Chapter Four: A Chance To Settle

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 in the meadow, the one from all my other dreams, only this time, there was a stream flowing by one end.  Kanawha and I were wading in that stream, as the cool waters trickled by.  I was lost, gazing in the sapphire windows to his soul.  The love he felt for me shined brightly, like a blazing inferno of passion.  He gently caressed my cheek, bringing me back from my trance to awareness. His smile illuminated his handsome face, as the tips of his fingers ever so delicately traced the features of my own.  The slightest movement of his hand brought forth tingling sensations that pulsed throughout my body. 

So very slowly, his lips met mine, grazing against one another with the lightest of contact.  Methodically, his lips teased my own, leaving me yearning for their presence.  As the hunger within me grew, the kiss became more passionate.  Gently, he tugged on my lower lip, catching it between his own.  I parted my lips, and the sweetness of his tongue placidly penetrated me.  Soon, our tongues danced in the natural rhythm of our love, our desires for one another growing more intense with each passing moment. 

Ploddingly, his fingers crawled like spiders down my neck, shoulders, and spine, as my own hands, which had rested around his waste, now climbed their way desperately up his back. Softly, his fingers circled the small of my back, as mine clutched tightly to the back of his head, drawing him closer to me.  His hands glided carefully over my lower cheeks and hips, then lightly stroked up my sides.  Reaching my shoulders, they would once again trickle down my spine, creating a repeating pattern.  Peaked with arousal, my body shuddered under every touch.

Slowly, my lips descended from his mouth, grazing along his strong jawline to his neck.  There, I softly kissed and suckled.  I raised my lips to the slightest of contact and breathed in, creating a cool stream of air, causing his body to tremble.  My hands flowed down his neck and shoulders, where they delicately stroked the belly of his triceps.  The slightest groan escaped my lovers lips, as my roaming fingers continued their exploration of his body.

As my fingers titillated his hardened brown nubs, he grabbed me tightly around the waist with one arm, drawing me upwards.  His other hand nabbed me by the nape, pulling my head back as he savoringly licked his way up my throat.  Once again our lips were joined in an animalistic kiss.  The hardness of his bountiful manhood pressed firmly against my own.  My lover's hips slowly gyrated, creating a pleasant friction between our engorged members.  My moans were silenced by his invading tongue, as he continued to stroke our bodies against one another.  Our skin heated as we glided flesh to flesh, drawing the fires of our love into a blaze of unyielding passion.  Our rhythm increased as our breathing became more shallow and erratic.  Our loins screamed out for release.  Slowly, the undeniable sensation built.  Steadily, the intensity climbed.  I gazed again into my lovers eyes, knowing I was on the brink of no return.  Basking in the love we shared, we exploded into climax.

I awoke encased tightly in my lovers hold, pressed firmly against him.  Our deep, passionate kiss silenced the anguishing growls of pleasure as we both pulsated in climactic release.   The kiss became less animalistic and more gentle as the effects of afterglow settled upon us.  As consciousness came to me, I realized we had once again shared our dreams.  He and I were both just so tired from the long night, we quickly fell asleep once we got Chance into bed.  We were lying on my bed, both still in our pajamas, though they were soaked with perspiration and our essence.  I slowly broke the kiss and gently ran my fingers through the hair of my beloved.  He just smiled that winning smile of his, and my heart melted once again.  A comfortable silence fell as we watched one another.

Finally, Kanawha broke the silence.  "You know, I could get used to waking up like this.  Talk about your five-star service." he smiled.

"Really?  Hmm.  Well, seeing as how I was working to fulfill a fantasy, in a dream no less, I figure I at least deserve one or two more stars than that." I smiled.

"Granted.  But then again, exactly who's fantasy was it?" he shot back.

"Well, it had to be yours.  I would never be so animalistic." I jested.

"Oh, so you say.  But as I recall it, I was being gentle.  You were the one groping like a mad man." he said, flashing me his evil grin. 

He had me at that.  I just blushed and laughed.  "I was kind of hoping you would not remember that part."

He ran his fingers across my cheek and through my hair.  "What?  Are you crazy?  That was the best part.  Feeling how much I turned you on... seeing your desire for me burning in your eyes... knowing how passionately you wanted to express your love for me... well, it completely had me going."  He laughed.  "And, it is nothing to be embarrassed about.  You want me, and I love that, almost as much as I love wanting you.  Hell, you're the only one who has ever wanted me.  Why?  I have no idea, but I am thrilled that you do."

"Somehow, Mr. Darkstorm, I seriously doubt you have never been the object of another's affections.  I'm ecstatic that you didn't accept their affections, but I am still sure that you left a trail of hormonally charged admirers in your wake."  I said, kissing his cheek.  "As to why I want you, well I may just have to reconsider, seeing as you only gave me a five-star rating."  I giggled.

He wrestled himself on top of me, interlocking his fingers with my own.  "There are just not enough stars in the heavens to express how much your love means to me... be it in a dream or otherwise." Then, he softly kissed me again.  He broke the kiss and smiled.  "You know, this dream sharing thing has its advantages!  But, I've been thinking.  If it was that good in a dream, just imagine what it will be like in reality."

"You are such the horn dog!" I jibed.  "Hehehe!  But, I have to admit, that thought has crossed my mind a few times since we woke."

"We have all the time in the world to explore that, my love.  But right now, I am feeling a bit sticky.  What say we get cleaned up and go check on Chance?"  With that, Kanawha stood and grabbed me up in his arms, carrying me to the bathroom, where he gently stood me on my feet.  "Your not gonna get all shy on me now, are you?" He joked, remembering our conversation about public showers.

As I stood there, it was just like being the late bloomer in junior high school all over again.  My cheeks burned from my all-to-shy awkwardness.  Kanawha just smirked and shook his head.  "Love, after all we have been through, don't you know I love YOU?  Nothing will change that, ever.  So, you don't have to be afraid."  I was still a bit hesitant about it, and my love took notice.  "Look, if you want, we can take a shower separately.  I won't have any hard feelings.  Honestly, so long as I have you in my life, that is all that matters to me."

"You are so full of it, you know that?"  I quipped.  "Alright, but I swear, one word... one gesture... one smirk... and you will be showering alone in cold water for a VERY long time."

He just snickered, and I began undressing.  Heaven help me, but I was just so embarrassed.  And, his watching me was not helping matters one bit.  Just as I removed my boxer briefs and was baring it all, Kanawha expressed that look... the one that traumatizes you into feeling so inadequate. Humiliating flashbacks of the boys locker room played through my mind, and I was ready to bolt when he spoke.  "Killian, love, I don't know what your hang up is, but you have NOTHING to be ashamed about!"

"Your not disappointed?"  I asked self-consciously.

"Well, let's just say that you are even better than I imagined, and I have a great imagination." he enthused.  He looked me up and down, mostly on the down...hehehe.  "I can honestly say I am most pleasantly surprised." he smiled.

I felt like I had a third-degree sunburn, I blushed so much.  But, at least it was in a good way this time.  As he gawked at me, I felt a bit more confident.  "Well, as long as you want to compliment me, then please, go on." I smiled, knowing that toothy grin of mine was plastered all over my face.

He just silently giggled as he began undressing.  I have to admit that I was doing my share of gawking as I took in the sights of my beloved.  When he stepped out of his underwear, I was rather happy.  I just took it all in, memorizing every line and curve as he blushed.  Finally, I tore my eyes away from his beautiful body. "Well Son of BIG Horse, you ready for our shower?"  I quipped.

"Some people are such perv's." He replied, rolling his eyes as he started the shower. 

"And that upsets you how?" I shot.

"Not in any way I can think of at the moment." he laughed, taking me into his arms. Softly, he serenaded me with some of the song he had melted me with just hours ago.   "I love you, Killian Anderson Lord... now and forever."

"And I you, my love, forever and a day." We entered the shower, locked in another bliss-filled kiss.  And, in those early morning hours, we reenacted our dream... a couple of times in fact... just to be sure... and, it was way better in reality!


They was the biggest things I had ever saw in my life!   And, I just wondered how strong this Hela must be to carry them boobs of hers around ever day.  Shoot, I just wondered how she could stand up straight with 'em.  Seems like she would fall over or somethin' they was so big.  When she turned 'round, I could see how, 'cause her butt stuck out just as far as them boobs did, and it was far let me tell ya'.  She was tall too, not as tall as Daddy, but not to far from it.  The rest of her was a little bit fat.  'That ain't nice Chance!' I said to myself.  Then I got to thinkin', she wouldn't really be fat if it weren't for them boobs, her butt, and her belly.  But I's wrong, 'cause her legs and arms were kinda big too. 

