I am pleased to introduce the LAST chapter of Joe, The Man. This is a sequel to the series Dan, The Man. As the author, I suggest you read Dan, the Man first. The story will make more sense to you if you do. Just a side note, the sequel was originally posted with a title of Starting Over Again.

Once again, I'd like to thank all the readers who have responded. And if you haven't responded yet, go ahead! I'd love to hear what you have to say now that the series is complete, positive or negative

Thanks goes out to some of the original readers of the story who helped me develop the plot the first time around like Kris, Dato, BJ, Bill, and Mike and the new readers like James, Jim, Andrew, Dan, and Victor. I'd like to thank Eric (Neuman) for supporting me all the way from the original release through the new revisions and parts. Sean, you didn't get your Mustang, but I think you got something better. Last, but not least, a big thanks to Matt. Because without a real Matt for inspiration, the Matt in the story wouldn't be the same.

This work is intended for mature audiences only. It is about gay and straight college students learning about love and life. If it were a movie it would be rated XXX. So, if you were under 18 (or 21 in some areas), you wouldn't be able to buy or rent this kind of movie. Therefore (and don't ask me why) you shouldn't be reading it either. For the homophobic creeps out there, this isn't for you either. This is also a work of fiction. All similarities to real life are strictly coincidental and the rights of the works belong solely to the author. No unauthorized copying or distribution is permitted.

(Man that was a long intro)

And now I present...

Joe, The Man, Part 18

"The Past and Present"

By Joey E

The Friday afternoon before finals week. Jay, Kev, Matt and I were all hanging out in the apartment, just reminiscing.

"So, Little Bud, tell me the story of that road trip you took to Florida. I wanna learn more about my competition..."

"Matt, there is no competition."

"I know, but I just want to know more about all you guys," he said, sitting back on the couch.

"Oh yeah!" Kev exclaimed. "I remember that trip. That trip was awesome!"

"Come on, tell us about it," Jay chimed in.

I took a deep breath. "All right, but Kev, you gotta help me. It started here in this apartment last March....

"You ready?" I asked Ro, my old roommate, and Kevin, getting impatient.

"Not yet, Joe," Ro yelled from his room. "I just got back from class, chill!"

I was sitting on the couch, waiting for them to pack the last of their shit in their bags. I turned on Ro's TV and tuned into VH-1.

Kev came out. "This is so cool man," he said, smiling, with a big overnight bag on his shoulders and his backpack on his back. He sat down next to me and watched what I was watching.

"Yo, she's hot," he said. It was Natalie Imbruglia (an artist I could care less about).

"Who is?" Ro asked from the bedroom.

"This chick," Kev said.

Ro ran out from the bedroom to check out the chick we were talking about on the screen.

"Oh, shit, yeah," Ro said.

I sighed and got up and went out to the balcony. I lit up a cigarette and looked at my watch. "Well, we're gonna be late, picking up Dan."

"Well, pick up the phone and call him," Kev said, coming out the back door as well.

"I'm done, Man," Ro said. "We can leave when you two smokers are done smoking!"

"Oh," I said, putting out my butt. "Let's hit the road!"

"Right behind you," Kev said, putting his butt out as well.

We all grabbed our bags and headed out the front door to the parking lot towards my car. "Hey Joe. Pull up your car to the apartment. We still got a few more things to take with us," Ro said.

"Okay," I said. I walked across the lot, started my trusty Camry (with might I add 180,000 miles on it) and drove over to where my two roomies were standing. We loaded our shit in the trunk.

"Yo, remember, man we're gonna have two more people in the car with us, so try to save some room for them," I reminded them.

"Yeah, yeah," Ro said, putting his big bag into the trunk.

Soon after three trips back into the apartment we were done packing, with more room left over for the two other passengers. We drove over and got Amanda, a girl friend of Dan and I from college. We said goodbye to her Mom, loaded her luggage as well and we were off again.

The last stop was Dan. I went up to his door, he answered, I went in after him, followed by Kev, Ro, and Jill. And we kissed at the top of his steps. Kev and Ro made their usual comments.

"So, Amanda," Dan asked. "Are you sure you want to take a trip to Florida with four guys?"

"Of course, Dan! I don't have to worry about two of you, and the other two I can deal with," she said. Mandy was a cool chick. She loved everything in everybody. She got along with everyone, a real people person. Of course, I knew my roommates wanted her, but she casually had brushed them off before as well. So I felt she was safe.

