[Continuing the story of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's encounters with a boy two years younger than him. I'm not gonna tell you the story so far - if you're reading Part 4 then you should already know what happened in Parts 1-3! I hope this has reached the same standards as I tried to set before.]

[Disclaimer: Same again. If you don't like it, don't read it! Plus, I can't stop you reading it, but if you are underage, keep in mind that it is illegal. Anyway, enjoy. Comments to jendor2@excite.com]

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Part 4

By Sam Curtz

Joey sat in his kitchen, a mug of black coffee in his hands - he wanted to stay awake, wanted to be awake when Mrs Hunter called, if she called, with news of Michael.

'You okay, Joseph?' Joey's mom asked him. She was watching him, noticed the turn in his mouth, the upset look on his face. She had known he and Michael were close friends (but not how close they were), and it was obvious that Michael's accident had 'damaged' her son in some way or another.

Joey looked up from watching the ripples in the coffee, eyes wide from lack of sleep. 'Huh?'

'Why don't you go to bed, hon. Michael'll be fine, don't worry. The phone's right by my bed. If Mrs Hunter rings, I'll come wake you, okay?'

He did not respond, simply looked back down at the coffee, not seeing it at all now, just sort of looking through it. He wanted to be alone, even though he didn't say so, and so his mom left him in the kitchen, went into the living-room. And he began to think back over the last eight months. It was a powerful eight months, delightful, passion-filled, and now that passion could be on the verge of dissolving, of fading. No, Michael would be fine. Things were going to be okay. God wouldn't take his love away from him in the same week as he found it, admitted it, declared it...

* * *

'Hey Michael!' Joey had said upon entering the diner for the second time that week. It was only two weeks since their initial encounter. They chatted for a while and drank Dr Pepper and ate candy, then they said good-bye to Michael's mom who was still behind the counter, serving coffee to a balding man, and they took off through the mall.

Joey could remember how it happened that day. Could remember the feelings that surged through his body like electricity, his mind in over-drive as usual. It was almost strange how it happened. They were walking through the parking lot, talking about baseball and their card collections and how Michael said he had every member of the Oakland A's ('Big deal,' Joey had replied, for no reason at all). And their walking slowed more and more, they began to walk closer together, arms rubbing together, the smell of each other in their nostrils. Michael mentioned going to the public toilets, but Joey refused. He turned to face Michael full on, and took the boy's hands, leaning in and kissing him without even looking around first, a gentle peck on the lips.

Michael was stunned. 'Here?' Joey nodded and Michael seemed to contemplate the idea for a second, then smiled broadly, grinning from ear to ear, and he stepped close to his friend, their crotches pressing together, their lips rejoining, tongues darting in and out of their mouths.

Joey reached down Michael's back, his hands cupping his butt cheeks, feeling the warmth through the fabric of his pants, and pulled Michael tighter to him, his cock growing under the pressure, pushing at his boxers, pushing at Michael, needing to be set free.

His heart pulsed that much quicker as he dropped to his knees and reached to the zip of Michael's pants, pulling it down and reaching inside, tugging out Michael's swollen dick. He liked Michael's cock, liked the taste of it, the fresh smell it always had, and how he could always feel it twitch as it entered his mouth. His tongue darted forth and licked the slit at Michael's head - that slit that had as yet not produced any cum. But Joey liked how Michael could have dry orgasms, he could remember his own! And with dry orgasms, you never had to worry about wet dreams!

He pulled on the shaft with his hand and then went down on it, his hot breath making Michael moan with ecstasy. Michael stood there, looking around, slightly nervous, hoping no one could see, hoping there was no security CCTV installed around here. He pushed forward with his groin and giggled as he felt Joey's teeth tease him. 'Oh yeah, man! That's nice. Ahhh... That's great.' There was a certain element of excitement to what they were doing, out here in the open parking lot, an element of extra sensation having Joey on his knees in front of him, sucking on his erect penis where anyone that passed could see them. Michael thanked his lucky stars no one did pass - at least no one that he could see. He held onto Joey's head, fingers pushing through his soft brown hair, and tried to go deeper into his friend's mouth, forcing his several inches of hard boy-meat into the warm, moist chasm of Joey's mouth. He closed his eyes and pictured Joey naked, and it was only moments until he climaxed, Joey lapping the head of his cock with his tongue and sucking as hard as he could, urging Michael further down the well-lit road called Orgasm Street.

