Welcome to the second installment of Joe, The Man. This is the sequel series to Dan, The Man. It was posted originally with the title of Starting Over Again. This is the re-edited, re-formatted version. I'd like to thank everyone who has responded. I really appreciate it.

These two series are works of fiction. Any similarities to real life are strictly coincidental. The rights to these two series belong to the author. No reproduction in part or in whole is permitted without the written consent of the author. If you are under 21 (or 18 in some areas), please don't bother reading more and leave. If you are offended by gay college students, please go away. Thanks.

Joe, The Man, Part II


By Joey E

So, school started and I was soon back in the swing of things with school work. I had registered (against better judgement) for 12 credits my last semester in college. Two of the classes I needed, two of them I did not. It turns out that Sean was in my last Gen Ed required class, and Lou turned up in one of the music courses I took just for fun.

I came back to the apartment with Sean after our Lit class. As we walked in the apartment, Kevin was there. He looked up once at us and said, "Hey". However, I don't think he was expecting a younger version of Dan to be with me, and did a double take. It was quite amusing to watch him.

"No, I'm not Dan," Sean said, knowing exactly what Kevin was thinking.

"That's fucked up, Joe," Kev said to me.

"I know, man," I said, sighing.

"You wanna smoke?" Sean asked Kev.

"Sure," he said, getting up off the couch, leaving on VH-1 the TV.

"Guess what?" Kev asked Sean as we lit up our cigs outside.


"Guess who got lucky last night?" Kev asked, with a smirk on his face. I tried to stop him by saying, "Shut up, man. Have a heart."

"Ah, I see," Sean said, looking at me grinning. "Do tell."

Well since he didn't seem offended that I had sex with someone other than his late brother, I went on to describe this beautiful freshman and the wonderful time we had, without going into detail in respect to Kevin.

"Aw, man, you're gonna have to introduce him to me!"

"No way!" I shouted, laughing. "I found him first!"

"Well, we'll just see about that," Sean said, still smiling

Kevin went inside, but we remained outside, sitting on the couch that we had on the balcony.

"So, how are you doin', man?" Sean asked me in a caring manner.

I looked at him and said, "Okay, so far. It's a little weird and all. Like having Kevin for a roommate instead of Ro, not even having Ro around the apartment, not seeing some of my old friends who graduated, and especially not seeing Dan in my classes."

Sean could sense I needed a hug, which I wasn't even aware I needed. He put his arm around my shoulder and I moved closer to him, just enjoying the closeness. Now, I'll be one to admit, when I first met Sean, I found him attractive. But this was also Dan's brother. I never thought once about him, and this was no exception. It was just something I needed at the time.

"I miss him so much," Sean said, softly. "He knew I was coming to his school. He was actually looking forward to having his kid brother on-campus. Although, you know, he was glad that I wasn't a communications major," he said, laughing.

"Yeah, I can imagine," I said, smiling .

"He was, in short, my hero, Joe. I remember growing up, watching him achieve almost everything he wanted to achieve. I wanted to be just like my big brother," he went on.

"He was everything I wanted to be," Joe said. "He had it made, man. He had it all made."

We both shed silent tears. I left Sean's embrace to light up another smoke. He did the same. We started shifting the topic towards Paul, who moved in today, but was no where to be found.

"So, do you think Paul likes me still?" He asked.

"Always has, always will," I answered, smiling.

Sean looked to be in deep thought. "What should I do?" he asked, finally after a long pause.

"Well, man, call him up, now that you live around here. You could make, like a, uh, a date, but without him knowing it," I said.

"A date? With a guy?" he asked, a little surprise.

"Yeah, a date with a guy! God, you are so straight," I said, smiling.

"Hmm...I'll have to think about that one," he said, smiling.

"Yeah, think on it. I'm sure he would say yes," I said.


"Sure," I said, walking back into the apartment. He followed me.

Just then, Paul walked in from the stairway and immediately smiled at the first thing he saw-Sean.

"Sean!" he said, happily, extending his hand.

"Paul, man, what's up?" Sean asked, in a raised voice, happy to see him also. Sean grabbed his hand, and pulled him into a hug, which Paul did not mind at all. I just smiled as I watched the whole scene.

"Joe! What's up?" Paul said, finally noticing me. I smiled and walked over to him, giving him a big huh.

We exchanged small talk for a little while, but Sean needed to leave soon.

Sean took the first step. "Paul, what are you doing say, tomorrow night?"

"Uh, nothing that I know of," he said, smiling. "Why what did you have in mind?"

"Well, I thought we could hang out or something, go to a movie, the two of us?"

I held my breath on that one.

"Sure, man! Sounds great!" Paul answered, grinning widely. Aw, I thought to myself, isn't young gay love great? (I was about to puke at that thought).

"Cool, I'll call you tomorrow afternoon,"Sean said as he walked towards the stairs.


I walked Sean out, and told him good luck, and I'd see him tomorrow.

I went back upstairs and stopped in Paul's room.

"You know, you just made like a date with him," I said, sitting on his bed. Which used to be mine, by the way.

"Yeah, I know, man," Paul said, grinning and blushing. "I just never had these feelings for anyone before. I don't know what it is! I mean, I thought I was straight, and yet I've been fighting with these thoughts since he walked into this apartment. No, I take that back, until I met Dan."

I made a sharp glare at him. "What do you mean by that?"

"Dan was the first guy I really felt something for, Joe. Sean was more intense though," he explained.

"Okay, I understand, man. You see what I told you? You never know," I said, getting up walking out of his room.

"Yeah, you never do."

"Hey Paul," the voice said over the telephone.

"Sean! I was wondering if you were going to call me today," Paul said, into the phone.

"Yeah, man. I was thinking about like say 7?"

