Road Rage

Chapter 13:

Spring is in the air. Of course, living in the Pacific Northwest, that means a lot of rain. I'm starting to forget what the sky looks like above the clouds; it's been raining for the last week for the most part. But then it's been raining for the better part of three months; ah, winter in Washington. I told Mark the other day that maybe we should consider that whole ark idea.

At the moment I'm sitting in traffic on my way home from work, watching the wipers make their way back and forth across the windshield. I don't know what's happening in front of me but I've been at a stand-still for the last five minutes. I'm just getting ready to send Mark a text when my car starts vibrating. I look to my right and see Honda guy. Oh great; he's bored and has decided to share his music with all of us again. I look at him but he's not paying attention to anything but his drum solo on the steering wheel. I roll my passenger window down and honk. He finally looks over and I motion for him to roll his window down. He flips me off. Cocksucker. I make a window rolling motion again and he finally rolls it down, scowling at me. I yell over to him.

"Dude, I'm trying to make a call; can you turn that down a little!?"

"Send a text, asshole!"

"Look, dipshit, why don't you learn some fucking respect! There are a bunch of other people here who don't wanna listen to your shitty music!"

"Fuck you, asshole! I'm in my car and can listen to whatever the fuck I wanna listen to! Mind your own fucking business!" He rolls his window up and flips me off again.

I flip him off and roll my passenger window up. I'm sitting there looking at him, wondering how long the prison sentence is for killing a disrespectful little cocksucker. I'm sitting there getting progressively more pissed off when I notice traffic is starting to move again. I put my car back in gear and set off, finally managing to make it to second and then signal and jump in behind dipshit. It's time to see where the little cocksucker lives. We travel another two traffic lights and he turns right and I follow. After going about a mile he makes a left and I'm right there with him. He notices me following and speeds up. I'm maintaining about a six car length separation between us but easily keeping up with his crappy little four-banger Civic. Within six or seven blocks we're cruising along at seventy in a forty zone. He hits the brakes to go around the corner that's about two hundred feet ahead and starts skidding but recovers and makes the turn; I'm right behind him. He speeds up again and then makes a quick left and goes into a spin on the rain-soaked road, doing a complete 360 and ending up in the ditch; his car at a nice forty degree angle to starboard. I stop about ten feet from him and get out of my car, walking up to his. I yell down to him.

"Hey dipshit; you alive in there!?"

He rolls his window down and yells at me. "You fucking asshole! You tried to kill me, you fucking ass!"

"I wasn't trying to do anything; I was just tagging along behind ya. Maybe you shouldn't drive so fast on wet roads!"

"Fuck you!"

"I'll pass. You know what they call this, right?"

"Yeah, attempted murder!"

I laugh. "Nah, dipshit; they call it karma. You get what you give to others. You show no respect to anyone and now you've pissed off the rain gods. This is karma, dude. Have a nice day." I turn and walk back to my car.

He yells out behind me. "Fuck you! I hope you die on the way home, asshole!" Just as I'm getting my door open he yells out again. "Hey, you could at least call a fucking tow truck!"

I turn and look at him, smiling. "You have got to be kidding me. You really think I'm going to call a tow truck for ya?"

"You're the reason I'm in the fucking ditch."

"No, you're the reason you're in the ditch; I'm just a spectator."

"Whatever, asshole; call a tow truck. I can't find my fucking phone; it flew around when I hit the ditch and I don't know where it landed."

"Sounds like a personal problem. Maybe if you'd learn to show a little more respect to your fellow drivers you'd wouldn't be in this position. Later, dude; I'm getting wet."

"C'mon, dude! Call a fucking tow truck for me! Please!"

"Holy shit, he does know the word; I'm amazed. OK, just to show you how people should treat other people I'll do it."

He nods. "Thanks."

I sit back in my car and close the door, grabbing my phone and looking up a tow company. I get the tow truck on the way and walk back over to his car, looking down at him. I notice there's actually about two feet of running water in the ditch and smirk. The poor bastard is practically swimming.

"Tow truck is on the way; said it'd take about thirty minutes to get here."

He nods again. "Thanks."

"Wet yet?"

"You're a fucking smart-ass, dude. There's like two feet of water in my car."