"Cool," Dan responded. "I bought some snacks and sodas and shit."
"Cool, we did too."

"Where's the beer though?" Kev asked.

We all laughed. "Well, I just have to grab these bags and the food's over there on the table," he said, pointing to the bags.

"I'll grab the food," Ro said, walking over to the table and picking up two paper bags of grub. "Kev get the soda, will you?"

Kev grabbed the box of 12 cokes. Dan grabbed his big duffle bag and his back pack and we all walked down the steps. I took his CD's, an necessity in my car. You gotta have traveling music!

We all walked out to my Camry and loaded the remainder of luggage. It fit in to the trunk beautifully and Dan, who called shotgun (and who would've gotten it even if he didn't), took the food and put in the front seat with him. Kev, the tallest sat behind me, the driver, also the shortest, and Ro sat next to Kev, and Amanda sat next to Ro. It wasn't that bad, the Camry had decently sized back seat. I was surprised.

After I started the car, I turned around and asked, "Are you ready to go to Florida?"

"Hell yeah," Ro exclaimed. "I'm sick of this cold weather!"

"Yeah, it'll be nice, won't it?" Amanda said. "How long is the drive going to take again?"
"Well, I'm told that we can make it, if we do it non-stop in about 24 hours from here," I said. "So eventually, all of us are going to get a chance to drive my baby," I said, patting the dashboard.

"That is if we make it there alive," Kev murmured. Ro and Dan laughed. I put the car in reverse, backed it out, and then we were off.

We made small talk about where we were going, and what we wanted to see, and all that shit. Finally, we made it to I-95 in Delaware, which was going to be our main road primarily to go down to Orlando, Florida. We were cruising at a comfortable speed of 74 MPH, and it was relatively easy to drive. Dan put in one of Kev's CD's and we all sang along to the Mighty Bosstones. This was the life, I thought as I drove.

"Guys, what time did we leave?" I asked.

"About 8PM," Amanda said.

"Wow, cool," I said. It was now 9PM. "So that means we'll probably get there tomorrow at 8PM."

"Yeah. It's probably better that way. I know I'm gonna be tired tomorrow night," Ro said. "That way we can crash and get up the next morning."

"Aww...you mean you don't want to go out and go out to Pleasure Island in Disney World?" Kev asked.

"Not Friday night," Ro answered.

"Well, who wants to drive next?" I asked.

"I will," Amanda volunteered.

"Well, whoever want to drive after Amanda, better get some sleep now."

"I guess that would be me," Ro answered.

I knew Ro was worn out from the last night, since he was up until 3AM writing a damn paper for class. Dan was still next to me in the car, and we held hands occasionally, looking at each other occasionally. There wasn't anything more I wanted to be doing right now than this, being with my friends and boyfriend.

Ro nodded off within minutes. We kept the music up front mostly, so he could get some resemblance of sleep. Dan and I talked about our lives in general, Kev put on his headphones and Discman, and Mandy would interject a few things here and there to Dan and I.

After about four hours of being on the road, I decided it was time to take a break. Though I love to drive, I knew it wasn't the safest thing to be driving for four hours straight with no break. We pulled off at a rest stop or an exit. I'm not sure what it was. I got out, as everyone else did, stretched, and filled the tank up with gas.
"I got gas this time," Ro said, taking out a twenty. "Thanks," I responded.

Everyone used the restroom and then we were off again, with Amanda behind the wheel. I started to feel drowsy again as I heard Dan and Amanda chatting away. By now, Kevin had lost his energy and was falling asleep, and Ro was still in the middle wide awake now.

The next thing I knew, Dan was kissing me on the lips. I opened my eyes and saw his face in front of mine. It was now 5AM, and I had no idea where we were.

I got up and out of the car, and extended my arms to stretch. "Where the hell are we?"

"I think we're in North Carolina," Ro said, closing the driver's door.

"Cool," I said yawning. "Who's driving next?"

"I am," said the tall redheaded freak, otherwise known as Kevin.

I had never taken a road trip like this before, and I found it fun. This time, Dan was in the back seat with me. I was in back of Ro and Amanda was behind Kev, the driver. Dan was stuck in the middle.

"How are you doin' Joe?" Dan asked. He knew I was still a little weak from the whole ordeal with Kris, but I was feeling okay.

"I'm fine, man," I said, smiling at him, leaning my head back on the rear headrest. He kissed me on the lips and smiled.