"Well, it's uh," Paul said, checking his watch, "5PM right now. Why don't we go out and get something to eat first?"

"Uh, okay! Sure, man, that would be cool!" Sean said, excited.

"Cool, I'll see you here at 5? I'll drive," Paul said.

"Sure, see you then!"

"Is Joe there?"

"This is he," I said in the phone, wondering who the hell was calling me on a Friday afternoon that I didn't know.

"Joe, this is Lou, man," he said.

"Lou! Hey, what's up?" I said, happy that a male was calling me.

"Hey, man, I'm bored, do you mind if I come over?" he asked.

"No, man, not at all. But I'm going out tonight with some old friends in Philly," I had said. "So we can't hang out for long. But come on over anyway!" I said, glad to have the company.

He was over in a flash at my door. God he was hot, blonde hair, blue eyes, defined arms and chest, tank top and cargo shorts. He looked better than he did in class and the party. I closed my mouth, and invited him up.

"So, you're going out tonight?" He asked me, sitting down on the couch.

"Yeah, man. One my old ex's and his friends will be at their usual hang out which is a piano bar in Philly and then they head over to Shampoo another club in Philly.

"Oh yeah? I've been to Shampoo, many times," he said. That made me question his age.

"How old are you?"

"21," he replied.

"And you're a freshman?"

"Yeah, what about it?"

"Nothin," I said. "It's just that you look no older than 18. I just assumed that you were."

He smiled at that comment. "Gee thanks, man. I get carded everywhere I go."

"Join the club," I said.

"Yeah, you look about 18 too," he said, smiling.


"Well, maybe someday, we can go out together to Shampoo or something," he said.

By now, after looking at this cute boy for about ten minutes, my hormones were raging.

"Yeah, man, that would be awesome..."

"Joe, I need to ask you something. Would you ever like to go out on a date sometime?"

That took me totally by surprise. I tried to answer, but my voice would work. I was just too surprised. Finally I re-composed myself.

"Uh, sure, I guess." I said, softly. "It wouldn't hurt."

Lou's frown turned into a big smile. "Cool, man. I know you just lost your boyfriend four months ago, and it's probably too soon for anything serious. But I never met anyone quite like you, dude!"

"Thanks, man," I said, looking down at my feet. "Yeah, it is too soon. But we can still hang out as friends. I would love to hang out with you more."

We talked a little more about school, and soon the subject of the majors came up. Turns out he was a Radio/TV/Film major. I gave him some advice on what teachers to avoid and all that shit. Soon, it was time for me to eat dinner and get ready to go out. So we made plans to get together tomorrow night and head over to Kev's Frat house for their usual Saturday night party.

I ate, took a shower, dressed in an outfit Dan loved, and headed out to Philly in the trusty Camry. In a matter of a half an hour, I was there at Tavern, the piano bar. It was about 8PM by then. John (my ex) was there, along with his group of friends as usual. I hadn't seen them all summer, and only talked to John a few times over the summer.

"JOE!" He yelled, when he saw me. He walked over to me, and gave me a hug, which I gladly accepted! "It's so good to see you, man! How have you been?"

"I've been better, but okay," I answered, smiling. Someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to be greeted by a very handsome face.

"Hey, Brian!" I yelled, very happy to see him. Brian and I had met at a party given by one of John's Friends. It was very obvious to me, that he was looking at me. And I was very much interested in him. However, I was with John at the time, and couldn't do a damn thing about it. (That should've been the clue if I had been thinking about another guy that the relationship was doomed). We met once more at another party, and he was very interested in my compositions, and even sang along to one at the piano that night. He was so cute, with puppy dog eyes, curly brown hair, tall and skinny but muscled as well.

I pulled him to a tight hug. He returned the hug. I looked back up at him when we released the embrace and smiled. He was so cute. I wanted to talk to him more, but first had to say hi to other people. I said hi and hugged and kissed various people a barely knew through John and went back to Brian who was sitting around the piano. John's friend Matt was playing tonight, always putting on a good show. He smiled in my direction.

"So, Joe, how have you been man? A haven't seen you in ages!"

"I know. It's been what? 10 months?" I asked.

'Yeah about that."

"Well, I've been doing all right," I began. "I'm still in college, but I'm gonna graduate this December!" I said.

"That's great!"

"Yeah, I'm sort of looking forward to it. And what about you? Where have you been?"

"I've been up in NYC for a lot of the time, going to school there. But I'm back down here now, living with Matt and his brother."

We chit chatted about various things, and then the subject of John came up, brought up by him.

"So, I heard you had a brief public display with John?" he asked.

God, why did that have to come up? "Yeah, one night at Woody's. Speaking of which, how is he doing with his drinking?"

"He's doin' okay, right now. He's seeing someone," Brian said.

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah, he should be here soon. You seeing anyone right now?"

"No, man. I just lost my boyfriend four months ago, man. It's been rough," I said, sadly.

"Oh, I'm sorry, man. Didn't mean to bring that up. John told me about that. I'm very sorry to hear that dude," he said, sincerely.

"That's okay, man. I'm getting over it, slowly but surely," I said, taking a drink from my screwdriver. I pulled out a cigarette and Brian lit it for me.

"Thanks," I said, smiling at him. I looked into his eyes with lust, all the intensity that was behind our first two meetings were back. I saw that he wanted something in his eyes. But it was more than that. Which was nice.

We both blushed, noticing we were both staring at each other and laughed, nervously. John came over, singing as usual to the music. We both started singing to the song, which was "On My Own" from Les Miserables. I love that song for some reason. Of course, Les Miserables was the show that Dan took me to see, just before the end of the semester. It brought back so many memories. Even though I had someone I was interested, I thought about Dan when I sang. Brian could sing really well. I could sing to save my life, but not much else. I closed my eyes, not caring who was watching, and sang my heart out. By the time the song was over, I had tears falling down my face, and I was indeed crying.

