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 08

The morning sun shone into the room waking me up from my peaceful slumber. Brett is still holding me tight against his chest just like when we fell asleep. The words he said to me right before he fell asleep were still swimming around in my head. I can't believe he actually said that to me. I know he likes me a lot, but not in my wildest dreams did love ever pop in my mind.

My feelings for Brett are strong. In fact, I think I may even be in love with him. Something in the back of my mind just isn't allowing me to consider Brett loving me, though. These feelings of inadequacy are probably all thanks to my mom. Actually, they are all thanks to my mom. I've never been liked so much in my life. What Brett and his parents are doing for me is completely over the top, but maybe to someone else it's just normal. I don't know.

I carefully rolled over onto my back. I stared up at the ceiling for a few minutes before feeling the strong urge to use the bathroom. Brett's arm was across my stomach, rising and falling in harmony. Brett's arms were strong, soft and absolutely mystical. They had a way of making me feel safe when I'm wrapped in them. His face was gorgeous. Those maroon eyes were covered by the darker cream-colored eyelids. His jet-black hair was hanging down into his face, most of it pulled to the side showing off his forehead. I traced a finger up his arm and down his back. I love how he only sleeps in his boxers. It gives me more of a chance to admire this Adonis that I am allowed to call boyfriend.

"Hey," Brett chuckled, "that tickles."

I smiled. "Sorry,"

Brett opened his eyes, immediately staring into mine. "How'd you sleep?" He leaned up on one elbow and started playing with my hair.

"I slept okay," I stated simply.

"Are you okay? You seem confused."

"Do you remember what you said to me right before you fell asleep?" I asked him, turning my gaze back up to the ceiling.

"Not really," Brett said. "I didn't say something wrong did I? Because if I did, then I apologize right now."

"I'm not sure if it was wrong or not. I mean, I know it wasn't wrong, but... I... I'm just not sure it was right. I mean, wait, I don't know what I mean. It was right, but I don't-"

"Tanner," Brett interrupted. "What did I say?"

"You told me you loved me." I answered him uneasily. I felt embarrassed for saying it. What if he didn't even mean it? What if he was just exhausted and completely didn't realize it. Oh, my God, what if he thought I was someone else and wanted to them he loved them?

"I did? Hmm, I don't even remember that." Brett said, biting his lip. "But I do love you, you know?"

I instantly perked up. "Really?" But then my mood dropped again. "Isn't it too soon to say that, though?"

"Oh, God damn it!" Brett heatedly said, getting out of bed. "Who the hell gets to make that a rule!? When someone tells their special someone they love them, it's because that's what they feel. No one gets to decide who you love! It is your choice!" He let out a long sigh. "Sorry, I just hate when people say that. Love is a personal thing only you can decide, not someone else's choice. If I say I love you, Tanner, then I completely mean it."

Brett had a good point. No one has the authority to tell you that it's too soon to say I love you. I just can't help but feel maybe it's just too soon for me to say it. Like I said before, my feelings for Brett are strong, even stronger now, but I just want to make sure that I'm sure they're the type of feelings I'm supposed to have.

"Thanks," I grinned.

"Do you not feel the same way?"

Gah! I was afraid he was going to ask that! "I'm not sure, Brett. I know that I really like you a lot, but I just want to make sure before I say it, okay?"

Brett smiled weakly. "Okay,"

"Hey," I said, standing up out of bed and walking up in front of Brett. "I do know I like you a lot, maybe I do love you, but it's too early for me to say it." I wrapped my arms around his neck. His scent was incredible, just as strong as yesterday. "Damn, you even smell good overnight."

Brett laughed. "Yeah, well, it's a gift."

I noticed something while I was holding onto him. Our hard-ons were stabbing each other. Brett seemed to notice this too as he started to grind into me. Our breathing deepened and I could sense Brett was getting very close.

"Not now," I coarsely whispered, pulling off of him. "I want a shower." I walked into the closet and picked an outfit out of my suitcase. All the clothes Brett bought for me before we came on this trip gave me more than enough choices.

"Do you want some breakfast?" Brett asked me.

"Sure, I'll have whatever you're having." I responded. "I'll be quick in the shower."

"Take your time," Brett called as he walked downstairs.

The shower was so soothing. Talk about wanting to fall right back asleep. There was water coming from a showerhead on the ceiling and another nozzle on the wall that one could maneuver around. I had the water on extra hot. The steam was being inhaled through my nose and it felt like I was being cleaned from the inside out. I knew if I stayed in any longer, I would've fallen asleep.

I stepped out of the shower and got dressed. Brett was waiting for me downstairs with breakfast on the dining room table.

"That was fast," I said.

"Yeah, well, I ordered it last night and told them to bring it up here at a certain time." Brett sheepishly smiled.

I chuckled, "Cheater,"

The two of us ate while mindlessly talking about our day. Brett told me that we had lots of things to choose from and that I could pick as we went along. When he finished eating, he told me he'd jump in the shower and then we could leave. While he was in the shower, I brushed my teeth. The water shut off and out stepped a naked Brett. My eyes were glued to his body. It was perfect.