"AHH!!" Kev said, as he looked in the rearview mirror.

"What?" I exclaimed, laughing. "This is my car, and I'll do what I want! Speaking of which, Dan, what did we do with that blanket?"

"Oh god," Ro said. "What are you going to Joe? Blow him?"

"Who knows?" I said.

"Not while I'm here in the back seat," Mandy said.

"Who cares? You'll be asleep in an hour anyway," Dan said with his trademark grin on his face.

"True," she responded.

Ro and Kev selected the next CD to play and I was just enjoying my time, snuggling with Dan in the back seat of my car. "You know, I said. "This is really weird being in the backseat of your own car."

"Yeah, I can imagine it would," Dan said, softly.

"But, we could, you know," I said, whispering in his ear, lifting up the blanket I found underneath the passenger's seat.

Dan looked at me in surprise. "Here? Now?"

I shook my head yes. I quietly put the blanket over my lap, and grabbed Dan's hand and dragged it under the blanket. Apparently, that's all I needed to do, because Dan's hand was in my jeans in no time. I let out a little gasp and closed my eyes.

To make a long story short, Dan had gotten me off with his hand in the backseat of the car. We woudl've been okay except a certain redhead who was driving had to be nosy.

"Uh oh," Kev said, looking in the rear-view mirror, " Joe has a blanket over his lap!"

Ro turned around to look, but being that I was directly behind him, he couldn't see much.

"WHAT?" Ro exclaimed.

I quickly tried to wipe up the mess and button up my jeans as I glared at Dan.

Dan just smiled back at me.

"I'll get you for this later," I said, in a low voice.

His grin grew bigger. "Oo...I'll be waiting."

I finally was done buttoning up and removed the blanket from my lap.

"God, you guys!" Amanda said laughing.

I was embarrassed. Ro and Kev kept making comments for the next fifteen minutes. Amanda and Dan were laughing right with them. I even broke into a giggle in the end.

Finally, it was time for me to drive again. Dan had taken over for Kev. And now it was my turn again, as I would take them into Tampa Florida, where we would stay (since it was cheaper than Orlando). It was about 3 in the afternoon, and we were all excited. Ro and Kev never had been to Disney World. I was there three times before. Dan had been there once, and so had Amanda.

Most of all, I was excited because my best friend from High School, Ed, was going to be there in Orlando with his family on his spring break this year. Both of our families moved on the same day from PA. Mine went to NJ, his went to Florida. And for the first time in our college careers, his spring break was coordinated with mine. So we had planned to spend a few days together.

So there we were in Tampa, FL at around 8PM. Personally, I was a little tired from driving so long, and everyone had agreed they didn't get much sleep the previous night. We pulled up to the hotel where Kevin had made reservations for us. It was expensive, but we all had the money. I had to dip into my savings slightly, but it was cool. I had never done anything like this before, and I felt it was worth it.

We got our keys, and went up the elevator to our room. Unfortunately, and we had gone over this several times, the cheapest way was to have everyone stay in one room. Two double beds and a cot. Which Dan and I were extremely disappointed about. However, it was a trip for all of us, and we decided that we could deal with it. Besides, we knew we would find time for some loving sometime during the trip.

"I get the cot," Amanda yelled as she came into the room with her bags.

"Aww, and I wanted you to sleep with me," Kev said, smiling wickedly.

"Sorry, Kev. I've heard about you, and you ain't getting' any of this," she said, touching her breasts.

Dan fell onto the bed laughing at Amanda. "You're the greatest," he said.

"Oo baby, do that again," Kev said, smiling.

"You asshole," Ro said, laughing. Secretly, I think Ro had a crush on Amanda. Who wouldn't? Great body and Great personality. They don't usually come in one package. But like all the girls he had a crush on, he was absolutely terrified of Amanda. I don't know what it was. This guy never had a girlfriend, never even had a date with a chick. He was a 21 year old virgin! And he wasn't bad looking! I could see why, but at the same time, I couldn't believe it.

And Amanda had displayed previous interest in Roland to me, which I kinda found funny. And from the looks of it on this trip, it was still there. I knew this was going to be interesting.

"So, who's gonna sleep with who?" Kev asked.

"Well, Kev, I was thinking about sleeping with you, big boy," Dan said with a lisp and smile.

I just laughed collapsing on one bed.

Kev had the look of terror in his eyes as he looked down at me and then Roland, who was standing next to Dan.

