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. Its all just fun. It does not imply anything about the sexual preferences or lifestyle of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrity mentioned in the story.
Michael smiled, Tomas showing him a bed of yellow marigolds he'd just planted.
"I'm sorry for what I did out there last week, Mike. I never meant to come on to you like that. But you have to admit you are damn sexy. So are you, Justin."
Both men blushed, Lonnie holding in a laugh.
"I'm gay, Michael. I'm not ashamed of that." Tomas said lowering his head, sensing Michael might not like that.
"That's alright, my friend. I'm gay also, Tomas. And I've found the love of my life." Michael said, smiling at him.
Justin smiled, putting his arm around Michael.
Tomas looked on in shock.
"You mean..... the two of you......holy shit!"
Everyone laughed, Tomas blushing at Father Derrick.
"Forgive me Father, I'm sorry for using profanity." Tomas said, the priest smiling at him.
"It's okay, Tomas. It is a surprising revelation."
Michael smiled, putting his arm on Tomas's shoulder.
"Yes, Tomas. I've found love. After a lifetime of hardship and pain, somewhat like yourself, I found someone to make me happy. Never fear, god guides us to our destinies. You have a greatness that will burst forth, my friend. And a heart that one day will soar with the love of a wonderful person."
Tomas smiled, lost in the moving way Michael talked.
"Let's go back inside, everyone. " Father Derrick said smiling, as eveyone took a last look at the beautiful garden.
Michael stood looking at all the flowers, a chuckle in his throat. Justin heard it, wondering what Michael was laughing at.
Michael looked into his blue eyes smiling.
Justin felt a deep contentment in Michael's soul.
Michael's thoughts were on one thing, hope for a wonderful future.
They all returned to the hallways, Michael seeing children running to classes and elsewhere.
"You've got quite a crew here now, Father."
"Yes, Michael. The place is almost bursting at the seams.We have over one hundred and twenty displaced children and more coming in every week. The younger ones usually don't stay long, adoption or foster homes are their salvation. And never worry, we only now deal with reputable homes. What happened to you won't happen again."
Michael nodded, Tomas looking at him with confusion.
"What happened to you, Mike?"
Michael lowered his head taking a deep breath. His gaze met Tomas's brown eyes.
"I was only here with Father for less than three weeks when I was nine. My supposed father went to prison, my mother committed suicide. I only stayed here for a short time and then I was sent to a foster home, where I endured torture, sexual abuse and much, much more."
Father Derrick lowered his eyes, Michael touching his shoulder.
"I survived that to be found by my grandmother. She raised me after that in a house filled with love."
Tomas looked into Michael's golden eyes seeing where his strength now came from. From his deep courage. The courage to survive such a hard life.
"I'm sorry, Mike." He said with sincere meaning.
Michael smiled at Tomas, then looked at Justin.
"The past is the past. The future is what's important to me now. And the present. Right now in the present, my stomach's growling. How about we all go out for dinner, my treat?"
Father Derrick smiled, agreeing.
The six men went back to Father's study.
After the priest had taken care of some orphanage matters, they all piled into the SUV, Lonnie driving them to a restaurant Father Derrick knew of.
The new friends all sat down in a quaint Italian restaurant, talking amongst themselves.
Tomas learned all about Michael's past from Justin and Paulo, staring at Michael with new-found respect. He couldn't believe the life that Michael had endured, the pain and torture. His own life seemed tame compared to Michael's.
Michael had promised to drop by again tomorrow and give Tomas a copy of his book, Tomas dying to read it after learning about Daniel.
Father Derrick sat back listening to Tomas enthralled by Michael's life, smiling to himself.
Michael was molding Tomas into a better man. His honestly and casual manner making Tomas trust him.
The conversation again turned to the orphanage, Father Derrick filling in Justin and the others on its history.
"Father, I want to help you." Michael said staring at him when he'd finished.
"You don't have to do that , Michael. You have no claim to feeling responsible to its success."
Michael put his hand on Father Derrick's arm.
"I want to help the man behind it. You've given so much to all those children, I'll not stand by and see you struggle to accomodate them. That's why I've come up with a suggestion."
"Alright, Michael. What do you suggest?"
Michael looked at Justin, Justin smiling. They'd talked in their minds back and forth for the last couple of hours, coming up with a plan. Justin was behind everything Michael wanted to do.
"You've become too small to hold all those children. You need to expand to accomodate everyone comfortably. And you need updated facilities. The lot next door to you is abandoned, and for sale. I saw the sign when we were in the garden. Justin and I would like to buy that land and expand your facilities."
Father Derrick looked shocked, staring at Michael and Justin.
"Michael, Justin, that's too much."
