Nick and the Altos, Part 12

Wow, we're up to Part 12 -- I know I told some of you in email that this part would be done by last Thursday, but I didn't quite make it. Oh well, sorry about that.

From some of the mail I've received, it sounds like a lot of people can't wait to find out whether anything ever happens between Nick and I. Well, I'm not going to spill the beans at this point, but it's only been like six or so days since we met. If you haven't figured it out yet, I don't just jump into bed with every cute guy that comes along, so keep your pants on!

One of the things that seems to be a tradition on here is for authors to mention some of their favorite stories... I have been an avid reader of quite a few: Brian and Me, Jamie's Romance, My Surprise Romance, Lance in Shining Armour, Studio in the Country, Lucky Me, Not Meant to Be, Twist of Fate, Mile High Meeting, Model Romance, Beneath It All and the list goes on. My email address is, if you feel inclined to write and let me know what you think or just want to chat.

Now on to the standard disclaimers. I doubt that anything I write will make any difference since if you found this little gathering place on the World Wide Web you're probably going to go ahead and read what's here no matter what anyone says. But here it goes anyway...

If you have a problem reading about guys who like other guys as something more than just friends, you need to go find some other place to poke around. If you are under the legal age to read erotic fiction where you live, you probably wouldn't get in trouble for reading this story, but you really don't belong here. And most importantly, many of the names mentioned in this story have been changed to protect the guilty (or is that supposed to be the innocent?). Under no circumstances will I disclose whether or not I actually know any of The Backstreet Boys or any other celebrity who may make an appearance. Nor do I believe in outing people, so I will not disclose any information about the true sexual orientation of anyone mentioned in this story.

Previously in the story of Nick and the Altos

They all left my room and I closed my eyes. I little while later I was awakened when, as it turns out, Nick came in a sat on the bed next to me.

"Are you going to be warm enough on top of the bed?"

"It is a little cool, but I didn't want to have the sheets stick to me."

"How about I build a fire in the fireplace?"

"That'd be great, Nick. Thanks."

Nick started a fire and before long the room was much more comfortable. After he was satisfied with the fire, he came over and lay down on the other side of the bed. We chatted about the bike ride for a few minutes and then we both fell asleep.

I don't know how long I was asleep but do I ever remember waking up. I was laying on my back and there was blond hair in my face. I looked down and saw that Nick was snuggled up against me with his head on my shoulder and his arm across my chest. I don't normally sleep on my back but it sure was comfortable at that moment.

I started to move my left arm and discovered that it was both stiff and pretty painful. I guess I shifted quite a bit when I felt the pain cause Nick stirred, gradually lifting his head and looking up at me.

"How are you feeling, Mikey?"

"Pretty sore and stiff, Nick," I replied.

"Is there anything I can do to help?" he asked as he looked over at my arm. Then he started to sit up and look down at my leg. "Uh, Mikey, I think you need to put something away..."

I turned red, realizing what he was talking about. I reached down and stuck myself back inside my boxers. "I wanted to do that when I woke up but you were holding on to it and I didn't want to wake you up."

His head jerked around to face me and he had turned bright red. "Oh shit, Mikey, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to, I was asleep and didn't know..."

I started laughing and then crying due to the pain at the same time. "Nick, I was joking. You were just sleeping with your arm across my chest. I didn't realize I was sticking out until you said something and then I couldn't resist an opportunity for a little payback."

"You can be such an asshole, Mikey!"

"Who, me?"

"Yes, you!"

"You still love me though, don't ya?" I asked.

"I guess..."

I reached up with my right arm and grabbed hold of his shirt and pulled him back down beside me. As we lay there he started pushing me to call my parents and tell them what happened. Stubborn me wasn't the least bit interested in letting them know about my accident. It was partly because my mother tends to rag on me about doing things she considers too dangerous. Mainly, though, it was that I just didn't want a damned bodyguard following me around. I'd been through that a couple of times before and it really sucked.

Finally I convinced Nick that we should wait. If anything else suspicious happened or we started to see people hanging around that we didn't know, then I would call home and let my parents know.

