I want to thank everyone who has read the story. I also want to thank those who have emailed. It means a lot hearing from you. Please continue reading! There is a lot more to come. I own all rights to this story.
If you don't like this type of story or you don't agree with the issues in this story, then please feel free to read elsewhere.
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None of the characters are based on real people nor are they meant to resemble any living or dead people.
This story contains some adult language as well as sex, or some hints of sex. I cannot promise that there will be sex in each chapter, but if you find my writing to be offensive or distasteful in any way, you're visiting the wrong website and need to move on.
There is no doubt about it; I have shed more tears on Love Me than I have with any other story. Guys, I know that the way Riley's injuries and recovery are portrayed are not realistic as far as time goes or in many other ways. I took a little break to remind myself of where I might want to take things. I am not a doctor, I don't know anyone who has suffered through a T.B.I. (Traumatic Brain Injury) nor have I suffered through one myself. Please don't hate on me too much.
Copyright © 2013, 2014
Andrew meets Ethan at the airport, and the couple makes out for a few minutes. Apart from the fact that Ethan is not being faithful to his boyfriend, he is more affectionate with Andrew, and much more affectionate than Ethan and Caden have been since Riley moved into the apartment. Andrew loves Ethan, but he is hoping that his man will leave Caden. Calling Caden Ethan's boyfriend makes Andrew a bit unhappy. He didn't like being around Caden at the hospital, because it was a reminder that Ethan wasn't free to be his boyfriend. Unlike Ethan, Andrew understands the situation with Riley and tries to change the subject whenever the teen is brought up. After driving off, Andrew rests his hands on the steering wheel and then smiles at the man next to him.
"How was your photo shoot?"
Now normally, he would not answer this question, or if he would, he do nothing but complain about the trip. This time though it is different; instead of Caden asking, it's Andrew, so Ethan takes a different approach in replying. He decides to gladly share how he feels about the shoot, and why shouldn't he? He likes this guy. Ethan has not found one thing wrong with Andrew, compared with the flaws that he's found in Caden.
"The shoot, was awesome. The photographer was really into his craft, everyone did their jobs, and best of all, the models were on time and everything went great."
"Well, I'm glad that everything went okay. I just wish that you were coming back to my place."
Ethan leans in and kisses his man on the lips, and he enjoys the feel of his lover's lips against his. It caught Andrew off guard, but he is more than willing to accept the kiss, and he quickly kisses his man on lips.
"Are you tired?"
Ethan knows that Andrew wants him to come home with him, but he also knows that is not happening. Ethan wants to sleep in his own bed tonight, even if it means putting up with the idiot, Caden, and his brother. Andrew may not understand how hard a shoot can be, but he certainly understands how to be a boyfriend. They just seem to communicate better and more often and that really makes Ethan happy because Caden holds too much back. In truth, it is not that Caden communicates poorly; it is that Ethan gave up listening, because this side fling is working out perfectly.
"Yeah, I want to sleep in my bed after sleeping in that uncomfortable hotel bed."
Andrew gives a sad face and it melts Ethan's heart. But Andrew still wants Ethan in his bed. With his boyish charms failing him, Andrew gives up trying to convince his lover that he should be with him in bed. He knows that Ethan will seek him out at some point, and they will be in his bed or out on some magical date.
"Why don't you get a nap in while I'm driving?"
Ethan gives his boyfriend a sweet smile as he reaches down to lean the seat back, so he can sleep. The seat leans back and the combination of being with Andrew and being in the car put him to sleep in five minutes. Andrew enjoys the peace of being around Ethan. He loves watching him sleep, there is something romantic about it. He hates silence and would rather have his man awake and talking, rather than sleeping. The drive will take at least 45 minutes, depending on the traffic. When the car stops at Ethan's apartment building, Andrew wakes Ethan up.
"Well, can I have good-bye kiss?"
