The following is a work of fiction. Any similarities are entirely fortuitous. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at this address with your comments.

Along the Way 12

Mr. Malcolm immediately hung up with his brother and dialed some other number. Brett's mom pulled us out of the room and closed the door. Brett looked completely horrified at what he just heard.

"I'm sure it's not that serious, Brett." I said, trying to be as supportive as possible. I know that it's that serious, but letting him really realize that would be a mistake. "He can't really terminate the trade, can he?"

"Yeah, he can." he sighed sadly. "Come on, let's go back to my room and get out of these suits."

The two of us walked back into his room and undressed in silence. Instead of dressing in something more casual, Brett just slipped under the covers on his bed. I'm not tired at all, but I should probably join him. I stripped down to my boxers and scooted up next to him.

"What're you thinking?" I asked in a hushed tone.

"Just about all of this. I can't believe how far it's gotten already. It hasn't even been a few days and I've screwed the country up."

"In all fairness, my hand was involved as well. You're definitely not the one to blame, Brett. That damn paparazzi is the one to have fingers pointed at." I said, trying my best to cheer him up.

He sighed, "I know," Rolling over, he placed one of his arms across my stomach. I nestled one of my own arms under his neck so that I was cradling it. "Do you realize how lucky I am?"

I giggled. "Not even half as lucky as I am."

Suddenly, his mom walked into the room. She looked quite somber about whatever is on her mind. "Boys, I'm afraid the oil trade has officially been terminated."

"How is that possible!?" Brett shouted. "Isn't it possible for dad to threaten King Tabuk with war or something?"

"Brett, you know that we can't just threaten things like that!" Mrs. Malcolm scolded him. "Your father is trying his hardest right now to try and reason with King Tabuk. This will definitely take some time, though." With that said, she walked out of his room.

Brett bolted up from bed and ran into the bathroom. I wanted to make sure he was okay, but he locked the door behind him. I could hear the sounds of gagging and heaving, but there was nothing I could do. The only thing I could do was wait for him to finish. When he walked out of the bathroom a few minutes later he was having trouble walking. So, I ran up to him and helped him onto the bed.

"Tanner, lay with me." Brett pleaded.

"Okay, okay, don't worry." I said, rubbing his cheek. I stripped down to my boxers and got under the covers next to him.

"God, I feel so sick." he groaned.

"It's probably just your nerves, Brett. You'll feel better soon. Just get some rest."

Brett fell asleep quickly. I on the other hand am not tired at all. I feel really bad for him. It's obvious that he's sick because of his nerves. About an hour later, Brett's dad came walked in. As soon as he came in I carefully, but quickly, got out of the bed and stood up.

"What's wrong with him?" Mr. Malcolm asked me.

"His nerves got the best of him." I replied politely while putting my shirt back on.

"No need to get redressed. I don't mind that you two are laying together." he said.

I smiled and said, "Thanks," But out of respect for him, I put my shorts back on as well. "How're things going, sir?"

"Well, I'm not going to lie, things could be going a whole lot better. Now with the oil trade terminated, life here isn't going to be pleasant for a while." Mr. Malcolm dully said.

"What do you mean?" I inquired.

"I mean that gas is going to be expensive from here on out. The people are going to lash out at this, I just know it." he explained. "My term could be affected by this too. I just hope King Tabuk will come to his senses."

I nodded. "Mr. Malcolm, I was wondering if maybe Niles could drive me to my house really quick?"

"Tanner, with everything that's going on right now I don't think it's a good idea."

"Oh," I sighed sadly, lowering my head.

"But I guess it wouldn't hurt just this once. I'll call Niles and tell him to ready the car."

"Thank you so much, sir." I gushed.

I got my shoes on, then went down to the carport. Niles was waiting for me with the car. I thanked him for doing this and then we went on our way. It only took a few minutes for us to arrive. When we did, I noticed that only my mom's car was in the driveway. This was something that was surprising to me.

"I'll be right back, Niles." I said, while exiting the car.