She was real pretty though.  She had these eyes that barely had any color to 'em at all, they's so light green.  Her skin was' bout the color of this ol' baseball glove I used to have.  I'd found it in the trash one day, thinkin' I might play with some of the fella's at the park.  They wouldn't play or talk with me or nothin' though, so I just thowed it away later.  Wasn't doin' me no good no how.  Her hair was pulled up on her head, and she had all these braids a hangin' down like lots of spider legs.  Some of 'em was a purple-red color, but most of 'em was black.  Her chin just kinda hung down on her neck, and she had lots of chains 'round it.  She had lots of earrings too.  Her clothes was kinda tight, but I reckon with boobs and a butt that big, they just gotta be tight.  She had a pretty smile and a nice voice, lots of makeup on, and she had long fingernails that were real red.  She squatted down when she talked to me, and I thought that was nice of her.   'Somethin'  special 'bout her I like.' I's thinkin', and I just smiled at her.  I could tell we's gonna be friends.  Nobody never did tell me what dildo meant though.

Boy there sure was a lot of 'em.  My dads had lots of friends.   I's excited to see 'em boys Ethan and Shaft.  I figured we could do stuff together and all, 'cause they looked like they was 'bout my age.   That mouthy girl was nice lookin', but she was pickin' at Daddy, which I didn't like none too much.  Daddy showed her though, and he sang a song for me and Dad.  Hela sang with him, and she sounded like an angel.  I got to thinkin' that maybe she was an angel, cause I just knew there was somethin' real special 'bout her. 

After they sang, me, Dad, and Daddy went to bed.  Dad had two rooms.  One had a bed in it and stuff like that.  The other one had a couch and a place for writin'.  There was a bathroom in between 'em.  He told me I could pick out my own room tomorrow and put me in his bed.  He and Daddy made the couch into a bed, which I thought was real neat, and that's where they slept.   They said prayers with me and then talked with me a few minutes, but I went to sleep on 'em. 

I slept real good in that bed.  Boy, it was so nice having one, a lot better'n a box on that ol' rooftop I was sleepin' on before.  They woke me up, though.  They's makin' a lot of noise in that bathroom, and I figured I knew what them two was doin', so I just put my face in the pillow and laughed real hard.  They finished what they was doin' and came in a little later.  I smiled at 'em and said, "You guys must really like getting all clean, cause you sure was makin' a racket in there!"  They both just turned real red and I laughed at 'em.  My dads both  jumped on me and tickled me silly after that.

Daddy pulled me up on his lap and hugged me, kissin' me on the forehead.  Then Dad and him told me what all we was gonna do today.  We was gonna go shoppin' and get me more stuff, which I was all excited about.  I had to get my hair cut, but I guessed it would be OK.  We had to meet that social worker and go to get me signed up for school.  I didn't think I was gonna like goin' to no school again, but it wasn't no use, cause Dad was not givin' in none.  There was some other stuff they said we'd do, but I was still thinkin' 'bout having to go to that school and didn't pay no attention to 'em. 

We went downstairs to the kitchen, and Hela was in there cookin'.  She was singin' some pretty song I don't reckon I had heard before.  She turned 'round and smiled at me.  I just run up to her and hugged her, don't really know why, but I just felt like doin' it.  She hugged me back real tight, sayin' "Well, I don't know what I've done to deserve this, but I sure won't complain."  Then, she run her hands in my hair and asked me, "So, how did our little guy sleep?  Those Dad's of yours didn't keep you up all night did they?  I'll swat them good if they did."

I just smiled and giggled.  Then I told her, "No.  I slept real good.  But they made an awful lot of noise in that bathroom this mornin' and woke me up." Both my dads just turned real red, and me and Hela laughed at 'em.

"And to think I was fixing grits for my little man's man!" she said, walkin' up to 'em both and grabbin' them by their ears.  "Shame on you for waking up my little guy!"  Then, she hugged 'em both real tight.  "Oh, babies, I am so happy for you!"  She started waivin' her hand in front of her eyes.  "I think I'm gonna cry!" And she did too, while she kissed 'em both on the cheek.  It was funny, cause they both had red lip marks on 'em afterwards. 

"Did you mention grits?" Daddy asked her. 

She just smiled.  " I know you southern gentlemen like your grits.  But trust me baby, your gonna love mine!" 

Daddy looked really excited, but they didn't look none to good to me.  Dad whispered in my ear, "Its OK, son.  I think they are kinda gross myself."  He laughed.

Daddy and Hela both looked real shocked, and Daddy said, "I cannot believe this.  I find my soul mate and he does not like grits?"

Dad shook his head and told him, "Sorry, love, but ewe...  Those things are just nasty."  Hela smacked him on the butt with her spoon and told him to get out of her kitchen, but we knew she didn't mean it or nothin'.  

We talked for a bit, then Hela asked if I would go get everybody up for breakfast.  Daddy said he would go with me, 'cause he wanted to wake up Ethan and that mouthy Jena.    So, we head up the steps and knock on the door.  It took a while, but Shaft finally answered the door.  Ethan was behind him, and they was wrapped up in towels. They was in the shower, 'cause they was drippin' wet. 

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Daddy growled at Shaft.  I's glad Dad didn't here him, cause he would have whacked Daddy again for cussin'.  Shaft must've been thinkin' he was talkin' bout all the scars he had on his chest, cause he started to put his arms up over them.  "Killian tells me what good people you are, and what do you do?  You molest my poor little brother!  Ethan, buddy, did he hurt you?" Daddy said.  Shaft looked relieved and started laughing.  He even took his arms down from all those scars.  I didn't stare at them or nothin', cause I could tell he didn't want nobody too, but I felt real bad for him. I didn't know what they's from, and I didn't ask nobody.

"He made me do it!  I didn't want to, but he made me!"  Ethan said, then he laughed.  "What are you doing barging in on us anyway, big guy?  Shouldn't you be... well, you know... with Kal."

"Perv!" Daddy said to him and they moved out of the way so we could come in.  "Hela told us to get everyone up for breakfast... and she is making grits, too... special for me, if you can believe that."  Shaft looked shocked over that for some reason.  Then Daddy started sniffin'.  "Guy, this room so reeks of sex!"  he said smiling.  I noticed it  smelled kinda funny, but I smelled worse I reckon.

"Oh, like Kal's room doesn't!"  Ethan said back at 'im, all smart like.

Daddy shook his head.  "Nope.  Our room smells clean and fresh."

"That's cause they did it in the bathroom.  They woke me up, they's makin' so much noise."  I told 'em, and both the boys laughed with me.  Daddy just turned real red again, but he did laugh.

"Well, son, let's go get the rest of them up." Daddy says to me.  "Let's wake up that mouthy girl next!" he said like he was sneakin' somethin' from a store. 

"They were still in the music room last we saw of them."  Shaft said while Ethan laughed.  "They were asleep on the couch when we went to bed."

"Thanks, guy.  And for the record, you guys make a wonderful couple.  I can sorta tell what you feel about each other, and I am so happy for you both.  But, we'll talk about that later." Daddy said, and then we went to get that mouthy girl back for pickin' on Daddy!

He smacked his big ol' hand down on that couch and both of 'em jumped up scared to death.  Then, Daddy growled at them too. "You know, in the south, we have a code of honor.  You have to get permission from the head of the family before you mess around with his little sister.  So, you are in for a big ass beating, Jew!"  He looked so scared, but Jena just laughed and came up huggin' Daddy.

"Oh, thank God!  Stormy, your back!"  Then she giggled. " There for a minute, I thought I was gonna have to start calling you RAINBOW or something."  Daddy just hugged her tight.  'I guess if he likes her, then she's OK.  But, she best not pick on my Daddy again!'  I thought.  Daddy grabbed Jew up off the couch and hugged him too.  Then, he looked 'em both over and said, "You guys looked all cute snuggled up there.  I hope everything works out for you both.  Any guy that can make this ol' girl happy must be one hell of a man, so you have my vote." 

He  just smiled at Daddy and put his arm around Jena.  "Thanks." Jew said.

"OK, son.  Let's get the rest of them up."  and we did.  Daddy let me wake up Mic and Cole, and they both hugged me, thankin' me for tellin' them 'bout breakfast.  Cole even kissed me on the cheek and I was all embarrassed.  She sure was pretty, though.  Cole said she would wake up Roe 'cause he had some stuff in his room I prob'ly shouldn't see.  Daddy just laughed and shook his head.  Then, Daddy and I went  back downstairs.