"Tanner, if you keep staring we'll get nothing done today." Brett said playfully, pulling a fresh pair of boxers straight up those sexy legs and over his semi-hard member. I turned around, embarrassed that I had been staring. "So, I thought we could start today by going to the Secret Gardens."

"What's that?" I asked, staring intently down at the ground.

"It's like a miniature zoo." Brett said. "There's lions, tigers, leopards. Pretty cool if you ask me."

"Okay, sounds good to me." I muttered.

Brett dressed in a tank top and shorts. The sight of those well-defined arms completely bare and uncovered just set me free. He snapped me out of my daydreaming, though, and off we went down into the lobby. He led us into a different section of the hotel, though. Brett took us to the monorail that goes all the way up the strip. When we boarded the monorail, it was kind of hard to find a seat. In fact, Brett wouldn't let me sit down anywhere. He dragged me out of the monorail in a hurry.

"Why aren't we getting on?" I asked.

"Because," Brett started, "if someone recognizes me I'll be screwed. We'll be screwed."

"But you're wearing your hat and sunglasses." I argued.

"Come on, Tanner. This disguise will only work for a little while longer. Eventually someone is bound to see right through this lame attempt at a disguise." Brett said seriously, almost worried in a sense.

I nodded my head. "Okay, well, how are we getting to the Secret Gardens then?"

"We'll still be taking the monorail. We just won't be sitting with these people." He walked up to a worker and showed him his ID while explaining he needed to ride with the operator. The worker's eyes opened a little wider when he realized who he was talking to, and he immediately put us up front with the operator.

The ride was pretty short, but I can't lie and say it wasn't fun. There were some hotels we passed that I definitely want to visit. One of them had a replica of the Eifel Tower in the front of it! Brett and I exited the monorail at one of the hotels across the street from the Secret Gardens. The two of us scurried across the street and walked up to the doors. Off to the side, though, I couldn't help but notice the gigantic volcano.

"Brett, what's that for?" I asked my boyfriend.

"Oh, the volcano puts on a pretty cool show. It erupts at night and puts on a great show. We can watch it tonight if you want." Brett explained.

"Can we?"

"Of course," he replied.

We walked inside of the building. "Is this the Secret Gardens?" I looked around at my surroundings and saw no lions or tigers or anything else. What was around me was a whole bunch of people and lots of plants and flowers.

Brett laughed. "Babe, this is The Mirage and we're in the atrium kind of. The Secret Gardens is located in the back of the hotel."

"Oh, okay,"

Brett and I got outside to the Secret Gardens ticket booth. I was so excited to see the animals I was practically shaking. The booth operator gave us our tickets and a map.

The first thing I saw when beginning our tour was the dolphins. People were in the pool with them, doing tricks and just playing with the dolphins. We must've stood and watched the dolphins for twenty minutes before I wanted to move on.

Brett was certainly right about it being cool. The animals were freaking amazing. Big cats were the obviously the big thing in the Secret Gardens. White tigers are the coolest thing! I had no idea tigers could be white so imagine my shock when I saw the white lions. They were so adorable. Brett told me that a couple of guys used to put on an awesome show with the white tigers and the white lions. The show had to be discontinued, though, because one of the performers was bitten by a tiger. Such a shame really. I would've loved to have seen the show.

I moved along to the other areas to see more big cats. A snow leopard was the next one. I read on the exhibit sign that snow leopards don't have a roar like other cats. Next to the snow leopard was a black panther. He was cute, I'm not gonna lie. A leopard was in the next exhibit. His name is Asabi. How cute is that!? The last cat is a cheetah named Chico. This cheetah is way too cute for his own good. The white tigers and lions are my favorite, but second is Chico. I don't even really know why. It's just one of those things that don't need an explanation, though. The very last exhibit was an Asian elephant. On the exhibit sign, I learned that they're actually endangered. How can something so large actually be threatened? But what do I know? I mean, I could never harm an animal. I have a soul.

"Well, the only thing left is to see the dolphins. They have this underground viewing area where you can see into the tank, but I think it's closed because they're doing the dolphin training program." Brett said, taking my hand in his.

"What's that?"

"Well, it's a program that lets you be a dolphin trainer for a day. You'd be able to swim, play, and make the dolphins do tricks." Brett explained. "Would you want to do that?"

"I don't think so. It sounds expensive."

Brett laughed. "Price isn't an issue remember?"

"Yeah, but I'm okay with just swimming in a regular pool with you."

Brett wiped sweat from his forehead and said, "Swimming does sound pretty good right now." He grinned at me. "Wanna go back to the hotel and take a dip in the pool or something? I'm actually still kind of tired to be honest."

"Okay, well, we can go back I guess." I sighed, tired myself, but mostly of the heat.

"I'm sorry, Tanner,"

"Hey, don't be sorry. I'm tired too."

We took the monorail back to the hotel. When we got back up to our room, the two of us barely made it to the bed before passing out from exhaustion.