Brian was looking at me as I opened my eyes. "You okay?" he asked, as the applause died down.

I shook my head yes, knowing that I would be fine in a few minutes. I smiled at him. He came over and just put his arms around me and held me. I needed that. John came over then.

"What's wrong with him?" he asked Brian.

"The last song really got to him, I think," he said.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, man," John said to me. "Are you going to be all right?" He asked with concern.

"Yeah," I answered. I took a drink from my screwdriver and lit up another cigarette.

Just then, I noticed two guys walking into the one-room bar from outside. I thought the one guy looked familiar, but wasn't sure. I kept staring at him. He stared right back at me. It wasn't at the fact that I was trying to pick him up, but just the fact that I was trying to remember who it was. It took me exactly 10 seconds to realize who it was. I bolted out of my seat and practically ran over to this guy.

"Douglas?" I asked, excitedly.

"JOE!" he yelled, smiling, shaking my hand.

"What the hell are you doing here, man?"

"Just hanging out with some friends," he replied.

"Of all people, I'd never expect to see you here."

"Yeah, this was the first time I came here."

"Well, man, I'll talk to you later tonight," I said, then I turned and walked back to where Brian was.

"Well, well, well! Who's that?" he asked.

"That's Douglas. We go back about four and a half years ago. We had met on AOL when we were both Freshman in college and go together a couple of times, you know..." I said, smiling.

"Yeah, yeah, I know," he said. I mingled with the group for about three hours and had a wonderful time, chatting and singing. It was great to be back and have somewhat of a life. Brian didn't hurt it either. Soon, the crowd was going to head over to Shampoo. I was sober by that point, and I drove over to the big club, with an agreement to meet them there, especially Brian.

Shampoo is a big club, with three major dance floors. It's totally an awesome place. I loved going there with a group of friends. I'd never go there alone though.

"Joe," I heard someone yell. I followed he voice and found John and his clan, with Brian.

We hung out he rest of the night, dancing, talking, drinking, smoking and just having a good time. I had spent a great deal of time with Brian, which was fun. I also got to meet John's new boyfriend, Mike. Also, I noticed that John had indeed cut down on his drinking, not touching one drink at the club at all. Nothing happened at all between Brian and I, which I was sort of proud of, but disappointed as well. However, we did get our groove on out on the disco dance floor. We had fun, but neither of us took it any further for some reason. I was just happy to be out and alive and dancing!! But we did exchange phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Sean was very happy to be seeing Paul tonight. He couldn't decide what to wear. He threw on an outfit finally and headed out the door of his dorm room. Meanwhile, Paul was very excited about having time to spend with Sean together, just the two of them.

"Hey Justin," Sean said, after Justin answered the door. "Is Paul here?"

"Yeah, come on up," said Justin, opening the door a bit wider.

Sean ran up the steps. "I'll go get him," Justin said, going past Paul, knocking on his bedroom door.

"Hey, Paul, you got company," he said.

Paul came out immediately, looking absolutely irresistible, all dressed up, hair done, and smiling. Sean breathed in slowly.

"Hey Sean," he said, quietly, still smiling.

"Hi, man," Sean answered. They just stood there, looking at each other for a minute.

"Well, you ready to go out to eat?" asked Paul, breaking the trance.

"Uh, yeah, sure, where to?" Sean asked.

"Well, something inexpensive. How about that Phily Diner on the Black Horse Pike?" Paul asked. It was a common place to go for the college students to go to, being that it was open 24 hours a day. Great for a late night run.

"Sure, man! I've never been there, but I'll go," Sean answered.

"Cool, I'll drive."

"Well, uh, you're gonna have to, man, because I don't have a car," Sean said.

Paul laughed nervously, and out they went.

They made small talk all the way to the diner. They were seated after waiting ten minutes and ordered their food.

"So, what's your new roommate like?" Sean asked. "I've met him, and he seems pretty cool."

"Yeah, Justin is cool, man. We seem to be getting along well, so far. He and I have talked and it sounds like we'll have compatible sleeping habits. So that's good."


"What's your roommate like?" Paul asked, taking a sip of his soda that just came by.

"Well, he's okay. He's a jock football player, and fits the stereotype pretty well. But he's cool. Time will only tell," said Sean.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. I had a gay roommate last year," Paul said.

"Oh really?" Sean asked, grinning.

"Yeah, yeah, it's not what you think. I thought it would be okay, he seemed like a decent person to live with. But it turned out that he was a total bitch, complete with mood swings and everything," Paul said.

Sean laughed. They continued talking. Sean could tell that Paul was immature for his age, but being three years younger than Paul, made them equal. Sean never quite felt it click like this before with anyone else. The meal came and they ate, smiling and talking over dinner.

Sean lit his cigarette after he was done. Paul took out his lighter and lit it for him.

"Thanks, man," he said. "So, what do you want to do now?"

"Well, I don't have much money right now," Paul answered. "But there's plenty of things to do back at the apartment. We could watch a movie or something."

Secretly, Paul had an ulterior motive to get Sean alone, where they could, if they wanted to, have some time alone together....:

Sean grinned at Paul's suggestion. "Well, that sounds like a good idea. What movies do you have?"

"I'm not sure all the movies Joe has, but let's go back and look. If we don't find one we like, we could always rent one."

"Cool," Sean said. They left shortly after that and went back to Paul's apartment. Luckily, though Sean, no one was there. Paul went over to closet, and looked for he movies.

"Well, what do you want to watch?" Paul asked. "We've got Star Wars, Naked Gun, Airplane, Happy Gilmore, Independence Day, Mission Impossible..."

"Hey, why not Mission Impossible. I haven't seen that one in a while."