"We prolly should get up before someone comes looking for us," Nick said after we had been laying there for a while.

"Yeah, we don't exactly need someone to walk in here and seeing us like this."

"So, you ready to play hospital?"

"I hope you are just meaning doing something about dressing the road rash," I replied.

"Yeah, at least for now..."

I asked him to put on some music so I could have something to concentrate on while he tried to cover up all the scrapes. He got up off the bed and went over to my sound system and started looking through the CDs on the shelf.

"So how come there aren't any of our discs on your shelf?"

"Cause I've never listened to your music except when I hear it in a store or on an elevator..."

He turned around with this shocked look on his face. "On an elevator? You know that isn't exactly the smartest thing to say when I am minutes away from trying to be as gentle as possible at treating your road rash."

"You know you are so easy and so fun to tease, don't you?"

"You're going to wish you had treated me with the respect I deserve," he said threateningly.

"You wouldn't, would you?" I asked meekly.

"That's for me to know and you to find out," he replied, laughing. He turned around and took the Violator CD off the shelf and loaded it in my CD player and adjusted the volume to a medium level.

After getting my first aid kit from the bathroom he came over and sat down on my left side. In spite of the threats he had made, he really did his best to be gentle as he applied ointment to my arm and then covered up the damage with gauze. Once he was satisfied with his work, he moved down to my upper leg. He pushed the leg of my boxers up to get clear access to the top of the damage and repeated the process. Once he finished there he moved down to my lower leg.

I survived the treatment in pretty good shape, so it was time to try to get up off the bed. I started to sit up and discovered I was a lot more sore than I had realized. So Nick came over and gave me a hand getting up. He went and got a pair of sweats out of my dresser drawer and put them over my feet and pulled them up to where I could reach them and finish the job. Then he helped me with the sweatshirt.

"Thanks, Nick."

"No prob, Mikey, glad to help."

"Guess there's no time like the present to make the grand entrance. Everyone must be home by now."

"Yeah, I'm sure they are. So much for us going shopping today, huh?"

"Sorry about that. How about tomorrow morning?"

"Let's see how you are getting around before we make any plans."

"I'm sure I'll be doing ok, but Tony could always take you if I'm not up to it."

"Yeah, but I'd rather we go together. It can wait."

Nick turned off the music and we headed downstairs. Everyone was sitting in the family room talking about what they had done that day. Judging by the number of bags at the bottom of the stairs, Kristin, Leighanne and Amanda had been very successful in their attempt to buy out the entire stock of every store in Vail.

Nick and I went over and sat down next to each other on an empty couch. As soon as we sat down, we became the center of attention.

"Mikey, Brian told us about your accident. Are you ok?" Leighanne asked.

"Well, I'm pretty sore, but considering what happened, I'm doing ok."

"I can't believe the car didn't stop. What if you had been seriously hurt?" Amanda said.

"He was pretty seriously hurt, you should see his arm and leg," Brian said, "It made me hurt just looking at it."

"Jeez, it's not that bad. I didn't break any bones this time," I said.

"This isn't the first time?" Kristin asked.

"Nope, I raced bicycles so it is sort of just something that happens once in a while. Then there was my motorcycle accident where I broke my shoulder blade completely in half. Now that hurt!"

"You've got to be shitting me! You broke your shoulder blade? That's some serious damage, dude," AJ exclaimed.

"Yeah, they talked about putting a metal plate in when it wouldn't start healing. Finally after six weeks it started to knit together on its own. I wasn't looking forward to setting off metal detectors for the rest of my life," I joked.

"So I guess you aren't going to be up to going out partying tonight with us?" Howie asked.

"I think I am going to take it easy, but thanks for inviting me."

"You're going to come aren't you Nick?" Kevin asked.

"Actually, I'm pretty tired from everything we did today, Kev. I think I'll stay here and keep Mikey company. Maybe watch a movie."

"So anyone know what the plans are for dinner?" I asked.