"No it's not, Father." Justin said, looking at him.
"It's my way of thanking you for being there for my Mico, when he was totally alone and lost. And it's Michael's way of thanking you for being you."
Father Derrick showed visible tears, looking at both young men.
"It's unbelievable what you're suggesting. I never expected that from either of you."
"You've done good for so many children, Father. It seems only fair that the ones ahead have the facilities to make their lives richer. Let us help, please." Michael said, Father Derrick seeing the love and caring in his moist eyes.
"Alright, Michael. I don't know how to thank you." The priest said, everyone seeing he was becoming emotional.
"I only have one request." Michael said, pulling a piece of paper out of his jacket pocket.
He'd been writing something in Father Derrick's study when the priest was finishing up his work before dinner.
Michael handed the paper to Father Derrick, the priest unfolding it and reading it.
He looked up at Michael then over at Tomas.
"I want that to be inscribed on the plaque beside the door on the new building. It may give hope to all those lost children."
Everyone looked at the priest and then Michael. They saw tears running down Father Derricks cheeks, Michael remaining quiet.
Father Derrick handed the paper to Tomas, asking him to read it aloud.
Tomas looked at everyone then began to read.
This building is dedicated to the memory of
A loving child of God.
Her courage through her short life
echoes throughout this orphanage
Take inspiration from her
Live life to its fullest
Have faith and hope
Learn and be courageous
For you shall walk in God's love
Tomas sobbed, looking towards Michael, seeing love in Michael's eyes.
Michael got up, walking around the table to him, putting his arms around Tomas.
Tomas sobbed into his body, Justin seeing Michael's deep caring for Tomas.
"She loved you, Tomas. With all her heart and soul. She didn't want to leave you, but God had other plans for her. But don't feel alone, she's been with you each step of your journey through life. She's in your heart and mind. She'll always be a part of you. I only wish I could have met her, she must have been a courageous little girl to fight through all that illness."
"She was, Mikey. She loved me so much, all she was concerned about was my going on. I've forgotten that. When you talked about the rooftop that day, it brought all that back. We went to the roof of the orphanage, when we wanted to be alone and talk. I carried her up there that last night of her life. It was the one place where we felt happy. I carried her because she was too weak to walk. She wanted to see the stars in the sky, that last night. And we talked about us, our deep love for each other. She knew she wasn't going to be here, but she kept on telling me to go on. I'd forgotten that. I loved her so much. I stayed with her until she died. That's where Father found me the next morning."
Michael looked at Father Derrick, who's face was covered in tears.
"That's why I wanted to do this. For her, and all those other small lost souls, who deserve a chance at life and happiness, the chance you've given so many, Father. Including myself. You'll never know what that short time with you did for my soul, Father."
Father Derrick smiled, nodding his head.
Tomas read the paper again, then looked at Michael smiling.
"Thank you, Michael, for honoring her memory. I will take those beautiful words to heart, and live life for her."
Michael smiled, feeling Tomas's conviction in his words.
"That's all I ask of you, and everyone." Michael said looking around the room, stopping at Justin's deep blue eyes.
The two lovers stared into each other's soul, feeling their deep love.
"So, Father, will you let Justin and me do this for you, for the children?"
"Yes, Michael. For the children. And they will thank you in their prayers."
Michael smiled, and blushed.
Father Derrick smiled, knowing of Michael reluctance with praise.
They all sat talking about the proposed buildings, going through the plans for the expansion.
First off would be the purchase of the land, then construction. Father Derrick would have full say in all areas. After all, he would be using these buildings, probably for the rest of his life.
After dinner, Justin sensed a tiredness in Michael, knowing it had been an emotional couple of days for him.
"Mico, you seem tired, maybe we should head back to the hotel."
Everyone picked up on it also.
"Alright, Jus. I am getting tired. Well, Father, I guess this is goodbye, for now."
Father Derrick smiled, hugging his friend.
"Everytime you walk into my humble life, I have a feeling of being near God, Michael. You carry a lot of love and giving in your young heart. Please don't ever change, my son."
Michael hugged the priest again tightly, Justin sensing Father Derrick's deep emotions for this giving man.
Tears were falling from Michael's eyes when the hug was broken, Michael turning and looking at Tomas.
"Thank you, Michael. For making me return here. I feel a sense of purpose in my heart again. I don't know what's ahead, but I feel I can do anything."
Michael smiled, pulling the younger man into a hug.
'I'm glad, Tomas. And I know what's ahead. You'll be pleasantly surprised."
Tomas looked shocked, Michael winking at him, then laughing.
"I'm not a fortune teller, Tomas. But I do see happiness, it surrounds you. Let it fill your soul and life will be good. Goodbye, my friend."