"Okay," answered Paul. "I've never seen it before." He pulled it out of the closet, and put it in the VCR. Paul was not very technologically inclined when it came to Audio/Video kinds of tings, and Joe disliked that fact. Paul would be happy to watch a movie just through the Television. However, Joe had a Hi-Fi Stereo VCR (hey, this story is over a year old...he would have a DVD-Player by now) and had it hooked up to the system in the living room and couldn't understand why Paul wouldn't want to turn it on.

"Is that VCR hooked up to the stereo?" Sean asked, looking at the system.

"Somehow," Paul said, laughing. "Joe knows about it, but I could care less."

"Cool, man! Let me try it," said Sean, walking over to the system.

"Okay," said Paul, thinking, oh boy, another sound freak!

"Well, it just sounds better," said Sean, reading the expression on Paul's face.

"Whatever, dude," Paul said, walking away.

"Well, after watching movies through the system my brother has, you sort of come to expect that experience," Sean explained.

"Oh?" asked Paul, sitting down on the couch.

"Trust me, dude," Paul said, turning on the receiver and putting it VCR input.

The video started, with the sound coming through the receiver. Paul still couldn't tell why it was better, really. Sean, however, was impressed by it.

"Hey, man, tell Joe he has a pretty good stereo," Sean said, sitting down next to Paul.

"Oh, before it starts, do you want a beer?" Paul asked, getting up to go to the kitchen.

"Sure man," Sean said. Paul came back with a six pack of Bud Ice.

"Cool," Sean said. "This is what I would get my brother to buy for my friends and I."

They sat close to one another, neither of them really knowing what to do and when to do it. Neither of them really were paying that much attention to the movie after a while, because other things were plauging there mind. It was the first time for both of them.

Sean finally made the first move. He reached up to get his bottle of beer, and took a sip. He also moved himself over closer to Paul on his right. He leaned back afterwards and rested his leg on Paul's. Both of them were wearing shorts at the time and Sean could feel the leg hairs against his.

Paul was surprised to say the least to feel this new sensation on his leg. He was nevertheless intrigued by it. He didn't move his leg away, he pressed his against Sean's. They both grinned to themselves, eyes still focused on the movie. Paul shifted a little closer to Sean, and now their shoulders were touching each others. Paul giggled a little at the thought of this finally happening.

"What?" Sean asked, turning his head and looking at Paul.

"Nothing," Paul said, turning red. "It just feels nice."

"Yeah, I agree," said Sean, taking that as a signal that everything was good. He got a little bolder and put his arm around Paul. Paul caved in immediately, and rested his head against Sean's shoulder. They both sighed and continued watching the movie. At one point, Sean looked down at Paul, and kissed him on the forehead. Paul was having the time of his life. He looked up at Sean and kissed him on the cheek. They then returned to their place.

Paul wanted to do more, but didn't know what to do. Sean knew however what to do and leaned down and kissed Paul on the lips. Paul closed his eyes when he saw Sean coming towards him. It was a loud part in the movie and they didn't hear the front door open and steps on the steps.

"Oh shit!" Kev said, walking in right when they kissed. Paul and Sean jumped up immediately, hitting their heads together. Paul was so embarrassed as was Sean. Kev shook his head and said, "Man, there are too many homos in this apartment!"

"Oh, shut up," Paul said, not used to being called that. "Don't call me, that man. I don't like it!"

"Well, man, I don't like seeing two guys hooking up on my couch!" Kev said.

"Shut up, Kev. I don't want to hear it," Paul yelled.

Sean felt very awkward at the moment. He felt he should leave. "Paul, maybe I should go," he finally said.

Paul didn't say anything.

Sean shook his head, "I'm sorry, man. I've got to go," said Sean getting up.

Kev realized what he had done, and said, "Sorry dude, I didn't mean to kill the moment. But it's my apartment too and I was shocked, that's all."

Sean said. "I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"Yeah, sure," said Paul, quietly, knowing he was letting something slip away that he wanted, but didn't want at the same time. After all, this was his first time accepting these facts when he was sort of sober. Sean walked down the steps and went out the door.

Some guy was looking at him as he walked on the sidewalk, and he kept staring and staring. Finally, Sean couldn't take it any longer.

"What the fuck is your problem?" Sean asked, the tall, brown haired, blue eyed, built guy.

The guy shook himself out of his stare. "Nothin' man."

"Well, then what the hell are you looking at?"

The guy came over, looking as if he had seen a ghost. "I'm sorry, man. You just looked like someone I knew."

Sean put two and two together and came up with the answer. "You mean Dan?"

The guy, wide-eyed, yelled, "Yeah! How did you know?"

"Dan was my brother," Sean said, turning away to continue his way back to his dorm.

"Yo, dude, I'm sorry, man. I didn't know he had a brother. I'm sorry," the guy said, chasing after him.

"That's okay, man. I understand."

"Cool, man. By the way, I'm Neil. I was friends with your brother," he said, holding out his hand.

Sean smiled and shook it. "Cool, man. I'm Sean." Sean liked what he saw in Neil very much. His brother had some decent looking friends, he thought to himself.

"I'm sorry about staring at you dude, but you look so much like him! And you were coming out of Joe's apartment, he explained.

"That's okay," Sean said, looking into his eyes. "Well, I'll see you around."

I got back to the apartment to find Kev and Justin watching "Mission Impossible". There were beer bottles on the coffee table. I sat between Kev and Justin and watched the rest of the movie, which was not very long.

We all went out for a smoke after it was over.

"So, Joe, guess who I walked in on today?" Kev asked.

"Well, it certainly wasn't me!" I replied, with a chuckle.

"Sean and Paul, man," he answered.

"WHAT?" I screamed.

"Yeah, man, they were hooking up on that couch, watching a movie!" Kev went on.