"Maria was talking about fixing Italian earlier this afternoon," Brian replied.

"I'll go check and see what time she's planning to serve," Kristin said as she got up. "You want something to drink, Mikey?"

"That would be great, Kristin. A bottle of water, please."

Just about everyone else in the room spoke up and placed an order. She just stood there and looked at them and told them I was hurt and she was being nice and helping me, but the rest of them were completely capable of getting their own drinks. Of course, that opened me up for some major sympathy -- more like "Awww, poor little Mikey" and stuff like that. Even Nick joined in.

Kristin went into the kitchen and returned a few minutes later with a bottle of water for me and Snapples for herself and Kevin. After telling us that dinner was going to be in about a half hour, she sat down and curled up on the couch next to Kevin.

"Jeez, I guess she was serious," Nick said as he got up and went towards the kitchen. He returned a couple of minutes later with a tray full of various flavors of Snapple, some cans of Pepsi and Dr. Pepper and a couple of bottles of water.

"Hurray, someone call an ambulance," AJ yelled.

"Why?" I asked.

"Nick's never done anything like this before. He must really be sick!" AJ replied.

"Very funny, Asshole Jackass!" Nick said as he took a Dr. Pepper and sat back down next to me. "Mikey, you did know what AJ is short for didn't you?"

"Well, I can definitely understand why he prefers AJ."

"Very funny, peroxide boy," AJ said.

I noticed that Kevin seemed to be glancing over towards us rather often. I assumed that he was continuing to be suspicious, or at least concerned, about what was going on between Nick and me. I also assumed Nick was pushing the envelope to the limit to frustrate the four of them.

We continued to talk about some of the things there were to do around the area. Howie and AJ were apparently pretty seriously considering making a trip up to Aspen later in the week. Kevin and Brian were planning on more golf and Kristin and Leighanne were going to join them for at least one game.

Since I wasn't in any kind of shape to do much, I told them that I would probably just relax around the house for the next couple of days until I could get around a little better. I was also going to start doing some design work for the website for The Backstreet Foundation. Nick was planning on doing some shopping and take Gracie for some long hikes.

It didn't seem like we had been sitting around more than a few minutes when Maria came in and told us that dinner was ready in the dining room. She had again prepared a great buffet dinner with tonight's main dishes consisting of veggie lasagna, chicken alfredo and spaghetti with meatballs. There was a huge Caesar salad and, on the table, baskets filled with her bread sticks. I noticed that she had placed saucers with olive oil and balsamic vinegar around the table too.

As everyone else lined up to serve themselves, I asked Nick to follow me and we went to my parents wine locker. I had him grab several bottles of Cabernet. When we got back to the dining room, he opened a couple of bottles and poured everyone a glass. After everyone was seated we raised our glasses with a toast of "To our growing friendship", took a sip of wine and dug in to yet another delicious meal.

The dinner conversation was pretty lively, helped along no doubt by the bottles of wine. It wasn't like anyone drank too much, but everyone was definitely having a good time. I don't know why, but everyone seemed to be having a good time giving both Nick and I more than our fair share of harassment. I got plenty for not being able to ride my bike. Nick took a bunch for being the youngest one around but being too tired to go out and have a good time. I actually felt a little sorry for him because I figured he was staying home because of me, not because he didn't want to go with them -- at least I secretly was hoping that was why.

After dinner everyone took their dishes into the kitchen and loaded them into the dishwasher. Then everyone but Nick and I went upstairs to change. Nick and I went into the family room and he started going through the selection of DVDs to pick out a movie for us to watch. He turned on the system and started the movie. I was sort of surprised when I saw what he had picked, the movie was Dragonheart, one of my favorites.

"Awesome choice, Nick. I love this movie," I said.

"You sure have good taste is all I can say, Mikey."

We lay down on the two couches that were perpendicular to the wall where the television was located and soon were totally engrossed in the movie. We didn't even notice when the partygoers came downstairs a while later.

"Did you two have a fight or something?" Brian asked.

"No, why would you think that?" Nick asked.

