Book Three -- The Next Generation
By Randy Howard and David of Hope
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The sexuality of all characters is entirely a figment of the author's imagination, and does not reflect on any celebrities used in this story. For those of you that are NOT of legal age, please find other material to read. If you are offended by male/male material, or it is illegal to view such materials in your area, you should be leaving at this time.
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I like to thank my good friend David for his fine job of editing and his collaboration on this story.
From chapter three...
While Barry and the boys made breakfast, Andy sat and wrote out his resignation effective immediately, then gave his friend Dennis a call to inquire about an apartment.
"As a matter of fact Andy, I do have one available. It seems the kid that was going to rent it, decided on another college and just called me yesterday to tell me. Is there someone you have in mind for it?" he asked.
"Yeah my boys need a place together with their friends," Andy replied.
He continued to explain about the shooting and the beating in the dorm bathroom. Dennis, who is gay as well, told Andy that if they were willing to clean the place and paint it, they could have with the first month free.
"Thanks Dennis and I owe you a big one," Andy said.
"Yeah, well your big one would make me a happy guy," Dennis said laughing.
"Sorry Dennis, I got a new partner and as a matter of fact he just proposed this morning."
"Damn I'm always a day late and a dollar short. I hope you're both happy and I wish you two the best my friend."
"Thanks Dennis and I'll send the boys over later today to see you."
He hung up the phone and it rang before he could walk away.
"Hello Sheriff Butler speaking."
"This is Doctor Simpson, the doctor on your son's case and I hesitated to call you but...
"Why doctor what's wrong?" Andy asked.
"Well Andrew is now awake and wants to talk to you and Thomas," the doctor said.
"Tell him we're on our way doctor, and thank you doctor, that encouraging." Andy said and hung up the phone. "Your brother's awake and wants to see us Thomas."
They all rejoice, Thom and Andy with a few tears of relief. The five of them rushed to get ready. Andy and Barry showered quickly and the group was ready to go in a half hour.
When they arrived at the hospital, the doctor was there to meet them.
"Andrew's awake, but he's having difficulty remembering just what happened to him. He does know he was shot, but that's because I told him. He remembers his family and things like that, but don't press him much further past that."
"We'll play it by ear doctor and thanks for calling us." Andy said as he followed him into Andrew' room.
Andrew was sitting up in his bed. He glanced, and then smiled as his dad entered the room.
"Good morning son, how are you feeling this morning?" Andy said with a big smile.
"Dad, it's so good to see you, where's Thom?" he asked.
"He's waiting in the waiting room and he'll be in soon. The doctor doesn't want too many people in here getting you all excited."
"That's bullshit dad, I want to see my brother," he said glaring at the doctor.
"I'll go and get him Andrew," the doctor said leaving the room.
"He's in the waiting room with Danny and his dad, son."
"Danny's here too! I want him to come in too," Andrew said excitedly.
"In a minute son... let's have a minute or two alone with you before we have friends in."
"Hey bro," Thom said coming into the room.
He went over to Andrew and gave him a hug and a kiss on the forehead.
"Hey Thom, how's school and my roomy doing?"
"Well Danny's outside with his dad and school sucks without you bro. Hey, did dad tell you his news yet?" Thom asked. Andy almost wanted to strangle Thom at that point.
"Thomas why can't you keep your big mouth shut?" Andy asked.
"What news dad tell me," Andrew said as he started to slip into a sleepy state.
"Later son, right now you need to rest. We'll be back later to see you when you've had some sleep."
"Ok dad, but promise meeee.... you'll tell meeee," Andrew slurred quietly, almost asleep.
"I promise son," Andy said as he kissed him on the forehead.
The two left the room where the doctor was waiting.
"Is he going to be alright doctor?"
"As far as I can tell he seems fine. His strength still isn't there, but that will return with time. The bullet missed his spine, but caused damage to his left lung, which we repaired. He still has a lot of recovery to go through before we can release him, but I expect that with his stamina, he'll probably by ready in three weeks or so. I'm moving him to a private room by the end of the weekend if he continues to show progress. But I'd ask until then, that you limit your visits to two at a time and only for ten minutes at the most."
"We will doctor and thank you," Andy said shaking his hand.
Because they hadn't had breakfast they drove up to Friendly's for something to eat. Once seated and their order taken, they discussed Andrew's recovery.
"He asked about you Danny and wanted to see you," Thom said bringing a grin to Danny's face.
"He really asked about me?" Danny asked.
"Yeah and he seemed really excited to know you were outside waiting to see him."