"Are you hurt at all; can you get out of there?"

"I guess I could crawl out through the passenger side."

"It might be a good idea."

"Will you at least help me get out?"

I walk over and stand about a foot away from his passenger door. "Let's get this over with; it's fucking wet out here."

"It's fucking wet in here too, dude. Give me a second to get up there."

He gets himself from behind the wheel and pulls himself up to the passenger side, grabbing the door handle. He's standing on the driver's side door and trying to open the passenger door but not having much luck. I get closer and grab the outside handle and try yanking on it; it doesn't budge. I motion for him to roll down the window and he does. I look at him.

"Did you unlock the door?"

"No shit, smart-ass; just how stupid do you think I am?"

I smirk and grin. "You really don't want an answer to that. I was just making sure. I guess you're gonna have to crawl out the window, Luke Duke style."

He smirks. "That was before my time, grandpa."

"Keep talkin' shit and I'll just get in my car and go home."

"Sorry. Will you help me?"

"Yeah. The best way might be to turn your body around so your ass is against the door and then just pull yourself up by holding the roof."

He looks at me. "OK, that'll work."

We finally manage to get him extricated from his car and we're standing on the road, looking down at it. I look over at him, shaking my head. He's soaking wet; mostly on his left side and he looks like a wet dog.

"Do you have insurance?"

He looks at me. "Just liability; it won't pay for this."

"Do you have any money on ya to pay for the tow truck?"

He looks down at the ground a moment. Oh shit. He looks back at me. "I have about ten bucks on me."

"Great. How'd you plan on paying the tow truck driver?"

"I hadn't thought about it. I figured I'd call my dad when we got to the shop and he'd come and pay him."

"That works for me. Let's go sit in the car and wait for him; I'm sick of standing in the rain. I also have a towel in the trunk you can use; you look like a wet dog."


"You're welcome. Try not to drown my car. You can call your dad while we're waiting for the truck."

We've been sitting in my car for about ten minutes with the heater on full blast trying to warm up and dry off. He's tried his dad five times but he's not answering the phone. I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this. I look at him when he hangs up the phone.

"Is there anyone else you can call for money?"

He shakes his head. "No... I could call my little brother but I doubt he has any cash on him."

"Give it a try."

He calls his brother but my worst fear is confirmed; I'm gonna end up paying for this idiot's tow truck. I could just tell the driver we don't have a way to pay him; he'd just leave. He hands me my phone.

"He has about five bucks on him. How much do you think this is gonna cost?"

"Probably around two or three hundred bucks."

"Fuck; just for a tow out of the ditch?"

"Yeah, dude; they don't work cheap."

He shakes his head again and looks at me. "Why the fuck were you following me anyway? Were you gonna kick my ass or something when we stopped?"

"Believe me, I seriously considered it. I was just gonna follow you home and then probably get in your face when you got out of your car. I'm just really sick of your music, dude. I've been traveling on the same road with you for the last couple of years and it seems like every day I have to listen to your music and feel my fuckin' car vibrate. It gets really old and I've had enough."

"It's just how I calm myself down after working all day. I hate my fucking job and I have to have a way to relax."

"I understand that, but that doesn't mean everyone in a four block radius has to listen too. Try turning it down a little; or at least take some of the bass out."

"I didn't think it was that loud outside of the car. And in a way, I guess you're right, I didn't care if it was. I'm sorry."

"Where do you work that you hate it so much?"

"I pull orders at a grocery distributor."

"You probably make fairly decent money there, don't ya?"

"Not bad, I guess; fourteen an hour. I just hate busting boxes all day and dealing with the assholes that work there. Like you said, it gets old."

"You're how old: about twenty-two?"


"You've been there since you got out of high school?"

"About six months after, yeah."

"How about taking some classes or something at night; get a better job?"

"Yeah, like that's gonna happen. I don't have the time or money to go to school. I have to keep an eye on my brother at night `cause dad works nights. I have car payments, insurance, gas, a high-maintenance girlfriend and I pay rent to my dad to help him out."

"Tell the high-maintenance girlfriend to get a job and buy her own stuff. Even with all your other expenses you should have more than ten bucks to your name; that's kind of harsh."