Michael smiled; Justin, Lonnie and Paulo saying goodbye to the two men.
The four left, Michael looking back through the car window, watching the priest and the young man waving goodbye.
When they'd turned a corner, and all was lost to Michael's view, he turned around, seeing two men looking at him.
"You know, don't you, Michael?"
Michael knew of what Justin spoke of, lowering his head.
"You know what's in store for Tomas. What's going to happen to him."
Michael smiled, Paulo and Justin seeing happiness in his eyes.
"Yes, I've sensed his future. It will be everything he's ever hoped for."
Paulo shook his head, smiling.
"You never cease to amaze me, bro."
Michael laughed, ruffling Paulo's hair, Paulo mock fighting him.
Justin smiled, seeing the two brothers playing with each other.
"Okay, kids. Calm down."
"Daddy, Paulo's hitting me, make him stop." Michael said in a child's voice.
Lonnie and Justin laughed, Lonnie keeping an eye on his driving.
"You two be quiet, or I'll turn this car around." Lonnie said, in a fatherly voice.
All three in the back seat burst out laughing.
Lonnie was right behind them in his laughter.
"Let's go to the hospital, I promised Seth I'd visit him again, there's still a couple of hours of visiting left."
"You're tired, Mico. I'm sure he'll understand. He needs rest also. Do you think he'll be okay?""
Michael took Justin's hand in his.
"Let me put it this way, Jus. Seth has always loved flowers. Think of him as a budding rose. He's lived in the darkness of the soil, his pain covering him. He's faced that pain, and now he's starting to grow. The sunshine of life will make him into a beautiful flower, and he'll bloom in love's embrace."
The car had become quiet, all listening to Michael's beautiful voice, his words seeming so real.
Justin felt a warmth radiate through him from Michael's touching words.
He turned looking out of the window, seeing a small park as they drove by.
He'd seen so much of nature's beauty the last couple of days.
Seth's beautiful garden and lawn, and Tomas's beautiful garden. Both men seemed so in tune with nature. Two gardeners who loved the same things.
Justin's breath caught, his mind zoning in on that one sentence. His head turning to look quickly at Michael's smiling face.
"Yes, Jus. They are gardeners who love nature's beauty. But the greatest gift to harvest is God's gift of love. That is one creation which both will grow together. And that garden they grow will be the most beautiful either has ever seen."
"Michael, you mean Seth and Tomas, together...." Justin said, seeing the truth in Michael's eyes.
Lonnie looked in the rear view mirror, Paulo staring at Michael also.
"When I saw the vision of Seth's suicide, it was a dual vision."
"What else did you see, Mikey?" Paulo asked, not believing what Justin had just suggested.
"I saw Seth's garden, at dusk, the sun shining over that same oak tree. I saw the broken branch, now knowing what that meant. And below that broken branch two men stood wrapped in each other's arms. They were sharing a kiss. It was Seth and Tomas."
Paulo stared at Michael in shock.
"So you knew, Mico? You knew that they were meant to meet?"
"Yes, Jus. And I can't wait for that vision to come true. I've never wanted a vision to come true before. But this I want."
Michael smiled, Justin kissing him tenderly.
"Then let's make it happen."
Michael smiled, snuggling against Justin.
They drove to the hospital, the four walking into Seth's room.
Seth and Kevin were laughing, Rick watching the two.
"Mikey, there you are." Kevin said getting up off the bed, hugging him, then everyone else.
Seth smiled at them all, everyone seeing his smile wider.
Rick shook everyone's hand, Michael introducing him to everyone.
"Seth seemed to take great pride in your helping him, Michael. You're a wonderful friend." Rick said smiling.
"I always help my friends." Michael said, smiling at Seth. Seth's smile widened even more.
"Well, he's coming along great. I'm letting him out tomorrow, but we'll be having more sessions, right Seth?"
"Yes, Rick. Thanks for letting me vent." Seth said, smiling still.
"That's what I'm here for. I'll see you in the morning, nice meeting you all."
The young doctor left, everyone smiling at Seth.
"Mike, you were right. He was so easy to talk to, I found myself telling him everything. It feels so good to open up, to have someone's help in dealing with all this. " Seth had tears in his eyes, Michael knowing they were tears of joy.
"That's wonderful, Seth. He'll help you immensely, I know. And time will heal all the pain. Life goes on my friend, you go on."
Justin put his arm around Michael, Kevin putting his around his brother.
"So, tomorrow you're going home. I think that calls for a celebration." Michael said, everyone smiling.
"If you'll allow me, I'd like to cook dinner for you guys tomorrow, everyone will help."
Kevin smiled, Seth saying yes to Michael.