"Nah, I sort of wanted to sleep with Dan. Since I slept with Joe, I thought maybe Dan would feel a little left out and would want to see what he was missing," Ro said grinning as well.

"What?" I said, sitting up and looking at Ro.

"Nah, I sleep with Kev," said Ro. "You two lovebirds better keep it down though."
We settled down in our rooms. I had passed out in the bed while the group kept talking. I was still sort of recovering from my beating and I really wasn't totally up to speed yet.

The next morning, well...we uh sort of fooled around in the shower. By the time we were done with the "shower", we heard voices, which means they were up.

"Well, I think we woke them up," Dan said.

"Yeah, I guess we did," I said, drying my hair with the towel.

"Good, it was time for them to wake up anyway," he said smiling.

"Shit!" I said, realizing we had no clothes. "We forgot to bring our clothes in here!"

"Oops," Dan said laughing. "Well, you know where my bag is. Why don't you get them, and I'll wait in here."

I looked at him and smiled. "Asshole!"

I opened the door, and the draft of cold air hit me in the face. Amanda surprisingly was still lying in her cot, but talking to Ro and Kev who were also in their bed.

I tried avoiding their glances, as I raced over to get my clothes as well as Dan's.

"Where's Dan?" Ro asked.

"In the bathroom why?"

"Oh, god!" Kev said. "They took a fuckin' shower together!"

"Shut the fuck up," I said, running back towards the bathroom. I opened and closed the door handing Dan his clothes. We quickly put on our boxers and t-shirt and headed out of the bathroom again.

"You guys," Mandy said, smiling. "Are you always having sex?"

"As many times as we can," Dan responded.

"Eww..." Kev said, jumping off the bed and grabbing his clothes. "I call the shower next."
"Good, make sure you rinse off all the cum that they left on the walls," Ro shouted.

Kev turned to Ro and said, "That's fuckin' sick dude!"

"Oh, come on," I said, putting on my shorts. "Shut up and take your shower. I wanna go to Disney World!"

We finally got all organized and ready. Amanda was the last in the shower, and Ro probably beat off before his shower, as he usually did. We finally were all dressed and ready to go.

"Where do you want to go today?" Dan asked.

"Disney World, of course!" I said.

"You fuckin' homo!" Kev said.

"What?" I asked. "I'm a little kid at heart! I love Disney!"

"No, you are a homo, that's why you love Disney."

"Well, what else do you want to do then?" I asked.

"There's a Devil Rays-Yankee Game that I wouldn't mind seeing."

"But that's here!"
"Yeah, but you have a car. Why don't you and Dan go to Disney and the three of us will go to the game?"
"Oh, come on guys, come to Disney World!"

"Aww, shit all right," Kev grumbled. "At least there should be Miller's there."

"What?" Dan asked.

"Miller's!" Ro exclaimed. "You know, Mothers I'd Like to Rape! M-I-L-R!"

Dan cracked up laughing. Mandy didn't look too amused.

"That's not amusing..." Mandy said, shaking her head.

"Oh come on, you knew what you were getting into," Kev said.

"Yeah, but Mothers I'd Like To Rape?"

"MILLERS!" Ro yelled, laughing.

"Come on, let's go," Mandy said, gathering her stuff up. "You ready?" she asked me.

"Sure," I answered. We gathered up the various stuff we wanted to take along and we were off. It was nice and warm here in sunny florida. And because it was March, it wasn't hot, but it wasn't cool either. It was comfortable. We all bundled into my car again, and we were off on the road again.

All in all, it was fun trip for all involved. Kev got to go his Pleasure Island at Disney World. Dan and I went to some gay clubs down there, and everyone had a blast. Ro and Amanda seemed to get along really well, and Ro had secretly confided in me that he liked her. This could get interesting I thought. But it never did happen. At least not on that trip.

Finally, after spending the week down there, after seeing Disney World, Epcot Center, MGM, Universal, a water park, NASA (under Joe's pleading with the group), and making a stop at Joe's best friend's house down in Orlando, they were ready to go. They loaded up the car once again on Saturday morning from their hotel.

"You ready for the 24 hour car ride again?" Dan asked me.

I passed him the keys. "You can drive first, babe."

He passed me to go to the driver's side and kissed me on the lips. Kev let out a scream. Amanda laughed. Ro just acted like this was nothing out of the ordinary.

"Get in the car, you fuckin' homos!" Kev yelled.