He smirks. "Tell me about it. I can't see her buyin' her own crap though. She does work, but it's at some boutique downtown makin' a fast eight-fifty an hour."

"No offense towards her, but she'd have to be really fuckin' good in the sack for me to keep her in baubles."

He laughs. "What the fuck are baubles?"

I smirk and grin. "Basically crap she doesn't need; like tennis bracelets or fifty pairs of shoes; shit like that."

He laughs. "That's exactly the kind of shit she buys. But she is fuckin' great in the sack, dude."

"At least you're getting something out of it. What's your name, anyway?"

"Brandon; what's yours?"

"Brian. Nice to meet ya."

"Same here." He sighs. "What the fuck am I gonna do about my car, dude? I don't have the money to get it out of the ditch and I sure don't have the money to get it fixed. I'm fuckin' screwed."

"Other than water damage there shouldn't be a whole lot wrong with it. The ground was muddy and soft so it shouldn't have fucked up too much underneath. I'll make ya a deal. If you promise me to keep your fuckin' tunes down, at least when you see this car, I'll pay for the tow."

"Deal. I was gonna keep `em down anyway. I hear what you're sayin' about it getting old. I'm sorry, man; I didn't think about how annoying it might be to other people. I'm really not an asshole like you're probably thinkin'; I was just trying to relax a little before I got home. And yeah, in the mornings before I get to work. I'll turn it down."

"Thank you. See, if you'd talked to me like this before we wouldn't be sittin' here watching your car try and do the backstroke. It's one of the secrets to life; talk first and then flip `em off if you don't like what they have to say."

He smirks and laughs. "No doubt, huh?"

My phone starts ringing and I pick it up and look at caller ID; it's home.

"Hey Jared, what's up?"

"Where are you? You were supposed to be home like twenty minutes ago. Are you alright?"

"I'm fine. I'm sorry I didn't call; I got busy with what's happening. I'll be home as soon as I can. I'm very sorry I worried you."

"Well what's happening?"

"I'm sitting in the car talking to a guy that ran into the ditch. We're waiting for a tow truck."

"Is he OK?"

"Yeah, he's fine. His car's not so fine, but he seems OK. He's wet; he looks like a wet dog right now." They both smirk.

"That's not a nice thing to say, Brian."

"You're right. I apologize to you both. I'll be home as soon as we get his car out of here."

"Are you going to take him home?"

"I don't know. I thought he'd ride with the tow truck guy."

"They're not gonna take him home; they'll just take him to a repair shop. Does he have a ride?"

"I don't know, buddy."

"Well ask him."

I turn to Brandon. "Do you have a way home from the repair shop?"

He looks at his watch. "Not really; my dad already left for work. I'll just walk home."

"I heard that! You can't let him just walk home in the rain, Brian. Why don't you just bring him here if his dad's at work and he can have dinner with us and get dried off?"

"Jared, I'm not bringing a complete stranger home for dinner. Besides, he has to get home to keep an eye on his little brother."

"Well go by his house and get his little brother; they can both have a decent dinner. And if you know what he has to do tonight then he's not a complete stranger."

I smirk and laugh. "Dude, we're not the Salvation Army. Besides, how do you know he's not a great cook? They could be having a kick ass dinner." I hear Brandon smirk.

"Ask him."

I roll my eyes and look over at Brandon. He grins. "I know that grin; you can't cook worth a fuck, can ya?"

He laughs. "Nope. Don't sweat it, dude; I'll just walk home."

"Brian, you can't let him walk home in the rain. What if this repair shop is like miles from his house?"

"I know, dude. I'll see what I can do."

"You can get his brother and bring them over for dinner. See ya in a little while. Be safe. I love you." Click. The little shit got the last word in.

I look at my phone and then hit end. Brandon smirks again.

"Your son?"

"Step-son. Apparently he's expecting company for dinner; whaddya say?"

"That's OK, dude; we'll be fine. I will take a ride home if that's OK."

"I'll take ya home. You really are welcome for dinner if you wanna come. I can take you and your brother home afterwards."

"That's up to you, dude. It's probably something better than Hungry Man."

I laugh. "Alpo would be better. How does pork chops, potatoes, veggie and a salad sound?"