"That reminds me son, I was waiting to tell your brother about Barry and I when he was better. But now I have to tell him and get him all excited again or make him upset."
"Why would he be upset dad I wasn't?" Thom asked.
"Well it's my business when I tell him and not yours. You have a habit of sticking your nose into other people's business and I don't like that."
"Sorry dad... so shoot me then... you rather it was me lying in the hospital anyways instead of Andrew," he said sarcastically. Andy was incensed slapped Thom's face.
"Thomas I'm sorry son for that," Andy said, but Thom was humiliated and embarrassed, got up, and left the restaurant with the others looking at him in shock.
"Go after him Andy," Barry said. "I'll get the check and meet you outside."
Andy went after Thom, but he was no where around when he got outside. Andy looked around, but Thom was no where to be found.
"Where's Andy," Danny asked when he and Barry come out.
"I don't know, he just kind of disappeared," Andy said still looking around. "He's done this before so let's go back to the hospital."
They got in the car and drove back to the hospital. When Andy gets to Andrew's room, he is surprised that Thomas is not there.
"Hey dad I see you and Thom had a fight again," Andrew said surprising Andy even more. "Yeah dad he just left and he told me about it."
"God son that kid is so hot headed," Andy said.
"He's just like dad was and you know how you two use to disagree."
"I know, so how are you feeling Andrew?"
"Better, but tired I guess. So dad why would anyone want to shoot me?" he asked.
"We don't think it was you in particular son, but just some random shot from a psycho. The cops here haven't a clue how to solve a case, let alone restrict reporters from an area crucial to an investigation. Did your brother tell you about the newspaper article?"
"Yeah he did, but I'd already read it myself earlier. Thom said you resigned your job dad.... why? You love doing police work."
"Well there are more jobs out there and I really don't have to work. Your dad left us very well off when he died and besides son, I have someone else to think about now," he said.
"Dad, Thom and I are going to be fine. We don't need you to protect us and watch over us like we were still little kids."
"I wasn't referring to you and your brother son. Barry asked me to be his husband and I accepted," he said looking at his son.
"Danny's dad asked you to marry him dad? I think that's fantastic." Thom exclaimed with a smile.
"Do you really son, I wasn't sure how you would feel. I know you and your dad were close and I didn't want you to think I didn't love him anymore."
"Dad stop! He's dead and gone and you're here and alive," Andrew said reaching out with his hand to Andy. "Yes I loved dad, but he wouldn't have wanted you to waste your life mourning him either. I'm glad you both found love together and... hey does this mean Danny and I are step-brothers dad?"
"In a way I would guess it does. Can I ask you something personal Andrew and I'll understand if you don't want to tell me?"
"Sure dad what is it?" Andrew asked.
"Thom told me that he was gay and I was wondering..." but Andrew stopped him.
"And you were wondering if I was... right?"
"Yeah son, but you don't have to tell me because it is your own business."
"I don't know dad, I really don't. I haven't met anyone, male or female, that has done it for me yet. Well until..." but he stopped short.
"Until who son," Andy asked curious as to who had caught his attention.
"No one dad I was just rambling."
"Well I'm sure that eventually you'll find the right person that does it for you. Are you up to seeing Daniel and Barry?" he asked.
"Yeah dad, are they here waiting?" Andrew asked excitedly.
"One minute and I'll go get them," he said leaving the room.
A few minutes later Andy, Barry and Danny entered the room.
"Danny, God I missed you so much," Andrew said as Danny gave him a hug.
"I missed you too buddy and I nearly died thinking I almost lost you." Danny admitted.
Andy watched the two interact and he knew just who Andrew was in love with.
"Barry will you join me while I go for a coffee," he said giving him a wink.
Once Barry and Andy were in the corridor, Barry said, "I thought the two of them should be alone to rediscover each other."
"Did you see how Andrew's face lit up when Daniel came into the room?"
"Well I asked him earlier if he was gay like his brother and he said he didn't know, but that someone had caught his heart," Andy explained Barry. "I think it's Daniel that has his heart Barry."
"Well might as well keep it in the family eh," he said as they laughed.
Danny sat on the side of the bed while he and Andrew talked.
"Have they figured out who fired the shot yet?" Andrew asked.
"Not yet, but your dad found some evidence and he's helping a detective with the case."
"I understand that he resigned his job because of Thom and that article in the paper."
"Yeah and my dad's going to file a liable suit against them. Thom also admitted to us this morning that he was gay and in love with Shane."
"The son of your dad's friends from Springfield. Shane's the guy Thom was with when you were shot."