Soon, we was all eatin' breakfast, and man can that Hela cook.  I knew there was somethin' special 'bout her, and  her bein' good at cookin' wasn't it, but I was still happy that she was.  We had all kinds of stuff.  Them grits were none to good, if ya ask me, but I ate 'em 'cause Daddy seemed to be likin' 'em so much.  I guessed I ate worse things before, so I just swallowed hard and drank a lot of juice.  I think Dad knew I didn't really like 'em grits, 'cause he winked at me and giggled, makin' this funny face when Daddy wasn't payin' us no mind. 

Anyhow, while we ate, Dad and Daddy told them all 'bout their night, and I told 'em about it too, 'specially 'bout Daddy tellin that woman off from the store.  Hela said she was likin' Daddy more and more, but she was a little mad at that woman, Betty.  They told 'em what all we had to do today. 

Shaft whispered to Ethan a minute.  Then, he asked my dads if they could go shoppin' with us.  He said that they wanted to take me so I could surprise 'em both with my new stuff.  I thought it would be real fun, 'cause I got to hang out with 'em boys some.  I felt it'd be nice to have some friends.  I's glad when they both said yes, too. 

Hela said when we got done shoppin' and stuff, that she'd cut my hair for me.  I thought that would be better'n somewhere else so I told her sure thing.  She said while we's gone, she'd look through some books to show me to see what I wanted my hair to look like.  I was kinda excited about it then. 

Jena said she wanted to go to the school with us.  She had somethin' goin' on up in her head I could tell, but she said she'd tell us 'bout it later.  Then, she told Ethan and Mic she was gonna need them to do some stuff with her later on but didn't say what.  They both said they'd help.

Cole told Dad to call her when we finished talkin' with that social worker.  She said she had a friend we could go see if we needed to.  I had no idea what she was talkin 'bout then, so I just talked to Jew.  He was nice too, and he said we could maybe go to the park later and play some ball.  That sounded like lots of fun to me, and I hugged 'im for bein' so nice and all.  He just laughed and told my dads he was keepin' me. 

Roe said if I picked out what room I wanted, he and Jew would get to workin' on it for me.  We went lookin' through them, and I picked out one between Dad's and Jew's.  Hela's was across from mine, too, so I knew I'd like that room.  Roe had me pick out colors for it, and I picked blue and red.  I guess I just like them colors, and Jew said he liked 'em too.  Then Roe said he'd tell Dad what all they's gonna need.   I was so excited, 'cause I was gonna have my own room in this big ol' house!


That Chance was really something else.  He was so excited on the ride to the mall, and I just had to admire his deep appreciation for even the most simple of things.  I found him to be rather comical, and I had a fondness growing for him.  There was something quite special about him.  He was uncomplicated, maybe is a good way to describe him.  And, he somehow made me feel inspired.   The way he said things was adorable, and the fact that he thought Ethan and I were his age, well it just made him endearing to me.  Ethan and I had laughed about that last night, but we decided to just let it be.  Ethan felt his seeing us as peers would help Chance adjust better, and I had to agree with my Ethan.

Lord, thank you for that!  One thing I had given up all hope of finding was someone to call my own.  And there he was, sitting beside me, smiling and laughing while he gently stroked my hand.  I loved the way his cat-like eyes would light up and almost dance when he smiled.  The way each little crease around his eyes formed as his cheeks drew up with the corners of his mouth and those big white teeth of his illuminated his face, well, it was breathtaking.   The way he would nervously fidget, like stroking his hair behind his ear or picking at invisible skin along his cuticles, it just made him so charming.  He even made this slight whistling sound through his nose as he slept.

"What, babe?  I'm sorry, I was just thinking about something." I said, as Ethan snapped me back to reality.

"I said, I think it would be fun to take Chance to the arcade.  Maybe we can do that to break up the monotony of shopping."  Ethan said with that incredible voice of his.  It just made me tingle to hear him speak.  To sing, well that was entirely beyond words to describe.

"Anything you guys want to do is fine with me.  This is Chance's big day, so I think we should make it a blast!"  I enthused.  Ethan's love had changed me.  It made me feel whole again, as if I had a new lease on life.  Whether my time be short or not, I was going to make the most of every second with my lover.

"I ain't never played none of 'em games before really, but I watched some 'em boys play 'em.  They played this one game where they was a cuttin' each other up with swords, and all kinds of blood and stuff was just shootin' out all over the place.  Course, it was only in the game.  None of that blood was on the floor or nothin' like that."  Chance shined as he told his story, and he told it with his whole body.  His eyes, his hands, everything coordinated together to express his excitement.  Ethan and I just smiled, knowing this would be one day he would remember forever. 

"Now, I don't know about all this blood and guts being such a good idea." Kal said, winking at Ethan and I. 

"Oh, Dad.  Please!  Can we please play just one game of it?  That's all.  Just one game, I promise.  Please!"  Kal just laughed as he pretended to melt. 

Kanawha snickered and looked at us all through the rear view mirror.  Somehow, he looked funny driving the van.  "Well, if you promise not to beat Ethan too badly, then I guess it will be fine.  He gets really mad when he looses, you know."

Ethan smacked Kanawha on the back of the head.  "You are such a lier.  And how would you know, anyway?  I always beat your a... butt."  He corrected himself as I poked him in the ribs.  "Face it.  If anyone is the sore looser in our house, it is you.  But, you would think after all these years of loosing to me, you would be better at it by now."  Ethan challenged.

"Son, did you hear that?  OK then, Son, you beat Ethan as much as you want to.  Don't take it easy on him at all.  He so deserves to get his ass beat.  Ouch!...  Sorry Love.  It just slipped." Kanawha cowed as Kal pinched his arm for his language. 

Somehow, I imagined that in fifty years, he would still be correcting Kanawha in this way.  That thought brought laughter to me, and as I burst out, everyone just looked at me like I were crazy or something.  "Just a mental image of you two in your seventies," I explained, "Kanawha cursing, and you slapping him silly."  At least they all found humor in it. 

"I bet your guys room will still stink like ol' sex when you are a hundred!"  Chance shot.  Ethan turned bright red, and I just laughed, praying he was right about that.

"Ouch!"  Kanawha cried.  "What was that for?"

"Like I even have to ask where he picked that up." Kal wryly stated. 

"Son, are you not gonna take up for your poor ol' Daddy?"  Kanawha joked.

Chances eyes opened wide and his smile burst across his face.  "I ain't stupid!  Dad will just whack me, too!"  I swear, that boy just looked so much like both of his dads.  He had so many of their mannerisms, as well.  He was definitely carved out by God to be the son of Kal and Kanawha.

The laughter and banter continued as we slowly crept through the traffic and made our way to the mall.  Chance was revved up with energy, but then got really quiet.  Kanawha turned to him quickly, "And before you even ask, there will not be any problems with you going into the stores.  But, just in case, if someone even looks at you funny, you come and get me.  I'll take care of them."  He then turned to Kal, I suppose expecting to be corrected.

Kal just smiled and said, "Today, I am the one who concedes.  It's your ballgame coach."  He kissed his big man on the cheek.  "I think you are doing a fine job getting our little player ready.  You could watch the language a little, but... that is just part of who you are, and I love who you are.  And, I think our son really loves it when you are the real you.  Honestly, I do, too.  It can be a bit shocking, sometimes, like with Betty..." he paused, collecting his thoughts, "I guess what I am trying to say is that I was wrong in trying to correct you.  He is our son and I know you only have his best interest at heart.  I was also wrong because I was trying to make you into someone else.  I love you for who and what you are, and I don't want to change that.  So, I apologize."

"Really?"  Kanawha asked perplexedly, looking as if he were ready for the hinges of a bear trap to spring around his neck.  Kal just shook his head.  "So, if I slip up and say, oh, I don't know... shit... your not gonna hit me?" Kal just laughed.  Kanawha then asked, "OK, then why the sudden change?"

"Because I realized trust is a two way street."  Kal sagely answered.  They looked so sweet standing there, my heart just melted for them.  Their stances and expressions just illustrated the deep love they shared.  "I was expecting you to trust me and my judgment, but I was ignoring and discounting yours.  I saw the way Chance's face lit up each time you said things the way only you can say them.  He deserves to have that father... the man he lights up over... the real you.  I think I do, too."  He smiled, and Kanawha radiated with pride from Kal's admission.

"You guys ain't gonna start humpin' in the lot again are you?"  Chance giggled.  Ethan and I lost it, and I had to sit down on the pavement I was laughing so hard.

"No, they only do that in the bathroom, remember?"  Ethan shot, as he and Chance joined me on the pavement.  Kal was so red, but Kanawha seemed to be fairing rather well. 

After laughing at them for what seemed an eternity, we all headed into the mall to do some serious shopping.  Kal and Kanawha headed off with a list of things Chance would need for his room.  Ethan, Chance, and I headed for the higher-fashion teen stores.  We decided that if chance were going to be going to school, then he was going to be the best dressed one in the bunch.

