was the one thing I have wanted someone to say to me and mean it since as far back as I can remember.   I ain't nothin' special.  I know that.  Just some homeless kid with no family or nothin' at all to his name.  Everyone around has never let me forget it either.   But, for some reason, these two, my dads, well they thought different.  They even said there was somethin' special about me and that they knew they'd never be able to live their lives without me as part of it. 

They were the one's who's special, 'cause they loved me.  A little piece of trash from the alley, and they loved me.  I might have been young'n all, but I knew how special that was. 

Most people'd just look at me like I's low-life scum.   I was dirty 'cause I had no place to take a bath or nothin'.  I'd wash up in the bathrooms sometimes, but a lot of places wouldn't even let me in.  They'd just threaten to call the police if I didn't leave.  All I wanted was to wash my face off a bit, but I wasn't even good enough to do that in their place.  So, most the time, I's dirty.  It wasn't like I wanted to be a dirty kid, just how it worked out I guess.  People just don't know how lucky they are to be able to have a place to sleep, or take a bath any time they want to, or even have a toilet to use. 

But I guess I can't complain really.  I didn't get to eat every time I's hungry, but I did get to eat.  I'd find food in the
café trash cans out back.   That was some good eatin', too.  Usually, there'd be a bag of somethin' boxed up that didn't even look touched.  I guess a lot of people changed their minds and didn't want it after they ordered or somethin'  like that, but I took it as a blessin'.  Most the time, it was warm, sometimes even hot, which was nice durin' the colder days in the winter.  

It was there I first saw Kanawha, 'course, I didn't know his name or nothin' back then.  I don't know what it was, but I just wanted real bad for him to like me for some reason.  I even daydreamed 'bout him bein' my dad.   But, he just looked at me like everyone else, like I was nothin'.    Can't really blame him, I guess.   But that day out in front of that college, I was real mad when I seen him huggin' up on Killian.  I knew some people'd look down on that kinda thing, so I yelled really bad things at 'em.  Called 'em faggots, which I ain't proud of, but it's the truth.  That's what I called 'em.  Then, Kanawha ignored me.  He just turned his back on me, like he always did.  But this time, I got real ticked and tried to hit him.  It just hurt to be so worthless is all.  I didn't care that he liked Killian.  Kanawha just jerked me up with one hand, and it really scared me.  He was gonna hit me, sayin' he'd kick my ass, but Killian wouldn't let him.  He let me go, and I ran as fast as I could, crying I's so scared.  He's a big guy and could'a hurt me but good.

So, I run a while, then rested.  I tried to get some food money, 'cause I had to have 50 bucks to give them gang boys or they would hurt me.  Nobody would give me nothin' though, and I didn't know what I was gonna do.  I's gettin' kinda hungry, so I was lookin in some dumpsters in the alley behind some stores when I found it.  A gun.  Then I got the idea it was a blessin',  'cause I'd be able to get someone to give me 50 bucks with it.  I wasn't gonna hurt nobody.  I just needed 50 bucks to keep from bein' hurt myself.

So, I waited till dark and went lookin' for someone to get the money from.  I waited in the dark in the alley beside the parkin' garage.  After a while, two rich lookin' guys came by, an I put my mask on (I'd got it out of the dumpsters one day after the winter, thinkin' I might need it this comin' winter).   I got up my nerve when I heard Killian shout that I had a gun.  So, I tried to be like the gang guys and played all tough.  When I recognized Kanawha, I got real pissed again.  Oops! Don't tell 'em I said that, K? I liked Killian 'cause he seemed like a nice guy an' he ain't never did nothin' to me.  But I was mad at that Kanawha.  I said some mean stuff again to 'em both, but Kanawha kept ignorin' me, makin' me madder by the minute.   I ran at him and put the gun to his head.  Then he smacked it away and grabbed me yellin' "How do I feel?  How do I feel?"  I just knew for sure I's dead right then, but he just hugged me.  Then he said, "Sorry.  I am so, so very sorry."  I don't really know what happened, but I just felt all the pain and loneliness just up and leave me.  We fell down to the ground and he just held me, saying he was sorry for hurtin' me today, and to let it out as I cried, 'cause I was safe now. 