"Tomorrow's our last day here, Kevin and Seth. Then it's back to Justin's tour for us. I want to leave you with full bellies."
Seth laughed, but sensed more in Michael's giving heart.
"Okay, Mikey. But I can eat a lot." He said, Kevin laughing, seeing his brother back to his old self.
"Then it's settled. We'll get everything ready tomorrow, and leave it all to me."
The four friends parted with Kevin and Seth, going back to their hotel.
That night, after Justin and Michael were alone, hours of passion behind them in their soft bed, Justin looked into Michael's golden eyes.
"You're cooking up more than dinner tomorrow, aren't you, Mico?"
Michael laughed, smiling at Justin.
"Let's just say that dessert is going to be something special."
Justin smiled, feeling Michael's happiness, the two snuggling together in their favorite position, both sliding off into sleep's deep embrace.
The next morning, they all drove over to the Avery home, Kevin leaving to go pick Seth up. The others stayed there. Michael starting to cook; Justin, Lonnie and Paulo being assigned jobs.
An hour later, everything was ready, Justin trying to help Michael cook, Michael smiling at his enthusiasm.
"Love, you should relax, tomorrow we're back in L.A, then you've got to get into the concert mode again."
"I'm fine, love. Being here with you relaxes me best."
Michael smiled, kissing his cheek.
Kevin's car pulled into the driveway, Kevin and Seth walking into the house, everyone hugging Seth, Michael doing it last.
"Welcome home, Sethy."
Seth smiled, liking Michael calling him that.
"It's good to be home. There's no place like home."
Michael smiled, guiding Seth to his bedroom, Seth and Kevin seeing it had all been cleaned, as well as the rest of the house.
"I had three strapping young men here who needed to work, I put them to good use." Michael said.
"Thanks guys, you didn't have to do that." Kevin said, smiling at them all.
"Hey, we didn't mind." Justin said smiling.
"Well, if the music scene doesn't work out Justin, you'll make one damn fine maid." Kevin said, smirking.
"You should see his uniform, hot pants and a wife beater, he can clean me anytime." Michael said licking his lips, everyone bursting into laughter, Justin beaming seductively at Michael.
Seth smiled, seeing the two young handsome men smiling at each other. He didn't know who was more lucky. Michael for having such a handsome, sexy lover in Justin, or Justin for having such a giving, loving sexy man in Michael.
He envied them both.
Seth yawned, Michael picking up on his tiredness.
"Seth, you need a nap, I know it's never easy to sleep in a hospital bed."
Seth nodded, laying down on his bed.
Justin looked again at the aquarium with the blue and yellow roses in it.
"Oh, Seth, I forgot to tell you, I love the roses. I've never seen such brilliant colors, where did you get them?"
Seth sat up, getting up and looking into the aquarium.
"I grew them, Justin. They're my babies, I cross-bred them from unpollinated seeds. There's no other roses like them anywhere. They're my own creation."
Justin looked in awe at Seth.
"Wow, that's unbelievable. Way to go buddy!!"
Seth smiled, looking at Justin, then Michael.
"Thanks, Justin. I'm going to grown more, I just want to get the blue just right and the golden yellow also. I think I know exactly the right shading now." He said, looking into Justin's blue eyes and Michael's golden ones.
"Let's allow Seth some sleep. We'll wake you in a couple of hours, Sethy." Michael smiled, shooing everyone out of the room, Seth laying down again.
Seth looked over at the aquarium, thinking of Michael and Justin, remembering the shade of their loving eyes.
Three hours later, Paulo quietly woke Seth up, telling him to shower and get refreshed.
Seth took a quick shower, drying himself off, looking in his bathroom mirror.
He'd never liked his body, seeing it as skinny, but he'd noticed that in the last few months, his muscle tone had sharpened, his abs taking on more definition. He'd begun running with Kevin in the evenings, the exercise doing him good. Yes, he was beginning to tone up, but he sensed he'd never be as beautiful as Justin and Michael, or even his brother Kevin.
Seth looked long at himself in the mirror, seeing himself truly for the first time.
He was good-looking, he was smart and he now had a chance at living his life the way he wanted. He felt the courage inside him, the gift from Michael.
He smiled, pulling on a golf shirt and a pair of cargo shorts, walking out of the bedroom.
He walked through the house seeing no one, walking into the kitchen, and then through the patio doors.
Seth nearly jumped out of his skin, everyone laughing.
Everyone had party hats on, Kevin hugging Seth right away.
"What's this? You nearly scared me half to death." Seth blushed, Michael winking at him.
"It's a party, stupid. For you." Justin laughed hugging him tight.
"For me? Why?"
Michael walked up to him putting his hand on his shoulder.