And then Michael had stepped back, his now-flaccid dick glistening with saliva and they traded places, he taking Joey into his mouth and savoring every taste, swallowing his cum just before a man came into view and got in his car to leave the mall.

Joey was pleased, of course, at having met Michael. He considered the boy to be almost like a boyfriend. It sounded strange, he knew - a boy having a boyfriend - but it also sounded right. Yes, Michael was his boyfriend. But he couldn't tell anyone; no one, not even his mom. God, how would she take it? Throw him out of the house and refuse to admit he existed? Likely, he thought!

For the weeks that followed, he and Michael tried to meet as often as possible. Michael came to his house and they got naked quite a lot, sucked each other off a lot and performed 'mutual masturbation' on each other, and a few times they talked about 'sex' - in the real sense of the word: intercourse. 'When we're ready,' they vowed; their relationship was still young and Joey was already falling in love. The thought of intercourse scared him. What if it was not like he had expected, what if he did not 'fulfill' Michael's desires, what if Michael then decided not to see him again - he would lose both a close friend and a boyfriend. 'Yeah,' he reiterated, 'when we're both ready.'

And then there was that time three or four months into their relationship that Michael came for the first time. A 69er - something they had done little. Joey was on the edge of cumming himself, could feel his balls draw up tight in his sac, and then just at that, Michael blew into his mouth, not much, but definitely cum, definitely a sign that he was developing. It tasted sweet, a little salty. It was his first taste of cum that was not his own - Michael and he exchanged his cum between their mouths on occasion, even though Michael said he preferred to swallow it himself - and he liked it. And that was when he supposed he decided he was in love. But decided not to tell Michael just yet. That might scare him off as well...

* * *

'Can I speak to Joseph, please?'


'Hi, Joey. He's awake. Been asking for you. Wants you to bring him something. Hang on, I've written it down... oh yeah, something called "That Thing You Do". Does that make sense to you?'

It took only the slightest amount of time for Joey to work out what Michael was requesting. Not the movie by that title, but 'That thing you do' being his love and 'other things'. 'Yeah, I'll bring it. I was going to anyway. How is he?'

Joey could hear Michael's mom sigh on the other end of the phone. 'Not too bad. Happy enough, I believe. He's in some pain, he says, but says it's only occasionally.'

'And Mr Hunter?'

'He's fine. Slight concussion. A few bruises. Nothing more. The airbag protected him from the worst. We really should have installed an airbag in the passenger side, but it's too late to think like that now. Anyway. You'll come see Michael?'

'Yeah, sure. This afternoon.' They said good-bye and Joey hung up.

He had wanted to wake from this horrible dream, wanted Mr Sandman to stop sprinkling more of that dream-dust on him, but he had quickly realized that this was not a dream. Michael was in a car accident, Joey had seen it happen, and now Michael was in hospital. A broken leg, broken arm, two cracked ribs, and a great big bruise on his forehead.

Joey sighed and thought, Well, at least he isn't going to camp now. It was a horrible thought, he knew - Michael's accident keeping them together for the six weeks they would've been apart - but still, it made him feel good. He really couldn't have dealt with being apart for such a time, not at this crucial stage in their relationship.

He went back up stairs and got in the shower. The water was soothing on his back, eased tense muscles, lulled his senses for a moment or two, but as soon as he stepped back out of the shower life was back to normal. And Michael was still in hospital.

Later that day, he got his mother to drive him across town to see his friend. She said she'd come back in two hours to pick him up and he kissed her cheek and watched her car pull off. He was a little scared of cars now, knew it was foolish, but was scared all the same. When his mom's car was out of sight, he turned and went into the hospital, and was struck by the clinical smell as soon as he walked in.

He rode the elevator to the fifth floor and bounced down the corridor, happy at least to see Michael again. It had been two days. As he entered Michael's room his eyes began to fill with tears, but he had to hold them back. In the room with Michael was his mother, pouring iced water into a glass for him, and his father, sitting beside Michael's bed in a wheelchair - the doctors had insisted he use it, even though he didn't need to. He looked a little restless.

'Hi,' Joey said, directing it at everyone.

Joey could see a smile spread across Michael's face as he mouthed Joey's name. Michael's mom said, 'Hey, Joey! You made it!' It was obvious she was trying to make Michael feel better by the way she accented her words.

'Yeah,' Joey replied. 'Got my mom to run me over. She's coming back in an hour or so. She wanted to come up but had some things to do.' He looked at Michael and tried to remain as composed as he could. 'How are you?' he asked.