"Well, this is the furthest apart I have seen the two of you in the last five days. Just was wondering..." Brian replied.

"Ever the comedian wannabe, aren't you, Brian?" Nick said.

"You guys going to be ok by yourselves?" Kevin asked.

"Yes, dad," Nick replied sarcastically.

"Brat alert! Brat alert!" AJ started yelling.

"Hey, we're trying to watch a movie here," I said loudly, "We're going to be fine. Have a good time tonight. Goodbye!"

"I don't think they want our gracious company," Brian said to the party crowd, "I guess we ought to leave the kiddies to their movie."

Kristin came closer to the couch and told us to call her if we needed anything and said she would see us in the morning. I thanked her and she and the others went out for their night on the town. Nick reversed the movie a ways and then we resumed watching it.

As tired as I was I actually made it all the way through the movie without falling asleep. Nick didn't make it though. When the DVD was through playing I tossed a pillow at his head, which woke him up.

"What?" he said.

"Hey, you have a nice nap?"

"Shit, I can't believe I fell asleep during one of my favorite movies."

"You want to watch it again?"

"Nah, that's ok. So are you ready to go to bed?"

"Yeah," I replied as I struggled to pull myself up into a sitting position.

Nick jumped up and came over to help me. Once I was on my feet I started slowly towards the stairs. I began to loosen up a little as I walked, but the stairs were still a real bitch, even with Nick's help. He started getting on my case about not going to see a doctor and getting something to help with the pain. He was also starting to learn how stubborn I am. Fortunately he didn't try to push things.

When we got to my room he helped me take off my sweats and then he cut off the bandages he had applied a few hours before. It wasn't exactly painless, but I knew he was being as gentle as possible. He then applied fresh bandages and helped me get into bed. After he cleaned up the mess from changing my bandages, he sat down on the other side of the bed.

"So you want some company?" he asked.

"I don't know that I would be a good sleeping companion tonight," I replied.

"I wasn't meaning for the night, although I'll stay all night if you want me to. I just meant until you fall asleep."

"That would be really nice, Nicky," I said.

He turned out the light and we talked quietly for a while. Then he started singing quietly to me. It was such a beautiful song, 'Crash and Burn' by Savage Garden. I looked into his eyes and knew that I was totally and completely in love with him. I fell asleep looking at his beautiful face, happier than I had been in months.

It was around 2 a.m. when the others got back home. They all went upstairs and after saying goodnight, went to their bedrooms. After taking off his coat, Kevin told Kristin that he was going to go look in on Nick to make sure he was ok. She said that she was sure everything was fine since he hadn't called. He was insistent, however, and went down and quietly opened the door to Nick's room.

When he looked inside, the bed was empty. He started to get tense and stood there for a minute trying to decide what to do. Part of him wanted to just go back to his room but he knew that unless he dealt with Nick he would never get to sleep. So he closed the door and went over and opened the door to my room.

When he looked inside he saw us sound asleep, laying facing each other sharing a pillow. Fortunately, I guess, Nick was still fully clothed and laying on top of the bed. Kevin stood there watching us for a few minutes, not knowing what to do next.

After a few minutes of watching us, he decided to wake Nick and have him go back to his room. He walked over and put his hand on Nick's shoulder and rocked him gently until Nick started to wake up. He looked up and saw Kevin, who motioned for Nick to come with him. Nick got up carefully so as not to wake me and followed Kevin into the hall.

"What, Kev?" Nick asked sleepily.

"Don't you think you ought to go to bed, Nick?"

"I was sound asleep until you woke me up."

"Yeah, but you would have gotten pretty cold laying on top of the bed all night."

"Kev, I'm a big boy now. If I had woken up because I was cold I could have gotten under the covers."

"Yeah, but you would have been in bed with Mikey," Kevin said.

"So, big deal. Like anything would have happened. He's hurt Kevin. He can hardly move. We're friends Kevin, just friends. What do I have to do to get you to understand that?"

