Steve: Chapter Six
  Here's the warning. If you're not 18 or your parents are in the room, don't read this story. If you don't like the thought of two guys doing it until the windows shake, don't read this story. If you're a dumbass, don't read this story. If you haven't sent me feedback on the story yet, you're not allowed to continue until you do. Otherwise, go ahead and read the story.

This chapter of the story is narrated by Steve. This is the first story I've ever posted, so be gentle.

I woke up at around 4 that morning. Mike and I were literally tangled up in bed, with his legs wrapped around mine. I looked down at him for a second. He had to be the most wonderful person ever born. It wasn't just because he was gorgeous. He was, but there was so much more to him. It was the way he cared about the people around him so much and always tried to help, no matter what was going on. It was the way he made me feel. It may sound selfish, but as far as I was concerned, he was the best thing to ever happen to me.

I managed to pull myself off of him without waking him up. I slipped on a pair of underwear (his? mine? did it matter?) and went to the bathroom. I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, so I went out into the living room and sat down in one of the chairs. I had completely forgotten that George was out there sleeping on the couch, and he startled me when I saw him.

What was weirder was that he was completely naked. I realize that it was his house, and I sleep naked myself, but he was on top of the blanket, splayed for the entire world to see. The light in the kitchen was still on, too, so I could clearly see every detail about him.

He stood at about 6'1", maybe 6'2", with one hell of a build. It's not like he was some beefed up bodybuilder with entire cabinets full of MuscleGrow Powder 9000 or anything, but he was very well defined. There was nothing too gym-rat about him, but he was bigger than I was. He kept his blonde hair pretty short. He had to get it cut at least once a week.

The thing that attracted the most attention, though, was the fact that he had no hair on his body at all. Well, he had the smallest little patch of blonde hair above his dick, like you'd see on a 13-year old. He was the first grown man I'd seen like that. It was kinda cute, in a way.

I know what you're thinking now. "Hey, a cute, blonde, muscled twink with no body hair! I wonder how long until there's a 3-way." George was strictly eye candy. He was nothing compared to Mike, though. Mike was just the cutest little guy who seemed to know exactly what it was that turned me on. There was more to it, but I couldn't explain it. Besides, George was hopelessly straight.

I sat for a while, being introspective and thoughtful. Mike was rubbing off on me more than I knew.

"Heh, before long I'm gonna be writing thinly veiled political satire in the form of children's stories," I thought to myself. I smiled. He always did have a knack for expressing himself in the oddest ways.

I guess I was lost in thought for longer than I remembered, because before long, I heard the alarm clock that George had set up on the coffee table going off. He got a pained look on his face, then sat up and turned it off. He started rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

"Morning," I said. His head picked up like he had just heard gunfire and he immediately wrapped the blanket around himself. I, of course, found this to be incredibly funny.

"Damn, don't do that!" He rested his head back against the arm of the couch. "So how long have you been sitting there, drooling over my body?"

"Not long, actually." I reached down on the floor and handed him his boxers. "I think Mike's attention span is starting to wear off on me."

George laughed a bit, then threw off the blanket, apparently deciding that since I had already seen him naked, he didn't have much to worry about. "He certainly does seem easily distracted."

I looked his body over again. "So what's up with that? How long does all that shaving take?"

"What shaving?" He looked down at himself. "Oh, that. It's natural, actually. I think it looks better than being all hairy and crap, though. No offense."

I glared at him, then smiled. "Well, it's just that I don't know anybody who's looked like that since they were 12 years old." He tossed his boxers at my head. I threw them back at him. We were laughing, but kept it down so we wouldn't wake Mike up.

"It's some kind of a genetic fluke, I guess." He pulled on his boxers and stood up. "I need to get going."

"Umm, it's 4:45 in the morning. Where're you gonna go?" I stretched back in the chair some more, feeling relaxed, but not tired.

"I go running every morning. Three miles. It's not as much as I'd like, but I deal with it." He started for his bedroom. I followed him closely.

"Early morning runs, I remember those." I stepped in front of him before he got to the door. "Hey, wouldn't you just rather go back to bed for another half-hour?"

George stared at me for a second, then shook his head. "Yeah, but if I did, I'd wind up getting into the habit and then I'd never run. Now get out of my way," he said with a slight laugh. He tried to push me aside, but I wouldn't move.