Inside the house, I was disgusted by what was around me. Since I've been gone, nothing has gotten cleaned. I was the only one to ever clean anything in this house. There were dirty dishes everywhere, trash piled high, and I even saw a few flies flying around. The stench was pretty rancid too.

Mom was passed out in her room with a bottle of liquor stuck in her hands. She was so careless with her life, even my life. I closed her bedroom door. Figuring that none of this would ever get cleaned, I figured I could at least take the trash out. Niles was giving me a curious look when I walked out of my house with three trash bags.

The reason I wanted to come home is a simple one. Before graduation, I made Brett a ceramic heart in my art class. I hid it in the air vent in my room so that mom wouldn't be able to ruin it. The heart was something that meant a great deal to me. It signifies my love for Brett. The heart took me three weeks to make because I just couldn't get the shape perfect enough. When I took it from the vent, it was a little dusty, but other than that, it's perfect. Prior to leaving my house, I checked on my mom one last time. The liquor bottle was in the same position as it was earlier.

Niles drove back to The White House. Brett was still asleep when I walked back into his room. He looked so cute lying snuggled up in the covers. Mr. Malcolm again walked in.

"How'd things go?" he asked me.

"Things went okay," I said.

"What'd you want to go home for?"

"I made this for Brett before I graduated and I figured something like this would calm him down."

Mr. Malcolm reached out for the ceramic heart. I carefully handed it to him. He seemed very intrigued by it for some reason. I mean, it's a pretty object, but to him I wouldn't think it's something nice enough to really study.

"This is nice, Tanner. I'm sure Brett will appreciate it." Mr. Malcolm smiled kindly.

"Thanks," shyly I said. I could feel my cheeks burning with embarrassment.

"Tanner, why don't you and I go for a stroll, huh?"

"Uh, sure," I meekly got out.

The two of us walked for several minutes before anything was spoken. I was really nervous why he wanted to take a walk with me. Maybe he wants to ban me from his son. Wait, no, that's stupid of me to think that. He probably just wants don't even know.

"Ever since Brett was little, his mother and I knew he'd be different. Growing up he appeared to be a normal boy. He played sports, had a couple of crushes, and was interested in becoming an astronaut. So until he started to hit puberty did we consider him to be gay. Like I explained to you both before, his mother and I didn't even fear for him to be gay. If he was gay, then we'd love him unconditionally. And that's exactly what we plan to do. He dated a couple of girls, but it was obvious there was something missing. Something that only he could figure out. I'm glad that he did finally figure it out in an appropriate way."

"Can I be honest about something?" I asked him.

"Of course you can."

"I never thought you'd be this close to him. I mean, you're the President of the United States. I just never thought that you'd have much free time to spend with him." I explained as politely as I could.

"A lot of people think that, but there's a lot of extra time that I have and most of it goes to my family."

"I think that's really cool. Even though you're really busy with this country, you still find time for your family. That shows what a great person you are."

"Yeah, well, not everyone will be thinking that tomorrow."

"Don't worry about those people. People only care about themselves anymore. It takes a person with a golden heart to care about someone else's problems. If anyone has a conscious, then they will show at least a small amount of sympathy towards your situation."

"You're a pretty smart kid, Tanner. I think you'd make a great political figure some day." Mr. Malcolm said with a big smile. "Now, can I ask you some personal things?"

"Sure," We were still walking throughout all the corridors of The White House. Our pace was slow and calm, not rushed like everyone else usually is.

"Brett has told his mom and I that you grew up in poverty." I instantly hung my head in shame. "Can you tell me what that was like?"

"What does that have to do with anything?" It was obvious how uncomfortable I was by his question.

"Don't feel ashamed, Tanner. I won't judge you by what you tell me. There are thirty million people in the United States that are going through the same thing you are. I want to change their lives, but I can't do that unless I truly understand what goes on in their lives."