"Nick, I didn't mean it that way. Listen, there isn't an easy way for me to say this cause it isn't an easy thing for me to talk about with you, but will you hear me out, Nick?" Kevin asked.

"Yeah, I'll listen..."

"Nicky, if it turns out that you are, a, well, if you and Mikey become more than friends. Nick, I just want you to know it's ok. I'm not saying it isn't going to be a bit of a shock, but I'll still love you just the way I always have, Nick."

"Thanks, Kev," Nick said as he went up to him and gave him a hug. "Now, I think it's time to get to bed."

Nick started to head back towards my room and just before he grabbed the doorknob, he turned and looked over at Kevin and said "Gotcha!" Then he walked down the hall and went into his room.

Kevin shook his head and went back to his room, got undressed and crawled into bed and snuggled up to Kristin. She lay in his arms for a couple of minutes. Since he wasn't volunteering any information, she finally asked him what happened. He told her that he found Nick sleeping with Mikey. She didn't say anything for a while and then she asked him how he was feeling about it. Then he told her the real story and laughed quietly about misleading her. She elbowed him in the stomach and then snuggled up closer to him and went to sleep.

The next morning I awoke to the smell of coffee. I opened my eyes and looked around, barely functioning and saw the Nick was sitting in a chair petting Gracie. I mumbled something and he laughed at my state of wakefulness. He got up and brought a cup over to me and I sipped it gratefully.

"So how are you feeling this morning, Mikey?"

"It's too soon to tell. I'll reserve judgment until I get out of bed in a few hours."

"A few hours? The girls are cooking breakfast for us in 30 minutes, so you had best get your lazy butt out of bed pretty quickly."

"It's too early for breakfast," I whined.

"It's 9 a.m. and I'm hungry and we're going shopping today."

I grumbled and complained for a couple of minutes but Nick was unrelenting. He finally convinced me that it was in my best interest to get out of bed. I was actually able to get out of bed without any help, although not very quickly. Nick cut off the layer off bandages he had applied last night and then I went into the bathroom to shave and take a shower. Naturally, or at least what was tending to become the norm, he joined me and chatted away while I was shaving.

I guess my comfort level around him was growing, because when it came time to get into the shower, I didn't ask him to leave. I just pulled off my tank top and boxers and got into the shower. We talked away while I took my time loosening up my stiff body. Once I was done, he applied fresh bandages to the worst cuts but I had him leave the rest uncovered to try to help them heal more quickly.

After putting on some loose fitting shorts and a tee shirt, we went downstairs for more coffee and to see what the girls were cooking for breakfast. Everyone else was gathered in the kitchen when we arrived. We took a fair amount of teasing for sleeping later than them even though we hadn't gone out the night before and went to bed earlier.

Breakfast was smelling pretty good and even though I usually don't eat very soon after waking, I was getting hungry. Naturally, more coffee was the first item on my list. While I was getting us coffee I peeked at what Kristin, Amanda and Leighanne were fixing and decided that this morning I just might have to eat -- a variety of fresh fruit, pancakes and waffles. I realize that pancakes and waffles aren't exactly all that difficult to prepare, but they just aren't something I fix for myself. It's more like you need to have several people to feed if you are going to make them and I usually don't have anyone but myself around for breakfast.

Breakfast was really delicious. Everyone was in a really good mood and the conversation was lively. The party crowd was already making plans for another night out on the town. Nick and I agreed that we would join them for dinner and then go off and do something that didn't involve alcohol, crowds and loud music.

After we were done eating Nick and I somehow were elected to clean up. Everyone else took off to start going about their planned activities for the day. Nick and I put all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen. I was hoping that Maria would send off a favorable report to my mother about how responsible I had become.

Nick decided that he would go do some hiking with Gracie since I wasn't really up to it yet. I went up to my bedroom and grabbed my laptop and went back to the family room where I lay down on the couch and started putting together some ideas for the design of the web site.

Nick and Gracie walked down the drive and headed up a trail that started a little ways further up the road from the house. Every once in a while he would stop and pick up a stick and throw it for her. She would run off chasing after it but then get side tracked and go off somewhere and meet back up with him a little ways up the trail.