"Look, Mike has a thing about nudity. I didn't even see him without a shirt until, like, a year after I met him." I still didn't move, hoping that he'd give up.

"It's nothing I haven't seen before. Besides, it's not like I'm gonna be spending the entire morning in there. I'm just gonna go in, grab some shorts and a t-shirt, and get out." He pushed me more forcefully, moving me. "No biggie."

I relented. True to his word, he was in and out within seconds, holding a bundle of clothes. He went into the bathroom to get changed, then handed me his boxers on the way out.

"Put those in the hamper for me, will ya?" I held them at arm's length, exaggerating my pained facial expression. "Ha. Very funny. Just put them in the damn hamper." He looked past me, into his bedroom. "Ya know, he's kinda cute when he's sleeping. Not nearly as depressing."

I hit him over the head with his underwear and laughed. He jogged out of the apartment and I put his underwear in the hamper (which was, for some reason, located in the living room). Quietly, I made my way back into the bedroom to check up on Mike. He was wrapped up in the blanket, with his legs almost drawn up into the fetal position. I actually felt shaky inside. It was like just the sight of him turned my bones to Jello. I let out a deep sigh and went back to sitting in the living room.

It was a few more minutes before I heard Mike getting up. He came out dressed in a pair of boxer-briefs and a t-shirt. He sat next to me, resting his head on my shoulder and closing his eyes, like he was trying to go back to sleep. I leaned down and kissed him. We didn't say anything.

Just being next to him gave me the most intense feelings. There was a soft, constant tickle that resonated through my chest. I know how people describe a feeling of butterflies in their stomach, but that didn't even begin to do it justice. This feeling filled my entire body until I couldn't even make a tight fist. I suppose it could be described as being weak in the knees, only taken up a few notches. Whatever it was, it was amazing.

"So I take it I'm not gonna get any sleep this morning," Mike said in his sleep-drenched voice. He sounded lethargic and heavy, but it was still incredible just to hear him.

"Hmm?" I wasn't paying attention, too distracted by the feelings coursing through me.

"Everybody all coming in the room and waking me up. First you get up, then George comes in, and then you come in, blah blah blah. You're both evil, you know." His voice almost sounded like he had a British accent. The only time I'd ever heard a British accent from him was when he was singing along to a CD (he never knew I heard him, though). I chuckled a little at that thought.

"I love you, too." I wrapped an arm around him, holding him tighter to me. I wondered if he had the same intense emotions going through him when he was near me. I hoped so. I was pretty sure he did.

Mike had his face buried in the crook of my neck. I felt him inhale slowly. It was just so right to have him close to me. "You smell good," he said. It wasn't exactly the most stellar conversation, but any compliment from him still made me soar.

"You're not so bad yourself, guy." I closed my eyes, taken in by his sluggishness. "Sorry for waking you up."

I felt him smile. It wasn't just his mouth, though; his entire body lit up. "S'alright." He ran a hand along my stomach, just above the waistband of my underwear. It literally sent a shiver through me. Such a simple touch from this amazing guy at my side made me quiver inside.

"Mmm," I felt a low growl come from deep within me. Again, I felt Mike light up with a smile. He continued to trace a circle around my navel, brushing against the trail that led down into my underwear. With even such indirect stimulation making me feel so damn good, I wondered how I managed to get through 18 years without it. The fact that it was Mike doing it, the fact that he was mine, finally, after all those years of waiting for him; it was all just too much for me.

"I need you," he whispered in my ear. His warm breath against my skin was one of the best things I had ever experienced. "I want you inside me."

How could I possibly refuse that? I turned my head and kissed him. It was a soft and tender action; there was barely even any pressure from either side. I could have stayed like that for a very long time, but instead I grabbed him just beneath his thigh and lifted him up. He broke the kiss and looked down.

"I really wish you wouldn't do that," he said, smiling. "Though it does make those gorgeous muscles of yours more pronounced." He kissed me again and I knew he didn't actually want me to put him down. I couldn't just stand around holding him, though (I'm not THAT strong), so we made our way into the bedroom. I put him down on his back and got on top of him.

