This is a sexually explicit story (at times) involving homosexuality. By continuing to read, you affirm under penalties of perjury that you are not a minor or in the company of a minor and are entitled to have access to this story.
The following is a fictitious story with no real basis or credibility. It is solely for the enjoyment of the reader. It's all just in fun. It does not imply anything about the sexual preferences or lifestyle of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrity mentioned in the story.
An hour later they were on their way to the airport.
Lonnie and Paulo picked up quickly on the delightfully happy mood Michael was in.
"Mikey, I've never seen you so happy." Paulo smiled, Michael laughing.
"All is right with the world, Paulo. I have the love of my life beside me;
my novel is a best seller. I have new family, good friends, and I'm going to San Francisco."
Michael's face changed a little, Justin picking up on it.
Michael turned looking at him.
"San Francisco always meant sadness to me, Jus. It was where I grew up. Where most of my pain came from."
Justin put his arm around Michael.
"But now it doesn't feel like that. I'm happy. I don't think I've ever been so happy. I'm going back there to see a good friend. And to do so much more."
Lonnie and Paulo looked at each other, wondering what Michael meant. Justin thought the same thing.
"Trust me love, I am totally happy. This is going to be wonderful." Michael's good mood infected everyone else.
"Thanks, Jus. For doing this for me. I love you, Timby."
Justin smiled, cuddling against Michael.
Michael lay beside him, Justin lost in the joy and happiness he felt in Michael.
His mind thought about next week and his upcoming birthday surprise.
I love you, Mico. And next week I'm going to make you the happiest you've ever been.
The limousine headed down the highway towards the airport, no one in the car realizing the future significance of what this trip would have on all their lives.
The four men arrived in San Francisco a short time earlier.
They'd made themselves at home in their hotel rooms, Justin and Michael relaxing on the couch, Lonnie and Paulo heading off to their suite across the hall.
"Well love, how do you like San Francisco so far?" Michael asked, laying beside Justin.
"I think its a beautiful city, mostly because a special angel came from here."
Michael smiled, looking out the window.
"It's changed since I've was a child." Michael said quietly.
"Are you sure you're okay with being here, Mico?" Justin said quietly.
"Yes, Jus. I'm fine. I'm not scared anymore. There is no pain here for me anymore. I've healed myself, I have my Mother's love, and I'm not scared anymore."
Justin smiled, kissing Michael's cheek.
"So, babe. What would you like to do? It's only six thirty. We have all evening, so we can do something still."
"I want to surprise Father Derrick, so calling him is out of the question. I'd like to call Kevin and tell him I'm in town, and maybe see if I can meet with Seth tomorrow. If you don't mind, Jus."
Justin smiled, picking up Michael's cell phone and handing it to him.
Michael smiled when Justin gave him a tender kiss.
Michael entered Kevin's number off the piece of paper.
He waited, hearing the connection ring.
"Hi, Kevin. It's Michael Tavarro. How are you doing, Kevin?"
"Hi, Mr. Tavarro. Nice to hear from you again. I'm doing okay."
"Hey, it's Michael, remember? That's great. How's Seth?"
Michael felt the silence on the other end of the line, sensing Kevin's worry.
"He's not doing too good, Michael. He's been in his room for three days. I don't know what's wrong, he won't talk to me. He just sits there, staring into space. And at night I've heard him crying. I don't know what's wrong and I'm deeply worried."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Kevin. Has anything happened to him? Anything out of the ordinary?"
"I don't know, He was so happy last week, after he came back from L.A. and seeing you. You seemed to give him a new outlook on life. He went back to school and stood up to those that had hurt him. Then Friday, he came home after school crying and he's been in his room ever since. I'm getting worried, Mike. I think he might be having a nervous breakdown or something. I wish you could talk to him."
Michael sensed the deep worry and concern in Kevin's voice for his brother. He also sensed a lot of love. Seth was hurting, and that was making Kevin hurt also.
"That's why I'm calling, Kevin. I just arrived in San Francisco this afternoon. I was hoping you'd let me come by tomorrow and talk to Seth. If that's okay with you?"
Michael could feel the joy and happiness flood Kevin's soul.
"Wow, that would be fantastic! I think you might be the one to get through to him. He really looks up to you. I'd really appreciate anything you could do for him. Maybe you can help him get help, if that's what he needs."
Michael blushed, uneasy about Kevin's faith in him.
"I'd like to do my best. I feel a connection with him, Kevin. He's in need of my help."
Kevin smiled, hearing genuine concern and friendliness in Michael's voice.
"Great, please come by tomorrow. I'll give you our address."
Michael wrote the address on his notepad.
"OK, Kevin. See you tomorrow. And Kevin?"
"Take care of him. He needs his big brother close."
Kevin had tears in his eyes, thanking Michael for his concern.
"Talk to you tomorrow." Kevin said, hanging up.