As he walked along Nick mulled over in his mind the situation he was faced with. He was coming to grips with the realization that he was gay and was feeling good about having told Brian. He was growing increasingly interested in Mikey but was having trouble deciding what to do about his feelings. Then there was the way everyone else was treating him and Mikey. He didn't know whether the comments about what a cute couple they made were just teasing or whether it was a way of saying it was ok with them.

Then there was the whole issue of when he should tell the rest of the guys. Kevin had pretty much told him that he wouldn't have a problem with him being gay, or at least that's what it sounded like Kevin was saying. Nick didn't think Howie would have a problem with it either. AJ had acted pretty poorly towards Mikey in the beginning, but that seemed to be more the situation than the fact that Mikey was gay. So he would probably be ok with it too. Still, coming out wasn't going to be all that easy.

The sound of Gracie barking brought Nick back to the present. He looked around and saw her running through the trees chasing a couple of deer. He called after her but she kept going. Soon she was out of sight and he panicked. How could he tell Mikey that Gracie ran away? He took off in the direction she had gone. He ran a couple of hundred yards and stopped, breathing heavily. She was nowhere to be found. He whistled and called her name with no luck.

He wandered aimlessly back in the direction of the trail. He stopped every 20 yards or so and looked around, calling her. Finally he sat down on a fallen tree trunk and stared off into the trees, hoping to catch sight of her but there was no movement anywhere. He felt so alone and so frightened that something had happened to Gracie and he didn't know where to look. Tears started rolling down his face.

After he had been sitting there for five or ten minutes, a light snow started falling. He continued to sit and watched as the rate of snowfall increased. Soon there was a blanket of snow covering the ground and he was starting to shiver from the cold. Finally Nick stood up and began his walk back towards the trail and then down towards the house where he was going to have to explain what happened to Mikey.

As he approached the road he heard something behind him so he stopped and looked around. There was Gracie running as fast as she could towards him. She rushed past him almost clipping his leg. He kneeled down and called to her. She finally stopped and turned looking back at him. He tried to coax her back to him and finally she gave in and trotted back to where he was kneeling. He pulled her close and gave her a big hug. She put up with him for a few seconds and then started squirming around until he let go of her. Then she led him back to the house.

When Nick got back to the house, he took off his jacket and sat down on the hearth in front of the blazing fire.

"Mikey, that damned dog of yours gave me the biggest scare!"

"What happened?" I asked.

"She took off after this deer and I lost her. I was so afraid something happened to her and I didn't know how I could come home and tell you."

"Nick, she's always doing that. You shouldn't have worried, she knows her way home."

"But what if something would have happened to her, I know how attached you are to her."

"Yeah, but she's pretty tough. She can take care of herself. The worst scare she gave me was when we were walking across this canyon on this metal footbridge and she didn't like it so she bailed off the side. I don't think she even looked before she jumped. There was a ledge about eight feet below us at that point, fortunately. Another five or ten feet further and we would have been over the deep part of the canyon. On the way back I put the leash on her.

"Oh my God, I would have freaked."

"I did totally. She actually ran down the side of the canyon and back up the other side and beat us across. I was so glad to see her on the other side."

"So what have you been up to while I was gone?" Nick asked.

"I've been putting together some design ideas for the web site."

"Can I look or are you one of those people who doesn't like others to see his works in progress?"

"I don't mind, come on and tell me what you think."

I turned and sat up on the couch so Nick would have a place to sit. He sat down next to me and looked at the laptop screen. I paged through the various designs for him. He was really enthusiastic about what I had done and gave me some good feedback as I explained some of the things that I was thinking about adding.

After we were done looking at my designs, Nick asked if I was interested in doing some shopping. I decided that I was up to doing a little walking around, so we went upstairs to change into warmer clothes. When we were ready Nick decided that he should drive since I wasn't moving too quickly. The roads were in good shape in spite of the storm, so I tossed him the keys.