Ethan is still a little out of it from his nap, but he manages to find Ethan's lips. After the kiss, Andrew unlocks the doors so they can get out and he opens the trunk. Two large pieces of luggage and a small carryon bag are taken out of the trunk by the model. Ethan looks at the perfection in front of him and smiles because he's hatching a little plan. He knows Caden is home and he knows that seeing the two lovers together would drive Caden crazy.
"Can you help me get my bags to the apartment?"
Andrew does not want to confront his boyfriend's other lover; still he would love to see Ethan's apartment, but he does not need a fight to breakout.
"Nah, I think, I'll just head home."
Feeling defeated, Ethan grabs his luggage and moves towards his lover.
"I love you, Andrew."
They kiss each other good night and then they exchange a hug before separating. Andrew hates it when Ethan walks away from him only to go to Caden.
Ethan uses his key to get into the building and then he heads for the apartment. Arriving at his door, he sets his luggage down and sighs as he unlocks it. First thing he sees is Riley in the living room and Caden at the dining room table. He wants to make it to the bedroom without being pestered, and at first, no one seems to notice him, but as he turns to head into the bedroom, he sees Caden following him.
`Looks like I don't get to be alone.'
He enters the bedroom and places his luggage on the bed, and as he starts unzipping a piece of luggage, Caden enters the room and stands there looking at his boyfriend. Doing his best to ignore Caden, Ethan starts unpacking. The first piece of luggage is already unpacked and its content put away before Caden speaks.
"So, are you going to continue ignoring me?"
"I wasn't ignoring you. I was trying to get my stuff put away."
He smiles to himself knowing that he lied, but the scary thing is that Caden bought the lie. Without saying a thing, Caden leaves Ethan to his unpacking. Without a pair of glaring eyes digging into him, the job at hand becomes much easier.
* * *
Tired of being in the bedroom, Ethan grabs a book and sits out in the living room.
"Hi Eth-an, ho-w was your...your shoot?"
All at once, Caden's ears perk up, wanting to hear this exchange. Ethan decides that he has no reason to ignore Riley's question.
"It was fun. Did you have fun while I was gone?"
`Is this really my Ethan?'
Suddenly, Caden is beside himself; now he feels bad for talking about him at Jared's place. Riley smiles at Ethan and says "Yeah."
Ethan has stopped reading so he can pay attention to Riley. Of course, this conversation is a way to play with Caden's heart. Not wanting to make Ethan think that he was ignoring him, Caden came into the room and sat beside Ethan.
"Your trip was good, huh?"
Ethan does not want attention from Caden right now, but he will be nice. It's only a matter of time before they split up anyway, so he sees no reason to be cold.
"Yeah, I had a good time. Did you miss me?"
Now, he is pushing it because if he really missed Ethan then he should have called while his boyfriend was away on his shoot.
"You could have called. What's up with that, huh?"
Suddenly, Caden is feeling a bit trapped by his boyfriend's question. He knows that Riley doesn't hate Ethan and he does not want to make a scene in front of him.
"We didn't say good-bye on the best of terms, so I wasn't sure if you wanted me to call."
Ethan leans in and whispers, "I didn't want you to call me." Ethan's comment stuns Caden, and he doesn't know what to think. He thought things might be improving after the shoot, from the way that his boyfriend was talking to Riley. Why would he be nice to Riley and then treat him like crap? He would do it just to get under Caden's skin, and then he will tear the guy apart and then break up with him and run to Andrew.
"You don't have to act like this; we could start over and try again."
Ethan just smirks because he knows there is no way that he is going back to the way things used to be.
`If he wants to go back, he can try, but I'm done.'
"Are you an idiot?"
Caden does not say a thing in response to the comment, and Ethan is tired of the mess, so he stands up to walk out of the living room.
Riley is coloring in a coloring book that Caden bought, hoping to encourage him to use his hands to hold a pencil or crayons. Riley's feet are out behind him as he colors, but Ethan is not paying attention to where he's walking and ends up tripping over Riley's feet. Luckily, no one is hurt; however, it doesn't stop Ethan from showing his true nature to Riley once again.