Somehow, he knew who I was.  He took my mask off and told Killian.   Killian hugged me for a minute, then pulled me to my feet and said we needed to talk.  I's glad we did, 'cause we all got it off our chests and they forgave me.  Then, they asked me to come with 'em to eat and to live if I wanted to.   Then, they kept kissin' and just about humpin' each other right there in the parking garage.  I was hungry, so I asked if we could go eat (Kanawha said where we were gonna go eat, they wouldn't mind me bein all dirty, so I's ready to go eat).  We talked about our birthdays and I showed them a picture of my mom.  They lost their parents on their birthdays, and they was even born on the same day.  I told 'em I's awful sorry 'bout that.  That's when I told 'em 'bout mom and showed them the picture I have of her.  They said she was real pretty and I looked like her. 

They's tellin' me about their work, when Killian called a social worker.  I was scared, but he told me he had to, so's I could live with 'em.  We talked 'bout that for a while.  Then, I wasn't so scared no more.

Wouldn't ya just know we ended up goin' to the
café to eat.  I mentioned how good the food was, and then Kanawha realized where he'd seen me before.  He just fell to his knees huggin' me and cryin'.  I just pat him and all as he told me he was sorry.  But I forgave him, and we were all fine. 

We went in to eat, and the table was already set for all three of us.  I liked Valerie and Ed, especially Ed, 'cause he gave me a job.  Then, before you knew it, I had 'em agreein' to eat with us.  Ed let me help him cook the food, and I gotta cook the steaks.

I's nervous 'bout eatin' with everybody, but Kanawha made me feel better 'bout it.  Then, Killian called me son and said in their hearts I was their son.  So, now I had two dads,  and I's real happy.

Everybody told me the steaks were good. They were too, though that was the first time I'd ever eat steak.  Lots of the stuff was good, 'specially the broccoli.  It didn't look none too good, but it sure was.  Then we had pie and coffee.  After that, we was heading to "the house."

I was wonderin' if I could take a bath, so I asked.  "Hey, guys.  You think I could take a bath when we get there?  I mean I could wash off and all, but takin' a real bath would be great."

Killian laughed and said, "Son, I was not sure how to approach that subject with you, but I think a real bath is a fine idea."  I just smiled cause we was thinkin' the same thing.

Then, Kanawha said, "Shit!" and stopped the car.  Killian hit em on the arm tellin' him to watch his language.  That's why I asked ya' not to tell 'em I said piss.  Man, I said it again!  Well, don't tell 'em OK.

"OK.  OK.  I will." he said.  Then he looked at me and then back to Killian.  "I think we need to make a quick stop at a store somewhere to get him something to wear, at least for tonight and tomorrow.  Then, we can take him out shopping for clothes and other things tomorrow."

I am so glad you thought of that.  Well, there is only one place open at this hour. " Killian said.  Then, he rubbed Kanawha's hand.  "Sorry about earlier.  I just think we should watch what we say.  We don't need to add any more negative words to Chance's vocabulary."

"Well, we'll have to clue Ethan and Jena in on that one too." Kanawha laughed.

"Oh, dear God!  What are we going to do about Hela and Roe?  Especially Roe."  Killian said, like he's in a panic.

Kanawha just rolled laughing then.  He smiled and said, "Love, he is a young man, not a china doll.  I'm sure he has heard worse things than..."

Killian jumped in.  "But you don't know Roe.  He was tame tonight.  Sometimes, he can be a bit extreme."

I didn't know who they's talkin' 'bout, and I got bored.  Next thing I know, We's in someplace I ain't never been before.  "Guys? Where we at anyway?"

"We're just about at the loop.  >From there, it is just a few minutes to get to Wally World."  Kanawha answered.

"I don't reckon I ever been around here before.  Just wonderin.  Hey, you guys think they will even let me in the store'n all?"  I asked.