Michael smiled weakly and said in a hoarse voice, 'As fit as a fiddle. Couldn't be better.' There was an awkward moment then, followed by embarrassed looks at one another, then Mrs Hunter spoke and broke the silence.

'Well, I'm starving! Jack, you wanna go down to the refectory? I hear they do a wonderful quiche here! Let's leave these two young men alone for a while.' Mr Hunter nodded slowly, began to step out of his wheelchair, had Mrs Hunter place a hand on his shoulder in refusal, and she wheeled him out, saying, 'Won't be long. Nice seeing you again, Joey. Love the show. See you when we get back.'

When they had left, Joey moved to Michael's side and leaned in, gently kissing him on the lips. 'Hurting?'

'Not really... at the minute.'

'Your Mom and Dad seemed to leave in a hurry. Something I've done?'

Michael smiled again and nodded. 'Guess they knew we wanted some time alone. Joey, I gotta tell you something and I hope you don't get mad. I- I've told them. About you and me. About us.'

Joey was shocked. 'You- You told them? But... how did they take it?' He dropped into the chair beside Michael's bed and stared at him.

'Well you saw them just now. They said they had suspected something. Said they respect me to make decisions for myself and hope I don't hurt myself (like I could get hurt any more, I mean look at me!). But I told them we love each other. They accepted that. Are you mad?' He looked across at Joey with puppy-dog eyes, sincerity oozing from them.

Joey sighed. It had been a shock, but one he was glad to be over. 'No I'm not mad.' He stood again, reaching and taking Michael's hand, brushing fingers lightly over Michael's cheek, and said, 'I love you, Michael. Maybe it is time to let everyone know. I only hope my Mom'll take the news as good as your parents did.'

'You don't have to tell them, not yet. You can wait till you're ready.'

'I'm ready now. I love you.' And he kissed Michael again and they stared into each other's eyes and saw deep-seeded love and passion.

Michael smiled, a little forlornly, a suddenly his eyes were filling with tears and overflowing, his lower lip trembling. 'Look at me!' he said. 'How can you love me still? I mean, I've got this great big bruise on my face - my face! I could be permanently damaged. Brain damage or anything...'

'No!' Joey said, forcefully. 'You'll be okay. Don't worry. And I'll always love you. Never think that I won't. Always.' Holding tightly onto Michael's hand he smiled down at him, leaning in to kiss his softly on his bruise. 'Nothing's permanent. And I wouldn't care if you lost all your limbs! I'd love you no matter what! Michael, I'm here for you. I want to be here for you all the time.' He paused, watching Michael's face, watching as the boy's crying subsided slightly. Then he continued. 'In a way it's my fault. If I hadn't have been so damn stupid, if I had've taken some time off filming then none of this would have happened.'

'How do you work that out?' Michael asked. 'You're not to blame. No one is.'

Joey said, 'But if I had have said I'd go then you may not have stayed at my place as long as you did, trying to say good-bye, and then you'd be home before that maniac drove out of nowhere! And you-'

'Stop it! It isn't your fault. Now it's your turn to stop being foolish, Joey. You can't think that it's your fault. That's not true. It happened and it was no one's fault. Forget it.'

And Joey smiled. Michael always knew how to make things all right. For a while, his love for Michael was in question - did he really love him at all? Were they right together? - and now he knew: they were soul-mates. He smiled, happily. 'I love you, d'you know that? I really do.'

'I know,' Michael said, wiping the remnants of tears from his eyes with his hand. They he tried to laugh and change the subject. 'I'm itchy.'

'Yeah? Where?' Joey asked. 'Let me scratch it. Where's the itch?'

'I think you know already!' Michael smiled. 'I haven't jerked off in two days! Pull the curtain around!'

* * *

Joey's heart raced. Mrs Hunter was sitting in his living-room with a coffee in hand waiting for Joey's Mom. Joey had invited her round, wanted back-up in case what he was going to say to his mother upset her in some way. He had called his Mom into the kitchen, saying, 'I need to speak to you.'

'But Joseph, we can't keep a guest waiting on her own. Can't this wait?' She was busying herself about the kitchen, placing cookies onto a plate for her guest.