"Really?" I asked, smiling. Glad that they both got what they wanted.

"But I think I made it worse, man. I called them homos, and they didn't take to it very well," Kev said. "They both left, first Sean and then Paul. Paul didn't look to good when he left. I hope he's okay."

I took it all in and processed it. "Kev, you're an idiot sometimes."

"Yeah, I know. I realized that I probably offended them when I called them homos."

"Yeah you did, they're not as comfortable with it as I am, man. You probably screwed up Paul's head, more than it already is." Paul is very confused, and not very self-confident. He had contemplated suicide in high school for some reason, which to this day I'm not sure what it was. He's explained it to me, but there had to be something more to it.

"I know," Kev said, taking a drag of his cigarette. I looked over at Justin who was taking this all in.

"Don't worry, man. Paul is a great person and a great friend."

"Man, you're scaring me a little," he finally said.

"Yeah I know, but he doesn't talk about that side of him much, man." I looked back at Kevin.

"So, where are they now?" I asked.

"I don't know."


"Well, I'm sure they'll be okay," Kev said.

"Don't be too sure," I answered back.

Kev and Justin went out to go get something to eat. I, having fulfilled my need to get out, opted to stay home. It was now 2AM and was feeling very tired. I went to bed.


I jumped out of bed and ran to where the sound was coming from.


I ran into Justin's and Paul's room, and found Justin looking over Paul, who was still asleep.

"What?" I asked, squinting because of he light.

"This!" said Justin, holding up a bottle of sleeping pills that were empty. :"I found them on my desk with a note from him. This isn't good man! What should I do?"

I thought quickly. "Call public safety now! When did you get in?"

"About five minutes ago," he answered. I looked at the clock, which read 4AM.

"Shit, man, he must've come in between 3 and 4. I hope it's not too late, man," I said, running to the living room for the phone. I called public safety and an ambulance came to the door soon after and they rushed him off to the hospital.

I read the note briefly before going there myself.

"Who ever finds this:

This is it. I'm not happy with my life. I can't be who I want to be anymore. I have no future. I don't want the world to hate me. I just want to be normal, but can't. I am so alone here. So, have a good life. I'll see you later,


"Aw, fuck!" I yelled out. I frantically called Sean, telling him briefly what happened and invited him to go along with Justin and I. He accepted and Justin and I flew out of the apartment to my car.

When I picked up Sean, he was visibly shaken by the whole thing. "Hey, Joe, Justin," he said as he got into my car.

"Hey," I answered, wasting no time, and putting the car in gear before he even closed the door.

"What the hell happened?" Sean blurted out.

"I don't know. But I'm thinking it might have to do something with Kev's comment to you two earlier in the evening." I answered, trying to speed, but looking out for cops at the same time.

"Shit, man. I knew I should've stayed with him," Sean said, banging the seat in front of him.

"Ow, man! Watch it," shouted Justin, who was sitting in it.

"Sorry, Just," said Sean.

We got to the hospital, he was already admitted into the ER and would be taken care of. We were told he was going to be all right, but was going to need his stomach pumped. I didn't want to think about that. At least he was okay, though.

After about an hour or two, he was admitted into the regular hospital just to be looked at over night. We went home after that, his parents had came by that point, though I knew Paul wouldn't really be happy they were there. He blamed them for pushing to the edge the first time. However, I've observed all of them together, and I can't see what is so wrong with his parents. That's why I say I'm not sure why he thought about committing suicide the first time.

Saturday morning came and went, I slept through it until one. I got up, and went into the living room, surprised for a moment that there was someone sleeping on our couch, and even more surprised that it looked like Dan. Damn! I thought to myself. I'm gonna have to stop doing that to myself! Seeing Sean sleeping so peacefully on the couch reminded me so much of his older brother, watching him sleep in the morning, when I would usually wake up before him. I wanted Dan back bad...

Well, I was horny, and I went back to my bedroom and started jerking off for the first time in a while. Dan's death severely cut my testosterone level in half it seemed as I wasn't feeling sexual for the longest time. But, I was in full swing this morning. I was so hard after seeing Sean laying there with his shirt off and only in boxers....it would make anyone horny. My boner in my boxers was at full mast, and I had to take care of business.

I went back to my room (Kevin wasn't there) and I took off my shirt, looking and feeling at my smooth chest, feeling my pecs all the way down to my chest. Usually when I'm beating off, my mind usually turns to a guy I knew in high school (that was before I met Dan) and it had returned after Dan died. For some reason, he just stuck in my mind.

But this time, it was about Sean this time. I imagined him, going down on me, and sucking on my cock, massaging my balls as he slid it in and out of his mouth, taking it deeper with every slide. I thought of him being totally naked in front of me, as I gently felt every inch of his smooth chest and six-pack stomach. It wasn't long until I was ready to shoot my load. I let out a small cry as I shot it on to my chin and chest and finally stomach. I laid there for a few minutes, just enjoying the pleasure. I got up, cleaned up, and went back to sleep it. However, it freaked the hell out of me that I had fantasized about Dan's little brother. I couldn't believe that I would do such a thing. But it wasn't enough to keep me from going back to sleep.

I drifted off to sleep and guess who decided to show up?

"Fantasizing about my little brother, eh?" Dan said.

"I'm sorry, Dan...."

"Hey, man, don't worry about. It's okay, trust me, I don't mind."

"Dan, is this wrong for me to have feeling for your brother?" I asked him.

"I wouldn't say so, man. He's a cool guy. I don't blame you for liking him. After all, I was his role model, he said," Dan said, smiling.

I giggled at that comment. "Yeah, yeah."

"But, Dan," I asked, seriously. "Don't you think that it's sort of sick that I'm falling for your younger brother. I mean, he does look like you and all, hell he even sounds like you. I'm worried what other people will think."