I have to say, shopping with Chance and Ethan was one of the most fun-filled times I had ever had.  And, we were all the same size.  Chance was slightly taller, but our pants sizes and shirt sizes were exactly the same.  We all commented on how we would have a huge wardrobe between the three of us.  That is, until Chance grew.  I had a feeling he and Jew would be sharing clothes before long, but for now, we had that privilege. 

I know Ethan and I look way younger than we are, but being around Chance made us act like we were teenagers again.  It was rather liberating, to say the least, because no one could honestly tell we weren't.  We tried on all different kinds of clothes.  Ethan and I would impersonate movie characters and the like.  Chas would impersonate various people he had observed, which was so comical.  He could actually do a lot of different voices, which somehow made it all more humorous.  Kal and Kanawha's charge cards were smoking when we finished, but we still had shoes, socks, underclothes, and a winter jacket to purchase.  I spent quite a bit myself, and Ethan went a tad overboard.  I think he is a compulsive shopper or something, but I love him anyway.

We met Kanawha and Kal at the food court for lunch.  They had quite a load of items themselves. Chance was overwhelmed at all the places to eat, but he finally chose pizza, saying he had not had any in a very long time.  "Oh, man.  This is so good."  He commented between bites.  It became apparent that Chance had his Daddy's appetite, because those two could put away some food.  Of course, Kanawha is a big guy, so I guess that is to be expected.  We ended up having to get a third pizza.  After polishing off the last slices, Chance and Kanawha both rested back in their seats, each interlocking their fingers to support the nape of their heads.  They both had this same look of contentment on their faces.

Kal ate much more slowly, and Ethan, well, he was a nibbler.  That thought spun my mind back to how passionately he can nibble.  We were lying in my bed, and he and I were kissing.  He trailed to my ears and down my neck, nibbling his way.  When he reached my shirt, he slid his fingers around my waist and grabbed the bottom.  As he began slowly working my shirt up my body, I stopped his hands.  He just looked into my eyes and smiled.  He lowered himself to my naval and started kissing and nibbling me there.  He continued working my shirt upwards, kissing every single inch of the many scars I have amassed through countless surgeries along his way.  Knowing that he did not find me repulsive brought such a release.  I silently cried as he continued upwards.  Lovingly, Ethan kissed my tears away.  Then, he continued nibbling.  I broke out of my reminiscent trance as I realized I was becoming rather aroused.   I refocused, and slowly, it subsided.

After lunch, we carried everything out to the van and returned for round two.  But first, Chance, Ethan, and I went to the arcade.  Chance and Ethan played quite a bit.  I played some, but I am just not that good at video games.  I more enjoyed watching them.  They were so into the games.  The tip of Ethan's tongue would rest in the corner of his mouth when he would make his attack moves.  Chance's forehead would wrinkle and his eyebrows would draw together, as if he were mentally forcing the characters to move.  Chance was quickly turning out to be a match for Ethan, which he was just exuberant about. 

I was playing Chance, and Ethan was standing behind me, helping me work the controllers when it happened.  Five rather large guys, probably still in high school, came by to taunt us. 

"Well, look what we have here, boys!" The largest one said. "Pussy-boy Faggots!" 

Ethan and I may have been several years older, but these boys were a lot bigger.  They definitely looked like they were starters on a football team's defensive line.  They ranged in height from around 5'11" to 6'2".  All were quite broad with stocky builds.  All had cocky looks on their faces, save one, who looked like he really did not want to be a part of this. 
Ethan and I said nothing.

Chance on the other hand, turned quickly.  In that moment, something about him changed.  His stance was different.  So were his mannerisms.  He exuded a sense of confidence and self-assuredness that was not present before. "That ain't really none of your concern whether any of us is or ain't fags.  And God help me, you ain't gonna hurt none on my friends." Chance just glared at the big kid.

"And what are you gonna do 'bout it?"  the big one taunted.  Ethan and I were worried, but it just happened so fast.  We did not have a second to react before it was all over.

The big one went to shove Chance, but the little guy grabbed his wrist.  In a flash, the big kid was lying flat on his back and Chance was sitting on his chest with one hand around the kid's throat and the other fist balled up and drew back.  "I might be little, and I might be skinny, but I reckon I can whip up on you somethin' fierce."  Chance bellowed.  "So, what are you gonna do 'bout it?"  he taunted back.  "You're gonna say your sorry is what you're gonna do.  'Else, I'm gonna have to show your friends what a big sissy coward you are."

The kid quickly backed down.  "S-s-sorry, man."  Chance stared him down and slowly let the boy up.  He never broke his stance, and the big kid and his friends left, except the one.

Ethan and I were giving Chance a serious going over.  There were no signs of injury.  Ethan laughed.  "Well, he surely has his Daddy's temperament."

"And a whole lot of his Dad's, too."  I commented.  Chance glowed with the thoughts of being like either of his fathers.  Ethan looked puzzled, so I explained.  "In all the time I have known Kal, he has never backed away from a challenge.  He is always ready to stand up for what is right, and he always tries to avoid hurting anybody.  Kanawha seems a bit more forthcoming and in your face about it, though.  So, yea, I think he has a good blend of them both." 

>From the corner of my eye, I could see that one kid still standing there.   After a moment, he made his way over to us and spoke. "Look, I'm sorry about them.  They just get carried away sometimes.  I guess they can be asses, truth be known." he said, lowering his head in shame.  "I tried to get them to leave you guys alone, but Blade just wouldn't listen."  he apologized.  It was obviously sincere, so Ethan and I accepted his apology.

Chance just looked him up and down.  "Why you hangin' round 'em then?  They called us faggots.  Why'd you wanna be friends with 'em?  You know 'em boys hate gays."  The kid looked confused, so Chance asked, "You afraid 'bout what they might do to you?"

The kid looked shocked.  "What?  What do you mean by that?"

Chance replied mater-of-factly, "I might not've been in school for a good while, but I ain't stupid."  He stepped over and pat the kid on the shoulder.  "I don't care none if you's gay." 

"How... How would you know..." the kid mumbled.

Chance shrugged his shoulders. "I just knowed is all, not sure why really.  Just like I knowed I could whip up on that big fella."  Chance said.  "It wasn't right what he was a doin', and somethin' in me said not to let him do it.  Then, I just knowed I could stop 'im is all. I wasn't really gonna hurt him or nothin'.  I's just gonna teach him not to pick on people."  Then, he looked at the kid... sizing him up, it seemed.  "You just need you some new friends is all.  'Em boys ain't no good no ways.  They tried hurtin' us cause we's little.  That ain't no kinda person to be friends with." 

Chance smiled and stuck out his hand.  The kid shook it. 
'Yea, he is a lot like his Dad.' I thought.   I was reminded of the time when Kal did the same thing for me.  We were in seventh grade gym class and some of the boys were laughing, making fun of me because of the scars.  Kal stood up to them in much the same way as Chance, though not quite so forcefully.  He then comforted me. Kal said I must be a pretty courageous person to have been through so much and survived.  He told me he knew about the surgeries from my sister.  He then said he would be honored to have me as a friend.  In that moment, my life was touched by one of the kindest, most loving and caring persons I had ever known.  Chance was SO much like him.  Actually, my little Ethan was, too. 

"My name is Eric, but everyone calls me Sorrow." 
The name really fit him, I observed.  He was a nice looking kid, but he just had this sad persona about him.  I just wondered what all was going on in his life.

"I'm Chance.  These boys is Ethan and Shaft."
Chance turned and looked at the door.  He then pointed, "See them guys right there...  They's holdin' hands... Yea, them...  Them's my dads."  Chance waived at his fathers, and Ethan and I just knew we were in deep trouble. 


As we droned through the mall shopping, I was on such an emotional high.  The morning started off well enough, a few times in fact... hehehe... even though Chance seemed to have shared this with everyone.  Hela had extended the olive branch to me by fixing me grits, which I must say were the best I had ever eaten.  Ethan had a wonderful guy who deeply loved him, and I could feel he felt exactly the same way.  Jena was finding her way into a loving relationship with Jew... the emotions in him were just so overwhelming, and I knew he was a fantastic man.  Everyone wanted to have a part in getting Chance settled into his new life... that fact just made me feel proud, because Killian and I were blessed with truly wonderful friends.  Somehow, I was in emotional control, which made me feel much more comfortable.  But, the greatest part of the morning was when my love told me he and Chance deserved the REAL me in their lives! 

As we walked, I kept thinking back to the morning shower.  Maybe I am a big horn dog, but I just could not help myself.  Killian was so beautiful... emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and way so physically.  I just could not get him out of my mind.  So, I just untucked my long shirt to hide my lingering enthusiasm.