"Hey, ass, didn't you see that I was trying to get through?"
One thing the adult is forgetting is that it's easier for the teen to get down, but harder for him to stand back up. Once again, Ethan's lack of compassion towards Riley is nothing short of amazing. Riley was sensitive prior to the attack, but now he is even more sensitive, and Ethan's insult brings the teen to the point of tears. Slowly, the teen gets up with no help from Ethan who is closer to him than his brother. As he is getting to his feet, Ethan stands there and smiles. It is easy to see how much he dislikes the teen, and Caden misses none of this interaction. Caden is waiting for his brother to either get up on his own or ask for help. Riley doesn't ask for help though, at least not verbally, instead he stares at Caden. In a heartbeat, he steps up and helps his brother get to his feet, and once Riley is standing, Caden gives Ethan the evil eye because of the way he treated his brother.
"Don't give me the dirty eye; your brother shouldn't have had his feet out in the middle of the floor."
Caden did not say a thing to Ethan; he did not want to give Ethan any reason to fire another insult back at Riley.
"Your brother is a cripple and a retard."
"Stop!" Caden yells, interrupting Ethan's comment. Something snaps in Caden's mind, but now is not the time for a fight. The pain in Riley's face means nothing to the ass in the living room.
Riley is upset and he does not want to be around Ethan because everything that he said is true, or at least that is what the teen thinks. The problem is, only one person sees a cripple or a person who seems to have learning problems. Absolute pain is griping Riley's heart. He takes off towards his room as he breaks away from Caden with tears streaming down his face. Entering his room, the door slams and then he climbs into his bed.
Caden finally feels that he can tell Ethan off for what he said about his brother.
"Don't you get it? In his mind, he is crippled, and he knows that he's different now. He doesn't need you rubbing his problems in his face, and yet every fucking time you get upset with him, that's exactly what you do."
For his brother's sake, he keeps his volume down, even though he feels like yelling. It is easy to understand how Ethan could be upset, there was not much open communication when it came to Riley moving into the apartment. His boyfriend has every right to be angry, but the anger should be focused on Caden and not on Riley. One thing is sure, Caden to ready to walk.
"Yeah, I get it. I get that you are blind and stupid. You can't see your brother for what he really is - a parasite. Since he's moved in you hardly spend time with me, there is no spontaneity, and all we seem to do is fight."
He's right, there has not been much spontaneous sex or random dates since Riley's attack and subsequent arrival at the apartment; no one is going to argue that point.
"My brother is not a parasite. He needed a place to stay and I stepped up."
Ethan just shakes his head in disbelief at what Caden said.
"Yeah, you stepped up and I was expected to follow your example. Sorry, I couldn't do that and I won't do that. You have no one to blame but yourself and your brother."
`He's right. I did expect him to go along with my plans.'
"I'm sorry, but my decision was the right one and I will defend it and my brother."
Ethan is done with being Caden's boyfriend, and he has decided to do something about it.
"Your brother and your decision are going to cost you."
`Is he threatening me?'
Ethan has never been one to make any threats to his boyfriend before now. His voice says it all and Caden can only guess what the threat really entails.
"Why do you feel the need to threaten me?"
Nothing was said in reply to that comment, and at this point, no one has anything to say about the situation.
A phone is being pulled out of its owners pocket and it happens right in front of Caden. Ethan goes through his contacts and hits Andrew's number. It is time for him to get his love out in the open and hopefully put an end to this façade. The last few months have been a joke, and the only one who can see it is Ethan.
"You must really miss me."
He stares at Caden with a cold look on his face, but right now, he wants to hit Caden where it hurts, and that means the heart.
"I love you. And I'm coming to see you."