When I looked down and saw his gorgeous, deep brown eyes staring into me, I melted all over again. I leaned down and kissed his chin, feeling his early-morning stubble graze my lips. I pulled up and looked down at his face. His eyes were closed and he had a look of pure bliss on his face. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I moved lower and kissed his neck. The mark I had left was still there, but it was fading a bit. I decided to just let it go. The joke was getting old, anyway. I continued down until I got to his chest, where I kissed the line between his pecs. He wasn't exactly big and muscled, but what he had was very nice. The hair was soft and tickled my face a bit. I always read things about chest hair being wiry and coarse, but his was smooth and soft. I let out a small, silent laugh and followed the line of hair on his upper-stomach down.

Just above his navel, the hair fanned out again, covering his entire lower-stomach with it. I had always thought that was cute, but I could say that about anything to do with him. It wasn't a thick coating of hair, but rather a light dusting that went over him. I licked his belly button and kept going down.

I reached his pubes and took a long sniff. It was a musky, full scent, but that wasn't all of it. I really don't think I could describe it. There's really no frame of reference, but it was GOOD! I felt his cock poking me in the chest and realized something. I started laughing.

"And what's so funny?" He glared down at me. I had to laugh at that, too.

"I didn't bring any lube with me. I can't fuck you." I rested my forehead on his stomach, which he pulled taut. He laughed a little, too, then looked down at me with big, brown, puppy-dog eyes.

"Please? I'm sure you could figure something out." Damn. Hearing him beg me to find a way to fuck him was incredible. I thought for a second or two, then got an idea. I glanced up at him and smiled.

I bent down and took the entire length of his cock in my mouth. He wasn't completely hard, but was at that firm, full stage just before a full hard-on. I heard him groan and pant, and I was pretty sure he knew what my plan was. His cock was a perfect fit in my mouth. I loved the taste of his skin.

Mike's hands were on top of my head, not pushing me down, but just resting there and tousling my hair. I could tell he was enjoying himself by the way he was moaning, calling out my name and telling me to go harder, faster, and deeper. The guy certainly did know how to urge on a good blowjob. I kept going for another few minutes, relishing in the feeling of his cock going completely hard in my mouth before I pulled off. He looked down at me and kind of whimpered, but didn't say anything. He wanted my mouth back, but I had other plans.

I began to stroke him with my right hand, holding the left under the head of his cock. From the way he was grunting above me, I could tell it wouldn't be that long. I managed to push his legs up with my shoulders, giving me a good view of his ass. I got down and started licking around his hole, all the while stroking his cock harder and faster. The second my tongue went in, he shot a huge, thick load all over my hand. I was tempted to lick it up, but there were other things I wanted to do.

I brought the hand down and started spreading his cum all over his asshole. When he was nice and slick and I could fit three fingers in without any problems, I reached down and spread the remainder of Mike's cum all over my now very-hard dick. I started to slowly push into him, telling him to let me know if I hurt him. He leaned his head back on the pillow, smiling and making a contented groaning noise in the back of his throat.

I paused about halfway in. I looked down to see that his cock was as hard as a rock again and leaking all over his stomach. I dipped my fingers in the pool gathered in his navel and used it to lube my cock even more. With one strong push, I was completely buried inside him.

Mike wrapped his arms around me and pulled me down for a kiss. It was absolutely fantastic. His cock was pressed between our stomachs, leaking pre-cum all over both of us. I was slowly grinding my hips, not really fucking him, but just moving my cock slightly. I felt him moan and send some very intense vibrations through my tongue. He turned his head a little to break the kiss and looked up at me again.

"Go nice and slow. I love the way you feel." He rested his head back against the pillow, leaning it to the side. I bent down and softly licked and bit his jaw-line. I could tell how much he liked it by the sounds he made. I started pulling out of him until just the head was in, then, just as slowly, pushed back in. His breathing was heavy and labored, but he was loving every second of it.

I continued long-dicking him for around five minutes or so, then started speeding up. He opened his eyes and looked up at me, opening his mouth. I leaned over and sucked his tongue into my mouth, tasting more of him. Our saliva flowed freely over each other's tongues, but that wasn't our main focus. His dick was liberally dripping by that time, coating both of our stomachs.

"Yeah, I'm gonna cum soon, babe. You want it?" I whispered. I heard a whimper and a partially muted yes. I sped up further, feeling a warm tingling in my balls. I reached down and started stroking him again. His cock was covered in his pre-cum by that time, so my hand slid easily over his skin. I could feel him clenching his ass around me, bringing me closer.