"Let's call it Seth's New Beginning party."
Seth smiled, hugging Michael.
"Thanks, guys." He said smiling widely now.
They heard the front doorbell ring, Justin smiling.
"Who's that?" Seth asked, seeing everyone he knew here in the backyard.
"I've invited a couple of friends, Seth." Michael said, looking at him.
"Kevin said it was okay, I wanted to see them again before I left, so I thought I'd combine that with this. I hope you don't mind. Father Derrick is an old friend and Tomas is one of his students."
"Okay, Mikey. If they're your friends, then that's cool."
Michael smiled walking into the house to answer the door.
A few minutes later he walked into the back yard with Father Derrick and Tomas.
He introduced them to Kevin, Kevin welcoming both to their home.
Seth was talking to Justin, Michael walking up to him.
Seth turned as he heard Michael speaking.
"Seth, this is my friend Father Derrick and my friend Tomas Santiago."
Seth shook Father Derrick's hand, smiling at him, then he turned to shake Tomas'.
Seth's eyes met Tomas' as they touched hands.
Both stared at each other, lost in their own time and world.
Michael saw the connection easily, a small smile crossing his lips.
Justin also saw the way both young men looked at each other, seemingly lost in each other's gaze.
"Hi, Seth." Tomas said quietly, looking into his blue eyes, the bluest pools of sunlight he'd ever seen.
"Hello, Tomas." Seth said, captivated by the dark brown orbs gazing into his soul.
"You two have so much in common, you're both lovers of flowers and plants." Justin said, Michael smiling at Justin's attempt to bring the two out of their trance.
"Your front yard is beyond beautiful. I've never seen such use of color and plants. Did you do that?" Tomas asked Seth.
Seth smiled, Tomas loving his smile.
"Yes, but I don't think I did it justice. I could have done more."
Tomas' laughter lightened the silence.
"Would you like to see the garden?" Seth asked, Tomas smile changing his face.
"Sure, I'd like that."
Seth turned, Tomas following him.
Everyone stood watching the two men heading toward the garden at the far end of the backyard.
Father Derrick stood beside Michael, looking into his watchful eyes.
"And just what's going on here, hmm?" He said, half smiling.
"God works in mysterious ways, Father. Sometimes he guides others to do his work." Michael said smiling at his old friend.
Father Derrick smiled, putting his hand on Michael's shoulder.
"And sometimes others do their own handiwork."
Michael smiled, lowering his head.
"You're very clever, Father Derrick." Justin said, smiling his killer smile.
"You'll never cease to amaze me, my young friend. Okay, I'm starving, where's all this delicious food you promised me?"
Paulo showed Father Derrick over to the buffet table they'd set up, everyone beginning to fill their plates.
Seth and Tomas walked through the garden, Tomas lost in the beauty of the place.
"This is so beautiful, Seth .You really are talented. I wish I had your talent for display."
"It just flows out of me, I see in my mind how it should look and I go from there."
Tomas smiled, looking at Seth's beautiful face.
He'd become lost in the glowing beauty of Seth's smile.
"So you like flowers also? That's so cool. Not many guys I know do. Most think it's too faggish."
"Hey, it's nothing of the sort. If you like doing it, then it's important to you."
Seth smiled, captivated by Tomas' honesty.
"Cool. I do like it, a lot. When I have flowers and dirt in my hands, I feel at peace."
Tomas' smile intoxicated Seth.
"I feel the same, it's so relaxing and invigorating at the same time."
Both men smiled at each other, Tomas sitting down beneath the oak tree.
He looked up, seeing the broken branch, wondering what had broken it.
"This oak tree, it's the center of the whole feel, you worked magic around it."
Seth smiled, sitting down beside him.
"Yeah, I started with it and surrounded it with the beauty I thought it deserved."
"You did very well. It's so beautiful. It puts mine to shame."
Seth looked at Tomas, seeing his sad look.
"I'm sure yours is beautiful too. I see beauty in your soul, it must show in your garden, no doubt."
Tomas smiled, Seth captivated by his beautiful teeth.
"You live with Father Derrick?"
"Yes, I just returned to his orphanage last week. I'd been living on the streets for a few years, and someone showed me I needed to change my life."
Seth looked over, watching Michael talking with Justin.
"That wouldn't have been Michael, would it?"
Tomas smiled, also looking at Michael.
"He's entered your life also, hasn't he?"
Seth smiled, reliving all Michael had done for him.
"He's done more than that. He's saved it."
Tomas looked at the young man, seeing something moving in his eyes, which began to tear up.
"Our angel guides us."
Seth looked at Tomas, surprised at those words, he'd been thinking almost the same thing.