"Hey Joe, you're starting to sound like us when we went out. Don't worry about what other people think. Let them think what they want to think. Only you know the answer. Don't let them influence you. We sure as hell didn't," Dan said.

"You wouldn't be mad if I fell for your brother?"

"Well, I would be mad if I was still alive. But, I'm not. But I also have to say that was a pretty hot fantasy you had about him. You looked awfully hot, shooting that load of yours," he said, evilly grinning.

"Well, I wouldn't be fantasizing if someone was here to take care of it for me," I said, laughing.

"Maybe sometime soon, someone will."

"By the way, man, have you seen Roland?" I asked.

"Nah, he didn't make it up here yet," he said.

I looked at him surprised.

"I'm just kidding. He made it up here. I'll tell him you said, Hi!"

"Thanks, Dan." I said

"I'll see you later, Joe," he said, walking away, smiling before turning around.

I woke up and ate breakfast, hopped in the shower, and got out. By then, Sean was up, and saw me come out of the shower with just a towel on. His eyes seemed to like what he saw in front of him. He looked me up and down, as I did too, looking at his bare chest and legs and the bulge in his boxers. I grinned at him.

"Morning wood?" I asked, laughing.

"Yeah, man. I gotta piss like a race horse," he said.

"It's all yours," I said, pointing to the bathroom. He went in and I got dressed. I had planned to go visit Paul down at the hospital. But then I got a phone call from his Mom. Paul had already been released and was at home, recovering a bit more before coming back to campus. He was referred to counseling, which he finally accepted. But I doubted that he would take it seriously. He didn't believe in that crap, as he would say.

"Great news, Sean," I said, hanging up the phone.

"What? About Paul?"

"Yeah, he's been released and is recovering at home," I said, slumping myself down on the couch next to Sean. That was a big relief. Just then, Kev came into the apartment. He didn't come home last night. And didn't know anything.

"Hey guys," He said, coming in the door.

"Hey Kev,"I said. "Guess what?"


"Well, you're little comment you made to Paul may have pushed him over the edge last night."

'What? What are you talking about?" he said, stopping in his tracks.

"He tried to kill himself last night, man," I said, softly.

Kev's face turned to surprise. "WHAT? He did?"

"Yeah, he did. But he's okay now, luckily," I said.

"Oh, dude," Kev said, worried. "I didn't mean to do that to him. All I did was call him a homo."

"Yeah, well, I think that plus him having thoughts for me just became too much for him," said Sean.

"You know, he's not the most stable person," I added.

"Yeah, I didn't think he would care, though, man. I guess I'll have to be careful more around him," he said, still looking a bit worried. "I'm gonna have to go to his house this afternoon and talk to him," he said, turning around and walking into our room.

Sean needed to leave soon after that, but wanted me to call him and tell him when Paul was coming back. I said I would be sure to call. We hugged and kissed (on the cheek) before he walked out. I don't know why we did that, but we both did it at the same time.

I thought for a brief time that I would play on our Nintendo 64, even though I'm not much of a video game player. I went to the living room only to be reminded that the Nintendo was Roland's. Damn, I said to myself, I did it again! After living with a person for three years, you sort of get used to him. Luckily, I didn't have much time to think on that, because our phone rang.

"Hello," I said.

"Hey Joe, it's Lou. I was wondering if you were doing anything later tonight," he said.

I could see his cute face speaking as I heard his voice. I smiled at the picture in my head.

"Um, I think, I should be free," I answered. "What did you have in mind?"

"Nothin' much, man, I'm already low on money right now, so it can't be too expensive."

"Cool, well, we could always hang out here. We got the beer and we could order pizza and watch a movie or something," I said, thinking out loud.

"Okay, whatever. I'll try to be there by eight tonight," he said. I could hear him smiling in his voice.

Kevin knew it was the thing to do to go see Paul, since he was the light that lit the already short fuse in Paul's head. So, he took a shower, got dressed, planning to go to Paul's house. But, Kev had an idea of how to undo what he created between Paul and Sean. He called up Sean's room. Luckily Sean was there. Kev invited Sean which Sean gladly accepted. They were off to Paul's house in no time at all.

"So, do you like the kid?" Kev asked, as he drove down the highway towards Paul's house.

"Yeah, I like the kid a lot," Sean replied, surprised that Kev would be asking him a question like that.

"Cool. Paul's a neat guy, really. It just takes some understanding to get along with him," He said, laughing.

"Yeah, I heard from Joe," Sean said.

"Speaking of Joe, man, I see a look in his eyes when he looks at you that I haven't seen since he lost Dan, man. It scares me sometimes."

"What?" Sean asked, oblivious to the observation Kev just stated.

"It's probably nothing serious, man," Kev said, realizing he might have said something he shouldn't have.

"Nothing serious?" asked Sean. "I hope so, man. I mean, Joe's cute and all, and if he hadn't dated my brother, I probably would've hooked up with already. But he was my bro's boyfriend, and I can't do that to my brother!"

"Yeah, that would be a bit weird," said Kev, turning into Paul's driveway.

"Well, we're here," he said, unbuckling his seatbelt and getting out the door. "Now remember, stay here. I want to surprise him." Sean nodded.

He watched Kev go to the front door of the bi-level house. He saw a female answer the door.

"Hi, Mrs. Hamilton," Kev said, as she opened the door.

"Oh, Kevin. So nice to see you," She said. "Paul is in the family room, she said, letting him in. "I was just leaving for a little while, but Paul should be all right. His brother is down in the basement if he needs anything."

Sean watched Kev go inside and waited in the car.

"Hey Kevin!" Paul said, when he saw Kev come into the room. He seemed to be his normal self again.

"Hey, Paul. How are you doing?"

Kev sat down beside Paul who was the sofa, watching TV.