"Chance, son, everything will be fine.  Just relax.   We will go in and get what we need for tonight and tomorrow.  Then, we will go home and you can meet all of our friends.  I just know they will love you, so you don't have to worry about them, either.  OK, son?" Killian asked me.

I shook my head, "OK, Dad.  But I just wish I could take a bath n' be clean before I meet 'em."

Killian  started cryin', and I was thinkin 'OK, Chance, now what have you done wrong?'.  "I'm sorry Dad!  I don't have to be clean to meet 'em.  I don't even need to take no bath if you don't want me to."

Killian just smiled at me and reached his hand back and pat me on the leg.  "No, son.  That's not it.  You just called me Dad, and it made me feel good.  So, I started crying.   I'm sorry if it worried you, but you just made me happy is all. "

"Whew.  I thought y'all's gonna put me out the car or somethin'."  Then, we all laughed.

We were at Wally World in no time at all.  I was excited 'cause I ain't had nothin' new in a real long time.   I had one Dad on each side of me as we went lookin' for clothes.  I got some pajama's, jeans, two shirts, and a pair of shorts. 

A couple guys were followin' us around, but Kanawha just asked 'em what their problem was.  They took one look at Kanawha, and almost messed their pants.  I don't blame 'em none neither, cause he is a BIG man.  They just said they was security, checkin' to make sure we's OK, but they was starin' at me.  Kanawha just looked at 'em a minute and said, well, more like growled at 'em,  "He has had a rough day, and he does not need you adding to it." Then, he pulled me in front of him and wrapped his big ol' arms round me.  "This is my son, and I will do anything to protect him from being hurt again.  Do you understand what I am saying?"  Those guys didn't even answer.  They just took off fast, and we didn't see 'em no more. 

We then went to get some underwear and socks.  They asked me which kind of underwear I liked. "I don't really wear none." I said.  Dad said somethin' 'bout commando, but I didn't know what he meant.  "What kind do you guys wear?"  I asked 'em.  They both just got bright red and looked at each other.  I guess it must be rude or somethin' to ask someone 'bout their underwear, but I just figured that's what we was lookin' for. 

"Boxer-briefs."  they both answered me at the same time.  Then, they just started laughin' and lookin' at each other again.  I just knew they's gonna start humpin' in the store the way they was lookin' at each other, and I just giggled.

"I guess I'll get some of them too then."  I said.  Kanawha helped me find some he thought would fit.  We got some undershirts, socks, and shoes.   Finally, we got me a toothbrush, deodorant (Dad said he would show me how to use it later), and some other stuff I didn't know what was for. 

The lady who took the money just kept staring at me, and Kanawha growled at her too.  "Look if there is some problem, here, then maybe you can get your manager to come over and tell me what it is."  Her eyes just got all big, but she said there wasn't no problems.  Then Kanawha said, "Well, good.  Then maybe you can quit  fucking staring at my son."  'Course Dad smacked him on the arm again.  Kanawha just looked like his feelings were hurt, sayin',"Sorry, Love.  But she has no right to just sit in judgment over him.  And, yes, she was, because I felt it."  Then, he ran his hand through Dad's hair and rested it on his neck. "Can you forgive me?" he asked, kinda quiet like.

Dad smiled at him.  "Of course, Love.  But there are other ways of handling people like... Betty here." he said as he read her name tag.  "The way I plan to handle it is to speak with Jack.  He is the district manager and donates a whole lot of merchandise and time at the mission.  I am sure he will make sure it NEVER happens again."  It was funny, 'cause even though Dad was smilin', that Betty could tell he was pis... I mean mad.   Betty didn't stare none at me after that, and we just got the stuff 'n left.  Soon, we were at Kanawha's house.  He said I could use his bathtub.  Then, he said we'd go meet everybody.