He smiles. "Sounds a hell of a lot better than Hungry Man."

"Call your brother and tell him to keep the Hungry Man's in the freezer." I hand him my phone.

About thirty minutes later the tow truck has hauled his car to a shop and we're pulling up in his driveway. We both go in, being greeted by a sixteen year old boy at the door. I'm introduced.

"Hey Daniel, this is Brian. Brian, this is my brother, Daniel."

We shake hands and I smile at him. "It's nice to meet ya, Daniel."

"Nice to meet you too, sir."

I grin. "I appreciate that, but I'm not old enough to be a sir. Please call me Brian."

He smiles. "Brian. Thanks for helping Brandon."

"Well I kind of owed him. It's a long story but suffice it to say we're both fifty percent responsible."

Brandon looks at me. "I'm gonna get some dry clothes on; I'll be right back."

I nod and look at Daniel. "So, are you interested in a home cooked meal?"

He smiles. "Yeah, it sounds great. I really appreciate you inviting us. Thank you."

"You're very welcome. So what school do you go to?"


"Cool. My step-son goes there too; he's in the ninth grade."

He smiles. "I'm in the tenth this year. What's his name?"

"Jared Reynolds."

"I don't think I know him; the name doesn't sound familiar."

"Well he's only been there since January; he just moved back from New York."

"Oh, that's cool. So your wife and him lived in New York, huh? That must've been kinda cool to live there."

Hmmmm. They'd find out soon enough. "No, just him and his mom." Let's see how bright this kid is.

He looks at me like I'm dumb. "That's what I said; him and your wife."

I grin. "I know. And I said him and his mom. His mom's not my wife."

He looks at me for a few seconds, thinking. He looks at me and then smiles. "Oh. I get it. He lives with you and his dad now."

I smile. "He does. Are you OK with that?"

"Yeah, I'm fine with that."

"How about Brandon; do you think he'll be OK with it?"

He grins. "I hope so; he's OK with me; or at least he says he is."

I grin. "Let's hope he's telling the truth; he's gonna be really outnumbered tonight."

He laughs. "No doubt, huh? So is Jared...?

I smile. "Him too. Poor Brandon."

He laughs again. "I know, huh? Surrounded by gay boys. He'll live."

I laugh. "Let's hope so."

He blushes a little. "So is Jared seeing anyone?"

"Nope; flyin' solo. Well, has always flown solo."

"Me too; always."

"Well I'll be sure and introduce you."

He blushes. "Thanks."

"OK; I'm finally dry. I was starting to think I'd turned into a fish."

Daniel turns and looks at Brandon. "Still just a guppy."

Brandon grins. "Says the guppy. You ready to go?"


By the time I make it home with my dinner guests Mark is home. I hope he's not too hungry; I still have to get dinner started. And I'd forgotten to call him and tell him what was going on. I get the car stopped in the garage and head in to the kitchen, my two young men tagging along behind me. I smell food cooking when I walk in. Oh hell, Mark's trying cooking again. That's never good. I find Jared standing in front of the stove when I walk in. He turns and smiles. I smile back.

"It smells great; you're cooking?"

He laughs. "Gee thanks. Yeah, I'm cooking. Do you really think I'd let Dad cook?"

I grin. "I had high hopes you wouldn't. You're awesome, dude; thanks."

He grins and blushes. "I was hungry. I see you listened to orders."

I laugh. "Yes Sir. I'd like you to meet Brandon; the guy with the scruff on his chin, and this is his brother, Daniel; the one who knows how to turn the music down. Guys, this is Jared; our chef for the evening."

They all chuckle and shake hands with each other. I turn to our two guests.

"There's sodas and other stuff in the fridge; help yourself. I gotta go get out of this wet suit; it's driving me crazy. I'll be right back to help ya, Jared."

I leave them to get acquainted and head to the bedroom. When I walk in I hear the shower running and go check on Mark. He's all soapy and sexy looking when I walk in and he's facing the other way. I walk up to the shower and open the door.

"Hey sexy man. You look really hot all soapy like that."

He turns and smiles. "Why don't you come in and join me? You look damn hot when you're all soapy too."

"Thanks, baby. I would really love to but I can't; we have to be good. I brought two strays home and I don't think having shower sex with them here would be the best idea right now."