Michael closed his cell phone, Justin sitting beside him, looking at him.
Justin could see the worry and concern on Michael's face and deep in his eyes.
"Everything okay, Mico?"
Michael looked at Justin, then lowering his head.
Justin stood up, looking down at him.
Michael looked up, confused.
"Mico, I know you so well. I see the worry and concern in your eyes. You're deeply worried about Seth. And the only way I see to ease that worry is for you to talk to him right now, just to make sure he's okay."
Michael smiled, sensing Justin's concern for him.
"Thanks, Jus. I am worried, deeply. I hope it's not too late." Michael said getting up and hugging Justin to him.
Justin put his arms around him, holding him tight.
Michael looked up into Justin's eyes.
"I hope it's not too late, to stop him from killing himself."
Justin looked shocked.
"Mico, what's going on? Please tell me."
"I'll explain in the car, we need to get going. It's a twenty minute drive."
Ten minutes later, Justin, Mico, Paulo and Lonnie were driving towards the Avery home.
Justin and Michael were together in the back seat, Justin's arm wrapped around Michael.
He could see Michael deep in thought, Paulo looking back at him every few moments.
"Okay, Michael. What's going on?" Paulo said, looking into his golden eyes.
Justin had briefly explained it to Paulo and Lonnie, the two ready in seconds.
"When I met Kevin and Seth last week, I sensed a lot of turmoil in Seth when I shook his hand. And I saw a vision."
Justin snuggled a little closer to Michael. He saw worry in his eyes.
"I saw Seth try to kill himself."
Paulo whipped his head around, looking shocked.
"What did you see, Mikey?"
"That's not important right now. What's important is Seth. I have to talk to him, to change his path, to make him choose another course. I thought I'd given him a new outlook, I guess I hadn't. Kevin says he's hurting even more that he was before. I've failed."
"Don't say that, Mico. You'll talk to him. If anyone can help him, I know it's you.You have a way of making people see the best in themselves. He'll see what he needs to see, and he'll be okay." Justin said with conviction.
Michael nodded, looking out the window.
He told Lonnie some directions, Lonnie pulling onto another street.
Michael knew this area. It was close to his former childhood home.
He was back in the sadness of his youth.
He saw the street his former home was on, looking down it.
He felt Justin's hand in his, and his lips on his cheek.
"You okay, my love?"
Michael looked into his blue pools of love.
Within them he saw his salvation, his protection and his life.
"With you beside me, Jus, I'm going to be fine."
Justin smiled, Michael laying his head on his shoulder.
Ten minutes later, they pulled up into a driveway, a large bungalow in front of them.
It was a beautiful home, a lot of flowers covering the front lawn and walkway.
The place looked well lived-in, but had a sensual beauty to it.
Michael felt it was the loving care to all the plant life surrounding the home.
The four walked up to the front door, Michael knocking quickly.
What greeted them at the door made Justin's eyes widen.
Kevin stood there wearing only a pair of nylon track shorts, his naked chest gleaming with sweat.
Justin, Michael and Paulo all looked at the vision of beauty before them.
Kevin's chest was well defined, sleek and muscular. His torso was smooth and blemish free. He was a vision of male beauty at its finest.
Kevin himself was in a world of shock.
He couldn't believe who stood in his doorway.
He'd known Michael was dropping by tomorrow, but he hadn't been expecting the other person standing beside him.
He stared at Justin, lost in his famed looks.
"My god, you're Justin Timberlake!" Kevin managed to spit out.
Michael held in a laugh, looking at Kevin's lost look of worship.
"Hi, Kevin. Yes, it's Justin Timberlake. He's in town with me and wanted to meet you."
Kevin managed a smile, inviting them all in.
Michael introduced Kevin to Paulo and Lonnie, then to Justin.
Kevin was still a bit shocked, shaking Justin's hand.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Timberlake. Please come in. Welcome to our home. Sorry if it's a bit messed up, I just got back from my evening run."
Kevin walked over to the couch pulling on a tank top that had been laying on the armrest on the couch.
"Please, everyone, sit down. I'll get you all drinks."
Kevin disappeared into the kitchen, everyone sitting down.
Michael looked around at the photographs on the wall unit, seeing different pictures of Kevin and Seth and an older couple, he assumed were their parents.
Kevin came back into the room carrying a tray of glasses, and a pitcher of fruit punch.
He set them down on the coffee table, everyone grabbing a glass.
"Sorry but I don't have any alcoholic beverages. Haven't really been a big beer drinker."
"This is fine, Kevin." Justin said, smiling.
"I can't believe you're here, Mr. Timberlake. Seth is a huge fan of your music, he has your picture on his bedroom wall. He's going to freak out when he sees you're here."
"That's cool, Kevin. But please, call me Justin. Are you also a fan of my music?"
Kevin blushed, his eyes casting downward.
"I'm sorry, Justin. I'm more into heavy metal."