That bath sure felt good, and Kanawha fixed it so's I had bubbles in it.  Dad checked on me a couple times at the door to make sure I didn't need nothin'.  He told me to be sure 'n wash my neck and ears good.  I asked him if he would wash my back for me 'cause I couldn't reach it good, and he did.  He asked me about some of the bruises 'n stuff I had, and I told him about those boys threatenin' me, tellin' me I best have that 50 bucks to 'em or else.  Kanawha was standin' at the door when we was talkin and said he would just have to see about them boys.  Dad told him, "You will do no such thing, so don't even think about it again.  Just calm down, love.  He's safe now.  That is all that matters."

"Well, we can't just let them get away with hurting people like this.  We have to do something."  he told dad.

"And, love, we will.  Just trust me.  We can do this without anyone getting hurt.  Just have a little faith." Dad said back to him.

"Alright, I concede. "  Kanawha just stood there a minute.  "Well, if you need me, then I guess I'll be out here." he said as he turned around.

"I can use some help washin' my hair if you want to, Daddy."  I said to him.

He ran back in there and Knelt down by the tub.  "What did you say?" 

He was smilin' at me, and I giggled. "I said you can help me wash my hair if you want to, Daddy."

He kissed me on the forehead and said, "That's what I thought you said."  He got all teary eyed.  "I never thought I would ever hear someone say that to me."

I got teary too for some reason and told him the truth.  "I wanted to call ya that since when I first seen ya runnin' by me in the alley.   I just wanted you to be my Daddy and take me to live with you."

We all cried a while, then Daddy washed my hair for me a few times.  Dad  got my clothes ready and laid 'em out by the sink.  Then, they said they would leave me to get dressed.  Dad told me to wait before I put my shirt on, cause he wanted me to brush my teeth and learn how to use deodorant.  They went out and shut the door. 

When I was done, I opened the door and they was snuggling on Daddy's bed.  I ran and jumped right on both of them, but it turned into a tickle fight.  After a few minutes, Dad showed me how to use deodorant, and Daddy showed me how I should brush my teeth.  They both told me I's handsome, but I needed to get a haircut.  I wasn't none to thrilled 'bout that, but figured I'd just do it.  After  that, Daddy put some clothes in a bag and we left to go to Dad's house.  On the way, I told 'em, "I guess I'm pretty lucky.  This mornin' I was homeless, but now I got two places to live at."

They both laughed.  Then Daddy looked at me and Dad and said, "Well, I guess so, for now.  But  soon, I hope we are all under one roof."

"We'll have to talk about this later and make some plans.  There are a few things I will need to explain to you, then we can decide what the three of us are going to do."  Dad said. 

Soon, we were pulling up to this really huge house.  I was real excited to think I was gonna live here, even for a little bit till we found somewheres else.


As Kanawha explained the significants of 'Chances Given', I was compelled to contemplate the grand scheme of things.  Chance was a delightful young man, and I had been blessed five times on this day.  I had met the love of my life, made three new friends, and now, my love and I had a son.  Things were going great, but they just kept getting better. 

It was so far beyond chance that both Kanawha and I had lived such parallel lives, right down to being born on the same day.  This meant that we also lost our parents on exactly the same day, too.  It was just overwhelming to think that so many different elements were in play, all bringing the two of us to this point.  Chance was such a darling young man, and I fell in love with him almost immediately.  I could tell he and Kanawha had a special bond, as if they held a missing part of each other.   But then again, these same elements were pulling him towards us and us towards him.  It was all destined, that was certain.

I was so touched that Kanawha had made special arrangements with Valerie for a romantic dinner for us.  Seeing the table set for three was somehow not a surprise at all.  Valerie was just so wonderful, and her Ed was such a great guy.  He made Chance feel special, and I thanked God that the two of them would also be a part of his life.  Ed promised Chance a job, and he was illuminated with joy.  Ed even let Chance help make dinner for us all, leaving Valerie, Kanawha, and I and opportunity to talk.

As we discussed all the events that had transpired, more and more fell into place for us.  Kanawha and I had been sharing a dream, no doubt the same dream, since as far back as either of us could remember.  The only difference was in how we each depicted Chance in the dream.  Valerie said she could not answer that, but that it could be the way we each saw the world around us.  She said she wanted to get together with me to see if she could help me understand my gift more fully.