He grins. "Yeah, I heard about your adventure and that we might be having company. So are you gonna tell me how this came about?"

I laugh. "Would you believe a road rage incident?"

He laughs. "You're joking, right? Someone was riding your ass and now we're having dinner with them? Is this how you've always picked up men?" He grins.

I laugh. "Shut up. I didn't pick this one up. And he wasn't riding my ass; he was being an inconsiderate asshole and making everyone listen to his crappy music. I'd had enough. Once traffic started rolling I got behind him and started to follow him. I was gonna follow him home and give him a piece of my mind. The dummy sped up and then lost it on a corner and went in the ditch. How he ended up here is partly your son's fault; he wouldn't let me let him walk home in the rain and told me I should bring him and his little brother home for a hot meal. I caved and did as ordered."

He laughs again. "I see how it is. When he's giving me orders he's your best bud; when he's giving you orders he's my son. You and the boy are too soft for your own good; I'm surprised we don't have a house full of stray puppies and homeless boys. So I take it you and the inconsiderate asshole kissed and made up?"

"I guess. He promised me he would be more considerate in the future and act like he wasn't the only one on the planet. He seems like a good guy; he just has a stressful life. But then who doesn't? His little brother is very polite and sweet; I'm sure Jared has already fallen for him."

Mark rolls his eyes and smiles. "You brought him a boyfriend home for dinner?"

I laugh. "A possible one, yeah. He's gay and he's single. He's sixteen, goes to Jared's school but in the tenth grade and he's very cute. Not a Bieber; he has brown hair and blue eyes."

"Is his brother gay too?"

"No. He has a high-maintenance girlfriend according to him."

Mark smirks. "I had a high-maintenance wife; it means nothing. Well, let me get finished up in here and I'll go meet these two. Are we supposed to be nice or are we grilling this poor kid who thinks he has a shot with my son?"

"We're being nice this time. He's a sweet kid; you'll like him. I'll let you make your own judgment about his brother. He's nice too; just needs to learn more respect. You're future son-in-law knows about us; his brother doesn't yet. At least he didn't when I walked in here. We're not hiding either; he deals with it or he doesn't."

He grins and rolls his eyes. "This is what gay soap operas are like, huh?"

I laugh. "I wouldn't know; I've never watched one. Finish your shower; I'm gonna go get out of this wet suit and put some dry clothes on. I'll be in helping my best bud fix dinner."

"Jared's fixing dinner?"

"He had it started when I walked in. Isn't he just the cutest thing?"

Mark laughs. "Yes, Sally; just the cutest thing."

"Kiss me before you get all rinsed off; I love a soapy man."

He laughs and leans over to kiss me, making sure to wipe soap on my face as he does. I break the kiss and reach down for his balls, grabbing them and running my fingers all around them. He grins. I get my hands as soapy as I can and bring them back up, wiping them all around his face.

"There ya go, baby; ball soap; does a body good. I love you; see you in a bit."

He smiles. "I love you too. I like your ball soap more."

I smile and walk out of the bathroom. After getting changed into a dry pair of jeans and t-shirt I head back to the kitchen. The three guys are in there talking and watching Jared cook. I walk up behind Jared.

"I'll take over if you want me to; give you time to hang out with these guys before dinner."

"You don't trust my cooking, huh?" He grins.

"I've never had it. I trust you with my life though; so if you wanna cook have at it. I'm very grateful to you for doing this. Thank you."

He smiles. "You're welcome. But yeah, you can take over now. We're gonna go kill some zombies."

"Have fun. I'll let you know when it's ready. Dad should be outta the shower in a couple of minutes; I'll bring him by to introduce him to our guests."

He grins. "OK. Oh, and I guess everyone is now aware of life around here, so don't worry about it."

I smile. "That's good to know." I look at Brandon. "You're OK with this?"

He grins. "I'm fine, dude; don't worry about it. I've known about Daniel for three years; I was the first one he came out to. It's good."

"Glad to hear it. It's also nice he had you to talk to about it. It's really hard when you feel alone in the world and are trying to deal with it."

"I'm glad I was there for him too." He looks at Jared. "You two ready to get your butt kicked in zombieland?"