'No, Mom, it can't. This is why Mrs Hunter is here. It's urgent.' After looking confused for a second, Joey's Mom sighed and he told her to sit down. He sat opposite her, hands not able to sit still, fingers interlacing, hands groping the vase in the center of the table, and running through his hair. He smiled at her, tears already welling in his eyes. 'Mom, I've... I've fallen in love. But wait!' he said as she was about to speak. 'I know you probably think kids my age fall in love all the time. But this is real. I'm really in love.'

She was obviously confused. 'What has that got to do with Michael's mother? Joseph I don't have time for-'

'It's because... because I've fallen in love with Michael. Really. Mom, I- I'm gay.' Those last two words were enough to reduce him to tears. He had always sort of admitted it to himself, but there was always the point of going back, of 'being straight'. Now he had reached the point of no return. He was gay.

His mother's eyes widened. 'But you're only fifteen, for Heaven sake!'

'So? That doesn't mean I'm not gay. Mom, I'm serious. I wouldn't lie about something like this. I love you and I don't want to hurt you, but I can't deny my feelings any longer. I'm in love with Michael. And he loves me.'

She was silent. Staring. Eyes looking glassy, her face pale. When she finally spoke, she spoke softly. 'You love him? Truly?'

'I've never loved anyone this way before in my life,' Joey said. 'Yeah. Truly.'

And then she broke into tears, admitting it to herself. Her son was gay. Joey said he'd leave her alone for a while, leave her to talk to Mrs Hunter, and he went to his room.

He was sitting on his bed, curled up with his arms wrapped tightly around a pillow when she finally knocked. As she opened the door she smiled, her eyes still red and puffy from the crying she had obviously been doing. She crossed her arms, did not come in, smiled again, and said, 'Okay. I'm fine with... things. God knows how your Dad'll take it, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, okay?' She took a step into the room and Joey stood. 'I love you too much to disown you. I couldn't. Come here.' She held out her arms for him and he went to her, enveloped himself in her embrace, and cried.

'I'm sorry, Mom. I didn't mean to be gay. I didn't choose it - it chose me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.'

'Don't worry, son. It's okay, really. I'm fine with it. honest. Don't worry,' she said as she patted his head and rubbed his back. 'I love you, Joseph, and whatever makes you happy makes me happy.'

Joey nodded into her breast and said, 'I'm sorry. I love you.'

* * *

Joey took Michael's cock in his mouth. It was the day before his release from hospital and they were alone again, the curtain pulled around his bed, everything rushed and seemingly sordid, but it was the only way they could show each other love.

Michael lay there on his back, one arm in a sling around his neck, his left leg in a cast and a bandage wrapped around his chest where he had cracked his ribs. The doctors said he was lucky that none or the bone had pierced his lungs. He gasped as Joey nibbled on him, sucking and pulling and licking and drawing him ever closer to orgasm. With the only hand he could use, he grabbed Joey's head and held him there as he climaxed. Joey tugged at the warm, palpitating flesh in his mouth and Michael thrust into him, ribs hurting - but he didn't care in his release, he needed this orgasm.

'Ugnh... yeah... oh yeah, Joey, yeah... ahhh-aaahhhhh...' He squirted his load of cum, eyes clenched in force, hands squeezing into fists, and Joey took it all into his mouth, humming with pleasure. 'Oh yeah,' Michael sighed, his limp dick dropping out of Joey's mouth. It was lucky he had a room to himself, he thought.

Joey quickly moved up to Michael's face and leaned in to kiss him, passing his boyfriend's sperm into his mouth, and Michael gulped it down, hungrily. When they broke the kiss, Michael said, 'Love you. I wish I could get out of this damn bed so I can prove it!'

'You don't need to prove anything, Michael,' Joey informed him. 'I know you love me. And besides, you get out tomorrow. prove it then!'

'You bloody bet I will!' he said as Joey drew the curtain back open. Minutes later, when Joey was sitting in the chair and they were holding hands, talking aimlessly about this and that (about what Michael should be doing if he was at camp, about the episode of 'Third Rock' that Joey is currently filming, about general teenage stuff), Joey's mom entered with a few magazines and some chocolate.

'Hi guys!' she said, noticing their hands linked together just before they pulled them apart - embarrassed, not trying to hide their love any longer - and she walked around the bed to Joey and kissed his head and smiled at Michael. She liked Michael, which made it easier for her to accept her son's sexual preference.

'For me?' Joey asked, seeing the chocolate.

She shook her head. 'Not unless you want Michael to starve - I'm sure the food in here is disgusting.'

'It is,' Michael said, laughing.