We got in the car and Dan started the trip back to New Jersey.

"WOW!" Matt said. "That sounded like it was a fun trip, bud."

"It was. God I miss that son of a bitch," Kev said, coming out of the trance as well. "Why did Ro have to go and die?"

"I don't know, man," I said. "I don't know."

"That bastard," Kev said, smiling. I laughed.

"At least that drunk driver got jail time. What a fuckin' asshole!" I said.

Matt put his arm around me. We were silent for a moment.

"So, what are we going to do now?" Jay asked.

"Well, it's Saturday night. And you know what that means..." Kev started.

"PARTY!" Matt and I yelled.

"I gotta leave now," Kev said. "I'll see you there tonight?"

"We'll be there, Kev," I promised.

"Cool, man. I'll see you there!" he said before disappearing down the steps.

"Let me get my jacket while we're waiting for the others," I said going into my room.

Suddenly, I was grabbed by two enormous arms. I turned around and kissed my boyfriend on the lips.

"Just getting it out of my system before we go back out into public," he explained.

"No reason needed, babe," I said, smiling. I kissed him again. We started pressing our bodies against each other, feeling each others hardness growing in our pants. His hands roamed down to my ass.

"When are you going to let me have that ass again, little bud?" he whispered in my ear.

I moaned. "Now?"

"As much as I'd love to stay here with you, I would really like to go to this party, since it's the last one I'll go to as an undergraduate."

"I understand."

"And let's get one thing straight, Piazza..."

Matt promptly took me in his arms and put a wrestling hold on me.

"What was that, bud?" he asked.

By now I was giggling, since he was also tickling me. "Nothing....fat...ass," I said between the giggles.

"Oo, you little runt..." he said, in a deep voice and released me.

We walked back out to the living room where Jay was. I went into the kitchen, grabbed a bag out of the freezer, and headed back into the living room.

"And where is my hug, little man?" Matt asked, standing in front of Jay.

Jay smiled and stood up. Matt moved over and put his arms around Jay. Jay gladly returned the embrace. I smiled as I watched the whole scene. These two really like each other I thought.

"We still have to wait for Sean to get here. Lou is away for the weekend, so I told him he was welcome to hang out with us tonight."
"Cool," Matt responded, releasing Jay. There was a knock at the door.

"That must be him," I said. We all walked down the steps and joined Sean. We made our trek off campus towards Kev's frat house. Matt wasn't too worried about missing his frat's last party because he would still be around next semester. I wouldn't.

"So, what's up Sean?" I asked. "How are you and Lou doing?"

"Spectacular man," Sean said smiling.

"By the way, did I mention, Paul might be at this party tonight?"

"Well, I'll see you later," Sean said, turning around.

"Get back here," I said. "Don't worry about it. Come on man. I got the vodka and orange juice right here in my backpack, and we're gonna get drunk tonight!"

"WOO HOO!" Jay shouted out, raising his fist in the air.

Matt chuckled. "Cool."

"HEY!!" Kev yelled out as soon as we walked through the side door of the frat house.

"Hey, bro," Matt said, shaking Kev's hand.

"Guys, you're just in time!" he yelled out over the music. "I'm about to get drunk!"

"What else is new?" I asked, smiling.

Kev shrugged his shoulders. "Nothing. Hey, what do you have in the bag?"

"A little present for the party," I answered, reaching into my bag and pulling out a bottle of Absolut Vodka.

"Uh oh!" yelled one of the frat brothers. "Looks like Joe's gonna get smashed tonight!"

"Oh, you know it, bud!" I exclaimed, high fiving him.

"Well, Jay," Matt muttered to the cute blonde standing next to him. Jay looked up at the giant man.

"It looks like Joe won't be fucking me tonight..."
Jay choked on the sip of beer he was sipping. "WHAT?"
"He can never get it up when he's drunk," Matt said, grinning.

Jay burst out with laughter.

"What?" I asked, seeing both of them laughing together.

They both turned to me and said, "Nothing," in unison.

"Bastards," I said, smiling to them.

I made four screwdrivers for each of us and handed them out. We made a toast to sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll and down the drink.

"If we keep that up, he'll be on the floor," remarked Matt.

"Ah shut up, fat ass!" I said, moving past him to go into the other room.

He discretely slapped me on my ass as I moved passed him and when I turned to glare at him, he smiled.