I normally do not like shopping much at all.  But, today we were shopping for our son, and I was very enthused.  We were looking at bedding, and I picked out what I thought would be good for Chance.

"Love, that is a very nice bedding ensemble, but we could by him five for what they want for that one."  He said, trying so hard not to hurt my feelings.  I just smiled to myself, knowing just how compassionate my beloved truly was.

"I just want him to have the best, I guess.  But you are right."  Then, I flashed him a smirk and grabbed five cheaper ones.  "He might just like your idea of having variety
better, anyway."  He just silently shook with laughter as I put them back.  He was so breathtaking when he did that.  He was breathtaking no matter what he did.

"OK, now seriously.  Let's get him something from the mid-range.  Good quality at a good price, does that sound alright with you, Daddy?"  he smiled.

"How about this one?"  I asked.  The comforter was an American flag with a large soaring eagle centered on it.

"Chance's colors and symbolic of your dream.  I like that one."

"OK, now what is on the list?"  I asked.  Soon, we were loaded with matching curtains, rugs, bathroom accessories, towels, extra sheets, a couple blankets, pillows, a mattress cover, and accent pillows.  Somehow, through the course of it all, I ended up being the pack mule, but I did not complain a bit.  Truth be known, even though Killian is more than capable of carrying a rather hefty load, I would have taken most of it from him... I guess I have that southern gentleman thing stuck in my head.  Killian also had the list, which meant he needed a little more mobility than I did. 

After purchasing these items, we took them out to the van.  There was just far too much, and we had way more shopping to do.  We then headed to the sporting goods store, which I was not sure how it fit into this. 

Killian explained.  "Roe said that Chance has a strong passion for baseball."

"How would he know?"  I asked.  I didn't know he did.

"Because, Roe, despite his many not-so-desirable traits, happens to be a good listener.  He heard Chance talking with Jew about baseball today.  Jew even promised to see if we would let him take Chance out to play later, once everything was done for the day.   So, Roe decided that it would be nice to use a baseball theme in his room.  He had a few ideas, but he thought with you being a design man, you might think of some unique schemes to use."  He was so passionate about making this room special to Chance, and I quickly caught the enthusiasm. 

So many of the things I could picture placed here or there, but then, I began visualizing other ways to use them.  It was kind of exciting, really, thinking of how many ways a person could use items... but, then again, that is all part of design.  I was so in the element, and Love let me roam freely getting anything I thought we could use.  I even called Roe with a few ideas, and he eagerly agreed to pick up any needed supplies.  I gave him a list, and he read it back to double check everything. 

It was then lunch time.  Chance was so happy.  He seemed to have bonded well with the other boys, and I noticed that Shaft and Ethan were acting like teenagers.  My boy could eat, though, and I laughed at how much he reminded me of myself.  But, at the same time, he was so much like Killian.  He even looked like us, which I just found amazing.

After lunch, we dropped off load number two and headed back in for more shopping.  This time, we went to the hobby shop for baseball cards.  I was not too familiar with the sport, but Killian called Jew for advice here.  We followed his suggestions and then headed out to find pictures and a few frames.

We were walking when we spotted Chance, Ethan, and Shaft in the arcade.  They seemed to be having such a good time, Killian and I stopped to watch them.  We both just smiled taking in the sights of our son enjoying himself. 

The mood was cut short, though, as I felt an antagonistic arrogance.  Then, I spotted them.  A group of boys were heading towards the arcade, no doubt to cause trouble.  I pointed them out to Killian, but something in me told me to stay out of it, that this was not my fight.  I then turned to Killian, "Love, read Chance.  See if he is in danger."

"I can't just make it happen, Kanawha.  I don't know how, and I don't think it is meant to work that way."  He started.

"Yes, you can.  Just focus on Chance.  I know you can.  I have faith in you, so just try." I encouraged.  He focused , but then looked as if he were ready to give up.  I wrapped my arms around him and whispered in his ear. "Love, I know you can do this.  Just stay focused." 

He tried again, leaning back to me smiling.  "It worked.  I'll be.  It actually worked."  Then, he concentrated.  "No sign of danger, but something is going on.  Everything is changing really fast.  Is he..."

Just as Killian was explaining this to me, I could see the badger standing around Chance. The boys were walking up to them, and the badger began to change.  "Thats it, son.  I believe in you.  You can do this."  I whispered out as the spectrum of color swirled about.   As he turned to face the boys, the aura reshaped itself into a shining eagle.  "Oh, Love!  It is beautiful!  It just changed, and it is so beautiful."

"Well, that explains the changes.  Just."  he stopped.

"Just what?"  I asked.

"That is what one of the symbols mean.  Just.  That one means belief.  And that one means knowledge..."  as Killian relayed his reading, Chance took down the bully.  Love was in a panic, but I reassured him our son was fine.   In a couple of minutes, Chance let the bully up and four of the group departed. 

"Well, he is certainly like his Daddy."  Killian laughed.

"Really?  I think he is more like his Dad."  I rebutted.  "He stood up for other people in need, yet he did it in a way that no one really got hurt.  That sounds like his Dad to me."  Killian just smiled.  "See, I would have totally kicked his ass."  I admitted.

As we walked to the arcade, Chance comforted the one boy that had remained.  He then shook his hand, smiling as if he had found a long lost friend.  "See, I told you.  He is just like you."  I grinned, feeling pride for having such wonderful men in my life.  Gently, I stroked Killian's hand as Chance turned and waived at us.  Ethan and Shaft looked like they were expecting a good ass chewing, and I snickered. 

We walked into the arcade, and Chance came running to us.  My love and I set down our packages and embraced our son.  He was ecstatic that he had made a new friend.  "Dad!  Daddy!  I got  me a new friend!"  He motioned for the boy to come over and meet us. "This here is Eric, but he says they all call 'im Sorrow.  So, I guess that is what we'll call 'im, too." He turned to his new friend. "These is my dads."  He beamed proudly. 

This Sorrow kid was one sad young man.  I could feel it strongly.  He was a little nervous and a bit excited, but mostly, he was just so very sad... nothing malicious, or even angry... just sadness.  He was a nice looking kid.  He stood about 6' tall, with a broad, stocky frame.  He had on cargo pants and a blue T.  His black hair was tipped in electric blue, and it hung down over his light blue eyes.  His skin was pale, and he had slight signs of circles under his eyes.  Killian introduced us and we both shook his hand. 

"Nice to meet you." he said, smiling.  But, I knew that beneath that smile was so much sadness... far more than one so young should have to experience.

"I suppose you saw what happened earlier?"  Shaft asked.  We nodded.  "Well, it just happened so fast.  I hope you guys can forgive us.  I mean, he could have been hurt, and it would have been all our fault."

I picked him up, just like I had done numerous times to Ethan.  "You two could have been hurt, also.  You guys were showing Chance a great time, minding your own business.  You did not start any of it, so why would we blame you?"  I smiled.  "Actually, we should thank you.  Our boy had a great time and made three new friends today.  For what more could a father ask?"

Shaft hugged me.  "Thanks, big guy.  I swear, that kid of yours is so much like the both of you.  He protected us, so I guess he is our hero!"

Chance was all grin. "Oh, it ain't nothin'.  You guys is my friends.  That's what we're supposed to do."

Ethan chimed in, "What do you mean nothing?  That was awesome.  You were so brave standing up to him and moved in quick and fast, just like your Daddy would do.  You SO could have kicked his butt!  But, you didn't hurt him and even let him go.  You showed him compassion and what a good man you are,  just like your Dad would do.   In our book, that makes you our hero."

Our little man just blushed.  Sorrow then added, "The look on Blade's face when you flipped him over was priceless!  I believe he will think twice before he assaults someone else."

"I hope so.  Say, you wanna come shop with us some?  We still gotta get more stuff, so I figured you might wanna come with us."  Chance said, in that unique way of his.  I was so proud of him, and I knew my love was as well. 

We continued our shopping together, with Sorrow joining us.  Chance was really taken by him, and I think it was mutual.  It was hard to tell with all that sadness.  When it was time to leave, Chance asked if Sorrow could come home with him.  I explained that we would have to ask his parents.  Sorrow called his mother on his cell phone, and I made a mental note to talk to Killian about getting Chance one... for emergencies... alright, because it seemed the other kids had them, and I wanted him to fit in.  Killian spoke with Sorrow's mother, and she agreed to let him come to the house.

As we unloaded, Killian suggested Chance go ahead and show Sorrow around, making sure to introduce him to everyone.  With that being done, Killian left with Jena and Cole to see the social worker and register Chance for school.  Though I wanted to go with my love, I also wanted to help Roe and Jew get Chance's room together.

