This is a work of erotic fiction.
It will contain a few graphic scenes of gay sex. If this is
objectionable to or illegal for you, please do not read it.
As with my other stories, which can be
found under my name in the Prolific Authors section of Nifty, this work
will contain only a little sex. It deals principally with
relationships and growing pains of young teens, and as sex is a part of
most teen boys' lives, it is a part of this story.
This story is copyrighted by the
author. His permission must be obtained for any use of this story
other than reading it on the Nifty Archive site.
This story will be fairly long. I
will try to post chapters as rapidly as possible with the hope one can
go up every other day. I hope you find it entertaining.
My thanks to my editors and readers who
helped shape this story. I won't embarrass you by naming
you. Your association with me remains sacrosanct.
In the past, you readers have been extremely kind in giving me your feedback. I respond to all notes, and enjoy hearing from you. I can be reached at:
by Cole Parker
From Chapter 26 - “Bryan, if you want to stay here, even if your father disagrees, I’m pretty sure you can stay. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this. But OK, we’ve made the decision, and tomorrow I’ll call an investigator my lawyer has recommended.”
When the boys went to bed that night, Bryan was in a somber mood and hadn’t said much. As soon as they were in bed, he wriggled back into Josh, and when Josh slipped his arm over Bryan’s chest, Bryan grabbed it and pulled it over him tightly.
“You OK?” asked Josh softly.
“Not really. I’m scared, Josh. I don’t think I could take it if I had to leave now. I’ve only been here a few weeks, but I feel so good living here. It’s where I belong. I don’t even want to think about leaving. Your dad sees how much you’ve changed, and you have. But I’ve changed too. A whole lot. No one seems to notice, but I have. I’m happier now and I don’t worry so much. I’m doing better in school because you make sure I do all my homework and help me if I don’t understand something. The teachers treat me with more respect too, but the important thing is, I respect myself more, now that I’m doing better. Because of that, I try harder. I feel so much better about myself in general. I think I’m heading somewhere now, and I didn’t feel that way before.
“But this thing with my father. It scares me. I just have this feeling, I don’t even know what it is, but it’s bad. I think it’s because I’m afraid that when they find him, if he says I have to come back, even with what your father says, I’ll have to go back. Kids always get given to their parents if their parents want them. That’s the way it works. I’m scared, Josh. I just have this bad feeling and I’m scared.”
There was a pause while Josh thought about this. Then he spoke in a firm, confident voice, trying his best to sound reassuring and very matter of fact. “Bryan, my father’s pretty smart. If he says he’s looked at this and figured it out and has a lawyer and all, I think you can trust him. Remember, kids don’t always get sent back to their parents. There are children’s agencies that get involved and decide if they’re fit parents or not. There’s a whole agency that does that, and they have the power to remove children from their homes. Dad looked into that. Besides, if he wants you here and is determined you’re going to be here, I’d bet on him any day. He loves you, Bryan. He’s not going to let anyone take you away, father or not.”
“My head tells me to trust him. My body feels like running away again.”
“Well, don’t do that. Then Dad would have to put his private investigator to work looking for you and how do you think I’d feel? If you’re scared now, I’d be ten times as scared. You do that, when they find you, I'd have no choice, I’d have to kill you.”
Bryan chuckled, but it was a weak and troubled chuckle, and with his hand being held tightly to Bryan’s stomach, Josh could feel it as much as he could hear it. “Well, if it’s you, I guess that’d be all right. If it's you, I could live with that. Uh, that's not quite right, is it? The heck with it. Good night, Josh.”
“Good night, and stop worrying. Everything’s going to be fine.” Josh was still being reassuring, but along with a half smile on his face from Bryan's comment, he had tears in his eyes.
----  ----
After school, Josh and Bryan went to Eric’s as usual, changed and went for their run. Today, Bryan had been quieter than usual and Josh was concerned. When they had been jogging for a while, Bryan suddenly started running faster and steadily pulled away from the other two.
“Where’s he going? What’s he doing,” asked a confused Eric as he watched Bryan keep running faster. He was now in a sprint and was rapidly leaving them behind.
“He’s worried. My dad’s looking for his father, and Bryan’s really scared he’s going to have to leave us. Dad doesn’t think so, but Bryan’s upset by it.”