Joey said, 'I don't mind if he starves. What about me?'

'You,' she said, handing the chocolate over to Michael, 'have got what's known as real food back home.' She turned back to Michael as Joey faked a huff. 'So, how are you today?'

Michael was glad that Joey's mom had taken the news well - she had taken it just as his own mom had: shock at first, acceptance quickly following. He liked her as much as she liked him. 'I'm fine, thanks. getting out tomorrow, finally. Can't wait.'

'Yeah, I know. Joseph told me. What are you going to do first as soon as you get out?'

Michael threw a knowing glance at Joey, then said, 'Not sure yet. Haven't decided.'

'Probably pee standing up, for a change!' Joey remarked and giggled.

'Joseph!' his mother exclaimed, teasingly clipping his head with her hand, but she could not help from smiling.

When Michael finally was out of hospital, the first thing he did was call Joey. And Joey dropped what he was doing at the time, to go spend some quality time with his lover. Michael's mom told him he was in his room and that Joey should just go on up, and then added a little hesitantly, 'Don't worry. We won't bother you two for a few hours, okay?'

He said, 'Thanks,' (well, what could he say?) and then he went upstairs. He knocked before entering Michael's room and when Michael called for him to come in, he threw the door open wide and grinned. 'Home! At last!' he exclaimed, and he went to Michael's bed where he was sitting.

They kissed a greeting and Michael said, 'Yeah, finally. What were you doing when I called?'

'Nothing much,' Joey replied. 'Just trying to learn some lines for tomorrow's shooting. How are the ribs?'

'A little sore. But I know how you can make them better... or rather, make me better.' He grinned a cheeky smile, and groped at his crotch, his penis twitching alert.

'Oh yeah?' Joey said. He reached across and placed a hand on Michael's right leg, the one without a cast. 'How could I make you feel better?'

Michael shrugged. 'Guess.' And of course Joey didn't need to guess!

He shuffled up the bed and hugged Michael. 'Some times I think I give you too much of my time!' he said, smiling, and they kissed, lightly at first, lips barely touching each other's, brushing gently over each other, then more hungrily, more ravenously, tongues exchanging places, coiling over one another, almost hugging.

Michael lay back and Joey undid his boyfriend's shirt, peeling back the sides to reveal his heaving chest and stomach, nipples standing to attention at thoughts of what was in store. Joey ran his hands up Michael's chest, caressing the soft skin, and drew his fingers back down again, circling his cute little belly-button, teasing the sensitive skin at the waist-line of Michael's shorts.

He was about to push his hand into the shorts when Michael said, 'Wait. Come here. Let me suck you.' He shuffled down the bed, ribs hurting slightly with the awkward movement, and Joey climbed up over him, like he was mounting him, a knee at each side of Michael's head. He helped Michael undo his pants' zip and pull out his dick and then he pushed forward, hands gripping the pillow behind Michael's head, his cock easing into Michael's mouth.

'Ahhh, yeah...' He said. He had missed the sensations of his cock in Michael's mouth and now memories were sparked alive, and new passions opened up. Michael sucked on the meat between his lips and groped at Joey's ass through his pants. He licked the shaft and nibbled the head, knowing this to be a real sensual turn-on for Joey - hell, probably for everyone!

Joey fucked Michael's face almost like a dog fucking another dog, his throbbing dick slipping in and sliding out of Michael's mouth as Michael pressed tightly with his lips and bobbed his head back and forth as much as he could, the skin of Joey's cock moving up and down with the long strokes the dick was taking. Michael's hands roamed up Joey's thighs and over his buttocks and grasped the waist of his pants, tugging at them till them came down as far as they could, stretched over Michael's chest. Then he moved his hands back up, sensuously, slowly, tingling Joey in all the right places, hands once again cupping his ass cheeks. Joey moaned in ecstasy, Michael moaned with love.

'Ugh... Take it, yeah, man. Fuck... ugh, yeah...' Joey groaned, pumping himself into Michael, thrusting his hips and going deep into his boyfriend, not once thinking of how Michael's mom could be hearing him, he was so overcome with sheer passion.

Michael tugged and pulled on the cock between his lips, his tongue swishing around the head and up the shaft, tasting fresh flesh and sweet pre-cum. He needed Joey to cum in his mouth, had missed it over the time he spent in hospital. He needed to prove to Joey that he still loved him, that he would love him for always, needed to show Joey that just because he was out of practice, didn't mean he was no good at it anymore.