Michael laughed, Justin looking at him with a upraised eyebrow.
"Sorry, Jus. Not all people worship you, your lordship."
Justin laughed, as did the others, Michael smiling at him.
"That's cool, Kevin. Everyone has their own tastes." Justin said smiling at him, Kevin relaxing again.
"I'm sorry for us intruding tonight, Kevin. I was so worried after our conversation, I wanted to be sure Seth was okay." Michael said, Kevin hearing the concern and caring in Michael's voice.
"Don't be concerned. I'm glad you stopped by. I'm worried too. He's in his bedroom, I'll see if he'll come out and talk to you. Would you all like to stay for dinner? I can throw more chicken on the barbecue, it's no trouble."
Michael smiled, accepting the invitation.
"This is a beautiful home, Kevin. The flowers and landscaping in your front yard are beautiful." Paulo said, smiling at him.
Kevin smiled, looking at Paulo.
"Seth did all that. He has a way with plants that's next to incredible. He loves working in the soil."
Justin smiled, surprised that a young man like Seth enjoyed that.
"Do just the two of you live here?" Justin asked.
Kevin's face changed suddenly, taking on a deep look of sadness.
"Our parents were killed in a car accident last year. There is only Seth and me now. We live together because we have only each other. And I'm his big brother, I have to look out for him."
Kevin's eyes looked on the verge of tears.
Michael got up, putting his arm around the man.
"I'm deeply sorry, Kevin. That must have been so hard on both of you. I'm sure you were a close, loving family."
"We were, Michael. Our parents were so proud of us. Seth loved Mom and Dad so much. It totally devastated him when it happend. It took me forever to get him to smile again. He's all I have, I'll do anything to see him happy."
Michael pulled Kevin up, hugging him tightly.
Justin and everyone else had tears in their eyes, seeing the deep love Kevin felt for his younger brother.
"Seth's so lucky, Kevin. I never had an older brother to look out for me."
Michael looked at Paulo, smiling a small smile. Paulo smiled back at him, knowing he had one now in Michael.
"I sensed Seth's deep love for you Kevin, when I met him. He's proud of you, deeply. You've given him your love, that's all you can give.And I sense he'll need even more."
Kevin smiled, wiping his moist eyes, and breaking the hug with Michael.
"I'll go drag him out of his room, even if I have to carry him."
Michael smiled, Kevin walking out of the living room.
Michael walked around looking closer at the pictures, seeing the happiness in Seth's face in the pictures of him with his parents and brother.
Kevin strode back into the room, alone, with a concerned look on his face.
"He's not there. Maybe he's in his garden."
Michael froze, his vision zoning out.
He saw the oak tree, in the middle of the garden. And he saw the fallen shoe.
Justin looked at Michael seeing his face change instantly. It took on a look of utter horror.
"God, no." Michael said, his voice wretching.
Michael ran past Kevin almost knocking him down.
Justin was up in a flash, Paulo on his heels, as well as Lonnie, and a confused Kevin.
They ran through the open kitchen seeing the patio doors wide open.
Justin and Kevin ran through them, both freezing in their tracks, their blood going cold.
Michael was running across the back yard towards a lush garden, which had a large tall oak tree growing in the center of it.
Seth was hanging from a large branch, his feet dangling about four feet off the ground. One shoe lay on the ground underneath him.
Kevin screamed, Lonnie grabbing onto him, trying to calm him down.
Paulo and Justin took off towards the garden.
Michael threw his hands up, the branch the rope was tied to shattering into kindling, Seth falling downward into Michael's outstretched arms.
Michael laid him gently down on the ground, pulling the noose off his neck, seeing the red burns.
He felt no pulse, beginning CPR immediately.
Justin knelt beside him, looking at the still young man.
Seth had a beauty to his face, it looked so peaceful.
Michael felt the beginnings of a low pulse in his throat, Michael putting both hands on Seth's chest and head.
The blue glow appeared instantly, Michael closing his eyes.
Within moments Seth's chest heaved up, his lungs filling with air.
He gasped, his breathing starting.
Michael broke contact, staggering a bit, sitting down against the tree trunk.
Kevin ran over, kneeling at his brother's side, taking him into his arms.
"Sethy, oh, Sethy. Why?" Kevin sobbed, holding him tightly.
Justin put his arm around the distraught man, looking at Michael.
Michael smiled a small smile.
"He's alive, Kevin. He's going to live. In more ways than one. I've put him to sleep, he needs to rest a while. Let's get him into his bed." Michael said standing up.
Kevin looked up at Michael, looking into his golden eyes.
"You've saved him. He was dead, and you brought him back to me. Who are you?"
"I'm a friend, Kevin. Just a friend."
Kevin sobbed, lifting himself up, his brother in his strong arms.
Paulo helped him carry Seth back into the house.
Michael stared up at the tree, then looked around the garden.