“Is his dad missing?”
“A number of people have been trying to call him and no one is ever there. Dad hired an investigator to track him down.”
“Oh.” Bryan was now out of sight, and Eric’s brow wrinkled. “Do you think we should speed up, try to stay with him?”
“At that pace, he can’t go more than a couple minutes. I think he’s just burning off frustration or fear or something. I think we’ll catch up to him pretty quickly, but yes, let’s go a little faster.”
They picked up their speed. They had established a pace they were comfortable with over the last week and just naturally fell into it every day. They now found to their surprise that they could run a little faster still and it didn’t tire them any more than their usual pace.
After about a mile, Josh saw Bryan quite a ways further on, sitting on the curb, his head hanging, his chest rapidly expanding and falling. It took them more than another minute to get to him. When they did, they stopped in front of him. He was still gasping for breath, and tears were running down his face.
Josh sat down next to him and put his arm around him. Eric immediately did the same thing on the other side.
“It’ll be all right, Bryan. It will. You’re OK. We won’t let him take you. Come on. Relax a little. Calm down. You’re OK.”
Eric then said similar soothing words. They continued to hold Bryan. He continued to gasp and sob at the same time.
Finally, after several minutes, Bryan cried out through his sobs, “I’m so fucking scared! I’m scared and I can’t stop being scared.”
“It’s OK, Bryan. It’s OK. We’ll just sit here till you’re calmer.” Josh pulled him tighter, and Eric slid even closer so he was pressing against Bryan's side. Tears that had formed in Eric’s eyes were now running down his face.
Eventually, Bryan’s sobbing eased. His breathing slowed. His head remained slumped.
“Come on, let’s head back,” said Josh, and stood up. He reached for Bryan’s upper arm and helped pull him to his feet.
“Sorry guys. I guess I’m a wuss. I’ve just been worrying. It got to me.”
“Don’t apologize,” said Eric, wiping his face and sounding a little provoked. “You’ve got all sorts of shit to worry about. It’s natural. Hold it all in, you go crazy. Hey, how fast do you think you were going?”
Bryan grinned through his tears. “I think I set a new world land speed record. It sure felt like it. I thought my heart was going to explode so I had to stop. When I did, the waterworks started. I feel sort of foolish. Hey, I love you guys. You guys are so great. I know you're here for me. It helps. Thanks.” He then looked at Eric for the first time since he'd been crying and saw that Eric had, too. He put his hand on Eric's shoulder and looked into his eyes. "Eric, I don't know what to say. I know you care about me. Thanks for being my friend."
“Thanks, huh? Thanks? Come on, you soaked this shirt and I think it ran over onto my shorts. I can’t keep this stuff now, it’s contaminated. Thanks doesn’t cut it. I need new running gear,” Eric growled. Then he grinned at him and punched Bryan lightly in the shoulder.
“So are we swimming?” asked Josh, trying to break the mood. He wanted to get Bryan's mind off his worries, and swimming came quickly to his mind as a way to do that. Of the three of them, he loved swimming the best. He struggled the most at running, but was a fish in the pool.
Eric looked at Bryan, who said with a half-hearted smile on his face, “Sure, why not. I feel better now, but I'm so messed up right now I might start crying again, and if I do, in the pool no one will know.”
----  ----
When they stopped off at Dr. Warren’s office after the swim, he was waiting for them in his secretary’s outer office.
“Come on in, guys. I have some news.”
Josh and Bryan each took chairs in the office and Dr. Warren took one too so he didn’t have to sit behind the desk when he spoke with them.
“Bryan, the investigator tried calling your father several times today and didn’t have any more luck than anyone else. He checked tax records and found where your father works, and called them. Your father’d been on bereavement leave, and when that time ran out, he never went back to work. They haven’t seen him and don’t know where he is. They weren't able to reach him either. So the investigator went to your house. It was all locked up. He went around looking in windows, and then he saw a man at the dining room table. He knocked, but the man didn’t acknowledge him.
“The investigator kept knocking for a while, then he got worried that maybe the man needed help. He had some lock picks, and though it’s illegal, he picked the lock on the front door and went in.
“Bryan, this is hard, but your father was dead. He was sitting at the table, but had been there for a long time. There was a bottle of whiskey on the table with him and it was empty. He also had a bottle of vicodin tablets, less than half full.