I woke up from my nap about two hours later. The clock hanging on the wall showed about four o'clock. Brett was idly sleeping next to me. Carefully, I stood up from the bed and walked downstairs. There was no food in the hotel room that was edible. I mean, there were some cans of nuts and bags of chips near the mini-refrigerator, but they were a ridiculous amount of money to have. My boyfriend would tell me not to worry about the price, but that is completely insane.

I must've been watching TV for thirty minutes before Brett came trudging in the room.

"Hey, sleepy," I said softly.

"Me sleepy? I've been awake for hours." Brett said. "I'm not much of a nap taker, Tanner. Twenty minutes is more than enough for me to feel recharged."

"Then why were you in bed the entire time? Weren't you bored?"

"Well, duh, but I stayed up there for you. Lying next to you is way better than watching boring old TV by myself."

"So, you were just lying there the whole time?"

"Well, I was on and off sleeping."

"Oh, okay," I giggled. "So, what else are we doing today?"

"I'm not sure. It's almost five now so how about I take you to dinner and then we can check Fremont Street out."

"What's that?"

"Fremont Street is a street that is covered by this canopy that has millions of lights on it. The lights sync with music and put on a really cool show. You're really going to like it."

"Cool then,"

I ran upstairs to put my shoes on and get ready to eat dinner. Brett wiped his face and arms off with a wet washcloth telling me I'd probably want to do the same. We walked down to the lobby when we were done. Brett let me choose where we'd eat and I decided on a place called Rainforest Café. It was a pretty cool place. There's this giant aquarium right when you walk in and animatronics of all kinds. The food was delicious. I got a sandwich thing and Brett got, um, salmon I think. When we were done eating, we caught a cab to Fremont Street. Our cab driver was really cool. He kept the conversation between us going like nothing. Brett gave him a good tip when it was time to exit.

Fremont Street isn't what I was expecting. Sure, I knew it was going to be a street, but from what Brett told me it sounded kind of bleak. The street was anything but! There were hundreds of people walking along the various shops and hotels that were lining the street. The canopy of lights started early and stretched all the way down the street. I picked up a flyer and read that the next show wasn't until eight. There was only one hour left before the next show so Brett decided we should just walk around until the time came.

The further we walked the more varied everything became. A painter was painting a picture on a giant canvas just right in the middle of everything. He had a large crowd surrounding and admiring his work. After a few minutes, what he was painting became clearer to everyone, or at least me. It was a sunset with a wolf howling on a cliff. The colors were brilliant and so pretty. Brett said we should find a seat somewhere before the show started. I guess we stood and watched the painter longer than I thought.

The two of us found a small table outside of a sandwich shop. Brett told me he'd get us some drinks and donuts while waiting. Eventually, the streetlights went out along with all the lights that decorated the various shops and hotels. All of a sudden, a blast of light shone above the street on the stretched canopy. Music started playing and more and more lights began coming on. Brett made it back just as the show started.

The brilliant display of lights and the whacky songs that played with them was simply breathtaking. I was in awe the entire fifteen minutes it was on. Once the show was over, Brett and I looked around a little more before deciding to head back to the hotel.

Just as our cab driver pulled up to the entrance of the MGM, Brett asked if I wanted to ride on a trolley for a little while. I nodded yes, and then Brett walked us out onto the street at a trolley sign. A few minutes went by before a big orange trolley pulled up in front of us. Some people got off the trolley and others got on.

The trolley took us all the way up the strip. I saw the replica of the Eifel Tower again, but this time I got to actually see it. I may never go to Paris so I took in the replica as if it were the real thing. Farther up the strip was the Venetian. Brett said that there's a small waterway where people can pay to ride a gondola. The trolley then made its way back down the strip. I saw a pirate ship at the hotel Treasure Island. I learned that there used to be a really cool pirate show that was played right out on the ship. There's still a show that plays there, but I guess it's nothing compared to what it used to be. Then there was this hotel that looked we were transported back into the roman era. And the last hotel that I have yet to see was the Bellagio. Out front of the hotel is a gigantic lake that has water jets that shoot up into the night's sky. The jets are kind of like Fremont Street in that they're synced with music. An hour after we boarded the trolley, we got off back at our hotel. Tiredly, we walked up to our room.

"Tomorrow let's just hang out by the pool all day, okay? I checked the weather and it's supposed to be extremely hot tomorrow." Brett yawned, taking his shoes off.

"Yeah," I muttered. "That's fine." Brett said something else, but it was too late. I fell asleep.

Later in the night, I got out of bed and walked downstairs onto the balcony, tears streaming down my face. I stepped up onto a ledge and turned back around to face the sliding glass doors. Brett and all the things he's done for me swam through my mind. All the things he could do for me. But life just seemed to...stop. Nothing mattered anymore and I couldn't handle it. I stuck my arms out from my sides and fell backwards, the stars're the last things I saw.

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Okay everyone, I hope you all liked chapter eight! 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. And don't forget to vote at my group! Here is the DIRECT link to the poll: Poll Page. I won't be closing the poll until I get 100 votes!

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