"We should return to our friends, they'll think we're ignoring them." Seth said smiling at the young Latino man.
"Yes, it's easy to become lost in beauty." Tomas said, staring into Seth's beautiful blue eyes.
The two men got up, returning to the group that sat on the backyard patio, both men heading to the buffet set out.
Michael watched the two filling their plates from his seat beside Justin, a smile crossing his face.
Kevin was watching Michael, smiling himself.
No one had told him, but he'd picked up on everything fairly easily.
Father Derrick laughed himself, seeing Tomas smiling so much filled his heart with joy.
Everyone sat down to a hearty meal, good conversation and lots of laughter.
When they'd eaten their fill, Kevin stood up, asking for quiet.
Everyone calmed down, waiting for him to speak.
"I want to thank you all for being here tonight for Seth, for being his friends. It fills my heart with joy seeing him here, beside us, happy once again. Seth, I love you. With all my heart. I'm more than your big brother, I'm your friend also. I'll always be here to talk to, you know that."
Seth got up hugging his brother, Father Derrick and Tomas looking at each other.
"I love you Kevin. I'm sorry for what I did, I never meant to hurt you." Seth said, looking at his brother.
Seth broke the hug, Kevin wiping his eyes, sitting down.
Seth looked at Tomas and Father Derrick, then settled his gaze on Michael.
In Michael's golden eyes he saw love and warmth, directed at him. He knew what he had to say.
"Father Derrick, Tomas, I need to tell you something. I tried to kill myself last night. I took the easy way out."
Father Derrick looked shocked, looking at Michael. Michael's gaze was on Seth.
Everyone else knew how hard it was for Seth to own up to his mistake, and they all saw the courage it took him to say it to strangers.
"I was beaten and hurt, and raped, because I was gay. My supposed best friend tied me to a tree, beat me, and then raped me with a tree branch."
Father Derrick had tears in his eyes, hearing the deep truth coming from Seth.
Tomas' eyes were on Seth, Seth afraid to meet his gaze. If he had, he would see the tears deeply enshrined there, in Tomas' brown eyes.
"I couldn't deal with the pain of that deep hurt, that deep loss in trust, so I tried to take the cowardly way out."
Seth put his hands over his own heart, staring directly at Michael.
"You gave me a second chance, Michael. You saved me from myself. For that I thank you, with all my heart."
Michael rose up, walking around the table, looking into Seth's blue eyes.
"I need no thanks, my friend. You saved yourself, by what you've just done. You've shown the courage I've always seen inside you, Seth."
Seth cried, hugging Michael tightly.
They broke their bond of love, Seth wiping his eyes.
"The police came in this morning before I left the hospital. George was arrested for what he did to me. One of his friends that was there that day broke down and told the police everything. George then confessed to everything. He's been charged. I don't know what will happen to him but I hope he sees what he did to me. Maybe in time I can forgive him, like you did Paul, Michael. Right now all I care about is living my life. I need to find my own happiness."
Michael smiled at him, returning to his seat, Justin putting his arm around him.
Tomas stood up, walking up to Seth.
"I'm sorry for what's happened to you, Seth. It took a lot of courage for you to tell Father and myself that. Michael is right, you do have courage. I'd like to be your friend, Seth. If you can find it in that loving heart to allow me that."
Seth looked deep into Tomas' eyes, seeing his kindness, and honesty there.
"I'd like that Tomas, I'd like that a lot."
Tomas smiled a large smile, only to be matched by Seth's.
The two new friends hugged each other, Michael closing his eyes and smiling.
Michael sensed in his mind the connection going on between the two. He felt their hearts and souls seeking each other out.
Michael opened his golden eyes, Justin seeing the single tear falling from them.
They joined hands together, Justin now sensing what Michael had sensed, his own eyes tearing.
They sensed the beginnings of new love.
Seth and Tomas broke their hug, both looking at each other in a new way.
Kevin got up, as well as everyone else, everyone hugging Seth.
After that, they all relaxed, everyone talking together.
Seth and Tomas sat beside each other, glancing at each other, quietly talking.
Kevin every now and then glanced over at the two of them, starting to realize what he was seeing.
Seth got up, looking at Kevin.
"I'm going to show Tomas my special roses, Kev."
"Okay, Seth. Have fun guys."
Both young men went into the house, everyone watching them go.
All eyes immediately turned to Michael's, Michael sighing with a smile.
"Okay, some of you know, others don't. So I'll tell all of you."
Michael began talking, everyone listening to Michael tell them about his dual vision of Seth.
Kevin looked shocked, looking at Michael with wonder.
"So you knew that they'd be destined to meet each other, from the start?" Kevin asked.
