Hey guys, thanks for all of the nice words this week!  I finally finished Chapter 8 and I think you'll like it.  Special thanks goes out to my fans in Australia.  For some reason I seem to get more E-mails from your country than I do my own.  I enjoy hearing from everyone though.  So far I've gotten E-mails from the US, Asia, all over Europe, and finally Australia.  Never would have thought when I started this that Nifty was read so extensively around the world.  I think that's really cool.  So, help me add to my growing list of readers and drop me a line at:   derek2122@hotmail.com

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, and any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidence. The author retains all copyrights and creative licenses.  This story does contain acts of sex and love between men. If you are offended, or are not of legal age to view this material, then please focus your attention elsewhere.

I must have fallen asleep after they left. When I looked over at the clock on Derek's nightstand it said 2:56 AM.  The dim red numbers seemed to penetrate the gloom and join in with the sorrow I felt in my heart.  I was alone with my thoughts and the memories of the last week weighed heavily on me.

I didn't remember much for the first few hours after I woke up in the hospital.  Leslie did say that my memory should come back to me pretty quickly.  Fortunately or unfortunately for that matter it did.  As I lay there in the darkness of Derek's room my thoughts drifted back through the events of the past several days...

A police detective arrived in my room the day after I had regained consciousness.  He was dressed in plain clothes and when he entered I thought he was just another member of the hospital staff.  After some introductions he asked me if I felt up to answering some questions.  I told him to go ahead.  Before he started he looked over at my mother and then back towards me.  He suggested that it might be best if she left us alone while we talked.  She was the only visitor in the room.  They guys were still at school and my dad had left that morning to return to his job.

Fearing what my mother might think if I asked her to leave, I decided to allow the detective to continue with her present.  What could he possibly want anyway?  Maybe the insurance company needed an official report for the claim that my mother had filed on my behalf.

As part of the room and board package, every student had simple medical coverage through the school's policy.  The medical coverage on the bike's insurance policy was better.  My parents filed a claim for the repairs on the bike as well as for my medical expenses.  A week's stay in the hospital was no doubt going to be expensive.  My family was not wealthy and the insurance coverage would help with the medical bills.

I almost jumped out of my skin when the detective starting questioning me about the possibility of being attacked before the accident.  How could they have known?  I couldn't tell him the truth about what happened without questions about what possible motivation Mason would have had to punch me.  No, I decided to lie about what happened.  Telling the truth would eventually lead to everyone finding out I was gay.  I was not prepared for that.  Coming out now and in this manner was simply not an option.

I told the detective that nobody had attacked me and that the bike fell over because I lost my footing on the ice.  He didn't buy it and proceeded to tell me about the blood in the helmet that was out of my reach when they found me.  Additionally, the doctor had apparently reported my broken ribs were not consistent with the bike falling on me.


They don't miss a trick do they?  I though cops were supposed to eat donuts, drink coffee, and give people speeding tickets.  How many unsolved crimes out there could they be focusing on, and here was a detective trying to solve a crime I didn't want solved!

I didn't think Mason punched me hard enough to break my ribs, but he did knock the wind out of me.   The detective snapped me out of my thoughts by repeating the question.  I had to think fast.  Well, the best lies are based mainly in truth.  I told him that I tripped over my backpack while getting dressed in the locker room and banged my head on the locker.  I also mentioned that my side hit the wooden dressing bench when I fell.  I told him that my head was bleeding a little when I put on the helmet on.

I got lucky.  Both my mother and the detective bought the story.  Neither of them would think that someone would have reason to attack me after only being at school for several weeks.  The detective thanked me for my time and said that he had to investigate the matter because the doctor had reported the possibility of an attack the night of the accident.  He considered the case closed and wished me a speedy recovery.  With that he made a hasty retreat.  Probably off to get that donut I guessed.

That was 5 days ago, but as I lay in bed staring into the darkness it felt as if it were just yesterday.  I felt a tremendous amount of guilt for lying about what happened.  I wanted Mason to be punished for what happened, but I feared that the repercussions of telling the truth would hurt me in the long run more so than any justice I wanted for what Mason had done to me.  As I lay in the dark it felt as if I were the one being punished.  Punished for being different.

A passing cloud slowly marched its way across the night sky.  In doing so the light of the moon crept through the window and for a moment it brought a little cheer to the room.  The cheeriness did not last for long though.   It felt as if a weak spotlight was shining on me.  Enough light to let me focus on my pain.  Not enough light to lead me from the dark place I felt my heart resting in.

I wondered if my friends knew what really happened in the gym before the accident.  Had Mason said anything to anyone?  I still hadn't figured out how Mike knew I was gay.  Who else did he tell?  I saw no way out.  The broken ribs from Mason's punch were painful reminders of his hatred.  How many others would hate me when they too discovered the truth?

I started to cry softly in the weak light of the moon.  Derek had been so kind and gentle today.  He helped me take care of the things I could not do for myself.  His touch was so soft and caring.  I longed to feel his touch again. 