Jared grins at him. "Bring it on." He looks at Daniel and smiles. "Let's show the old dude how it's done."

Daniel smiles back. "Hell yeah; let's go. He thinks he's the king of the zombies; let's show him he's just a little guppy."

"I got your guppy hangin', bro."

We start laughing. I look at Brandon, grinning. "Dude, there were like a million better comebacks to that one. You chose to tell `em you're hung like a guppy?"

Jared and Daniel fall out, laughing their asses off and Brandon turns red and grins at me. "Fuck... Talk about sticking a foot in my mouth. OK, that one didn't come out the way I'd hoped."

I smirk and grin. "Ya think? I sure hope you're better at killin' zombies than you are at comebacks or they're gonna have you for breakfast."

He grins and shakes his head. "Oh man... That came out so wrong. I'll never live it down either." He turns to the laughing teens. "If you guys can pull yourselves together long enough to walk, let's take this to the X-Box; I'll show you whose boss."

They make their way to Jared's room while I finish getting dinner ready and chuckling to myself. I'm about twenty minutes into it and standing in front of the fridge with my head stuck in when Mark comes up behind and rubs his crotch on my ass. I grin.

"Oooo, that feels nice. Maybe we should do this later, Daniel; my boyfriend's in the other room takin' a shower."

He laughs and smacks me on the ass. "Daniel, huh? I see how it is now; runnin' off with my son's boyfriend and leaving me here to raise his brother."

I laugh and turn around, pulling him in my arms. "Never. I love only you, sexy." I lean in and kiss him. "You smell and taste great; I love it. You hungry? Dinner should be ready in about ten."

"I have what I'm hungry for in my arms. Let the boys eat the food and I'll just eat you."

"I love the way you think. So, do you wanna meet your dinner guests?"

He grins. "I already met them. I stopped by Jared's room on my way in here. They seem like nice boys. Well nice boy and nice young man." He grins big. "You really gotta stop bringin' strays home, baby; the dog food bills around here are astounding."

I laugh and kiss him. "It's amazing the way you can make the cheap dog food look and smell just like pork chops, though, huh?"

He laughs. "You're bad. I love it. Seriously though, they seem like nice guys. Hopefully they don't shoot us and rob us."

I roll my eyes. "Jeez, you're full of positive energy. Well I patted `em down before they got in my car; they're not carrying."

He smirks. "That's good to know."

As we were eating dinner I was watching Jared and Daniel. It was so cute; they'd look at each other, smile and then blush a little. I wasn't sure how the distances would work but I had a strong feeling these two had it for each other. Daniel and Brandon lived about three miles from us and neither Daniel or Jared drove or had a car. I guess there was always walking, bikes and public transport.

After dinner they went back to Jared's room to kill more zombies while Mark and I cleaned up. I figured I'd let `em have a little more time together before taking the guys home. It finally got to be close to ten and I still had to get them home, get myself back home, shower and get to bed. Jared insisted on coming with us so he could see where they lived and once we pulled in their driveway was nice enough to walk Daniel to his door. Ahhhhhh. I was sitting in the car watching them on the front porch. They were standing about ten inches apart and talking to each other, always smiling. When they were finally able to pull apart they each took the other's phone and put their number in it. When Jared finally started to walk back to the car they didn't even shake hands or anything, but just kept looking at each other and talking. Once my boy finally made it inside the car he rolled the window down and told Daniel he'd call him as soon as he got home and arrange where to meet at school in the morning. We were about a block away from their house when I turned and looked at him, smiling.

"Dude, you've got it bad."



He blushes and smiles. "Maybe. Is that wrong?"

"No, not at all. I like him a lot. I think he's cute and you guys look really good together. So is this possibly love?"

He grins. "I don't know if it's love yet. I do like him a lot; he's great. And he's not cute, dude; he's hot. Puppies are cute."

I laugh. "You're right; I sit corrected. Well I think you both have damn good taste in men. Whatever happened to the guy down the street from us, anyway; you never mention him anymore?"

"He's a fuckin' dick, Brian. I talked to him one day at school, just to be nice and introduce myself and he looked at me like I was pond scum and told me to get lost. I called him an asshole and walked away. Yeah, he's totally hot but he's a major asshole."