"Yes, Kevin. I knew that somehow Seth and Tomas would meet. All I had to do was make sure the first part of that vision didn't bear fruit. When after I looked up at that broken branch, I knew that Seth would be ok. That branch was in the second vision."
Father Derrick and Kevin just stared at Michael, lost in what he'd just told them.
"You're unbelievable, Michael. In every sense of the word." Father Derrick said.
"I have gifts, Father. Gifts that I have been given. I never asked for them, they just appeared. I only hope I can use them for goodness."
Kevin sat down beside Michael, taking his hand in his.
"I have only seen goodness, Mike. You saved my brother's life. And now you've given him love."
Michael smiled, patting Kevin's hand.
"I haven't given him love, Kevin. I've given him a chance to find love, and I sense it is in Tomas' heart that he'll find it. We all just need to give them both that time to discover it for themselves. Please, let them do it by themselves. Don't let him know that I knew, Kev. He needs to discover this himself."
Kevin smiled, hugging Michael, lost in the goodness he felt from this truly remarkable man.
Seth and Tomas walked into Seth's room, Tomas' eyes opening wide when he spotted the roses.
'Wow, Seth! They're so beautiful! I've never seen a blue rose, I didn't know they existed."
Seth smiled warmly at Tomas.
"I've grown them myself, through many hours and days of delicate care. I cross-pollinated thirteen different varieties until I grew these. They're not quite right, I want the colours just right. I now know the true colours they must be."
Tomas smiled, sensing Seth's deep commitment to excellence when it came to his flowers.
"There's so much I don't know."
Seth smiled seeing the wonder in Tomas' beautiful brown eyes. He saw that Tomas did care deeply about flowers, his passion almost equal to his own.
"If you want, I can show you things about plants and flowers, I have a lot of books."
"Cool, that would be great."
Seth smiled, sitting down on the bed, patting the spot beside him.
Tomas smiled, sitting down beside him.
They looked into each others eyes again, lost in their own beauty.
"I'm sorry to hear about what happened, Seth. No one deserves that pain. I wish I could find that guy, he would deeply regret what he did to you, when I got through with him."
Seth smiled, sensing the truth in Tomas' words. Then his face changed, Tomas picking up on the sadness.
"He was my best friend, I loved him so much." The tears beginning to fall.
Tomas put his arm around Seth, Seth clinging to him while he cried.
"It's okay, Seth. He won't ever hurt you again. I'll protect you. You have me now."
Seth looked up into Tomas' brown eyes, seeing the tears there.
"Thank you, Tomas. Thank you for wanting to be my friend. I've been so lonely."
Tomas wiped the tears out of Seth's eyes.
"You'll never be alone again, Seth."
Seth smiled, Tomas loving that look on his face.
They both looked into each other's eyes again, this time drawing closer.
Within a heart beat their lips connected, the kiss lingered, Tomas pulling back reluctantly.
"I'm sorry, Seth. I shouldn't have done that. You don't need me to screw your life up more. I'm sorry."
Tomas got up, walking out of the room.
Seth remained sitting on the bed, a smile still on his face.
Tomas walked back into the backyard seeing Michael, Justin and Father Derrick going over plans for the orphanage's expansions, everyone else involved as well.
Tomas walked past them heading to the garden.
Michael watched him going, excusing himself from everyone.
Everyone turned back to the discussion. Justin watching Michael go after Tomas, Father Derrick then drawing him back into the conversation.
Tomas sat down on the bench on the far side of the garden looking up at the oak tree, and the broken branch.
He couldn't believe the pain Seth must have endured to try and take his own life because of it.
Michael walked around the tree, smiling at Tomas.
"Hey Tomas, how are you doing?"
Tomas looked up at him, Michael seeing the tears in his moist eyes.
He sat down beside him looking at him quietly.
"I think I just screwed my friendship with Seth up."
"Why do you say that?"
"I kissed him."
Michael smiled, looking at the oak tree.
"And why did you kiss him?"
"He looked so beautiful, so loving. I just felt that I needed to do it. I've never met anyone who's had that effect on me. Sure, I've had sex with different guys, but that wasn't what I wanted to happen."
"You wanted something more."
Tomas looked up at Michael seeing his smiling face.
"You felt love for the first time, Tomas. You've never loved someone, in that way. I think you're having deep feelings for him. Am I right?"
"How can that be? I've just met him? No one falls in love that quickly."
"You're wrong, Tomas."
Tomas looked up as he saw Justin walk out from behind the oak tree.
"I fell in love with Michael the moment I looked into his golden eyes that first day."
Tomas looked totally stunned.
"Really?" Tomas blurted out.
"Yes, Tomas. The moment I looked into those beautiful eyes I knew I'd found the man I'd want to love forever."