Derek had come back into my life after many years of being away.  I was afraid that he would leave again once he knew I was gay.  How could we remain friends if he learned I was in love with him?

On the floor next to the bed was the sweatshirt Derek had been wearing before he helped me with my shower.  He had placed it over the back of the chair when he got undressed.  It must have been tossed aside when he was studying at his desk earlier this evening.  I picked it up off the floor and looked at it in the dim light of the room.

I clung it to my bare chest.  A bit of his scent was still on the fabric.  Not a bad smell, just a hint of his presence.  It was comforting to hold a bit of him close to me.  I began to weep knowing that I'd never get to actually hold him this close.  Despite the pain in my side I curled up into the fetal position clutching his sweatshirt to my chest.  My sobbing became louder.

Derek's couch - 2:06 AM.  Derek sits in the dark watching Scott sleep...

I still have a hard time believing what Erik said the night Scott was taken to the hospital.  All these years and Scott loved me too.  Wow, I just didn't know.  I so want to reach out to him and tell him that I love him too.  Erik said I should wait.  Waiting sucks!  Helping him bathe today was so hard.  Seeing Scott naked in the shower and not being able to touch him in the way I wanted to.   He looked so scared to have me touch him. 

I have to wait though, Erik is right.  After all these years it should be a moment that is special for us both.  I can't just walk up to him and tell him - can I?  He's in so much pain right now anyway.  The medication he's on is making him really groggy too.  I guess I'll just have to wait until the time is right.

Maybe I should go back upstairs and go to bed.  Scott should sleep through until morning anyway.  No, I'll stay awhile and watch him sleep.  He looks so peaceful lying there.  Maybe I'll just rest here on the sofa for a bit longer then I'll go back upstairs.

Moments later Derek dozed off himself.  Shortly after 3 AM he woke to the sound of someone softly crying in the dark.  Derek opened his eyes and looked across the room.  Scott was curled up on the bed crying.  A faint outline of him could be seen in the soft light of the moon.  Derek could wait no longer - it was time.


Somebody was in the room!  I stopped crying and said "Hello. Who's there?"

"Shhhhh... Scott it's just me Derek.  I was sleeping on the couch.  I wanted to be here for you if you needed anything."

In the faint light of the room I saw him get off the couch and walk over to the bed.  No words were spoken between us.  He stood there in the moonlight and took off his t-shirt and shorts leaving just his boxers to cover him.  For a moment or two he just watched me.

I noticed that he was weeping himself.  Strangely though he had a big smile on his face.    He walked around to the other side of the bed, lifted the covers and slid in behind me.  Ever so gently he brought his body up next to mine and wrapped his arm around my waist being careful not to hurt my ribs.  I felt the warmth of his skin and the touch of his body on my flesh.

He kissed my neck briefly under my ear and whispered, "I love you Scott.  I'm here for you."

He held me close for a few moments.  I guess his words didn't sink in.  I knew Derek loved me like a brother.  I turned a bit to face him and said, "You're the best friend a guy could ask for.  Thanks for being there for me."

"Scott, I don't think you understand."  He paused for a moment and then lifted himself up on his elbow so that his head was over mine.  His face was about 6 inches from mine when he said, "There is nowhere in the world I'd rather be right now than here in this moment with you.  I'm in love with you Scott and you live in my heart."

Before I could react or say a word he leaned in and placed his lips on mine.  His kiss was gentle and sweet.  He held his lips there for a few wonderful moments before pulling away.  "Now do you understand?" he asked.

"Oh my God... When..." I had a million questions running through my mind.  Was this really happening?  Was I still dreaming?   I never got a chance to continue.

Derek giggled for a second, flashed me the most beautiful smile I've ever seen and leaned in for another kiss.  He placed his lips once again to mine and kissed me.  This time his lips parted slightly and I felt the moistness and warmth of his tongue on my lips.  I parted my lips slightly and our tongues met for the first time.  We kissed slowly and passionately for a few moments.  Our tongues danced and rejoiced with one another.  Derek finally pulled his lips away from mine and smiled.

I started to say something and Derek placed his finger on my lips and said, "You need your rest baby.  We can talk all about 'us' tomorrow.  Right now I'm going to hold you as you sleep.  Tomorrow we'll start the day together as one."

I lay there in the dark for a few minutes trying to let what had just happened sink in.  Derek loved me and I loved him.  Finally I said to him, "I love you Derek.  You have just made me the happiest man alive."

Derek said nothing, just pulled me in tighter and rested his chin on my shoulder.  The warmth of his breathing and the touch of his body felt wonderful on my skin.  I was eager to explore our newfound love for one another but this moment felt so perfect as is.  I did not want to change it.  I looked out the window and saw the moon and smiled.  Maybe there is a man in the moon after all because just before I fell asleep I thought I saw him smiling down on us.