All in all it was a drunken affair at the frat party. Matt and I kicked butt at beer pong, even beating Kevin and one of his other brothers. It was nice to see some of the people that I had been partying with all these years one last time. I wasn't sad at all though, it was time to move on.

"So, can I have your ass tonight, Joe?"

"Anything you want of me, you can have tonight," I said, leaning on him for support as we stumbled home. "Just don't expect me to be that responsive."

Matt chuckled. "That's okay. I don't. You are more drunk than I ever seen you before! You drank a lot tonight!"

"I know, even my speech is slurred. You know, my speech is the last thing to go," I said.

"Yeah, I've noticed. You've never had to lean on me for support either on the way home before."
Jay was leaning on the other side of Matt.

"What did you think Jay?" Matt asked.

He gave a wicked grin and said, " Well, I got head..."

"WHAT?" Matt asked.

"I got head!"

"Thank god," I slurred. "At least he won't be hitting on us tonight."
"Good point, little bud. I'm glad to hear that you got head. Was it from that chick you were hanging out with?"
Jay's eyes sparkled as he said, "Yep. She blew me in one of the bedrooms. Kev hooked me up."

"That dog," I remarked.

"So, Matt tells me that you can't get it up when your shitfaced!" Jay said, laughing.

"Jay!" Matt yelled. "Shit..." he said laughing.

"Oh, so that's what you guys were laughing about at the party tonight," I said. "I can get it up when I'm drunk! It is just harder to keep it hard...and why the fuck am I tell you this?"

Luckily we arrived at the apartment before we took that subject any further. True to his word, as soon as Jay left the bedroom, we were on my bed, and it took him no longer than 10 minutes to get his dick in my ass for the second time ever. It felt so big, but felt good too. We promptly passed out afterwards.

Finals week was in progress. This was it. My last week being an undergraduate college student. The editing for the film was done. I had written my last essay ever in Literature. And I was ready to graduate. I had found a job in the telecommunications field, believe it or not, at the college. My old boss was leaving and I was taking his place. The interview was a success!

"So, does this mean you'll be my boss boss?" Jay asked, when I told him the news at work.

"Sure does, Jay," I said, smiling.

"I expect a promotion as well then to head student worker," he said, grinning.

"I'm sure you'll get that," I said, patting the top of his head as I got up from the chair at the back table. "I gotta go install this phone in this new guy's office. Remember tonight is the premiere of my movie. You're gonna be there right?"

"Sure, Joe. I'll be there. Broken arm and all," he said, lifting up his broken arm. He no longer had to keep it in a sling and could move his fingers a bit.

I picked up Matt after work, since the premiere started at five. I then dropped by my apartment and picked up Kev and Justin who also wanted to see the film. My friend Jill who was also in the picture would meet us there. We arrived at the amphitheater in the communications building. I was proud to be seen with my man. I knew a lot of people who were there from previous classes and the radio station. As was the case in a lot of situations, Matt was happy to just let me be free and talk to whoever I wanted. He would always give me my space and watched from afar. I sort of felt bad about him being out, but he told me it never bothered him. My parents were there somewhere, I just didn't know where.

So we all sat down in a row, Kev, Justin, Jill, Jay, Sean, Lou, Matt and I when it was about to begin. Since there were several Film I classes and several groups in each class, there were a good number of short films. Some were very entertaining. The other film with my score in it was played halfway into the program. I had secretly helped them edit the film to the music, which they were very greatful for, proving that I could edit, despite what Wes thought.

Finally, our film "For All Time" (which was the definition of forever) was played. Having seen it in the editing stages, I knew what to expect. But it was neat seeing it on the screen. Matt took my hand in his as the music began to play. I looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back. There was one time when Wes didn't frame Matt correctly in the shot and I couldn't resist taking a shot at my boyfriend.

"Oops....I knew we needed the wide-angle lens for that shot...." I whispered to Matt.

"Faggot!" he whispered back, grinning.

Halfway through the film, though, I began to think about Dan and how proud he would have been of me. I wished he could've seen my film, since I had seen his. I knew he would be proud.

After four minutes, the film was over. The audience applauded and I thought that ours was one of the best from the audience's reaction. My name was up there on the credits for Original Score. What a rush that was.

"Damn," Justin said, as we all stood up and stretched. "I looked good on the screen!"

"I told you, you did!" I said, putting him on the back.

"And how did I look?" Matt asked me.

"Do I really have to tell you?" I asked, smiling.