"Okay. I've been better, but I must say, I owe Justin and Joe a lot."

"Yeah, I think you do," Kev said, smiling.

"Speaking of which, where are they?"

"Well, Joe is in the apartment, doing shit for school already. And Justin, I don't know where he's at. He hasn't been there since I got home this afternoon."

Paul chuckled at Kev's last statement. He had caught the home this afternoon part.

"But, I did bring someone you know," He said, getting up. Paul got up and followed Kev out the door to the car.

"Sean?" Paul asked in disbelief, looking more agitated than glad.

Sean saw him coming and saw the look on his face. What's with him, he thought to himself.

"Why did you bring him?" Paul asked, stopping dead in his tracks.

"I'd thought you'd like to see him, man," Kev said, not quite understanding why Paul was acting this way.

"Well, I don't," Paul quickly countered and started walking back to his house. Kev hesitated a bit, not knowing which way to go, and went back to the car.

"Man, I'm sorry about that. I don't know why he's acting all weird to you."

Sean looked disappointed and hurt. "It's okay. I should've expected that,"he said softly, looking ahead.

"I'll be right back, okay?" Kev said, shutting the door again and running back into the house. He found Paul in the living room again, laying down on the couch with his head in the pillow.


Paul turned over and Kev could see Paul's face streamed with tears, which was never seen before by Kevin.

"Aw, Paul, man, I"m sorry, I didn't mean to do that to you. I just thought it would make you happy," Kev said.

Paul said nothing and just stared at Kev.

"Dude, do you want me to call Joe over here?" he asked after a little silence.

Paul looked up at him. He shook his head yes. Kevin couldn't take much more of this sobbing, so he said, "I'll call him now, man," and left the room looking for a telephone.

I was back in the apartment arranging a piece on the Mac and two keyboards, which was really starting to take form when I was interrupted by a phone call. I debated whether or not to let the Voice Mail system pick up, but I grabbed it on the fourth ring.

"Hello," I said.

"Yeah, Joe, this is Kev."

"Yeah, what's up?"

"Uh, I'm over here at Paul's and he really needs you to come over..."

"What? Man, I was in the middle of arranging a piece!" Let me tell you a little about myself. When I'm arranging (and on a roll) I really don't like to be interrupted for anything, food, telephone, whatever. I am in my own little world and don't like to be disturbed. I know it sounds self centered, but that's how it is.

"Joe, dude, you gotta come now," Kev said, emphasizing the word now.

"What's wrong?"

"I made the mistake of bringing Sean along. It threw Paul into another state of depression, man. I don't know what the hell to do. I'll wait for you to get here," he said.


"Aw, shit, man!" I said to myself, hanging up the phone. I sighed, shut off the keyboards and the mac, and took my keys out of the pocket and headed out of the apartment.

In ten minutes, I was at Paul's House. Sean was by now out of the car, sitting on the curb in front of Paul's house, smoking a cigarette. I looked at him as I walked from my car towards him. He didn't look happy at all.

"What happened?" I asked.

"I don't know, man. I think I upset Paul more," he said.

I gave him pat on the shoulder and said, "Don't worry, man. Things'll get better, trust me."

I went directly inside, not knocking on the door. I heard Kev's voice from the front door and followed it.

"Paul, man, come on! It's okay. I'm still here," he said.

I walked in and Paul looked up at me from the sofa.

"Hey Paul," I said, quietly, moving to sit down beside him. Paul got up and let me sit next to him. He looked horrible, with tears running down his face. I just took him in my arms, and let him cry.

Kev gave me the signal he was leaving, and I assume taking Sean with him. Paul had since stopped crying and looked like he really wanted to talk.

"Joe, I want to thank you for saving my life, man."

"Your welcome, but I won't do it again, man," I said, seriously. "So, don't even try it!"

"Yeah, I know. Things just got overwhelming, I couldn't take life anymore," he said.

We had been through these types of conversations before like when he broke up with his first girlfriend in his sophomore year. It wasn't a nice situation. I had had it up to here with his self-pity.

"Paul, man, you gotta grow up, dude. You life isn't as bad as you think it is. You have brains, man, you have looks, you have everything going for you, and yet you don't realize it."

He just sat there.

"Now listen, dude, I don't know exactly what is going on in your little mind up there, but you gotta straighten it out, no pun intended, and get on with your life, man!"

"I know, Joe, I know," he said.

We talked more about life, and how he ended up in that situation which really made no sense to me whatsoever. Soon, I was ready to leave. Paul thanked me for dropping by and listening to him.

By this time it was about 5PM. I was really anxious to get back to arranging the piece, but I had to make a detour at the Student Center and eat dinner.

"Why didn't he want to see me?" Sean asked, disturbed on the ride home with Kevin.

"I don't know, dude. Paul is weird that way. Although, I must admit, I've never seen him this weird before," Kev responded.

"I can't understand him."

"Don't try to understand him, man."

"But in reality, I can understand him and what he's going through because I went through the same thing. I mean, even you, Mr. Straight Man himself, can tell he wants something more, can't you?"

"Yeah, man I can," Kev said. "I don't know what to tell you. I mean, he wants you but he doesn't want to face that, so I'm tempted to tell you just to move on. It might be better for him and certainly, it would be better for you."

"Really? You think so?" Sean asked.

"Yeah, I do."

Sean thought that one of over for a while.

"So what do you want to do now?" asked Kev, breaking the silence.

"I don't know, man. I just wanna get out, man. Have any ideas?"

"GENO'S!!" yelled Kevin. Geno's was a cheese steak place in Philly, who had some of the best Cheese Steaks around. Ro, Joe, and Kev would sometimes go there at odd hour of the day and night (especially when Kev was drunk or stoned).

"What?" asked Sean.

"I said, Geno's!"