We made it to town safely and wandered around for a couple of hours. Nick bought some clothes and then we stopped at a little café for lunch. Amazingly he was never mobbed. I don't know whether it was because people were just leaving him alone or because no one was paying attention to us. After lunch we headed home.

Nick went upstairs to put away his purchases and I headed for the couch. A few minutes later the phone rang. Maria called out from the kitchen that my mother was on the phone. I picked up the phone next to the couch and said hello to her. When I heard what she said I dropped the handset and curled up in a ball, tears running down my face.

Nick saw this happen as he was coming down the stairs. He ran over to the couch, putting his hand on my shoulder, "Mikey, what's wrong?" When I didn't respond he picked up the handset from where it had fallen.

"Hello," Nick said.

"Who is this?" a woman's voice asked.

"It's Nick, who is this?"

"Nick, thank God it's you. This is Mikey's mother, is he ok?"

"Not hardly, what did you say to him?"

"Nick, I need your help. You need to get Mikey to the airport as quickly as possible. We are rushing Angela to the hospital. There isn't much time for him to get here."

Nick was speechless from the shock of what she had said. He sat down next to me and took hold of my hand.

"Nick, are you still there?"

"Yes," he said quietly, sobbing a bit.

"Nick, please get him up and to the airport. The plane will be ready by the time you get him there and then they can take over."

"Ok, I'll get him there as soon as possible. I'll pack some of his things and then we'll leave."

"You don't need to worry about that, Nick. He has everything he needs here. Just get him in the car."

"Ok, I'll call you when we get there. What's your number?" he asked.

My mother gave him her phone number and he programmed it into his phone. Then he lifted me up off the couch and led me to the car with Gracie following behind us. She jumped into the car and then into the back seat. I sat in the passenger seat and, after he put on my seatbelt and closed the door, I just sat huddled up against the door.

Nick ran around and got in the driver's seat, started the car and hauled ass down the driveway.

"Mikey," he yelled, "How do I get to the airport?"

When I didn't respond, he started shaking me, gently at first and then harder.

"Come on, Mikey," he yelled, "Help me out here! What way to the airport?"

"Go West on the freeway," I sobbed, "You'll see it."

It's a wonder we didn't get pulled over for speeding and reckless driving, because we were flying and Nick was weaving in and out of traffic, flashing the lights as we raced to Eagle. When we pulled up to the terminal, Nick parked the car and helped me out. Gracie followed at our heels as we walked towards the Gulfstream, which was ready and waiting. Gracie ran up the steps and then Nick helped me up the steps and took me back to the couch and helped me sit down.

"We're ready to take off as soon as you get off the plane," Mary said.

"I can't let him travel alone like this so I'm going with you. Let's get this thing in the air," Nick told her, "Is there anything I can do to help speed things up?"

"No, Nick, just take care of Mikey. Eric and I have everything under control. Oh, and thanks for being here for him, he's a great kid," she said as she headed forward and pulled the cabin door closed.

Nick sat down next to me and maneuvered me around so I was laying down on the couch with my head in his lap and then he put his arm over my shoulder and took hold of one of my hands. The engines started and within a minute or two we were taxiing. There was a minimal delay at the end of the taxiway before we were cleared on to the runway and given clearance to take off. We felt Eric release the brakes and the plane accelerate down the runway. Within seconds we were airborne, helped by the cold afternoon air. We climbed rapidly and turned towards Santa Barbara.

Once we leveled off Nick excused himself and went over to the conference table where the phone was located and called my mother and told her I was en route to Santa Barbara. Then he called Kevin and told him what had happened and that he was going with me to Santa Barbara. From what little I picked up from that conversation, Kevin wasn't exactly thrilled by this turn of events, but there wasn't anything he could do about it.

After getting off the phone, Nick came back over to the couch and sat down and I snuggled back up against him and held his hand for the flight home.

Well, that's it for Part 12 of Nick and the Altos. Part 13 should be ready towards the end of the week, work permitting. Any comments, suggestions or whatever, email me at

Thanks for reading... Mikey