I was truly fascinated by the gifts Kanawha possessed.  It made me realize just how perceptive and insightful he truly is, which just made me smile all the more.  'God, I love that man!' I affirmed to myself as he spoke.  As he admitted that he was not quite ready to be so open, I just felt kinda sad.  'He has been alone for so long, really, and is not used to dealing with everyone.  I could tell that despite his friendships with Jena and Ethan, he was still very much a loner.' I speculated.  But, I also thought that he somehow sees himself as being less of a man by sharing his emotions with others.  I was a little worried how this would affect our relationship and the relationship he was forming with Chance, when he answered my question. 

"But, I LOVE Killian and Chance so much, and I don't want this love I feel for them to ever go away.  I need this love to be real." As tears filled his eyes and he looked at me, I was certain this openness he expressed towards Chance and myself would never change.  "I was so lost and alone before I met you. I don't want to go back to being that empty shell of a man again.  I just hope you still love me when I am me once more."  Valerie told him then that he had partially healed Chance's torn soul, but for his full recovery, he would need Kanawha's love and support.  She said this would require that Kanawha be squishy sometimes with Chance.  'All part of parenting,' I mused, 'and my love is going to be a fantastic one.' 

Dinner went great.  OK, so Chance had a few bad manners, but he quickly picked up on our good table manners and immolated them.  I was elated at how happy he was by my calling him son.  You would have thought I had given him the world, but in reality, he and Kanawha had given me that... a world filled with hope and love. 

Valerie gave us her sagely advice for our lives, and we soon left to head home.  Chance asked about taking a bath during the ride, and I was relieved that the subject had been presented.  Kanawha pointed out that we needed to get Chance some clothes for tonight and tomorrow at least, so we headed to Wally World.  As shocking as this may seem, I really do not like shopping there.  It is never a good experience, even for me, and I am rather optimistic.  In fact, we commonly refer to it as the worst place on earth.  I reassured Chance that everything was going to be fine, and he called me Dad!  I was so overjoyed when he said it, I cried.  He was worried about saying something wrong, but I explained that he had just made me very happy.  He seemed to accept this, and all was well in the world again.

Shopping was indeed not a pleasurable experience, as usual, and I realized that Kanawha was quickly finding his balance again.  Two security men were following us, thinking that Chance was only there to steal something.  Kanawha set them straight rather quickly, and they soon departed our company.  Hehehe!  I would not want to tangle with him while he is in protective mode either. 

We retrieved everything we could think of for Chance, and headed to the only one of the sixty check out lanes opened.  OK, now it was rude for that Betty to stare at Chance, but I was flabbergasted when Kanawha started in on her. 
"Look if there is some problem, here, then maybe you can get your manager to come over and tell me what it is."  She was equally shocked by his directness, and muttered that there was no problem.  Kanawha then shot, "Well, good.  Then maybe you can quit fucking staring at my son."  I whacked him in the arm for his language, but not for his defending our son. "Sorry, Love.  But she has no right to just sit in judgment over him.  And, yes, she was, because I felt it."  Of course, I knew she was as well, but he then tried to smooth things over with me. "Can you forgive me?" he asked, in this innocent child-like voice.

I just smirked inside over this.
  "Of course, Love.  But there are other ways of handling people like... Betty here." I said loud enough for her to hear, as I overemphasized reading her name tag.   "The way I plan to handle it is to speak with Jack.  He is the district manager and donates a whole lot of merchandise and time at the mission.  I am sure he will make sure it NEVER happens again."  She was a bit shaken up, but for once, I did not care.  She deserved so much more than the firing I knew Jack would see happened.  The gall of her to do that just infuriated me, but I smiled... one of the iciest smiles I have ever smiled before.  I guess I had a bit of a protective mode as well. 

Kanawha just snickered and rubbed my back, whispering, "I guess foxes can be just as vicious and deadly as grizzly bears." 