Before he could stop himself, Mike yelled out and started cumming all over both of us. I pushed myself all the way into his ass and growled as I came. He pressed his lips against mine, kissing me hard and deep as I filled him with my cum. I stayed there for a minute or two before I pulled out and collapsed on top of him.

Mike snuggled up against me and I instinctively wrapped my arms around him. He sighed happily and closed his eyes.

"Well, it's about damn time you two finished." George walked in with his hand at the side of his head, blocking his view of us. "I've been waiting for, like, ten minutes. Some of us do have to go to work this morning, ya know."

Mike jerked his head up, startled, and pulled the blanket up over himself. George laughed a little, then grabbed his towel from on top of his dresser and left. I got out of bed and wiped the cum off my stomach with my shirt (we just dropped our clothes on the floor the previous night). I grinned down at him, too.

"Ya know, I'm pretty sure he saw you naked this morning. He's not gonna say anything." I pulled on my underwear again.

"Yeah, I know," Mike released his grip on the blanket a little. "I'm just modest."

I laughed at that. "You weren't too modest a few minutes ago when you were begging me to fuck you." He grinned at me and threw a pillow at my head. I ducked and left for the bathroom.

George was in the shower, but I didn't think too much about it. Privacy was never really an issue at my house. Everyone was always busy getting ready for work and school, and we could never seem to get up early enough. I'd be brushing my teeth while Dad was in the shower or whatever.

I rifled around in his drawers until I found a spare toothbrush. I opened it and started brushing. Ugh, he used Close-Up, that nasty cinnamon-flavored toothpaste. Toothpaste is NOT cinnamon flavored. I was about halfway through when the shower turned off and George got out. He grabbed a towel and started drying himself off.

"Not a big one for privacy, eh?" He grinned at me, then grabbed his toothbrush. I rinsed and spit, then looked around for the small bathroom bag I had brought. Yeah, I brought a razor but no toothbrush. I wasn't exactly thinking clearly at the time, though.

"Not really, no." I grabbed his shaving cream and started applying it. "Though you don't seem too embarrassed about being naked, either."

"I grew up in a house with seven brothers. I didn't even know there was such a thing as privacy until I was, like, 20." He was talking with his mouth full of toothpaste, making the foam run down the sides. I laughed at that, then got to shaving.

"Damn, seven brothers." I shook my head. "I'm hoping they're not all as built as you, otherwise there'd be no room in the bathroom."

He grinned. "Nah." He kept brushing for a bit, then spit. "I guess having that many other guys in my life is why I'm so open minded. Hell, two of 'em are gay." I gave him a sideways glance. "Oh, no. Not together. Ugh. That's just disturbing. My older brother Greg is living with his, umm, guy up in Seattle, and Bill's still at home. He's a senior this year, I think."

"So where is home, anyway?" I continued shaving, almost half-done.

"Didn't I ever tell you that? I'm from Indy." He used his towel to wipe the excess water from his mouth. "I traveled a bit, but moved to Columbus so I wouldn't be too far from my family. Far enough, but not too far." He grinned.

Mike came in, dressed in my boxers and a t-shirt. George wrapped his towel around his waist. I handed Mike the toothbrush I had used.

"Ugh, same toothbrush. Nasty." George made an exaggerated face at us.

"You wouldn't say that if you knew where we put our mouths," I said, grinning.

"Yeah I would. That's the part I walked in on." George burst out laughing when Mike turned a bright shade of red. "Now I've gotta wash my sheets, thank you very much." He walked out, leaving Mike and me alone.

"I can't believe he walked in on us." Mike shook his head and looked down, smiling. "We've gotta start locking doors or something."

"You wanna shower first? 'Cause I could really use some breakfast right now. Go on ahead." I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him again before leaving. I could still feel his eyes on me as I left. It was a great feeling.

"So what're your plans for today?" asked George. He was half-dressed in his pants, socks, and t-shirt and had already fixed himself breakfast. I sat down next to him, grabbing a piece of his toast.

"Dunno, actually. I figured we'd go see Rachel, since she's going to be leaving today, and then we'd go to Mike's house and await the guillotine." I gave a grim smile. "I don't think it's going to be that bad, though."

He made a grab for the toast I had stolen, but I was too quick for him. He gave up. "I don't think it will. From what you told me last night, he seems okay with it. You just might wanna lock the door more often."