The landscape looked stunningly beautiful. All the plants and flowers seemed to compliment the large central tree.
"In a garden of beauty, his love shall shine bright. And at death's door a soul shall be pulled back from the endless night. Young at heart shall be set free."
Lonnie looked at Michael.
Justin put his arm around him.
"What did you just say, Mico?"
"It was something Adrian told me a while back. I guess it had this meaning."
Justin hugged Michael tightly to him.
"You alright, Mico?"
"I'm fine, Jus. No side effects at all. I'm a lot more powerful now. Healing doesn't strain me at all anymore. Now I have to heal his soul."
Michael walked back into the house, Lonnie and Justin exchanging looks.
They walked into Seth's bedroom, seeing Kevin sitting on Seth's bed beside his sleeping form.
Paulo looked at them, Justin looking around the room.
It was the typical teenager's room. Justin's poster hanging on a wall beside a poster of Gwen Stefani. There were books and a computer desk, and then something out of the ordinary.
An aquarium was set up on a table, but it didn't hold water.
Inside it were flowers, bright blue and yellow flowers. Planted in rich soil.
Justin walked over to it, looking down at them.
They were breathtakingly beautiful roses. Some were baby blue colored and some a golden yellow color.
Michael watched where Justin was looking, smiling.
He then looked at Kevin, seeing the sadness in his eyes.
Michael sat down beside him.
"I've failed him. He couldn't talk to me about this. He couldn't come to me for help. I've failed him." Kevin sobbed, tears running down his face.
Michael put his arm around him.
"Don't blame yourself for this, Kevin. This was not of your making. Seth came to a crossroads on his life's path. And all along his path he had your love in his soul. And your parents love. None of you are responsible for this. Others played a part in this, others who you couldn't protect him from. He was hurt, badly, I believe. So badly that he saw this as his only way out. At the crossroads he chose the wrong path. It's up to us to guide him back onto the right path. From here on he'll need hope, and a deep, reassuring love. And he needs something from me. Something I'll give him freely. The hope he'll get from all of us. From all our love for him. Don't blame yourself, and most importantly, don't blame him. I know of what I speak. Forward we must go, together to make him live life. Are you up for that task, Kevin?"
Kevin had been staring at Michael, lost in all his beautiful words.
"He's my brother, Michael. I'll do all it takes to make him happy."
Michael smiled, pulling Kevin up.
"Let's let him sleep for a while, then we'll have a talk with him."
Michael guided Kevin out of the room, the others following, Paulo closing the door.
They went back into the living room, Paulo going into the kitchen to make them coffee.
Michael sat down on the couch with Kevin, sitting beside him, Justin sitting beside Michael.
"How did you know, Michael? How did you know he'd done it?" Kevin asked, staring into his golden eyes. He saw a deep love there, and a deeply determined soul.
Michael put his hands together between his legs, taking a deep breath.
"I'm going to tell you some things, Kevin. Some things you may not believe. But it's all true."
Kevin nodded, looking at Michael.
"I have a lot of special gifts, Kevin. You saw one out there. I have the gift of healing. I also have special gifts that make me sense things in people. I sensed that Seth was in pain and lost. I felt that when I shook his hand at the book signing. I also saw a vision of him that day. I saw him hanging from that tree. I knew then that he might try to kill himself. I thought I'd sent him on another path, away from that vision. I'm sorry, I've failed him."
Justin put his arm around Michael, Kevin seeing the tenderness in Justin's eyes.
"You didn't fail him, Michael. You couldn't stop it from happening. But you were here to save him."
Michael looked at Justin, seeing his love shining in those blue eyes. Then he looked at Kevin.
"Justin's right, Michael. You were here to save him. For that I'll always be thankful. Thank you, Michael. For saving my Sethy."
"I had to save him, Kevin. It wasn't his time. He's got so much more to do with his life, and I'm going to make him see that. That path is right in front of him, he just needs to be pushed onto it. And I'm the one who's going to do the pushing. I failed him by letting this happen, but I won't fail him ever again."
Kevin hugged him, Michael smiling.
"What happened to him, Kevin? What happened at school?"
Kevin sighed, letting go of Michael.
"Three months ago, Seth told me he was gay. I'd always suspected, but it didn't matter one way or the other. He was still my Sethy. My brother,whom I loved unconditionally. He took great comfort in that, that I still loved him. It gave him the hope that he could be truthful in all aspects of his life. That he could be free to live his life openly. It didn't go well. He told his best friend, George. The two of them had been friends since grade school. They were like twins together. Inseparable in all things they did. George was the one person Seth felt he could trust the most. But he was wrong."
Michael remained quiet, listening to Kevin tell them about Seth's life.