I fought the urge to laugh and continued my icy smile until we left that God-forsaken store.  As we left, Kanawha said we would go to his place for Chance to bathe, then head to the house.  Chance seemed to like this idea, seeing as he really wanted to be clean before he met anyone.

Bath time was an enjoyable experience.  Chance was so excited, especially when Kanawha made him a bubble bath.  We gave him his privacy, but I wanted to be sure he cleaned everything, so I reminded him of a few things to wash at the door.  He asked me to wash his back for him, so I did.  I noticed all the bruises he had and asked him about them.  Seems that gang had a hand in it, and I really was getting protective again. 

So was Kanawha.  "Well, I will have to just see about those guys, then." He growled.

"You will do no such thing, so don't even think about it again." I said, in a cross me and see what I will do to your ass voice.  I guess I was developing rather good parenting skills, having developed that voice so soon.  "Just calm down, love.  He's safe now.  That is all that matters."

"Well, we can't just let them get away with hurting people like this.  We have to do something."  he complained.

"And, love, we will.  Just trust me.  We can do this without anyone getting hurt.  Just have a little faith." I replied gently. 

"Alright, I concede."  He said in a not-so-convincing manner.  Then, he watched me wash our son's back a moment.  "Well, if you need me, then I guess I'll be out here." Kanawha said, as he turned to leave.

Chance quickly replied, "I can use some help washin' my hair if you want to, Daddy."

I have never seen someone move so quickly.  He raced into the bathroom and knelt beside the tub excitedly.  "What did you say?" he enthralled.

Chance just giggled. "I said you can help me wash my hair if you want to, Daddy."

My love kissed our son's forehead.  "That's what I thought you said."  Tears formed as he relayed to the two of us,  "I never thought I would ever hear someone say that to me."

Chance teared up as well.  "I wanted to call ya that since when I first seen ya runnin' by me in the alley.   I just wanted you to be my Daddy and take me to live with you."  I knew for sure that they had a very special bond then.

We all shared in the waterworks for a few minutes. Then, Daddy washed his son's hair, quite a few times in fact.  It honestly needed it.  While Kanawha scrubbed away, put out Chance's clothes on the counter.  I told him we would give him privacy to get dressed, but not to put his shirt on until he brushed his teeth and I showed him how to apply his deodorant.  We then went back into Kanawha's bedroom and shut the door.

We sat on Kanawha's bed, but ended up snuggling up as we waited for Chance to finish.  A few minutes later, a shining angel appeared in the bathroom door.  He was such a handsome little man.  His hair was darker than my own, but not as dark as Kanawha's  He had strong cheekbones like Kanawha, but his nose actually looked similar to my own.  He had more of a tan than I, but again, not as dark as Kanawha.  He had dimples like me, but his strong jaw was like my love's.  It hit me during my observations of him that Chance looked like he could actually be our real son, if it were biologically possible for us to have one.  He stood around 5'8" and was so, so skinny.  'A few of Hela's home cooked meals would definitely help put some weight on him.' I smiled, realizing that he would never go hungry ever again.

Chance pounced on us, and we retaliated by tickling him.  After a few minutes, I took him back into the bathroom and showed him how to apply deodorant.  Killian then showed him the fine arts of oral hygiene.  'Need to remember to make him a dentist appointment' I mentally noted.  Looking at our little guy, we both told him how handsome he really was. Kanawha suggested a haircut, and I agreed.

I asked if Kanawha would stay the night, because it just seemed we should spend our first night as a family.  He packed some clothes and other items, and we headed over to my house.   On the way, Chance commented, "I guess I'm pretty lucky.  This mornin' I was homeless, but now I got two places to live at."

We laughed, but I could tell we were each relieved that the subject had been presented.  Kanawha spoke first about it, though. "Well, I guess so, for now.  But soon, I hope we are all under one roof."

"We'll have to talk about this later and make some plans.  There are a few things I will need to explain to you, then we can decide what the three of us are going to do."  I replied.  There was just so much I needed to discuss with him before we decided where we would live. 