I laughed a little at that. "So why haven't you freaked out about the fact that Mike and I have been having sweaty monkey sex on your bed yet? I mean, hell, I'd be freaking out about it."

"What, you think I've never seen that before?" He finished up his cereal and put the bowl of milk down on the floor. A cat I hadn't noticed came out from behind the couch and started lapping it up. "I've walked in on Greg and his boyfriend-of-the-week more times than I can count."

I shook my head. "You know, milk really isn't that good for cats."

"Yeah, but she'll scratch my eyes out if I don't give it to her." He finished his orange juice. "I've seen him doing things you've never even thought of."

I raised an eyebrow at that. "Really. You'll have to tell me more of this kinky gay sex." We both laughed a little. "So what about your little bro?"

"I think he's still a virgin, actually. I'm the only one he's out to." He paused for a minute. "I guess that means I probably shouldn't have told you, huh?"

"Like I'm gonna turn him in to the gay-police." He chuckled a little. "You are, perhaps, the most supportive straight guy I've ever met. Thanks."

"Yeah, I kinda have to be. All you gay guys keep coming out to me. Is my name in the newsletter or something?" He took his plate to the sink.

"Uh huh, there's a contest going. The first one to make you switch sides gets a thousand bucks." I grinned evilly. "Care to help a financially-ailing friend?"

"In your dreams, boy." He went back into his room to finish getting dressed. I looked around, found some excessively sugary cereal, and sat down to eat. Mike came in about five minutes later, smiling at me.

"A thousand bucks? I was offered fifteen hundred." He swiped my spoon and started eating my cereal. I glared at him.

"Yeah, that's just 'cause you'd have a harder time." I gave him an evil grin. "It's obvious he likes me better."

"Get your ass in the shower before I'm forced to make George restrain you." He pushed me out of my seat and took it over. "And hurry it up, I don't have all day."

I took a shower, grinning the entire time. Mike had that effect on me. Even the stupidest of his jokes made me laugh. There wasn't a shortage of stupid jokes, either.

I finished and went into the bedroom to get dressed. George was tying his boots. I can't say he didn't look good in that uniform, but he didn't really do it for me. I liked the guy and thought he was cute, but not the kind of guy I'd make a move on. Besides, I already had the best-looking guy in the world. What did I need with a hunky cop?

I rifled around in the bag I had brought and got dressed. George and I talked for a bit, and he made me promise to tell Rachel to come by on his lunch break. I, in turn, made him promise to come by Mike's house for dinner again so his dad could meet him.

The rest of the morning was spent with Mike and me avoiding the fact that we were going to have a serious talk with his parents that afternoon. It was scary. Neither of us wanted to deal with it. Eventually, 9:00 rolled around and we decided to go see Rachel. We got all of our stuff, straightened up the apartment, and left.

Rachel's parents were with her. We stopped by to say hi and just hang around while she got checked out of the hospital. We joked around and avoided the fact that she was almost killed by someone closely related to the guy who had raped her. There was a lot of avoiding going on that morning.

Mike and I almost kissed in front of her parents. That would have been a tough one to explain. Luckily, she covered for us by kissing him instead. I glared at her and she smiled at me. She was a good friend. We were lucky to have her, really.

She was checked out around 10, so Mike and I had the entire rest of the morning to kill. We said our goodbyes and promised to see her soon. She went home with her parents, apparently another victim of having to have a long, serious discussion. We'd be getting to that later. Instead of going home, Mike and I decided to go see a movie.

It killed about two hours. I really don't even remember what we saw. It wasn't very good, and my attention wasn't on the screen most of the time. We were the only two people in the theater, so we sat in the back and made out. I had a fleeting thought, "So this is what it's like to be normal." Weird.

Neither of us really wanted to go back to his house, but there was only so much to do in Columbus. We stopped and got gas at the station close to his place. He still had his parents' gas card, so he bought.

"Haven't they noticed it's gone yet?" I asked as I filled up the tank. He grinned at me and shook his head.

"Nah, it's my mom's. She usually just has Dad fill up her car when she needs gas." He got quiet for a second. I should have figured out that something was up. He grabbed my ass. Right there in public in front of the gas station, where anybody passing on the road could have seen us. Of course, I jumped, and when I did, I pulled the nozzle out of the tank, splashing myself with gasoline. He got one hell of a glare for that.