"Mr. Malcolm, I haven't always lived in poverty. There was a time in my life when I had a mom that cared for me. There was a time when things were so easy. My dad died when I was six. After that, everything went downhill. Mom started to drink a lot and yell-she never used to yell. Mom got fired from her great paying job so she took the stupid stripping job. We had to move from our nice house to a rundown piece of sh...junk." Tears flooded my eyes, daring to run down my cheeks. I tried to hold them back as hard as I could. "Every night I would have to sit at home by myself and wonder what was for dinner, or if there even would be dinner. Most of the time there was no food in the house. Then late at night mom would come home usually not by herself. Let me tell you, the sounds I heard were disgusting. Sometimes I would have to lean out my window to throw up. Yeah, if I showed my face while someone else was there she'd beat me senseless. When my dad was alive, she would've never even thought about hitting me. Now she seems to not even be my mom anymore. She's beaten me so bad I had to miss school some times."

Mr. Malcolm stopped walking, and then grabbed me in a hug. At first, I didn't know what to do. Should I return the hug? I wasn't used to being hugged by someone as old as Mr. Malcolm. Not that he's old, it's just that I haven't been hugged by a man since my dad's death. Brett's hugs are on a different scale so this doesn't even compare. The different type of warmth I was suddenly feeling couldn't compare to anything.

I wrapped my arms around him, burying my face in the crook of his neck. I was sobbing like a little baby, but I could've cared less. Mr. Malcolm hugged me showing me how much he actually cares about me.

"Tanner, things will only get better from here on out. From what you've told me, I'm going to try my hardest to make sure this way of living is dramatically lessened. No one should have to go through what you have." he said softly.

"Th-thank you, Mr. Malcolm." I sobbed, still holding onto him tight. He started to rub my back in a soothing way. The two of us must've stayed in that position for at least ten minutes.

"Feeling better?" he asked.

"Yes," I sniffled, pulling away from him slowly.

"Why don't we go back and check on Brett?"


On the way back to Brett's room, Mr. Malcolm and I talked about little stuff. Mrs. Malcolm was waiting for us outside of Brett's door. She asked us what we wanted for dinner. I obviously said it didn't matter, but Mr. Malcolm said he'd like spaghetti. I guess he likes simple things every now and then. He and Mrs. Malcolm excused themselves and walked away. I stepped inside of Brett's room quietly. He was still sound asleep all snuggled up. Dinner probably wouldn't be ready for a little while so I decided to slip in bed next to him.

"Tanner," I heard someone whisper.

"Huh?" sleepily I mumbled.

"Tanner, dinner is ready." It was Mrs. Malcolm. "Don't bother trying to wake Brett up."

I carefully slid out of bed and followed Mrs. Malcolm to the dining area. Mr. Malcolm already began eating when we arrived. Throughout dinner, the three of us had a nice conversation. They questioned me on what I wanted to become when I get older and other stuff like that. Once we finished eating, they told me to not worry about Brett eating anything; that he'd eat more than enough when he wakes up on his own. I excused myself from the table and went back to my sleeping boyfriend. With a mix of stress and lying next to Brett, I soon fell asleep with him.

The next morning started out with a kiss. No, two kisses. Sorry, three kisses. I blinked my eyes open. Brett was leaning almost right over me. He was bearing a huge grin and a mischievous look.

"Morning, doctor," he said.

"Morning, nurse," I responded, making sure to really make nurse stand out.

Brett laughed, "Whatever!"

"How're you feeling now?"

"So much better," he said. "I think it was just my nerves that got screwed up."

"Then you're really going to hate when I tell you how expensive gas is right now." Mr. Malcolm said from the doorway.

Brett turned around sharply. "Jeez, dad, you can't be sneaking in on us like that!"

"Well, gas prices rose over two dollars last night. The people are completely outraged. We've already begun to receive phone calls from the states." Mr. Malcolm had a dreadful air about him. Obviously he's worried, but there seems to be something else to him. A different kind of fear. Something that I just can't seem to make sense of right now.

"Over four dollars now!?" Brett shouted, standing from the bed.

"I'm afraid so," his dad somberly replied. "But boys, I came in here to tell you that we're going to a fundraiser tomorrow night. We leave here at five so be ready on time." Then he walked out of the room with nothing more said.

Brett turned back to me. That gorgeous grin he had earlier was no replaced by fear and pain. "I can't believe this."