Chance was impressed with the house as soon as he saw it from the drive.  I was surprised that no one met us at the door, but I could hear a commotion upstairs and assumed they were in the movie room.  I showed Chance and Kanawha around a little downstairs, and both seemed impressed.  Then our tour lead us upstairs to the movie room.  As we entered, everyone was coming in from the balcony, looking like they had just finished a big group cry.  >From the pairings, I could tell Ethan and Shaft were a couple.  Jena and Jew seemed to be heading in that direction as well.  I smiled at them, and one look to my love showed me he had noticed also.

"Kal, Kal.  Have I not taught you any better?  Here you go out with this great looking hunk, and you let him take your V.  If that were not bad enough, you get knocked up and return to us with child."  Roe laughed.

Kanawha and Chance were taken aback by this, but Hela set things straight quickly, all be it inappropriately.  "Don't pay any mind to Dildo Faggins, here.  No one else does.  Now, who would you be, little guy?"  She asked, kneeling in front of Chance.  His eyes lit up as he took her in.

"Our son."  Kanawha simply replied.

"Long story we will save until the morning.  Everyone, this is Chance, our son.  Chance, this is Hela, Ethan, Shaft, Jew, Jena, Mic, Cole, and Roe." I said, pointing out each of our friends as they replied their hello's to Chance. 

"I thought she said his name was Dildo." he replied as I introduced Roe.

"That was just a joke, Chance."  Hela replied.  "I said something I should not have said.  That was not a good word to use in front of you.  Sorry, Kal."  I was a bit shocked by this, because, well you just have to know Hela.

They then began telling us about their evening, when Chance pulled at Kanawha's arm.  "Daddy, What's dildo mean?" 

I rolled my eyes as I looked at Hela for that one.  Kanawha just laughed and replied.  "Well, son, that is something you should ask your uncle Ethan, sometime when it is just the two of you."  We all laughed as Ethan looked so shocked.

Chance walked up to Ethan and Shaft, looking them over closely.  He then smiled the biggest smile I have seen in some time.  "Dad, you didn't tell me I 'd have kids my age to play with!  Wow, this is so cool!"  I just giggled, figuring we would cross that bridge later, but not tonight. 

Everyone again started telling us about the evening.  Kanawha and Chance seemed intrigued about singing and acting out musicals.  We were both happy to hear a G-rated version of the coupling, and I was elated for them all. 

"We were talking about singing a little.  Would you guys like to join us?" Cole asked.

"That's quite alright." Kanawha answered quickly, and Jena and Ethan burst out laughing.

"What is so funny?" I inquired.

"Stormy can't sing." Jena laughed.

"That is not true."  Kanawha stated flatly, almost like he had been insulted. "I just don't sing.  I never said I could not sing."

Chance looked up at Kanawha with his big hazel eyes and said, "Will you sing then, Daddy?  Will you sing a song for me?"

"Good luck, kid.  He has never sang in all the years we have known him."  Ethan taunted. 

"Well, I have never had a reason to sing before."  He said.  Then he smiled at Chance.  "But I have two great reasons to now, so yes, Chance I will sing for you.  But this song," he said, turning to me grinning, "I dedicate to you, my love."  He then gave me the best kiss we had shared so far that day. 

With that, he led me to the baby grand, seating me beside him.  He played beautifully.  The music was soulful, and Jena and Ethan were so shocked.  As he played the introduction, Hela enthused, "Oh, hon.  I love that song."

"You know it?  Good, then you can back me up, if you will."  Kanawha replied.  Hela came over and stood beside him.  Then, he began singing, and he had the most glorious voice I have ever heard.  It was deep, yet smooth and soulful. It ranged strongly from a base to a tenor through the course of the song.  He and Hela blended so well as she sang harmony on the chorus.  And the words, they were so beautiful.  But, he sang them from his heart, which was far more special to me:


You walked in the room,

and time was standing still.
Knew you were my destiny
By the way you made me feel.
Only you in my life forever and a day.
You're everything I ever imagined
my love could be;
you for me.