“He left a note, Bryan. The note didn’t say much. All it said was, ‘Sorry, Bryan.’ That's all he'd written. I’m really sorry too, Byran.”
He got up and put his arms around Bryan.
Bryan looked dazed. He wasn’t crying, he was just staring ahead of him. Josh couldn’t tell if he’d even heard everything.
Dr. Warren was on his knees so he’d be at Bryan’s height. Josh got up and knelt next to him too, laying a hand on his shoulder.
They stayed like that for a couple minutes. Then a tear trickled down Bryan’s face. “I killed him, didn’t I?” he asked no one in particular.
“What do you mean?” asked Dr. Warren.
“I killed him. He was going to rape me, I ran away, and when he realized what had happened, he felt guilty. He felt so guilty, he wrote a note apologizing and killed himself. If I’d gone to the police, if I’d called someone, he’d be alive. He might have had to go to counseling or something, some agency might have had him jump through some hoops, but he’d be alive.”
“Bryan, listen to me.” Dr. Warren sounded very strict, speaking in a no-nonsense voice. “It’s OK for you to be upset. It’s OK to cry. But make sure you hear this: you didn’t kill him. You're not responsible for this. He decided to what he did all on his own. You don’t even know when he wrote the note or what it means. I think it’s more likely what he meant was, he’s sorry he let you down by killing himself. I think, probably, he couldn’t get over your mother’s death, it was just too hard for him, and he killed himself because of that. No, he was apologizing to you for taking his life, for leaving you, for not being able to cope with everything, not for what happened in you bedroom. He might not even have remembered that. The investigator said he’d probably been dead for about two weeks. So he didn’t do this right after you left. From the bottles he found and the smell of booze in the house, the investigator thought he’d been drinking pretty steadily for a long time. But the last thing he did was write that note. You were what he was thinking about, Bryan. I think he felt badly about letting you down. Killing himself was his own decision.”
Bryan didn’t speak again for several minutes. Dr. Warren kept holding him, as best he could with Bryan being seated in his chair. Bryan eventually leaned over so he was resting in Dr. Warren’s arms.
“What will happen to me now?” Bryan finally asked, his voice very small and sounding like a young child’s.
“You’ll live with us, if you want to. You can stay with us forever. We wanted you to do that before we knew about this. You know that. This is tragic, but it doesn’t change where you’re going to live. You belong with us.”
“But what about, well, I don’t know how to say it. This was a whole life, a family, a house, all this and now it’s just not here any more. What happens to all that?”
“I’m not sure what you mean exactly. But yes, there’s a lot to settle. You don’t have to worry about anything, though. You don’t have to do anything. Bryan, I know guys your age start to feel responsible, think they have to be all grown up, but you’re still a kid. This isn’t something you have to worry about. This is adult stuff. I’ll have my lawyer look at all the things that have to be taken care of. There’s probably life insurance, I don’t know if he was renting or buying the house but that has to be seen to, outstanding bills have to be paid, bank accounts closed out, yes, there’ll be things to check into and things to be done. But someone else will do it. All you have to do is come back with us, and decide if you want to live there from now on.”
“I don’t have to decide that at all. I want to live there. I want to live with you and Josh. If I didn’t have you guys now, I think I’d go crazy. I would be, I don't know, I'd be screwed up worse than I am. I don’t know why you’d want me, but I sure want to stay with you.”
“Because we both love you, Bryan. That's why. We love you. You’re one of us now. The three of us are a family. If you'll let me, I’d love to adopt you. If you don’t want that, but would like to use our name and change yours to Warren, that’s OK. You can do whatever you want. And we’ll be here for you. We can talk about all this when you feel up to it. But I want to help you like you helped Josh. I hope you’ll let us do that. I want us all to be a family, Bryan.”
“You already have helped me. I was telling Josh that last night. Can we go home now?” I want to lie down.”
----  ----
It was a week later that they met with Dr. Warren’s lawyer in his office. During the week, there had been a funeral which had been sparsely attended. Bryan had listened to the service and been driven to the cemetery and watched his father being lower into the ground. He didn’t cry during any of it, which worried Josh. Josh stayed as close to him as he could the entire time, trying to keep some physical contact with him constantly. He noticed, if he moved away slightly even for a second, Bryan leaned into him to reestablish the contact. Bryan didn’t say anything, but obviously needed and appreciated the closeness.