They had painted one coat and picked up the supplies while it was drying. While Jew applied the second coat to the walls, Roe and I got down to business.  We took a few baseball bats and cut them in half longways. We also cut several baseballs down the middle. On on of the halves, we attached hooks to make a coat rack.  The other half of this bat would be hung on the wall along with the two halves of one of the baseballs, a flag,  and a glove.  The other bats and balls were attached to box window treatments we built and covered with American flag fabric.  With a little ingenuity, we replaced all the doorknobs with baseballs.  We also attached  baseballs to the sides of the window frames and fastened the tiebacks for the curtains on them.

We built a few shadow boxes to display the various paraphernalia from the sporting goods store... a jersey with Chance's name on it, baseball and batting gloves, baseballs, a few caps, and the baseball cards.

When the painting was finished, we laid down the green Astroturf on the floor.  We then painted a large baseball diamond in the main floorspace.  When the paint dried, we started putting it all together. 
We were just putting the bedding on when Killian returned.


We met Janet Kingsley at the mission.  She was such a nice lady and a devoted worker.  Kal explained in complete detail the situation with Chance, how he and Kanawha had met, fallen in love, and then found Chance.  Janet was thrilled for Kal and the positive changes his life had taken.  She talked a good bit about things Kal would probably want to do, getting medical and dental checkups and the like.  "There is a matter of foster parenting, though." she said, and then she explained the entire process to us. Kal attentively listened, but he was fidgeting from his excitement.  "Now, we can get paperwork taken care of later.  But, for now, I thought the best way to do this was through the mission.  Seeing how we only have adult shelters, we would need a safer place to keep a minor.  I arranged for temporary guardianship of Chance for you in this way.  You will be keeping him for us.  I have already made the phone calls to the state office regarding Chance and the Mission was granted temporary guardianship until foster care placement.  You have to go through all the channels to become foster parents, but until then, he will safely be placed with you." She then discussed the process again, clarifying any questions Kal might have had.  "There is one thing though, Kal.  I will have to do some checking before we complete the applications.  You may have to do this alone, meaning only you are listed as Chance's foster parent.  The law is a little tricky there.  One gay parent is one thing, but as a couple, it gets a little hairy."

"He is our son, though...  both of ours.  If something were to happen to me, then how would Killian be able to keep him?" Kal was really shaken up by this, and my heart was aching for him.  This just seemed rather unfair if you ask me. 

"I just want to present the worse case scenario.  Hopefully, we will be able to place him with you both, but just in case, I think you need to be prepared.  And to answer your question, again with the worse case scenario, Kanawha would have to apply to be a foster parent.  I could probably do the same thing for him as I am doing now."

"Well, what about us wanting to adopt him?  Is that any better?"  Kal asked, and I could tell he was really getting down about this.  I was angry myself, but I knew it had nothing to do with Janet.  It was just the way things were set up... to be biased and discriminatory without seeming so until you looked into it. 

"Again, Kal, it depends upon whether one or both of you apply.  I hate this, I really do, but what friend would I be if I did not point out the reality of what you are up against.  There are just so many iffy factors.  I really wish I could say it will all turn out fine and that you guys had the same rights to be parents as other couples, but that is just not always the case."  Janet pat his hand.  "Look, if you are serious about adopting him, I would see a lawyer for advice.  But, in the meantime, I would also apply to be his foster parent.  That way, you can hold on to him.  Whether or not one or both of your names are on the paper, you both will still be a part of his life.  And if something should happen to you, I would move heaven and earth to make sure Chance stayed with Kanawha.  You know that."  Janet paused, showing the honesty in her words. "I really will try to do everything I can on this one, Kal.  I know you have to be an excellent father, and with your judgment, I am sure Kanawha is one also.  Just enjoy him and let me worry about this one for you."

Kal gave the best smile he could under the circumstances.  Jena was fuming, but she kept quiet.  From the little time I have known her, I knew that was difficult for her... hehehe.  "Well, thanks Janet.  I will leave you to do what you can for us.  Please, keep us in your prayers, for Chance's sake especially."  he said quietly. 

I turned to him as we left the office and gave him the tightest hug I could.  Jena mouthed off her frustration as Kal and I quietly wept.  It just made no sense to me.  Kal was one of the best people I had ever met. Kanawha was a match made in heaven for Kal, so I knew he was a wonderful man, too.  Chance was a kid nobody wanted, except for one couple... a couple who happened to be gay.  So, because of that one factor, the fact that they were an actively gay couple, they might be denied keeping a kid no one else wanted to begin with...  What logic was there in all this?

I had never seen Kal like this.  He was always so strong and optimistic.  He was almost hollow and defeated. Jena came up behind him and stroked his back, as I figured she had finished her ranting.  So, we stood there for a good while, just holding him tight.  I felt so powerless, so I did the only thing I could do for Kal.  I prayed. 

After a while, Kal half-smiled at me.  "A test of faith, I guess.  Cole, I know Chance is meant to be ours... both of ours.  I feel it in my very soul.  I just don't understand this.  I just don't know what to do."

Jena softly spoke.  "You DO what you and Kanawha do best.  You fight.  You fight for what is right.  You fight for what you believe in.  And you fight for the one you love."

In her simple, quiet statement, God answered my prayer, as Kal was renewed.  The zest and unshakable faith he had was returned.  He smiled that big, toothy smile and my heart sang.  "Thanks, Jena.  Your right, and I can see why Kanawha is so fond of you.  You know when to kick us in the ass."  She giggled and took her bow.  He then looked at me.  "Thank you, too, Cole.  In your quiet, loving way, you held me stable, while you did the one thing you do better than anyone.  You prayed."   He hugged us both.  "Now, let's go get our boy registered for school and then see about a lawyer." Before we were out the door, I called my friend, Jessica, and set up an appointment for Kal and Kanawha to see her tomorrow at 1:00.  Jessica was an attorney who would understand Kal and Kanawha's plight.

That was twice in twenty-four hours that my prayers had been answered.  Ethan Lafferty was an answer to a long awaited prayer, that my brother would find love and happiness.  Despite the heavily stacked odds against a very long future together, Ethan accepted my brother's love and committed himself to Shaft.  It was a joyous experience, and I knew that during whatever time my poor brother had remaining, he would experience the wonder of having a loving, devoted partner with whom to share each moment.  You just don't know how special a person Ethan really is.  In all the years I've quietly spent holding Shaft while he poured his heart out in tears of loneliness and rejection, I have prayed that God would send him someone... someone strong enough to love Shaft regardless of his ailing heart... someone who would inspire him to live.  Ethan was that someone, and even as I pondered this, I gave thanks for him. 

Everyones spirits had been lifted, and we joked around some as we drove to the school.  There, it was Jena's arena, and she was truly a woman who knew how to take charge.  Since Chance had not been in school for such a long time, they were hesitant about placing him in the ninth grade where he should be.  Jena argued her case and they agreed to test him for placement.  They also agreed that if his scores were not quite what they should be, but were high enough, he would be allowed to enter grade nine provided he had tutoring to bring him up to a satisfactory level.  They even gave her copies of textbooks so she could help prepare Chance for his test. 

Jena was amazing in action.  She just had this drive about her, a lot like Hela.  It was as if she was the one running that school by less than half way through the meeting.  She was impressive and knew how to get action.  The principle even agreed to pair Chance up with some peers who would help him adjust to the newness of school structure.  I honestly think if she asked for the class to be conducted on the school lawn, they would have agreed.  She just had that way about her.  The principle suggested Chance come by one day before school started to become more familiar with the school, and Jena thought that was a great idea.  We had ten days to get Chance ready.  And with Jena in charge, I just knew he was going to be. 

I was so thankful Jena had came with us.  After the last round, Kal needed a victory... we needed a victory.  Jena delivered us one.  And we celebrated that victory all the way through the halls and to the car.  I smiled at her, and she knowingly winked at me.  Nothing needed to be said. 

We then went home.  On the way, Kal stopped and got three dozen roses.  One was for Nanna, another for Kanawha's Grams, and I knew the other was for Kanawha.  He was such a romantic, but then again, I was the queen of romance novels and tissues.   I saw almost everything in an err of romance and love.

Chance was so excited when he came bursting though the front door.  Right behind him came the saddest kid I have ever seen.  Chance introduced him to me as Sorrow, and I had no doubt why they called him that.  Even though he seemed excited to be spending time with a friend, this kid was drowning in sadness. 

After showing him around the house, I took my little guy and his new friend into the kitchen and fixed them a snack.  They talked quite a bit as they ate, and Chance seemed different somehow... more confident and self-assured.  Maybe it was that he had made a new friend on his own accord, but I was pleased with the change. 