"You little pervert, look what you did!" I yelled. He just laughed. I suppose the fact that I was laughing, too, didn't help with the angry image I was trying to project. I finished filling and he went in to pay. I got in, reeking of gas.

"Sorry, babe, didn't know you were gonna get all jumpy on me." He grinned at me again. "Come on, let's get you to my place so you can get out of those flammable clothes."

I bitterly drove to his house where he made me strip and take a shower. Not that I was complaining all that much, though. I didn't like the smell, either. His parents weren't home (thankfully), so there was nothing stopping me from stripping as soon as I entered the house. He immediately threw my clothes in the washer and I took a long, hot shower. I still felt greasy afterwards, though.

I dried off and flopped myself down on his bed. I could tell by the way he was staring that he wanted me, but I would have none of that. He threw me a pair of his boxer-briefs (the heather-gray ones he had on that first night, incidentally) and a pair of jeans, then started looking in the closet for a shirt. I grabbed a white t-shirt from his dresser and put it on, then joined him.

"Well, this looks familiar," I said as I grabbed a thick flannel shirt that was hanging off to one side. "Almost like it belongs in my closet."

He took it from me. "Yeah, I suppose. I've been keeping it since then. You can have it back if you want."

During the summer just after our senior year started, Mike and I were out partying in the woods with some friends. Well, I was partying, he was staying sober and making sure nobody (especially me) hurt themselves. I didn't really drink that much, though. He and I went for a walk in the woods to get away from all the noise and he got cold. I had told him to wear an extra shirt or something, but he didn't listen. I let him borrow my flannel and he never returned it.

He was rubbing the cuff between two fingers. "Ya know, this is gonna sound kinda stalkerish, but I used to wear this to bed all the time." He looked down at the shirt and smiled, but then got a serious look on his face. "It smelled like you. I used to lay there, wrapped up in this, imagining that you were there with me, your arms wrapped around me, making me feel warm and-" he stopped short, like there was something he didn't want to say. "I always thought that was the closest I was going to get."

Mike looked like he was about to burst into tears, so I grabbed him and pulled him close to me. He rested his head on my chest. "Well, you've got the real thing now. You can feel, smell, taste, and touch me any way and any time you want." He held me tight. I think he was crying a little, too. I bent down and kissed the top of his head. "You can keep the shirt."

He laughed and pulled away from me, putting the shirt back in his closet. I sat down on the bed. Isis walked in like she owned the place (she did, really) and demanded to be petted. She jumped on the bed and lay down beside me. If she was a cat, she would have been purring. I scratched behind her ears and rubbed her stomach and all of the other things she liked while Mike got behind me and started rubbing my back and neck. I was a little stiff, so it felt incredible.

We were interrupted from our little moment by the dog's ears picking up. She jumped off the bed and started doing her "I want to go outside" dance. Mike's parents were home.

He and I made our way to the living room to wait it out. We sat together, but we didn't touch. That would have been too weird. His parents walked in, carrying bags of groceries.

"Boys, go unload the car. There're a ton of bags out there," Mike's dad said. We rolled our eyes, but started bringing in groceries. It didn't take too long, and before we knew it, everything was put away and we were sitting awkwardly around the table. Me, Mike, his mom, and his dad. Mike's dad cleared his throat.

"Well, I suppose we all know why we're here." He shifted uncomfortably. "I had this all planned out in my head. I swear I did. Hell if I can remember any of it, though."

Mike's mother said, "That's alright, Ed. I had a few things I wanted to ask, anyway." Mike's dad looked up and gave her a cold stare.

"We talked about this, Mary."

"No, I want to know." She turned to me. "So, exactly how did you corrupt our son?"

I saw Mike's face get cold again, the way it had the night before. "He didn't corrupt me. Maybe it was a result of bad parenting."

"That's enough." Mike's dad looked at both him and his mom. "From the both of you. Mary, nobody made him this way, he just is. Mike, keep your temper under control. It doesn't help anything when you go off like that."

Mike shook his head and gave his mother a cold glance before looking toward his dad. "I'm not going to sit here and let her accuse Steve of doing something wrong." He looked directly into her eyes. "I love him."

"I'm sorry," she said. "It's just that I don't know how this happened. I keep thinking that it was my fault."