"It's always good when you find that out early. Well I didn't spend as much time with Daniel as you did but I think he's really nice. He seems like a really sweet guy. I hope you guys do get together."

He smiles and blushes. "He is nice; he's so good hearted. I hope we do too. Do you think Dad liked him?"

"I think he did. The only thing he said to me was he thought he was a nice guy; he didn't go into any detail. He seemed to like both of `em though. So if you guys get together how're ya gonna work out the traveling details between his house and ours?"

He grins and smirks. "I don't know. It seems like you've thought more about this than we have. I guess we ride bikes or take the bus for now. He doesn't have his license, and even if he did they don't have the money for another car. Speakin' of, Brandon is really stressed about his car. Why did you chase him?"

"I didn't chase him; I was just following him. He didn't have to speed up and then lose control; that was on him. I just wanted to tell him I was sick of listening to his crappy music all the time. I'm sorry about what happened to his car but this isn't my fault."

"I guess... You kinda scared him; he thought you were gonna shoot him or something. I mean in a way I'm really glad it happened because I got to meet Daniel, but you can't do shit like that, Brian. One day you're gonna be the one that get's shot. What are Dad and I gonna do if that happens?"

I sat and thought about what he'd said. He was right. I'd heard so many stories on the news about just that kind of thing happening. I know this was only the second time I've done something like that but I guess I was playing Russian roulette in a way. I could pick on the wrong guy some day and get my head blown off.

"You're right, Jared. I'm sorry. I won't do it again. I'll learn to just control my anger and let it pass."

"Please do, Brian. We can't lose you; I can't lose you."

The rest of the ride was quiet and when we got home Jared said hi and goodnight to me and Mark and went to his room to make his call. I was looking at Mark and thinking. He looked back at me, kind of concerned.

"What's wrong, baby? You look pensive."

"Thinking about something Jared said. He told me I have to stop doing things like today; chasing people down to chew `em out. He's afraid I'm gonna get shot some day. He's right. I never considered it before."

Mark frowns. "Yeah, I guess he is. It's worked out well these two times, but someday it could come back and bite you in the ass. Why were you chasing that kid anyway?"

"I wasn't chasing him. Or hell, maybe I was. He sped up and I sped up, so I guess that qualifies as chasing him. I just wanted to jump his shit about his music."

"So risking both of your lives is a valid argument?"

"No, it's not." I sigh and look around the room a moment, settling back on Mark. "Excuse me for a minute; I need to do something."

I walk to Jared's room and knock on the door, waiting for a response.

"Come in."

I walk in and look at him, lying on his bed. "Hey buddy, will you get Brandon's phone number from Daniel for me? I need to call him."

Jared smiles. "I knew you were same guy I've always loved."

"I try."

He gets the number for me and I leave him to his call and grab my cell from the bedroom. Brandon answers on the second ring.


"Hey, this is Brian. I wanted to call and ask if you have a way to get to work tomorrow."

"Not yet. I was trying to get hold of one of the dickheads I work with but haven't been able to."

"What time do you have to be there?"


"I'll be at your house at seven-thirty to pick you up."

"Thanks, but you don't have to do that."

"Yeah, Brandon, I do. If it hadn't been for me following you you'd have a way to get to work in the morning. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I scared you and I'm sorry about your car. Being pissed off about someone's music is no excuse for endangering their life. I'll also be paying to have your car fixed. Give me the number to the shop and I'll call `em in the morning to tell `em."

"Brian, you don't have to do that."

"Yes I do. Like I told you today, there's such a thing as karma, and mine's really fucked up at the moment. I did wrong today and it will come back and bite me in the ass. I have to rectify this."

He was silent for about a full minute. "I don't really know what to say. Thanks, I guess. You know you're making it harder and harder to think of you as the total asshole I thought you were at five-thirty, right?"

I chuckle. "Sorry about that. I'm sure I can do something to assure you that I am at times. Besides, if those two have their way we could end up as in-laws of some sort; how would I be able to look at you at family reunions and shit?"

He laughs. "No doubt. I've heard nothing but Jared this and Jared that since we got home. The boy's in love."

I laugh. "I have one here in the same condition. So come on, future step brother, son, whatever-in-law, be ready to leave at seven-thirty; I'll be in your driveway."