"When Seth told him, George went ballistic. They had a big fight, George leaving. He hasn't been back. And George hurt Seth even more. He told everyone at their school, all of Seth's classmates turning away from him. Peer pressure drove all his friends away. Seth became an outsider. A month ago, one day after school, six football players from his school--boys Seth knew--ambushed him on his walk home. They beat him up after tormenting him for hours. He came home bloodied and bruised and his mind destroyed. It hurt him so much."
Michael put his arm around him again.
"Kids can be cruel against others who are different." Justin said, lost in his own memories. " I was teased when I was a kid because of my love for music."
"This was more than teasing, Justin. This was gay bashing, pure and simple. They hated him because he was gay and they beat him for it." Kevin said, Michael hearing the anger in his voice.
"I went to those boys' parents, they all basically told me Seth got what he deserved. A seventeen-year-old boy deserved to be beaten. That's what they told me!"
Now they all heard the anger in Kevin's voice.
"People are people, Kevin. There are a lot of people who think like that. Even in today's society, they still prosper. You'll never be able to change their views. All you can do is be there for Seth, love him and help him. Don't let anger rule your life. I realized that myself long ago. And I felt a deeper hurt than most."
Justin looked at Michael sensing his own memories.
"Seth has had more pain since then, Kevin. Something else has happened. And I need to find out what. Then I have to heal his soul. Excuse me, I need to think."
Michael got up, Justin watching him go back into the kitchen and then outside.
"He needs time alone, to think about something." Justin said quietly.
Kevin looked at Justin as he watched Michael closing the patio doors.
"You love him deeply, Justin. I see it in your eyes."
Justin blushed, looking at Kevin.
"God, my damn poker face."
Everyone laughed, including Kevin.
"He's my soulmate. I love him with all my heart."
Kevin looked surprised, but still smiled.
"You're lucky, Justin. He's a wonderful, caring, loving man."
Justin smiled, sighing deeply.
"You don't have to sell me on that."
Paulo helped Kevin get supper ready, Kevin cooking chicken on the barbecue outside.
He looked over at Michael sitting in the garden, seemingly lost in his own thoughts. Justin also was casting his eyes towards his lover, seeing him lost in his thoughts.
Justin talked to Kevin, telling him all about their relationship, Kevin looking at Justin with wonder in his eyes.
"I think Michael's lucky too."
Justin smiled, helping Kevin bring the food in.
When supper was ready and everyone sat down, Justin called Michael in.
Michael walked in, Justin pulling out a chair for him.
"I've told Kevin about us, Mico. He guessed it pretty quickly."
"It wouldn't be those loving eyes of yours again, Jus, would it?"
Justin blushed, Michael smiling.
"We've got to do something about that."
Lonnie smirked, Kevin smiling.
"It wasn't hard to see, Michael. All you have to do is look at how the two of you look at each other. It's in both of your eyes."
Michael blushed, Justin kissing his cheek.
They ate supper, Kevin asking Michael all about his past. Michael told him everything, about his uncle, his mother and his life.
Kevin looked deeply moved at times, Michael smiling at him.
Once supper was over, they all returned to the living room.
"Do you know what happened to Seth recently, Kevin?"
"No, Michael. He hasn't talked to me much since Thursday. Something happened Friday I believe, that's when he holed himself up in his room."
Michael stood up, taking a deep breath.
"I need to ask you a favor, Kevin."
"Please, call me Mikey or Mike. My good friends all do."
Kevin smiled, seeing Michael's easy acceptance of his friendship.
"I want you to promise me that you won't interfere with anything I do here this evening. I do it all for Seth. Please understand that. I need to show him what life can mean to him, what he should have sensed himself. I promise that I do this for him, for only him. I have a lot of faith in him, in his ability to have the courage to go on. I just have to show him that."
Kevin got up, hugging Michael.
"I can't believe all you've done for him so far. I have faith in him also, Michael. A deep love and faith. And I have faith in your abilities to help him. I won't interfere."
"Thank you, Kevin. Now I'll go wake him. I only ask that everyone stay out of it as much as possible."
Everyone nodded, Michael walking out of the room.
Michael opened the door to Seth's bedroom, seeing him still sleeping on the bed.
Michael looked at him, seeing a younger Kevin, albeit a blond one.
Seth had a handsome face, slim build and long legs. He reminded him a bit of Justin, in his style choice and boy-next-door looks.
Michael walked into the room, stopping at the bed and bending down.
He saw the dark red marks on Seth's throat, knowing he'd have that mark for a while.
He gently shook Seth's shoulder, the young man stirring.
Seth's blue eyes opened looking into Michael's golden ones.
"Get up Seth. I want to talk to you."
Michael stood up walking to the door. He turned around, Seth raising his head, his hand at his throat.
Seth saw Michael staring at him, his eyes seemed to be glowing.
"I'll be waiting in the living room. Don't disappoint me."
Michael walked out of the room, leaving the door wide open.
Seth got up out of bed, looking in the mirror on his dresser.