"Look, Mom, it's nobody's fault. I didn't just wake up one morning and find out that I like the boys." I grinned a little at that, but kept my composure. "It's just something that is. I guess it always has been."

She shook her head. "Alright, whatever. You know I stopped trying to meddle in your life a long time ago. As long as you're happy."

"Thanks, Mom." Mike smiled. He had been holding my hand under the table the entire time, squeezing it tighter when he was upset or nervous.

"Umm, okay, now that that's out of the way-" Mike's dad seemed reluctant to bring something up. "Umm… that is… on the issue of… umm… safe sex."

Mike and I looked at each other, smiling and trying to choke back a laugh. "It's alright, we're safe." He and I had discussed it earlier. It was pretty obvious to each of us that we weren't going to be sleeping around with anybody, and we were both disease-free.

"Okay then, that wasn't so bad." Mike's dad made a face when he said that, sending Mike and me over the edge laughing. "At least we don't have to worry about one of you getting pregnant."

The mood was a lot lighter then. We talked for a while about how we got together, except without all the sex. Just from the way we described things, they knew that we were insanely in love. Both of us had bordered on stalking the other at one point or another. Still, the affection we displayed was incredible to them.

It was about 1:00 or so when we finished. I needed to get home and actually see my parents. I had decided that I'd tell them about Mike and me that day, but didn't let Mike know so he wouldn't feel obligated to go with me. We went to his room and talked for a few minutes before he gave me an incredible goodbye kiss. "To tide you over," he told me. I told him that I'd call as soon as I got home.

On the way home (a drive of less than five minutes), I thought about what I was going to tell my parents. I guess this is the kind of thing you just come right out and say. Maybe that's why it's called "coming out." Hell, I dunno. I was scared out of my mind, but I knew everything was going to turn out alright. I mean, Mike's dad was a military man, and he seemed to be better with it than even his mom.

I pulled into my driveway and found both of my parents' cars there. Good. I'd be able to talk to them both at once. I went in and asked them to join me at the table.

"Okay, I've got some news. I've fallen in love." I took a deep breath. They were waiting to hear with whom. It was now or never. "It's with Mike. I'm gay." There. I'd said it. There was no way to take it back now. I couldn't ever go back to being their perfect son.

"No you're not, honey," my mother said. "You can't be."

What? How can she think that? "Umm, yes, I can and I am. Didn't you hear what I said?"

My father was quiet. He just stared at me. My mom got quiet again, too. The silence was so thick I was almost choking on it. I wished that someone, anyone, would say something. Finally, my father spoke.

"You're a homosexual." The way he said it, pronouncing every syllable with utter contempt and hatred, sent a shiver through me. He got quiet again for a few more seconds. "Get out. I will not have a little fairy running around, pretending to be my son."

That got me angrier than I had ever been. I controlled it, though. I desperately wanted to break every bone in his body into a fine powder, but I controlled it. I stood up and started walking away. "If your love is conditional on whether or not I conform to what you think I should be, you were never the man I thought you were. You're a shell of him. You could never even stand at the level of his shadow." I didn't know where this was coming from, but I felt an intense, burning hatred for him at that moment. "You don't deserve all the years of admiration I gave you. You're not my father."

I turned my back on him again and started walking to my room. I didn't know what I was going to do. I just knew I had to get some things and get out of there.

"You fucking queer, give me back my son!" My father jumped on my back and knocked me to the ground. He flipped me over and started punching me in the face. I was shocked for a second. I couldn't believe what was happening.

"Randall! Randall, stop it!" I heard my mother yell. I managed to push him off of me and give him a good kick in the ribs. He wouldn't be getting up for a while. I ran for the door, got in my car, and drove off.

"Oh my god, why didn't you tell me what you were going to do?" Mike asked. I had just finished telling him the story. He, his dad, and I were all in the bathroom. His father was taking care of my face. I had shown up at his door, dripping blood all over the welcome mat. He told me that I was alright, but I sure as hell didn't feel it.

"I didn't want you to worry," I said. I laughed a small, bitter laugh at that. There was a cut on the corner of my lip, though, and it hurt when I smiled. I winced in pain and closed my eyes.