"Please don't blame yourself, Brett. Remember it's that damn paprazzi's fault! If he wouldn't have been there, then none of this would've happened!"

"You're right, Tanner," he sighed. "I'm sorry. Why don't you take a shower, then we'll get some breakfast and figure out what to do in this place since dad still has us on lock down."

"You already took a shower?"


All day long, the two of us pretty much did nothing. There were a couple movies we watched. That was actually really fun. Throughout the movies, Brett and I couldn't stop talking. We'd comment on the movie, on each other, and at one point, there wasn't any talking at all-if you know what I mean. No sex, just a lot of kissing. So, with the movie thing done, we went and talked with a lot of the staff. I was amazed at how close everyone seemed to be. The White House is definitely not like anything seen in any movie. When dinnertime began to slowly creep up, Mrs. Malcolm said that we were having salmon. I've never had fish before, but I figured there's a first for everything.

At the table, we were served the salmon with some kind of brownish rice and shrimp. Seafood was an entirely new thing to me. The shrimp looked kind of gross because of their shape, but the salmon didn't seem too bad. I cut off a small piece of the fish and slowly put it in my mouth. You know when you smell something and you kind of know what it tastes like just by the smell? Well, to me that isn't salmon. The smell was that of a fish, obviously, but when I really concentrated on the flavor, it wasn't fishy at all. There was a hint of fish, but otherwise it tasted like chicken, really strong chicken, though. While I was testing the fish, I could feel Brett's stare upon me. I looked up at him and he was trying real hard to contain his laughter. Next up was the shrimp. These little things were a little better on the salmon in taste, but for some reason I just didn't like them.

Later in Brett's room, he started to ask about dinner.

"So, what, you don't like fish?" he started.

"Not up until dinner. That's the first time I've ever had any kind of seafood. It was really, really good." I grinned childishly. Brett came up and hugged me.

"Come on, we should get to bed. Tomorrow night's event will drain you. Trust me on that one." Brett said, yawning towards the end.

"Can we fall asleep to a movie?" I asked, while stripping down to my boxers.

"Sure, just pick one out and I'll put it on."

The two of us drifted off to sleep watching a movie about a man who dressed as a nanny to spend more time with his kids.

Brett woke me up again the next morning. He was practically bouncing off the walls with excitement over something. I just laughed at him and asked what he's making me for breakfast. He laughed at me and said the chef made us pancakes.

I'll skip the part where I tell you all about our day because the only thing we did was watch movies again. It wasn't until we got to the fundraiser that things began to pick up.

The family was introduced and I followed suit. Mr. Malcolm gave a quick speech, and then the event got underway. Brett and I walked around and talked to a lot of people. Some appeared to be nervous around us, like we were bad luck or something. Brett just brushed it off, but I couldn't help to feel awkward. The rest of the night pretty much went the same; lots of talking and lots of walking. By the time we were able to eat dinner, I was at the point of sheer exhaustion. The effects of being fully dressed in a suit along with the horrendous heat were enough to make one go completely insane.

The time in the night came when the fundraiser was coming to an end. I don't know about anyone else there, but I for one was more than happy to be able to go home.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it has been an honor participating in such a worthy event. The cure for breast cancer is just around the corner, I can feel it! And it is because of people like you who spend their time trying to find a cure, donate money for a cure, and overcome the disease that we are as far as we are." Mr. Malcolm said dominatingly. Everyone began to applaud. A lot of people also stood up. Behind the President, was us-Brett, Mrs. Malcolm, and other important figures.

But all of a sudden, a gunshot rang through the air. I felt something warm splatter onto my cheek. I touched whatever splattered on my face and brought it to my eye level. Blood.

"Tanner!" Brett shouted.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I'm sorry chapter twelve took so long everyone! I just hit some major blockage on this chapter! There are only TWO chapters left! As always, feel free to write me at the e-mail address given atop every single chapter. Also feel free to join my group by clicking this link: Shades of Wisteria.

Purchase A Life So Changed at a new location,! Here's the link: Bobby's Amazon Page.