Like the stars need the sky,
and the river needs its rain,
like an eagle needs its wings,
and the fire needs its flames,
like the sun needs the day,
and the night needs the moon,
like the air that I breathe,
that's how I
dreamed of you.
I dreamed you.

It's hard to explain
But when you know you know
I was so amazed by you
You had me at hello
I need you in my heart
My body, mind and soul
It only took a moment to take my breath away
Will you stay?

Like the stars need the sky,
and the river needs its rain,
like an eagle needs its wings,
and the fire needs its flames,
like the sun needs the day,
and the night needs the moon,
like the air that I breathe,
that's how I
dreamed of you.
I dreamed you and I,

Our love can't be denied, no, no.
There's nothing I can do, nothing I can say,
my heart always knew.
That's how I dreamed of you.

(Like the) stars need (the) sky,
(and the) river needs (its) rain,
like an eagle needs its wings,
and the fire needs its flames,
like the sun needs the day,
and the night needs the moon,
like the air that I breathe,
that's how I need of you.

Like the stars, sky,
river needs rain,
like an eagle needs it's wings,
and the fire needs it's flames,
like the sun it needs the day,
and the night needs the moon,
like the air that I breathe,
that's how I dreamed of you.
Like the air that I breathe
That's how I...
Dreamed of you
I dreamed of you

I was speechless, and completely moved to tears by this, the most moving declaration of love I had ever witnessed before in my life.  I just kissed him, with all the passion I had ever felt before. 

He just smiled and whispered, "I can never truly express just how much I love you.  I hope this gives you just a small inkling of the vastness of what I feel for you.  You are my love... my life... my universe.  Without you, I am nothing."  Then, he kissed me again.  As we broke the kiss and looked around the room, everyone was rather surprised.  "What?"  he asked.

"Wow, Stormy.  You really can sing.  And your voice is just, Wow." Jena said, somewhat still in shock.

Kanawha just stood up and then helped me to my feet.  Chance ran to him, hugging him tightly.  "Thanks Daddy!  You were so good!" He then scowled at Jena, and looked back at Kanawha.  "Showed that mouthy girl a thing or two too.  She won't pick on you so quick next time I bet."

We all laughed, and with Jena neatly in her place, Kanawha said, "Well, love, Chance, I think it is time for bed.  I'm kind of tired." He stretched and yawned.  I realized just how tired I was as well.  So, we made our exit and walked down the hall to get some much needed sleep.

Well, that it for chapter three.  Thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think.  Chapter four will be coming  soon.



Original musical written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
Screenplay written by Bronte Woodward
Produced by Robert Stigwood and Allan Carr
© Paramount Pictures, 1977  All rights reserved.
Your The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted To You ©  1978 Stigwood  Music, Inc.,  John Farrar Music, Inc., and Ensign Music Corporation

Moulin Rouge
Written by Baz Lurmann & Graig Pearce
Produced by Martin Brown
©  2001 Twentieth Century Fox  All rights reserved.

Come What May  Written by David Bearwald
Your Song  Written by Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Like A Virgin  Written by  Billy Steinbero
Elephant Love Medley  Featuring
All You Need Is Love  Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
I Was Made For Loving You  Written by Paul Stanley, desmond Child, and Vini Poncia
One More Night  Written by Phil Collins
Pride (In The Name Of Love) Written by U2 with Lyrics by Bozo and The Edge
Don't Leave Me This Way  Written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Gary Gilbert
Silly Love Songs  Written by Paul McCartney
Up Were We Belong  Written by Jack Nitzche, Buffy Sainte-marie, and Will Jennings
Heros  Written by David Bowie
I Will Always Love You  Written by Dolly Parton
Your Song  Written by Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Dying Young
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Novel Written by Marti Leimbach
Screenplay Written by Richard Friedenberg
 ©1991 Twentieth Century Fox  All rights reserved.

I Dreamed You
written by Anastacia Newkirk - D. Bramble - L. Robbins
album:   Freak of nature
released: 2001