He saw the red marks on his throat, it hadn't been a dream. He'd hanged himself.
What had happened? Was he dead? Was he in some kind of twisted heaven.
He didn't think so. Michael seemed too real.
What was he doing here? Did he know what Seth had done.
Seth struggled with his emotions, then sensed that he'd find those answers out there.
In that room with Michael.
Seth took a deep breath, walking out of his room to an uncertain end.
He slowly walked down the hallway, seeing a light in the living room.
He stopped at the corner, afraid to go further.
"Now, Seth. Get in here." Seth heard Michael's voice echo in the silence.
Seth walked around the corner, stopping in his tracks.
He wasn't prepared for what he saw.
Michael stood on the far side of the room, Justin Timberlake standing beside him.
Seth stood in shock, staring at a vision of beauty.
He'd always had a crush on Justin Timberlake, his dashing looks melting Seth's heart.
And beside Justin stood his idol.
Michael's book had entered Seth's soul. The meaning Seth found in his words echoed deep in Seth's soul.
And Michael's looks sent Seth's heart racing.
But in his heart, Seth felt Michael's words hadn't been enough, not against all that he'd endured.
He lowered his head, then raised it, looking around the room.
He saw another attractive man, who looked similar to Michael, he might be his brother.
Beside him sat a large black man, who Seth recognized as Lonnie, Justin's bodyguard.
Seth looked in the other direction, seeing his brother staring at him, his face a mask of deep emotion.
Kevin went up to him, pulling him into a deep, long hug.
"Oh, Sethy, thank God you're alright, thank God."
Seth felt Kevin's deep pain, his worry.
Seth pulled away from him, staring at everyone.
"Why am I here? I should be dead. Why am I still alive?"
Kevin stared at him in shock.
"You're here because Michael saved your life. He stopped you from making a tragic mistake."
Seth stared at Michael, somehow knowing he'd been behind Seth's being alive.
"You stopped me from making the best decision of my tragic life."
Michael crossed the room quickly, staring into Seth's blue eyes.
"Is that what you think, Seth? Is that what's deep within your heart?"
Seth couldn't look into Michael's eyes for long, he saw too much truth there. He lowered his eyes.
Michael put both hands on Seth's shirt, pulling him upwards. Seth's feet were off the ground.
Michael turned, throwing him down on the empty couch Kevin had vacated.
"Now you'll sit there and be quiet. You're going to listen to all I have to say. And you don't have a choice."
Seth looked in shock, his eyes wide with fear. He saw a determined look on Michael's face, and also a look of pain.
Kevin began to step forward, worry for Seth written on his face. Lonnie put his large hands on his shoulders, stopping him.
Michael walked to the window, looking out into the darkness. His mind flew back to his past, seeing his mother and himself, feeling that deep sense of loss he'd felt that night. And he felt the pain he'd felt that night in the clearing.
He turned looking at Seth.
Seth saw all that Michael held in in those golden eyes.
"I want to tell you one thing, Seth. Death never was a good decision."
Seth lowered his eyes, turning away from Michael.
"Look me in the eyes, Seth." Michael said his voice raising an octave.
Seth turned staring into Michael's golden eyes.
"My mother killed herself, Seth. She made that great decision that you thought was so just. And do you want to know what I think? I think she hurt me more that she hurt herself."
Seth felt a sob building up in Michael.
"Do you know the way I felt that night? I died that night also. She took me with her."
Seth felt his own tears flowing, hearing Michael's pain unleashed.
Michael walked up to him, pulling him up off the couch.
Justin watched Michael's truth flowing, feeling all the emotions flowing through Michael.
Michael turned Seth quickly to face his brother, Michael pointing at Kevin.
"Did you even think of him?? Did you think of how Kevin would feel finding you out there hanging in that tree?? His heart would have been ripped out like mine was that night!! He's been crying since I pulled you down from there. His heart was open to all of us, his deep love for you showing through."
Seth stared at his brother in horror, never realizing what it would have done to him.
Kevin walked up to him.
"Why, Sethy? Why did you want to leave me all alone? Wasn't my love enough?"
Seth sobbed, pulling his brother against him.
"I'm sorry, Kevy. I forgot about you. I'm so sorry, I never meant to hurt you. I love you."
Michael turned him around, staring into his eyes.
"Yes, Seth. You forgot about him and you forgot about yourself."
Seth lifted his head staring into Michael's eyes.
"I've been so hurt, in so much pain, I thought there was no end to it but death."
"I know what you've gone through, Seth. Kevin told us about the beating and the hardships you've gone through. But you need to know something else."
Michael sat down on the couch, Seth sitting beside him, looking lost.
"I was going to kill myself also."
Seth looked at Michael in shock.
"You? You did that, Michael?"