Caden knows that the relationship has seen better days, but this is bull. He has been cheating and it does not matter for how long, all that matters is that he did and is cheating on him. If only things were more amicable with them, then maybe things truly might have been different.
"I love you too, but why are you coming to see me?"
Again, Caden stares at the guy who will soon be his ex, and he can see the deceit in his eyes.
"Well, the other person in my life is no longer in my life, and tonight I want to see the one person I love."
Caden's heart is torn to shreds, but for now, he holds back the tears and the anger. He's angry with himself for not seeing Ethan's flaws earlier and for not being a better boyfriend.
"I'm going to pack an overnight bag, and I'll leave here and head to your place."
`How could he just up and leave me?'
He could have dealt with the issues between Ethan and Riley and between Ethan and him by talking things out, but not now, not with this other guy in the picture.
"Okay, but I'm only half way through my shift, so I can't meet you, and my break is over in three minutes, so I am not sure how you'll get into my apartment, but I can't wait to see you, Ethan."
Ethan smiles triumphantly "Bye, Babe!" Ethan doesn't see anything wrong with the cheating or the phone call, and it was his way of breaking up with Caden. He's leaving, and Caden can live with his decision to take care of Riley.
Bringing Riley to live with him changed everything, but unlike Ethan, Caden has never once blamed his brother or put labels on him. He's well aware that having his brother living with him was difficult for him and for Ethan. As much as he loves Ethan, that love has been tested repeatedly. Now that Ethan's cheating is out in the open, it is time he moved on from Ethan. The future is more uncertain now that the ass is out of the picture. Amongst the heartache, Caden needs to find a place for him and his brother to live. Caden is afraid of the future and yet he would rather find a way to make this work than split up with Ethan. Sadly, this relationship is no longer worth fighting for anymore, and now there are only two people worth fighting now - Riley and him. Ethan has left him, so he refuses to fight for someone who truly does not love him. All he can do now is push forward, so with no place to go, finding a new home is the top priority.
Ethan has left the apartment for now, so Caden returns to his bedroom. He leaves the door open and makes his way to the bed. As he lies there, he looks around the room, hoping to see something that will give him some inspiration to make the first steps to fixing this mess. Everything he sees reminds him of his ex. There is a picture of Ethan and him taken on their first date, and Caden reaches out and turns it around so he does not have to see it.
Suddenly, "Ca-den!" echoes through the apartment as his brother yells.
"I'm in my bedroom, Riley."
Slowly, Riley's face appears in the doorway. Riley's eyes are red from crying, but he has calmed himself down quite a bit.
Ethan's actions and words have affected both Riley and Caden. Caden can see the pain in his brother's eyes, and Riley can feel the ache in his brother's heart. Caden and Riley are sitting on the bed relaxing and waiting for the first person to start talking.
"He-`s gone... Ethan's gone?"
Ethan's leaving is a blessing for Riley because now he can freely move about the apartment.
"Yeah, he went to his boyfriend."
Riley looks confused; he does not get the whole break up thing at the moment. Caden can tell that Riley is trying to make sense of what he just said, so he's giving him time to think over it.
"We aren't boyfriends anymore. We don't have to worry about what he says or does, okay?"
`If Caden tell-s me not... not to worry, then... then he should-n't be... be worried.'
Caden is worried, but the fact that he's worrying is causing Riley to stress. Riley moves his hand and knocks a picture frame off the end table. Caden reaches down and picks it up while his brother examines the picture next to it. It shows Caden with a guy who has short hair and looks familiar to Riley, but he doesn't recognize the person. Caden now has the picture back where it belongs and notices his brother staring at the photo.
"Who... who is this?"
Riley points at the other guy in the photo, so in his mind, his brother knows exactly which guy he's talking about in his question.
Curiosity cured, Riley turns his attention back to his brother.
"Are you... you okay?"
Something clicks in Caden's heart, the pain rushes out, and tears start to run down his face, which scares the teen next to him. Riley tries to hug his brother, but Caden pulls away, not wanting to be touched.