Michael looked up at Justin seeing that deep truth in his heart and soul.
"Love happens when love happens. It knows no time frame or intensity. All it requires is two people who have faith in each other. The faith to learn about each other, to be there for each other, and to love each other for who they really are."
Michael smiled at Justin's simple words, words that entered Tomas' soul as well.
"I can't believe that I've fallen in love this quickly." Tomas said, looking down.
"Maybe you should talk to me about it."
Tomas looked up again seeing Seth walk from behind the tree, Justin winking at Michael.
Tomas stared into Seth's blue eyes, knowing now that Seth had heard every word he'd said.
Michael got up, walking past Seth, Justin putting his hand in his.
"We'll leave you two alone to talk. Be honest with each other, guys. Love begins with honesty." Justin said, Michael looking at him with a surprised look on his face.
The two older men walked back across the lawn to the others.
Seth sat down beside Tomas.
Both looked forward, trying to find the words to say.
The turned as one, looking into each other's eyes.
"I've never met anyone like you, Seth. I think I might love you."
"I've known from the moment I looked into your brown eyes, Tomas. You have a deep love inside you that has me lost."
Tomas looked into Seth's blue eyes, seeing a deep love there also.
"You have the same, Sethy."
Seth smiled at the name, putting his hand in Tomas'.
"Let's discover it together, Tomas. Let's discover each other's feelings and dreams. Flowers have brought us together, I believe it will be our binding love."
Tomas smiled deeply, Seth matching its brilliance.
"Please don't hurt me, Tomas. I'd die if you hurt me."
Tomas pulled Seth into his arms, hugging him tightly.
"Never fear of that, my love."
The two remained seated, lost in their embrace.
Michael and Justin sat down, everyone looking across the lawn at the two young men sitting down talking.
Then they saw them hug each other, remaining embraced together.
"Love always finds a way." Lonnie said, smiling at Michael.
"Love conquers all." Justin said, looking into his lover's deep golden eyes.
Michael smiled, Justin giving him a wonderful idea.
Of, course. That's what's been missing.
Michael smiled, looking back across the lawn.
They all saw the two young men get up and walk around the tree.
They started walking towards the group. Tomas stopping suddenly in front of the tree.
Seth felt Tomas let his hand go, Seth turning around.
"Come here, Seth." Tomas said looking up
Seth returned to Tomas who was standing in front of the tree.
Seth looked up, seeing the broken branch.
Tomas put his arms around Seth, Seth looking into his brown eyes.
"On this spot you almost made a mistake, Seth. Michael has given both of us a chance at life again. For that I'll always be grateful. He's given me you. For today we both have a chance at happiness. A happiness together. I want to love you, Seth."
Seth stared into Tomas' brown eyes, all his fear gone.
"I long for your love, Tomas."
The two were pulled together by destiny. By fate. And by Michael.
There lips touched, both becoming lost in the deepness of that connection, a connection to their very souls.
Everyone watched the two come together in their first kiss of love, Michael smiling widely.
All eyes turned towards his golden eyes, seeing the tears flowing.
Michael felt Justin's arm wrap around him and his fingers turning Michael's chin.
"You did good, Mico." Justin said, kissing Michael deeply.
Michael felt all Justin's love flow into him, lost in its deep warmth.
They parted, both looking again as the two new young lovers remained together.
"Looks like I may just be gaining a new brother." Kevin said, with a wide smile on his face, tears flowing down his cheeks.
Father Derrick looked at Michael, marveling at what his friend had done for Tomas and Seth. To bring two lost souls together, to unite them in love, was nothing short of miraculous.
Father Derrick thought back to a night long ago, when he'd brought a young boy back to the orphanage after burying his mother.
A young boy who'd been abused and beaten, who'd lost everything.
The young boy with the golden eyes.
He'd put him to bed that night, the boy hadn't said anything all day.
When the priest had tucked him in and given him a drink of water, he'd kissed him on the forehead.
Father Derrick had felt a warmth radiate through him.
When the priest had almost closed the door on the small child, he'd heard an angelic voice in the darkness.
"For goodness I will live. For hope I shall endure."
Father Derrick's eyes remained on Michael's face, watching the young man with his lover.
Let's hope you live a long time, my angel, Father Derrick thought in his mind.
End of Chapter 79
That was a chapter full of surprises.
What had Michael meant all those long years ago?
Is there something more behind Michael's good, giving heart?
He once said that he did good to atone for his own failings.
He was absolved of those failings, but he continues to do good.
Onward we go, lots more surprises ahead.
Next chapter we deal with the long anticipated surprise.
Hopefully I can do your expectations justice.
Forgive me if I do not.
Love, your Angel.