"Yes, Seth. I walked out to my family's cottage, climbed a hill and walked to the cliff's edge. It was after my rape. My life was so painful, so full of hurt and suffering. I was lost, about to kill myself. But I heard a voice, maybe he was an angel, maybe he was the hope of my future. All I know is I stepped back and found the courage to go on. And I've never looked back."
Justin looked at Michael, sensing the truth behind Michael's words. He was that angel, that hope.
"I don't have that much courage, Michael. Not after what he did to me."
Michael put his hand gently on Seth's shoulder, Seth cringing in pain.
"It was George, wasn't it?"
Kevin looked at his brother in shock. What had George done to him? George was his best friend. George would never hurt Seth, they loved each other too much to do that.
"It was Friday after school. He asked me to meet him behind the school gymnasium, to talk. When I got there I found that he wasn't alone. Three other boys from school were with him."
Michael pulled up Seth's shirt, everyone seeing his back was riddled with slash marks. Seth's eyes were full of tears.
"They pulled my clothes off and tied me to a tree. And then they beat me with switches."
Seth sobbed, Kevin sitting down beside him. Kevin pulled him into his arms gently, Seth clinging to his brother.
"George was the most brutal. He beat me the most. I thought he was my friend, I thought he loved me. But he didn't. He beat me because of what I told him." Seth sobbed, Kevin feeling the pain Seth felt.
"You told him you were in love with him." Michael said, Kevin staring at Michael in disbelief.
"That was what the fight between you two was about, wasn't it, Seth?"
Seth looked up into Michael's loving eyes.
"Yes, Michael. I told him I loved him. I'd been in love with him for a long time. I thought he'd maybe feel the same way. But I was wrong. But I never thought he'd react that way. He was so cruel. I thought he was my friend."
Michael put his hand on Seth's shoulder.
"What did he do to you, Seth?"
"He beat me the most, his beating was meant to hurt the most. Then he broke off a large branch.... and he... he raped me with it." Seth fell into Michael's arms sobbing, Kevin sobbing also.
Michael held Seth, feeling his pain.
"I know how painful it was, Seth. How you endured that. And what George's betrayal meant to your heart."
Seth nodded, calming down a bit.
"I don't have your courage, Michael. I don't have the courage to go on."
Michael stared at him, then stood up.
"Do you want to live life, Seth? After I've told you all this, do you still want to give up?"
Seth stood up, staring into Michael's determined eyes.
"I don't have anything to fight for."
Michael continued to stare at him, Seth averting his gaze.
"Well, I guess you don't have any courage. I guess all I've tried to do tonight has failed."
Kevin got up, staring at Michael. He couldn't believe that Michael was giving up.
"I guess you are better off dead, Seth."
Seth looked shocked, Kevin looked stunned.
Michael put his hands up, wrapping them around Seth's throat.
Seth put his hands up, trying to break Michael's grip.
"Stop it, Michael, you're choking me." Seth struggled to say.
"Since you can't live like a man, try dying like one." Michael said firmly.
Seth began to struggle more now, feeling Michael's hands choking off his air.
"This is what you wanted. You wanted to die, then lets get to it. Let me help you, Seth." Michael said, staring at his terrified eyes.
Kevin started towards Michael, Lonnie grabbing him, Paulo helping to hold him back.
"Stop it, Michael. You're hurting him." Kevin began to yell.
"He wants to die, then he's going to die. He has no courage, no fight left. Let him die."
Michael increased his pressure, then saw that Seth was trying to fight back. He took this as a sign to ease up.
As soon as he did, Seth pulled free and punched Michael in the face, knocking Michael down.
Justin was beside him in a moment, Michael standing up shakingly.
He saw Seth had his fists up, ready to fight him if he came close.
"Well, looks like someone's not ready to give up. Seems to me that someone who fights to live wants to live."
Seth looked at Michael in shock, suddenly seeing what Michael had just shown him.
Seth let out a sob, sinking to his knees.
Michael knelt down beside him, Seth falling into his arms.
"Oh God, Michael! I want to live, I just don't know how I can get through all this pain." He sobbed, clinging to Michael.
Kevin was crying, seeing what Michael had done for Seth.
"You can get through it with your brother's love, and the love of your friends."
"I don't have any friends, just Kevin." Seth said looking at his brother.
"You have me." Michael said smiling at him.
"And me." Justin said, rubbing his shoulder.
"Us too. " Paulo and Lonnie said together.
Seth looked at them all , seeing genuine friendship in all their gazes.
"I want to live, Michael. I just need the courage to deal with all this."
Michael pulled him up gently, sitting him back down on the couch, Michael sitting beside him.
"I can give you that courage, Seth."
Michael took his hands in his, looking into Seth's eyes.
Michael closed his, everyone seeing Seth's glowing blue.
Michael opened his, Seth closed his.
In Seth's mind he relived all of Michael's life, seeing all the tragedy Michael had endured. And he felt the inner soul of Michael. Michael had given him the truth, the truth that Seth had hidden inside himself. Courage and hope. The two blended together, to give a man his true self.