He was so much like his fathers.  As I watched him interact, I could see them both plainly.  I had known Killian for such a long time, and despite only meeting Kanawha, I knew him, as well.  Maybe it is a woman thing, but I knew the heart of that man, and it was beautiful.  It was as if Chance had the best of them both.  He looked so much like them, too, and my fool's heart was quickly forgetting that it was not a biological relation.  He was their son, fashioned by the hand of God to be with them.  That much was certain.

And there was something so special about that kid.  Kal had this ability to bring out the best in a person, to inspire you to try to become a better human being.  Chance just made you want to believe that the world was a good place, that everything would resolve to a happy ending.  We all loved Kal, but we were drawn to Chance because of Chance.  Everyone found a way to help in welcoming and settling him into his new home.  It was as if we could all see this great source of hope sitting in our midsts.  He was a survivor, one who defied all the odds.  I guess his name really suited him.  That thought made me smile. 

"Well, Chance, baby, we need to get your hair cut.  After that, I believe Jew has a surprise for you.  One I think Sorrow may enjoy, as well.  So, what say we get started on taming that mop of yours."  I joked.

"Yea, I reckon I need one real bad.  I seen most 'em boys had their hair cut kinda short while we was out today."  he said, expressing deep thought into the matter.  "I guess I should get mine short too."

"Well, baby, I have a few pictures to show you that I thought you might like.  Maybe you and Sorrow can look through them and decide.  It always seems to help having a second opinion.  And, being a young man, Sorrow would know what boys these days are wearing."  I skillfully stated.

"Sure, Chance.  I'll help you if you want."  Sorrow smiled.  Boy, if anybody needed a little hope in his life, this kid was the one.

"Good.  I put the magazines and pictures over there on the table.  You boys have at it.  Let me know when you decided."  I just wished Mic would get back from the grocery store soon.  There was something about Sorrow I thought her intuitive nature could help. 

The boys looked through the magazines and pictures for a good while.  They laughed and carried on, as they found some of the pictures funny.  They lightly picked back and forth, and I was brought to think of how wonderful a gift friendship truly is.  To just know someone cares for you and is there when your in need, it was priceless.  I thought of how fortunate I was to have the many friends I had living with me as my family, and I had made four new one's in the last day... perhaps five before the day would be done.  It was just an humbling experience.

"What about this one?"  Sorrow said excitedly.  It was a rather trendy look, with lots of texture. 

"Oh!  I like that one there.  Hela, you think this would look good on me?  I don't wanna look ugly or nothin'." my little guy asked.

"Chance, baby, I could shave you bald and you wouldn't be anywhere near ugly.  You are a handsome young man, so just wipe that doubt right out of your mind."  I smiled, running my fingers through his thick, curly hair.  I took in his facial features, again thinking of just how much he was like his fathers.  "I think that hairstyle would be an excellent choice.  And it would be very easy to fix.  Just a few products and your fingers, and you have the look.  So, is this what you want?"

Chance looked at Sorrow and his smile grew across his face.  He then turned to me, shaking his head with so much enthusiasm.  "Yea.  That's the one."

"Well, lets get to it, then."  I shampooed and conditioned his hair at the sink.  I then seated him in one of the stools and put a cape around him.  His grin just kept growing as the hair started to fall.  "You know, baby, if you smile any bigger, this hair is going to be all in your mouth."  Chance and Sorrow both just giggled and laughed. Mic finally arrived home, and as introductions were made to Sorrow, she began feeling him out, talking as I cut hair.

I used the razor and tapered his hair quite close in the nape and sides.  From the crown to the bangs, the length increased so that the bangs fell midway between the bridge of his nose and his nostrils.  Afterwards, I texturized the daylight out of that hair. Lord, was his mane thick.  Using the edgers, I shaped a natural neckline and thin side burns.  I then used the straight razor to clean everything up.  I noticed a little downy fuzz beginning to take form on Chances cheeks.  "You know, baby, before long, you are gonna have to learn to shave."

Chance just smiled and felt his face.  "You think so?  Wow!  That'll be fun, shavin' with Dad and Daddy.  I might just grow me a beard then." he laughed.  "No.  I don't think I want one of 'em things.  They'd get all in your mouth after a while."  Then, he and Sorrow giggled some more.  With the last stroke of the razor, I applied the product and handed Chance the mirror.  "Well, baby, what do you think?" 

He just stared at himself in amazement.  "Wow!  Is that really me?" 

"Oh, Chance!  You look so handsome!"  Mic enthused.  "I might just have to divorce my husband Thomas."

"I don't reckon I met him yet."  Chance realized.

"No.  He is overseas in Korea.  He is in the military."

"Well, you best not tell him you think I's handsome then.  He might just get all mad and whip me silly." my little guy joked.

"You really do look nice, Chance.  I think everyone at school will love it.  Its only a couple of weeks away you know."  Sorrow said.  "Maybe we will have some classes together.  That would be sweet." he enthused.

"I hope we has all of 'em together, cause I don't know nobody else at that school."  Chance replied nervously.  "Even if I did, I still hope we has all of 'em together."  Mic and I smiled at each other.  We would have to help arrange Chance's schedule.

"OK, boys.  You need to go find Jew.  Remember, he has a big surprise lined up."  I grinned. 

Chance gave me a big hug.  "Thanks, Hela.  I look like 'em other boys now!" 

"No, baby.  You are way more handsome than they are."   He just blushed and hugged me again. 

Mic got her hugs in with both of the boys, and like lightening, they were off to find Jew.  Mic helped me get things cleaned up.  Then, we started fixing a special dinner.  Grams and Nanna were coming, after all.  Our new family was having their first meal together, and we wanted everything to be perfect.


It sounded like a herd of cattle were running in the hallway.  "I guess she's done." I said, and I was happy with myself.  I was calm and in control.  I had my focus, and I had hardly stuttered all day.  My relationship with  Jena took a lot of that worry away, and I felt a bit more at peace. 

"Well, Mr. Sexy, you best be going then.  We don't want him to see the room just yet.  That would spoil the surprise."  Roe said, causing me to blush.  He was such a good friend to me, though, and I loved him. 

"Stay out of trouble."  I joked, and Roe acted all innocent.  He can be so funny sometimes.

I met the boys in the hallway, and directed them to Shaft's room... I wondered if I should make it Ethan and Shaft's room or if that would be too soon.  Once there, we presented our surprise.  A baseball glove, a bat, a cap, and a ball.  Chance was overjoyed, and I was amazed at how such simple things made him happy.  I really liked that kid, and I meant it when I told Kal and Killian that I was keeping him.  He was going to stay a part of my life, no matter what. 

That Sorrow kid was nice, but there was a lot of pain going on in there.  If anyone knew pain, Shaft and I did.  I hoped that we would be able to help him in some way, the way our friends have done for us over the years.  He seemed to really like Chance, and I wondered if this was his first friend... his first true friend, that is.  I knew Chance sure was fond of him.

Everyone made notice of Chance's new cut, and I had to give Hela credit.  She had done a fantastic job.  He looked even more like his fathers now, and I was amazed at the hand of destiny in all of this.  Chance put on his cap after he made Ethan promise to help him fix his hair later.  He somehow made you feel that life was going to get better.  I could not explain it, but it was so much like the effect Kal seems to have on people.

We gathered up gloves for everyone plus a few
extra and headed over to the park.  It was a nice walk, not but a couple of blocks from the house.  It was always teaming with life, and I hoped Chance would get to meet a few more kids.  If nothing else, we would have fun.  He seemed to be as fascinated by baseball as I was, which I found endearing.  I entertained the idea of having a son of my own someday who was just like Chance... taking him to the park, watching him play ball or whatever it was he wanted to do... just being a father.  That was one of my top personal desires in life, to be a good father.  Finding Jena gave me hope that my dream might just become a reality some day. 

Then, I daydreamed of Jena and I, years into the future.  Grocery shopping, fixing breakfast together, getting the kids off to school, coming home to find her there.... just every day things, but they seemed extraordinary with the presence of Jena.  I wondered if she had any such dreams of me. 

When we arrived at the park, there were several kids.  The baseball field, though, was empty, so we laid our claim.  Little by little, a few kids would come over to watch.  Then, Chance would ask them if they wanted to play. 

It struck me that this was probably the one thing Chance always wanted the other kids to do when he would watch them.  But, as he told me, they never did.  He had such strong character, and I was proud to know him.  He turned no one away, even kids that were probably much too young to be playing.  We grownups had so much fun, probably more than the kids had.  I helped teach a lot of the kids how to bat and catch.  We shared what gloves we had among the players, and ended up rotating batters out to the field so everyone had a turn. There were just so many kids playing. There was no score being kept, no winners or losers.  We were just playing for fun. 