"He didn't know I was going to be shot ba... I mean Danny," he said catching himself.
"What did you.... what were going to say?" Danny asked.
"Nothing Danny," he said a bit too quickly.
"You were going to call me babe weren't you?" he asked with a teasing grin.
"And what if I did, would it bother you?" Andrew asked, feeling more confident now.
"It would make me have to do this," Danny said getting up and leaning into him and gently kissing his lips.
"I love you Danny and I did the moment I met you. I was just afraid that you were straight and I'd loose your friendship."
"I was in love with you too Andrew, but didn't know if you were gay or straight. I love you and I want you to be my life partner if you'll have me."
"I'd be proud and honored to be your husband Danny," he replied pulling Danny's face down to his own. They kissed passionately this time as Thom and Shane entered the room.
"Hey bro you are feeling better aren't you?" Thom said making the Danny and Andrew jump.
"Thom.... and Shane I take it," Andrew said.
"Yeah this is Shane, my man and husband bro."
"Nice to meet you Shane and Danny just proposed to me also Thom, and I told him yes."
"Has dad found out yet bro?" he asked.
"No not yet, he and Barry are down in the cafeteria having a coffee. But I think dad suspects I wanted to be alone with Danny so he left."
"You got it son," Andy said from the doorway as he and Barry returned.
"Thom can I speak to you please outside?" Andy asked.
"Do we have to pops?"
"Yeah we do son.... now outside please."
Together they left the room. Andy led Thom to the waiting room that fortunately, was now empty.
"Just what was that scene for this morning at the restaurant? You know how much I love you and you also know I no more would have you shot instead of your brother." Andy said firmly.
"I'm sorry ok pops," Thom answered rather sarcastically.
"It's not ok son, you don't seem to realize that you're loved as much as your brother is."
"Whatever... now can we go or aren't you done yet?"
"Why are you acting like this son, have I done something to make you hate me?" Andrew pleaded.
"I don't hate you dad, it's just that you love Andrew more than you do me. You've loved him ever since the day he came to live with us."
"Son his family was murdered before his eyes and he needed the extra attention. I'm sorry son if I made you feel like I loved him more than you. I love you both the same and I counted on you to help him adjust to us."
"No dad I'm the one that should be sorry. I been jealous of Andrew getting all the attention and ever since dad died, I've felt that I was alone."
Andy pulled his son to him and hugged him tight. He kissed his forehead as he held him.
"I love you so much Thomas and I've never been prouder of you. Son, please don't ever doubt my love for you."
"I won't dad and I love you too. So Dad.... do you like Andrew's new love interest?"
"Yes I do and I wasn't too surprised either."
They walked back to the room, each with a hand on the other's shoulder and found the group chatting and discussing their plans for an apartment. The nurse came in and chased the group out warning them that Andrew was still a very ill young man.
"I'll be back tonight sweetheart," Danny said giving him a kiss.
"You'd better babe or you'll be sorry once I get out of here."
As the guys were leaving the hospital, walking through the parking lot, a shot rung out shattering the morning quiet. Barry, Andy and the boys, along with other people in the immediate vicinity, hit the ground.
"Is everyone alright!" Andy asked excitedly, looking around at the boys and Barry.
"DAD NO! TALK TO ME!" Danny screamed holding his father in his arms.
Andy rushed over to Barry and felt for a pulse; there is one, but it's weak.
"GET A DOCTOR FAST!" he yelled to Thom who immediately ran into the hospital.
Several doctors and nurses came running out with Thom and rushed over to Barry. Andy was applying pressure to the wound as the doctors arrived.
"I'll take over with that," a nurse said applying pressure while a doctor checked his vital signs.
"He needs to get to the operating room now," the doctor said as a gurney arrived. They loaded Barry onto the gurney and rushed him into the hospital.
Andy quickly looked around the area and saw a flash of light off something metal in the distance. He watched as the light descended from the water tower.
"I'LL BE BACK!" he yelled to the boys as he ran for his car.
He drove a breakneck speed for the water tower, hoping to find someone coming out of the area. He parked his car and got out, heading for the tower.
As he ran for the tower he stopped and listened. He heard the sound of someone coming towards him, so he scrambled quietly to hide in the bushes as a figure came running by. Andy saw he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and is carrying a rifle. At the right moment, Andy jumped from the bushes knocking the person to the ground. They fought hard struggling to gain control and when Andy was about to pull the perpetrator's hood off, someone struck him from behind.
Andy fell limp to the ground as the two figures ran away, leaving Andy lying there, unconscious.