Seth opened his eyes, a smile forming on his face.
When he smiled his whole face changed, a new beauty showing through.
"I feel it, Michael. I feel hope and courage. I never realized I had so much inside me."
Michael rubbed his shoulder, nodding.
"You have to go forward, Seth. George hurt you deeply. He has to answer for that. He made his choice, now you have to make yours. We need to get you to a hospital to tend to your injuries. Okay?"
Seth nodded, looking at his brother.
"I'm sorry, Kevy. I'm sorry I hurt you. But he hurt me so much, I couldn't get past the hurt."
Kevin hugged him close, rubbing his head.
"It's okay, Seth. I'll help you through it. I'll be with you each step of the way."
Seth smiled again, taking a deep breath.
"I need medical attention, Kev. And I need to get help for what I did here, and for what's been done to me."
Kevin nodded, seeing determination in Seth's eyes.
"Will you go with me, Kev?"
"Of course, bro."
"And will you go, Michael?"
"Yes, Seth. I'll be there for you."
Seth looked at Justin, seeing his smiling face.
"Justin can't go, Seth. He has to think of his image. He can't get involved in this."
"I understand, Michael."
"Call me Mikey, or Mike, Seth. My good friends do."
Seth smiled, hugging Michael now.
"I'll drive you there, Michael." Paulo said.
Seth looked at Paulo, Michael introducing him to Seth.
"Wow, he's your cousin? Man, do all you Tavarro men look so hot? Do you have a younger brother for me?"
Everyone laughed, Seth smiling.
Kevin helped his brother get up, gently putting his coat on him.
Paulo and Kevin guided him outside into the SUV.
Michael stood in the doorway, Justin kissing him, Lonnie smiling at both of them.
"I'll be back when we're done, Jus."
"I'll be right here, love."
Justin watched his Mico climb into the vehicle, and the car pull out of the driveway.
Lonnie stood beside him, putting his arm around his friend.
"Michael gave a lot of himself to that boy tonight, Jus."
"Yes, Lonnie. It was all he could do."
The SUV pulled back into the driveway five hours later.
They walked back into the home, finding Justin sound asleep on the couch, Lonnie snoring in a lounger.
Michael bent down, kissing Justin on the lips, Kevin smiling.
Justin's blue eyes opened, smiling at Michael.
"You're back. What time is it?"
"It's after four, Jus."
"How did it go? Where's Seth?"
"They're keeping him for observation, and he's meeting a psycologist tomorrow morning. We talked to the police also. They're investigating and there will probably be charges laid. Seth filed a complaint against George." Kevin said, smiling at Justin.
Justin hugged him, showing his support.
"Well it's late, you need some rest, Kev. How about you head to bed? We'll wake you and take you to the hospital in the morning." Michael said.
"Okay, thanks. There's a spare room at the end of the hall for you and Justin, Mike. Lonnie can take the couch and Paulo can use Seth's room." Kevin said, yawning.
"Sounds good. Get to bed, Kev."
Kevin smiled turning to go. He stopped, then turned around.
Within seconds he had Michael in a deep hug, Kevin sobbing.
"Thank you, for all you did for him, Mikey. I have my brother back. Thank you."
Michael was surprised by this outburst of emotion, patting Kevin's shoulders.
"His being okay, will be thanks enough. All he needs now is our love and his own hope and courage. He's going to be fine. And he'll find all the happiness and love he almost denied himself. I promise you that."
Kevin broke the hug, smiling at Michael, wiping the tears from his blue eyes.
"Goodnight, guys." Kevin said, walking out of the room.
Twenty minutes later Michael and Justin were cuddled together in the spare room, holding onto each other.
"I'm proud of you, Mico. You did a good thing tonight. You gave a young man a second chance at life."
"Yes, I did, Jus. And he more than deserves it."
Justin smiled, remembering what Michael had told Seth about that night on the cliff.
"You told Seth that that night on the cliff an angel saved you, or he was the hope of your future."
Michael raised his head, looking into Justin's blue eyes.
"I was right on both counts. You are my angel, Jus. And you are my hope of the future. A future full of your deep love."
Justin sobbed, Michael kissing him, and rolling over, so Justin was now in his arms, Justin's head laying on his chest.
"I love you so much, Mico."
"I love you more, Timby."
Justin fell asleep, Michael remaining awake.
He smiled, thinking of the second part of Seth's vision.
Yes, he had to be there to see that.
That joy would be of his own orchestration.
End of Chapter 77
Another brush with Michael's giving soul.
Seth has felt Michael's inner soul, his life having hope and courage back in it.
Onward we go towards better times.
And Michael's plans.
Keep the faith, Angel.
P.S. This story wouldn't be what it is without the help of some special people.
Props to Mike O. and Rod, my amigos.
Thanks for your insight and corrections.