Dr. Warren’s lawyer had a large, expensive looking office in a new building downtown. He was a short, stout man with only a fringe of hair remaining on his head. He had a dour expression on his face when he walked out of his office to greet them, but smiled briefly as they all shook hands. He led them into his office, then closed the door and asked them to sit.
“I guess I should address myself to Bryan. Or should I call you Mr. Fletcherson?”
Bryan smiled. It wasn’t the smile Josh had come to love. Bryan had been reserved since learning of his father’s death. Some of the spark that was part of his personality seemed to have gone out. He was coping, but was somehow diminished. Now, he smiled diffidently at the attorney and said softly, “Bryan is fine.”
“Good. OK. I can make this pretty brief. There isn’t too much to cover. First, your dad had life insurance, and while your mother was the principal beneficiary of the policy, you were listed as the secondary beneficiary and so the policy resolves to you. It was for a sizeable amount of money, but was voided because it specifically excluded payments if the cause of death was suicide. Of course, if you want to, we could contest that, but this is pretty standard language and policy that’s been tested in court and I wouldn’t recommend that. Secondly, the house. It was being purchased, and by my estimate he had about $85,000 equity in it if you wanted to sell it right now. However, that is moot because it had an insurance policy attached to the mortgage which said, in simplifiied language, if the buyer died, the mortgage would be paid off by the insurance. Again, a pretty standard policy, but this one did not include the suicide exclusion. So, instead of just receiving $85,000, you, the sole heir of your father’s estate, now own the house free and clear. Except you have to pay taxes on it.
“Next. You mother died with a life insurance policy that has been funded in favor of your father. That was the money that was going to allow him to keep drinking, to no longer have to work, at least for quite a while. It was a policy for $500,000, and a check was drawn for that amount and sent to your father. We found the check in his bedroom, not cashed. With that much money, the probate people get interested. They would like to put a sizable tax lien on it. I would like them not to. This is an area I think you should hire me to pursue, me or another tax or probate lawyer, of course. Even with a lawyer’s fee taken out, you’ll almost certainly end up with more money than if you just allow them to do as they’d like with the money.
“Next. There was no will, but you are the sole heir, and the effects of the estate belong to you, after probate. The probate is tricky. You were the secondary dependent on your mother’s policy, and even with the check never having been cashed, a case can be made that the check isn’t part of your father’s estate but comes directly to you as the surviving dependent at the time the cash is tendered. All this will have to be worked out.
“All right, and finally, the last financial matter. Dr. Warren authorized me to close out all debts owed by your father. He paid for them out of his pocket, and when I told him they should come from the estate for tax reasons, he told me he’d argue with you about that, that it wasn’t my concern, he simply wanted to get settled what could be settled, so I am stepping away from that. All the assets of the estate, which are not large but include his car, will be tied up while we settle probate, but eventually will belong to you.
“Bryan, no matter what happens, you now have some substantial wealth in the form of some considerable cash, a house and a car.
“Now, the last item. I looked at your status. As a minor, you need a guardian, or someone to look after your interests. That can be handled in a number of ways. Dr. Warren has stated that at the moment, you are legally assigned to him by the CPS based on his emergency foster parent credential. I can probably get that changed from an emergency assignment to a permanent one. Dr. Warren has notified me he is willing to make that commitment a legal one. He has also told me he would like to adopt you. Without that, a legal guardian who would protect and manage your assets for the next few years is needed. The choice is yours. Again, if you’d like to hire your own attorney, that is fine. Do you wish to tell me what you’d like to do in this matter?”
Bryan had known this was coming. Dr. Warren had told him what they were going to talk about today, and that he’d be given the choice of what he wanted to do. He hadn’t asked him what he had decided, just prepared him for the question.
Bryan spoke up, his voice now neither nervous nor hesitent. He first looked at Josh, then at Dr. Warren, and said, with great resolve in his voice, “I would like to be adopted. I would like to be Bryan Warren. And I would like to do it as soon as we can. I’m tired of calling him Dr. Warren. I want to call him Dad.”