"You'll live, but you're gonna have one hell of a black eye," his dad said. He started applying iodine to the several cuts on my face. I tasted blood. My teeth must have cut into the skin of my mouth when my father punched me. I told Mike's dad about it, but he told me not to worry about it; it would heal itself in a few hours. Until then, I got the constant, metallic reminder that I couldn't go home anymore in my mouth.

"Well, without a doubt you're staying here tonight." Mike grabbed a washcloth and started wiping the blood from my face. I couldn't even imagine what he must have been feeling. He looked at his dad, who nodded.

"Until further notice, I have a second son. You'll be staying indefinitely." He handed me an ice pack. "Hold that against your eye until the swelling goes down. I want to see if we can't stop that black eye before it starts."

"Look, I can't let you do this-" I started. Mike's dad cut me off.

"And where exactly are you going to stay?" He asked. "Mike wouldn't forgive me if I just let you go out on the streets, and he'd probably join you. Do you know how much trouble I'd get in with his mother?"

I chuckled a little, then winced in pain again and glared at him. That just made Mike laugh a little. "Alright," I relented, "but just until school starts."

"Well, yeah," he said, "I was planning on kicking you both out then."

They finished cleaning me up and we all went into the living room. Mike sat next to me, holding me so tightly that I knew I wouldn't be able to get away for a while. His parents didn't say anything. Neither did I. I loved having him with me, but I was thinking about so many things at that moment that I barely even noticed he was there. A part of my life was over. At around 6:30, Mike had fallen asleep in my arms. I looked down at him. He was so peaceful. I envied him. He had a family. Mine was all but gone. The last thing I needed was more time to think, but I decided that I wanted to go for a run. I had always hated it when I had to do it, but it gave me time to clear my head and think.

"So, is the patient well enough to go for a run?" I asked, slowly moving Mike so he wasn't leaning against me.

"Yeah, a short one, though. I don't want him waking up and not finding you." Mike's dad looked at me for a second. "He feels guilty, you know."

I sighed. "Yeah, I know. It's not his fault." I looked down at him again and felt a catch in my throat. "God, what did I do to deserve him?"

"What're you talking about?" his dad asked. "You're the best thing that's ever happened to him. I don't think I've ever seen him as happy as when he's with you." He smiled. "He needs you."

I felt that catch in my throat again. "Damn, I'd better get running before I burst out crying and drag him down with me." I grinned, still hurting from the cut on my mouth. "I'll be back in about a half-hour."

I went into Mike's room and found a set of his sweats. He and I could share clothes because we wore pretty much the same sizes. He liked his to be a little baggy, I liked mine to be a little not. It worked out well. I set off running.

Despite what I may have thought, it didn't help me clear my head. In fact, it made me think even more about how these parts of my past were gone. Dad was so proud of me when I placed first in the dash, but the only thing I cared about was whether or not Mike was. He would have been proud of me no matter what, I suppose, but just seeing his face light up when he saw me was enough for me to keep going. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that he was my major reason for doing most things in highschool. Yeah, I wanted to please my parents, but they always came second to him. I guess this was the ultimate expression of that.

Why had Dad reacted like that? Why couldn't he just be supportive and love me, like Mike's dad. Still, I had Mike's family, and they loved both him and me. They just wanted us to be happy. There was something reassuring about that, like the world wasn't such an evil place after all, and that there were people with so much love in them that they could accept us. Hell, I dunno. I'm not the philosopher, Mike is. A damn good one, at that.

It was about time for me to be headed back to the house. I couldn't call it "home," because no matter how much they tried, they still couldn't make it feel like that to me. Mine was gone. I suppose, in some sense, I was homeless. I was so lost in thought that I didn't notice the car coming as I crossed the street.

My last thought was that I desperately wanted to consider Mike's house my home. Then a blinding red flash of light. Then nothing.

I'm really not sure what to say here. Usually I'll have something witty and funny down here, but it just seems inappropriate now. This chapter does seem a little dark. I'll try to avoid that for the next one. You'll see more of a fusing of the various plots over the next few chapters.

Many thanks and props and gold and riches (metaphorically, of course) to Andy, who keeps my work legible and points out my many grammatical errors. I'd also like to thank everyone who has sent me feedback over the previous five chapters. If it wasn't for you guys, the series would have ended a few chapters ago.

Send constructive feedback on this story to Flamers will be chopped into bite-sized pieces and served at a fancy French restaurant as an appetizer.