"What the hell is Geno's?" asked Sean.

"Do you like cheese steaks?" asked Kevin, pointing his car toward the highway instead of the college.

"Yeah, but..."

"Okay, then, shut up and just be happy!" Kev interrupted, smiling.

I made it back to the apartment at about 6PM. No one was there. I went straight for the keyboards and the Mac and continued on my composition. Kev and Sean eventually made it back to the apartment By this time, the arrangement was turning out really well. It was one of the three pieces I had written for Dan, but never got around to arranging it. It was composed, telling about how it was so spontaneous that we met and all. Entitled, It Comes Without A Warning.. Sean walked into my room and said Hi. I took off my headphones (which I use when I'm arranging).

"Hey, man," I said, smiling, embarrassed that he caught me conducting the electronic orchestra in front of me.

"Hey, Joe," Sean said, looking at the computer screen and the keyboards as well. "What are you doing?"

"I'm arranging a piece I wrote a few months ago," I answered, smiling at him.

"Really? Cool!!" He said, loudly, and excitedly. "Can I hear what you got?"

I hesitated because it wasn't finished, but it was almost done. So I decided what the hell? If he wants to hear my music, then fine, let him. I'm always willing to let willing people listen to my music.

I played the piece once, which included two verses and two refrains basically. I admit it was a little corny, but as usual, it had a distinct happy feeling to it. I loved it.

"Pretty interesting," said Sean, smiling, looking down at one of the keyboards.

"Yeah, I think so. I mean, when I first composed this song, it was supposed to be a slow ballad. But I tried it once with a samba beat and was hooked on it!" I said.

"It was a ballad?" Sean asked.

"Yeah, it was and still is an actual love song," I said, looking at him from in back of my keyboards. He was still standing above one.

"Oh, cool. I bet I can guess who it was too," He said, softly, still looking at the keyboard.

"Yeah, yeah, you know," I said.

Sean laughed a little painfully, but laughed nonetheless. "Did he ever hear the piece?"

"No not really, because I wasn't satisfied with it," I told him. "And now that it's done, he probably never will. I even had words to it," I continued.

"Words? Cool. I never knew you were a lyricist."

'Well, I don't claim to be, man. I like to try to write words to my pieces sometimes, and sometimes I have success and sometimes I have failures."

"Do you mind if I ask what it said?"

"Yeah, I do, it was kind of personal," I said.

Sean just smiled at me. "Come on, man, tell me," he said, practically begging.

"Oh, no!"

"Aw, Joe, come on."

"Oh, okay," I said, reluctantly.

I recited the lines of the refrain to him.

"It comes without a single warning,

There is no real beginning or end.

He appears just out of plain thin air.

All at once you realize that he's there.

And never did I think it would be,

So simple and yet so hard to explain.

All that I know is I want to be here with you."

He watched me and looked up directly into my eyes on the last line. Ours eyes met. He had that look for a second that Dan did for me every day. I was scared, to say the least.

We turned away from each other instantly, not knowing what to do or say.

"Joe, would Dan ever approve of you dating me, you think?"

"What makes you ask that?" I asked, loudly and a bit fast.

"Uh, I'm not sure, man. I don't know....." he started, and then faded.

Then he regained his strength it seemed and took a deep breath. "Uh, well, I don't know what it was, you, the music or maybe both, but I gotta stop feeling that way about you, man. I can only imagine what Dan is thinking of me now," He said, hanging his head in shame.

I turned around and looked at him. "Do you believe in the afterlife?"

He turned around and looked at me. "Yeah, why? Do you?"

"Yeah, I do," I said. "I've never told anyone this before, in fear that they might think I was going looney."

"It's a bit too late for that Joe. They already think you're too looney!" he interrupted.

"Shut up!" Joe said, laughing. "No, seriously though, Dan has appeared in my dreams, it's really weird!"

Sean looked at him in interest. "Really? That's cool, man."

"Yeah, he seemed to come in to my mind when I have doubts in my head. Like when I had my one-nighter with Lou, or when I was sleeping over at Roland's house, or like the time...well never mind. That one was a little too personal," I said.

Sean gave a surprise stare to Joe. "That was bordering on too much information, dude," he said.

"Yeah I know, I know. Well, he said to me the last time, he didn't care about me thinking about you. He did however mention that he's always looking out for you, and if I hurt you in anyway, he would make my life miserable. But then, I get to thinking do I like you for you or because you look, sound, and act like Dan? You know what I mean?"

Sean just thought about what I had said. He didn't move, he just stared at the wall. "Yeah, I think I know what you mean," he finally said. "But I do know that I can definitely see what my brother saw in you, dude. It's weird," he started then paused.

"You know, before I didn't even see you as a real object of affection. You were my brother's boyfriend and I respected that. I never tried to look at you in that way man. I was successful until today. I really think it was your music that took that barrier away, man. I can't explain it. Music has a power over me. And when you told me the lyrics, it just fit perfectly with the music, and..."

"I know what you mean," I finally said. "But what do we do now? I mean, I assume you're working on Paul still, which I think is another problem, but that's a different story in itself."

"Well, Kev and I had a brief conversation about that. I've been thinking it over in the back of my mind all day. I don't know what I want from Paul anymore. It seems that I may be fighting a losing battle trying to make him see the other side, you know what I mean?"

"Yes I do, Sean. I've felt that way for a long time. I finally just gave up," I said.

"So, what I'm saying is, I am free, dude, if you want me," Sean said, smiling, walking towards me.

That wraps up the second installment of Joe, The Man. The question is will Joe go with Sean or with Lou? I must remind you that this story is a re-release of the series Starting Over Again, the sequel to Dan, The Man. So, the parts have already been written. But please, if you have any comments, send them to SNJBoy76@aol.com Thanks!