And he did prove it.

Joey was quickly brought to orgasm, he thrust his hips out, his cock going deep into Michael's mouth and he squirted his cum out of him like mustard from one of those squeezable plastic bottles. The hot, sweet semen hit the back of Michael's throat and slipped down like honey and Joey gasped loudly, thinking he had never cum so hard in his life.

When Joey's limp dick slipped out of Michael's mouth, Michael said, 'Oh yeah, that was nice. You taste great, Joey. You always do.'

As Joey climbed back off of Michael's face, he said, 'Flattery will get you everywhere!'

'I was hoping it would.'

Joey panted, his chest heaving in big gulps of air, lungs filling and emptying and filling again, sweat sticking to his brow, dampening his hair. He lay there next to Michael and looked at him, desperately trying to catch his breath. 'Thanks, Michael.'

'No sweat,' Michael said. 'I needed that.'

'Not half as much as I did,' Joey told him, running a sleeve across his forehead to wipe the sweat away. And then without a word, he slipped down the bed, smiling up at Michael as he reached for his friend's shorts again.

Michael grinned. 'And what do you think you are doing down there?' he asked.

Through his wide smile, Joey said, 'Checking for any damage you may have done in the crash.' Michael groaned at the bad line and his cock twitched.

Pulling back the pants and boxers once again, Joey was impressed by how Michael was developing. Over the last several months, he had gotten larger, thicker, and his light patch of blond pubic hair was getting coarser. Joey sniffed. He loved the smell of Michael's groin - it was almost unique (keeping in mind that Joey had not had the opportunity of smelling many cocks!).

* * *

'Joey, don't leave yet,' Michael's mom said as Joey came to the bottom of the stairs. 'Go get Michael, I've something to say.'

Joey's heart stopped momentarily, his mouth hanging ajar, staring at Mrs Hunter. What had they done? What was she going to say?

She obviously saw his look and added, 'Don't worry. It's nothing bad. Get Michael.'

Joey returned upstairs and told Michael that his mom wanted to speak to them. Michael's look echoed what Joey's had been only moments before and Joey said, 'She said there's nothing wrong. I don't know what it's about.' And so he helped Michael down the stairs and into the living-room where Joey was shocked to see his own mom there too. What was this big conspiracy?

They sat, nervously, huddling as close together as they could without trying to force their love-life down everyone else's throats, and Michael's mom spoke first.

'Michael, we've been thinking - your dad and I,' she said, placing a hand on Mr Hunter's lap. 'After the accident we think you deserve a break, a chance to get away from here for a while.'

'Camp?' Michael asked, startled. 'I can't go to camp. Look at me.'

'Now hold on a minute,' Mr Hunter said. 'Let your mother finish.' He was clearly agitated by the suspense they were holding Michael in as much as Michael was.

'Well,' Mrs Hunter continued, 'we did think about camp, but that seemed inappropriate under the circumstances - we know how much you didn't want to go, anyway.' She paused momentarily, letting the suspense build. Then continued. 'We thought maybe somewhere we could all go: you, me, your father, even Joey and his parents.' A look of excitement swept over both boys' faces. 'How does Magic Mountain sound to you two?'

Michael and Joey were shocked. 'Magic Mountain?' Michael asked. (Magic Mountain, for those who don't know, is roughly Warner Bro.'s equivalent to Disney Land, perhaps 50 miles from LA.)

Joey turned to his mother. 'Mom?' he questioned.

His mom nodded. 'Yeah. Magic Mountain. Your dad can't make it, too much work, but I'll be there. Wouldn't miss it for the world!'

'Excellent!' the boys chimed in unison. 'Magic Mountain!'

'Well,' said Mr Hunter, standing a little shakily, 'you better start thinking about what you two are going to pack. We leave of Friday.' He was clearly as excited as everyone else. He had to take some time off work because of his injuries, and a trip to Magic Mountain (or anywhere, for that matter!) seemed like a perfect remedy for rest - of course he wouldn't be going on any of the rides, but it should be fun anyway.

Michael and Joey turned to each other, a light in their eyes so bright it was almost blinding. They reached out and hugged each other, unabashedly, until they realized what they were doing in front of their parents and they stopped, looking up, ashamed, but their parents seemed undisturbed by it, really accepting them for what they are. Once again, Joey thought his life was going to be fine after all.

End of Part 4. Part 5 to follow...