"Matt, you looked hot!" Jill exclaimed. Jay and I laughed at that comment.

"Come on you guys. Let's get out of here," I said, pushing Jay ahead.

I talked to friends on the way out of the building, hearing praises on my score. It was all good to hear. I congratulated other people on their films too. Finally, our troop made it out of the building completely.

"Great film," Lou said. "We're gonna fly on out of here now, and do some other things, if you know what I mean." He winked at me and I nodded.

"Have fun guys," I said to Sean and Lou as they turned and walked off together.

"Don't they look happy?" I asked Matt.

"As happy as we are?" He asked.

"I would say just about," I answered, putting my arm around his waist for a second.

"Well, Joe, I'm out of here," Jill said.

I gave her a hug and said, "Thanks again Jill. You were wonderful in the film."

"Yeah, you looked good!" Justin said. "Wanna go out with me?"

We all laughed. Jill smiled and said,"Uh....well, maybe sometime!"

"Sounds good to me," Justin said.

Jill left, leaving Matt, Justin, Kevin, Jay and I alone. Just then Gary the director of the film came up to us.

"Great film, huh?"

"Yeah, bud," Matt said.

"You guys were great! And great score, Joe!" he said.

We all said thanks and headed back to our apartment.

"So, what are you homos doing tonight?" Kev asked.

"Well, we're getting tired of fucking on Joe's bed," Matt replied. "We were thinking about trying out yours again!"

Kevin, as if on cue, let out a cry. "AHHH!"

Matt smacked Kev on the ass. Kev glared at Matt. I was wondering if Matt crossed the line with him. I looked at him too.

"What?" he asked looking at me. "Looks like a bitch, sounds like a bitch, it should be smacked like a bitch!"

"OH MY!" Jay yelled out, laughing. Kev still didn't look amused. He looked like he had been violated.

"Come on, Kev. At least I didn't kick you in the balls."
"True, true," Kev said, grinning. "Don't do it again, though, dude."
"All right, I won't," Matt said.

"Well, as I was saying before, would you like to eat dinner?" Kev asked. "Because I have an idea if you do..."

"Geno's? I asked.

"WOO HOO!" Kev exclaimed. "Here we come!"

"Oh god," Jay said, as he walked along side of Matt, the big guy of the group. Kev and Matt were nearly the same height. But one was 40lbs lighter than the other.

"My car?" I asked.

"Who else?" Matt asked.

We all piled into my car without even stopping in the apartment. We made the half hour trip in good time. We ordered our steaks, joked all along the way, and joked all the way home as well. This was my last night on-campus, my last night with my college friends as a college student, and I was loving every second of it.

Finals week went by like a flash of light. Before I knew it, I was packing my shit to move out of the apartment...for good. It was very sad leaving behind something that had been part of my life for over five years. But, looking on the bright side, I would be still going to campus every day to work there full-time. It was all arranged. Dave was leaving the job, and I was taking his position. I was so excited to be finally done with college. I would still be able to see my friends, socialize with them (since I only lived 15 minutes away from school), and stay close to my man, Matt.

It was weird being the only one who was packing up all his shit to leave in the apartment. It seemed like I just moved into the bedroom about three weeks ago, which was true. And it looked like Residence Life had no plans of moving someone in with Jay, so it looked like Jay, the freshman, had a fuckin' bedroom all to himself the next semester. I assured him though that I would be crashing there from time to time.

I had already made carload home on my own that day. Matt came by when I was walking from my car to the apartment after I came back to get another load.

"Little bud!" He shouted to me across the parking lot. I could see his big goofy grin on his face. I smiled back.

"Hey, fat ass!" I wisecracked.

"You little runt!" He said, running towards me.

I just stood in place, not fazed by this big guy running towards me at full speed ahead. At the last moment, he didn't look like he was going to stop, and I began to get a little nervous. Still, I didn't move.

The next thing I know it, he's carrying me in his arms. He carried me right up the steps of our apartment. I laughed all the way.

Kev was in the living room. "You fuckin' homos!" he remarked.

Matt let me down, as I tried to get my breath back from laughing so hard.

"You know, you'd think he would have gotten used to us by now," Matt said.

"Oh, I think he has!" I said, leaning up to kiss my man in front of Kevin. As if on cue, Kev let out a scream.

"Ah, you know you're gonna miss the homos in the apartment," I said, moving away from Matt towards my room.