He laughs again. "I'll be ready. Thanks, Brian."

"You're welcome. Have a good night and I'll see ya in the morning."

"You too. Later."


I set my phone back on the dresser and turn around to find Mark standing there, smiling at me.

"You know, when the chips are down, you sure are an incredibly sweet guy."

I laugh. "Only when the chips are down, huh?"

He grins and blushes. "Well... Ok, maybe 99.8% of the time. You do know that stuff like that is why I love you so much, right? You're a good man. You need to learn to control your temper while you're driving, but you're a good man."

"I know... I need to learn to let things slide. I hope to get better at it."

"Well please do; Jared and I don't wanna be orphans."

I grin. "Thanks. I don't want you two to be orphans either."

"So I guess I'm not the only who saw those two smiling and blushing at each other all through dinner?"

I laugh. "No, it was common knowledge two minutes into dinner. I sure hope you like that boy; I get the feeling we're gonna be seeing a lot of him."

"I get that same feeling. I do like him; he seems like a cute kid."

I grin. "I was informed we're not allowed to call him cute. Cute is for puppies and Daniel is hot."

He grins. "Ah. OK, thanks for the update. You do know this is when we start to lose him, right? If things go the way they want them to Daniel will be his whole world and we'll be nothing but bystanders."

I walk up to him, pulling him in my arms. "I know... We'll get through this. We'll try not to think about it as losing a son but gaining a bunch of in-laws we don't like."

He smirks and grins. "I guess there's that to look forward to; the whole meet the parents gig."

"I'm not sure about parents plural; I only heard either of them mention a dad. I guess we'll find out. I have to admit, I never saw myself in this situation; it could prove kind of interesting."

He laughs. "Didn't know you'd become a dad, did ya?"

"No, I really didn't. I never thought about it. I've always known where babies come from and I knew I'd never make one. The idea of seeing them go on a first date, prom, walking in on them making out and embarrassing the hell out of them was never even on my radar. This could be fun."

He laughs. "Well I read in the parent's handbook that you're not supposed to embarrass the hell out of them on purpose; it's not nice. I'm likely to be more embarrassed in that situation than they would be, anyway. You'll probably just rate their technique." He laughs.

I laugh. "Hey, I can be nice and show some discretion when the moment calls for it. Speaking of... Are we supposed to like have the talk with him now? Or is that one of those incredibly embarrassing things the parent's handbook mentioned?"

He smirks. "It did mention it, but it said it was one of the things you were supposed to do. He has school and the internet; isn't that all he needs?"

"Is that really the only kind of information you want him to have; porn?"

"Well no, that's not a good way to learn about real life. Hell... I've dreaded this day since he was two years old. You know as his step-dad and best friend that you're required to be there too, right?" He smiles.

"While you sit and stare at your knees like he does?"

"Yeah, just like that."

"Nice try, Dad. I'll be there, but you're talking too. I can give him the low-down on the gay side of things, but you're gonna give the basic talk, cowboy."

He grins. "Maybe he knows more than we do, and can teach us a few things."

"You hope. I guess we'll just ask him what he knows and what he'd like to know and go from there. It is supposed to be a two-way conversation, ya know. I guess we need to have the peer-pressure and drug talk with him too. Although they say you're supposed to do that now when they're like six or seven. Seems a little early to me."

"Yeah, I heard the same thing. I don't know what Jackie's talked to him about; probably nothing, but I know I've never talked about drugs with him. This whole having a teenager in the house is hard work."

I smile. "I think they call it payback from when we were teenagers and making our parent's lives hell. Let the games begin."

He grins. "Be nice. How about we have a few of our own games right now?"

I lean forward and kiss him. "Are you feelin' frisky, baby?"

He giggles. "Kinda. You could easily bring me past frisky; you always do."

"You're just trying to sweet-talk me so I'll have the talk with him."

"Not at all. I just wanna play with my man right now."

"I like the sound of that. We could start in the shower; I was getting ready to take one anyway."

He grins and steps back from me, pulling his shirt out of his jeans. "Wanna race?"

I laugh and start stripping my clothes off.

Thanks for reading. Any questions, comments or concerns-