Chance caught on rather quickly, and I could tell Sorrow had played before.  He was an excellent batter, and not to shabby of a pitcher.  He and Chance seemed to relish in helping the little kids. 
They had patients and were encouraging.  They also had a way of making the kids laugh and feel relaxed.  I thought they would make excellent big brothers in one of the mission programs. 

As our time dwindled down, we said our goodbyes.  Everyone seemed to have had a great time, and during our discussions, we decided to try to play anytime we found the opportunity.  I was just thrilled.  I was able to share one of my passions and inspire children to at least develop an appreciation for the game.  When we arrived back at the house, Kal, Kanawha, Jena, and Hela were standing on the front porch. 

Chance ran to his fathers.  "Dad!  Daddy!  You should've seen 'em.  There was all kinda boys there, some girls too.  And, they all wanted to play, so we let 'em all play.  Sorrow and me even helped 'em little kids bat and stuff.  It was so fun.  You should've came with us.  We's gonna try to play a lot, so you gotta come next time, K?"  He rambled with enthusiasm. 

Jena came up to me, wrapping her arms around my waist in a tight embrace.  She then ran her hand up my back and pulled my head down to her, kissing me gently.  "Thanks for making the little guys day, tiger."  I just loved her calling me that... and I called her kitten.  It just happened in our conversations last night, but I liked it.  We had pet names for each other, which I felt was a good sign. 

Being close to her was getting me a little too excited.  "Well, uh, he actually kind of made my day." I admitted.  "You have to  um, come next time.  It was so..." she kissed me and ended my talking.

"Only if you wear those tight baseball pants!" she seductively said.  "Then, I'll have something worth watching."

I was blushing so badly.  "Well, um, you know, I um guess I have a f-few pairs around somewhere."  I said, getting rather hot and bothered by her presence. 

She just laughed and brushed my hair back with her fingers.  "You might want to dig them out.  Maybe even put them on later this evening."  she smiled.  "But, for now, we have a mission.  After Chance sees his room, get cleaned up.  We are going to go pick up Nanna at the bus station and then go pick up Grams.  I can't wait for her to meet you.  She is going to be so jealous!"


When we returned from the school, I just could not bring myself to tell Kanawha about the hardships we were facing in keeping our son.  I decided to wait until the morning, not wanting to ruin the evening for him.  I swore Jena and Cole to secrecy about it, and Jena agreed with me.  I honestly felt that God had a hand in the way the events had played out today, because I just knew Kanawha would have been in defense mode with Janet.  She is a good friend and a wonderful person, and I knew none of this was Janet's fault.  Kanawha would know that, too, but I just felt certain he would have expressed his being a tad bit upset anyway.  I could just envision him body-slamming poor Janet on her desk, and I began to giggle uncontrollably.

My love came rushing down the stairs as he evidently heard our arrival.  He quickly wrapped me up in his arms, sweeping me off my feet and twirling me around.  "Love, I have missed you so much!"  he started, kissing me passionately.

"You know, I could get used to coming home like this.  Talk about your five-star service." I quipped, and he snickered as he remembered our earlier conversation about this.

Suddenly, he was reminded of what he had been doing.  "Speaking of stars, come see what we have done with the room.  That Roe is pretty good at this.  I was rather impressed.  So, you just have to see it!" he enthused as he threw me over his shoulders and trotted up the stairs. 

Soon, we were at Chance's door.  The baseball pennant with his name on it would indicate that to anyone who happened by.  Kanawha put me to my feet, and I reached for the knob, "Oh!  Now this is rather ingenious.  A baseball doorknob." I bragged, and Kanawha smiled proudly.

"You know, if you open the door, you can see the rest of the work we have done." he shot.

I opened the door and was totally amazed.  It was spectacular.  "Love, you have outdone yourself!  This should be in a magazine or something.  Wow!"  He stroked my neck with his hand as he stood behind me.  I was amazed at the way it was all put together.  The baseball diamond floor, the window treatments, the shadow boxes, everything was just so... Kanawha, I guess.  I took great delight in that, for he poured his entire soul into making our son a fine place to call his own.  That reminded me of something else I needed to talk with him about tomorrow.  I turned to him and wrapped my arms around his midsection, looking into those sapphire pools of his, "I think we are going to have one ecstatic son.  Speaking of which, where is he, anyway?"

"After Hela cut his hair, Jew and the boys took our son and his friend to play baseball." 
he smiled.  "They should be back shortly, though."

I flashed my mischievous grin.  "You look awfully dirty.  Think we have time for a shower?" 

Without a word, he threw me over his shoulder and sprinted to our bathroom.  Setting me to my feet, he excitedly said,  "Don't go anywhere.  I am going to get Jena to run to the house to get me some clothes."  He dashed off and returned quickly.  He grabbed me up into his arms, lifting me off the floor.  "I have been thinking about this all day!"

As we kissed, we slowly undressed each other.  Well, it started out slowly, but in all honesty, we were soon practically ripping each others clothes off.  We repeated the morning scene in the shower, then washed one another, paying careful attention to certain areas... which, of course, lead to another repeat.  I was really starting to like baring it all in front of my love. 

After our shower, we found Kanawha's clothes lying on our bed.  Jena left a little note:  "You know, those things are going to fall off if you don't quit playing with them... That includes playing with each others."  I was surprised to find I was not the slightest bit embarrassed this time, and I could care less who knew what we were doing. 

We dressed and headed down stairs to await our son's arrival home.  Hela and Jena were on the front porch talking, so Kanawha and I decided to joint them.

"Thanks for the little note.  I'll keep that in mind."  Kanawha said smugly.

"Oh, Stormy.  You know me." Jena laughed.  "Hey, Hela was telling me Chance really wants to be in classes with Sorrow, so I think we need to try and arrange this.  I think it would alleviate a whole lot of anxiety for Chance.  Hela and Mic seem to think it would be good for Sorrow, too."

"Is it just me, or is that not one of the saddest kids you have ever seen?"  I asked, and Hela and Kanawha agreed. 

"Mic and I think Chance might help him through some of the pain and, well, sorrow he seems to be carrying around with him." Hela added.  "I notice a lot of you two in Chance.  He just has this way about him, and they have quickly developed a strong friendship.  Mic and I think that is exactly what Sorrow needs." 

"You have my vote." Kanawha smiled.

"Mine, too."  I said.

"Then, it is settled."  Jena finalized.  "When they get back, Jew and I will go pick up Nanna and Grams.  That will give you time to get Chance cleaned up and ready for their arrival.  Plus, it will give me a chance to show him off to Grams!"

As we were laughing, in came the troupes.  Chance came running to us. 
"Dad!  Daddy!  You should've seen 'em.  There was all kinda boys there, some girls too.  And, they all wanted to play, so we let 'em all play.  Sorrow and me even helped 'em little kids bat and stuff.  It was so fun.  You should've came with us.  We's gonna try to play a lot, so you gotta come next time, K?"

"We wouldn't miss it.  So, I take it baseball was a good thing?" 
I asked.

Chance radiated his enthusiasm as he told us about the whole experience.  Sorrow added comments as needed.  I was so happy our little man had made a friend, but nowhere near as happy as the two of them seemed.

As he finished his story, Kanawha said, "Son, I guess it is time to go get cleaned up.  We put your clothes in your room.  Hey, why don't you take Sorrow up and show him your room."

"Oh, OK, Daddy."  he replied happily.  Upstairs they trotted.  In a few seconds you could hear the excitement.  We (the whole herd of us) all strolled up to see. 

"Who did this?" Chance enthused.

"We all did."  Kanawha said simply.  "All your friends and family wanted to welcome you to your new home."  I just had to kiss him for that.

Chance eagerly hugged everyone and then started pointing out everything in his room.  We all took notice and commented on each thing he brought to our attention.  Sorrow looked a bit confused, but didn't ask anything.  I figured Chance would tell him all about it at some point anyway.  He did comment on a lot of the things, though.  During all the commotion, Jena and Jew slipped away.

After the novelty wore down, I told Chance he needed to get cleaned up and changed into whatever he wanted.  We adults then headed downstairs, and congregated in the living room.  A little later, Chance and Sorrow came down the stairs.  Everyone turned their attention to Chance.

He was stunning.  He had on blue low-rise jeans with a black belt,
a red, white, and blue A & F t-shirt, and a black pair of Sketchers.  His hair looked so trendy, so haphazardly placed.  I was just amazed.  Everyone commented on him, and he blushed as red as the sleeves on his shirt.  He and Sorrow came and sat beside Kanawha and I.  We all conversed for a bit.

Jena and Jew came through the door.  "Chance, buddy,  we would like you to meet your grandmothers... Nanna and Grams."

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