At the hospital Danny, Thom, and Shane were waiting in the emergency room again. They're praying and hoping that Barry is going to survive, but the doctor didn't give them much hope.
Thom called Andy's cell phone and it rang until the voice mail picked it up Thom became disturbed that Andy wasn't answering.
As he closed his cell phone, Detective Burns came in and was obviously not in a good mood when he saw the three boys sitting there.
"I might have known you'd be involved," he said looking at Thom and the others.
"Listen officer we were just innocent bystanders minding our own business when a shot rang out. It got Danny's father in the back and he's not in very good condition."
"So where's your hot shot father?" Burns asked.
"I don't know.... he took off when the shot happened and I can't reach him on his cell."
The doctor came in; his face was sullen. Thom could tell that the news was bad.
"Are you gentleman here for the shooting victim?" the doctor asked.
"Yes doctor, I'm his son Daniel."
"I'm Doctor Clemens and I'm sorry to tell you, your father didn't make it son."
Danny collapsed to the floor in tears. Quickly, Thom and Shane rushed to his aid. The doctor and the boys helped Danny to a chair as the detective went for some water. Danny was crying uncontrollably when Burns returned with a glass of water. Thom took it from him and persuaded Danny to drink some.
"I'm so sorry Danny," Thom said holding him close. "We're going to catch the bastard that did this."
"It won't bring my father back will it?" Danny responded bitterly. "I want the fucker to die like my dad did."
"We'll catch him very soon son," the detective said. "Now it's murder instead of attempted murder."
"Big fucking deal, you don't have the death penalty here, so he'll just rot in prison until some do good parole board releases him."
"He won't ever see the light of day son, believe me on that."
"Do you have a funeral home that can handle the funeral arrangements?" the doctor asked.
"We're from Boston, so I don't know of any up here," Danny replied. "Can I get back to you with a name?" he asked.
"Of course you can, but don't wait too long son," he said.
"I'll let you know within the day," Danny said.
Danny sat there, numb from the shock, as Thom and Shane helped him gain control. Thom tried his dad's phone again and as before, gets the voice mail.
"Something's wrong Shane.... dad doesn't answer his phone," Thom said as Casey came in.
"Ah Casey, can you take their statement while I follow up on something downtown?" Burns asked.
"Sure Ed," she said watching him leave.
"Where's your father?" she asked Thom once Ed was gone.
"I don't know... he took off once the shot went off and now he won't answer his cell phone."
"I have an idea where he is," she said. "I'll bet he went to the water tower looking for the shooter. Give me your number and Ill call you once I locate him."
"Its 802-555-0483," Thom replied.
"I'll get back to you once I locate him." Casey said as she headed for the door.
She left the hospital and drove over to the water tower. As she approached the reservoir she saw Andy's car sitting there empty and she started wondering if she should call for back up. She decided to look around first and with her gun in hand; she started down the well worn path. She noticed fresh footprints and broken bushes as she moved cautiously forward.
`Someone was in a hurry,' she said quietly to herself.
She moved cautiously around the perimeter of the reservoir and was almost to the tower when she saw Andy lying on the ground.
"Andy speak to me," she said feeling for a pulse.
There was a strong pulse. Slowly, he started to stir, moaning slightly as Casey tried to sit him up.
"Andy are you alright?" she asked.
"Yeah but someone hit me from behind while I was fighting with the shooter. So now were looking for two culprits instead of one," Andy said. "I also have this," he said holding out his hand showing her a handful of hair.
"My God that must have hurt him to lose that much hair at once," she said. "But now we can get his DNA from the hair. I have a kit in my car Andy, can you walk?" she asked.
"Yeah I'm fine just a little woozy," he said holding onto her shoulder.
They walked slowly back to the cars with Casey holding onto Andy.
"Casey have you heard how Barry's doing," he asked once they were at the car.
She hesitated before saying, "He didn't make it Andy, he died about an hour ago."
"Oh God no," Andy whimpered as the tears flowed from his eyes. "Not again and so soon," he cried.
"What Andy, what is it?" Casey asked.
"He and I were lovers and we were going to be married," he explained through the tears.
"Oh Andy, I'm so sorry love," she said sincerely. "I know what it's like to lose a lover.... I'm gay also," she said.
She held him tight as he cried on her shoulder. He cried incessantly until he could cry no more. Finally they stood up and went to get the bag from Casey's car.
Just then, a truck ran into their cars sending them crashing through the air...
To be continued...
Comments appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org and Thank you for you comments readers,
Randy and David.