"Yeah, I will," Kev said, smiling at me. "You need any help?"

"Uh, sure! I've got every thing packed in here, I just need to move it to the car."

The bedroom component system and computer were all disassembled ready to be loaded. I still had to take apart the living room system, being that both stereo systems were mine. But that was about it, and I was ready to move back home. The stereos are always the last thing I pack, since I listen to music when I'm moving in or out. Always.

Finally, between Matt, Kev, and I, the car was packed. Kev was gonna follow behind, since he had his dad's pick up and we had to take the couch back to my house since it was mine. Ro and I had picked it up off the side of the road our second year living on campus. For some strange reason, you would think that I would have learned, I packed the car full again. So, Matt would ride with Kev and help us transport the couch down to the basement in my house where it was going.

"You know the way?" I asked him.

"Of course," Kev said. "And this time, I'm gonna lead."

"Cool, sounds fine to me."
"In fact," Matt added, "Are you sure you don't want to leave five minutes after we do? I'd hate to see YOU get hit this time."
I frowned. "Let's not go there, babe," I said, getting into my car.

"So I'll see you at my house, Mike?" I said, returning to my joking mood.

"After that comment, you can count on it, runt!"

"Ah, get in the truck fat ass...." I said, laughing.

I followed Kev, watching the two six footers talking in the cab of the pick up. I could see the couch happily riding in the bed of the Ford F150. We passed that fateful intersection that I had purposely avoided for weeks after the accident of Dan and Ro. I held my breath as I watched Kev and Matt pass through it with no problem. I didn't exhale until after I made it through the intersection. WOO HOO! I raised my fist up in the air and celebrated. WE'RE ALIVE!

We got to my house, unloaded the car, unloaded the couch, and went back to campus for the final trip and for me to sign out.

Once again, our RA was Andrew who I talked to briefly last year. Andrew was also gay, living with another RA who was his boyfriend. So go figure that one out.

"Well, once again, you're leaving us Joe?" He asked, coming up the steps of the apartment.

"Yeah, and this time, I'm for sure not coming back."

"You sure this time?"

"Yes, I know. I graduated!"

"Congrats, man," Andrew said, looking around the apartment.

"Oh fuck it," he finally said. "I know you're okay. Just give me the key and sign here and you're done!"

I handed over the apartment key and signed the paper.

"Thanks, Joe. Good luck in the future!" he said.

"Oh, you'll still see me around," I said to him. "I'm working full time here!"

"Cool man. Talk to you later!"

"Of all the RA's we've had, I think he's the coolest," Kev said, sitting down on the couch. He got right back up though and pulled out his pack of smokes. "Wanna have one last cigarette here?"

"Sure, man. It'll be my last cigarette from this pack, and my last cigarette ever!" I proclaimed.

"Yeah, right," Matt said smiling.

"No, man, I'm serious. I'm quitting, this time for good," I said, walking out to the balcony with Kevin. Matt followed us.

We chatted about the fun times we had. And soon, Jay had come in. He looked a little sad.

"You're leaving us?" he asked.

"'Fraid so, bud," I answered, putting my arm around him. "But Matt'll still be here to take care of you."

"That's right, bro," Matt boomed. "I'll be here to take care of my little bro."

I smiled at the thought of Matt looking out for Jason. I put out my butt and was finally ready to leave.

"Well, Kev, this is it! I can't come back again as a student."

"Joe," he said, "It's been fun living with you. Come back and visit us, man!"

"I will, man, I will."

"Yeah, don't forget about me," Jay said.

"How can I? I'll still be working with you! Come on guys, it's not like I'm going away forever."
"I know, I know," Jay said.

We walked out the front of the apartment towards my car. Matt needed to stay behind and study for his last final. I threw my arms around him in the parking lot and kissed him on the lips.

"Thanks," I finally said, softly, still hugging him. "You'll never know how much you did for me this semester, bud. I love you."

"Aw, little bud, thanks. And I say this with all honesty. You are Joe, The Man. I love you, bro. Call me tonight," he said, finally letting me go.

I gave both Kev and Jay hugs before I left. I got into my trusty Camry and drove home, safe and sound. I was ready to start a new life after college. But also continue one with Matt for hopefully the rest of my life.


This is the end of the Joe series. It has been fun writing the series all together for almost two years now. I hope you have enjoyed the series as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Though I am sad to see it go, it was time to end it. Please send your comments to SNJBoy76@aol.com