Leaving the room, Riley walks to the living room where Caden has written out phone numbers on a white poster board. Picking up the handset, he looks over the list until he comes to Ryan's name and number. Entering, the number into the phone, he hopes Ryan answers.
"Hello, what's going on Caden?"
"Ryan, I... I'm sc-ared."
Ryan worries that something is wrong with Riley.
"Why are you scared?"
"E-E-Ethan's is gone and... and Caden is... crying."
"Are you hurt at all?"
He's not hurt, but he is sad. Caden needs someone to listen to him.
"No... not... hurt."
It is a relief to hear that Riley is not hurt, but something is still wrong.
`How do I help him?'
The idea hits him to talk it out with a friend, but he has to keep the conversation focused on the issues at hand.
"As long as you are safe, let your brother worry about Ethan, okay?"
For a few seconds, Riley is silent as he thinks over the question. He may go along with Ryan's suggestions, but hearing his brother's sobs are eating at him.
"O-okay, I will."
"Good, now are you good?"
"Yeah, I'm... I'm good."
Ryan takes Riley's words as the truth, but he needs to let his friend go, so he can have dinner. Riley can hear voices on the other side of the apartment's door and one of those voices belongs to Ethan.
"E-E-than is... here. I'm... I'm going to... to my room."
Ryan knows that there have been issues between Caden and Ethan "Good idea." Riley should not be in the middle of their feud and it's painful to see this guy hurting because he's caught in this trap. Riley feels more secure in his room, so he decides to end the call.
"Bye, Ryan, I'm okay, so... so I... I let you go."
Ryan smiles because there is something sweet in Riley's voice, and it feels good to hear something that only he can hear.
"Okay, buddy. Remember, I'm always here."
Ryan means what he said; he'll always be there for Riley.
The call ends and Riley is thrust back into the situation, and a part of him is trembling. He can hear the footfalls outside his room and he lies down on the bed and readies for whatever may come.
Suddenly, there are voices. One is Ethan's; the other voice he knows, but he can't put a name or a face to it. Ethan walks past Riley's room and enters the master bedroom where he finds Caden still weeping.
"Really? Get over it. I have... and I won't be crying."
He puts his emotions into physical activities like working out or sex. Caden looks up with red eyes and tear-streaked cheeks and looks up into Ethan's cold eyes.
"You're... an ass, a real piece of work."
A smirk washes across Ethan's face as he opens the closet door.
"So how long have you been seeing what's-his-name?"
Ethan turns to his ex and gives him a death glare, and he can feel something burning in his bosom.
"Don't you dare bring him into this argument."
Ethan doesn't want anyone to tarnish Andrew's name; his man does no wrong and those who try will be put in their place, even an ex-boyfriend.
"Why shouldn't I?"
"He isn't the reason that we broke up."
Caden knows that Ethan blames Riley and him for the mess, and Caden blames Ethan and, of course, the other guy.
"You're just trying to place the blame on someone other than your brother. I won't allow it."
Riley needs to use the bathroom, so as he makes his way across the hall, Ethan spots him.
"He's the person to blame for our break up."
He points out the doorway at Riley and immediately the young man wants to run and hide.
"Your brother, your defective brother is why I broke up with you."
He walks back to the closet and grabs two more of his shirts and as he walks out of the room, he turns and just stares at Caden. Caden gets up and chases after him, but he stops at the bedroom door. Being curious, he walks out of the bedroom and down the hall until he can see into the living room. To his surprise, Ethan is not alone; with him is a guy that he saw at the hospital. In fact, he's one of the nurses who worked in Riley's room, and it is ironic that the nurse is dating Ethan. Andrew and Ethan walk out the door and it hits Caden that he is free of the jerk. Now he is worried about how the fight might have affected Riley.
Caden walks towards Riley's room, but he's not in there, so he leaves the room and notices that the bathroom door is closed. He knocks quietly and then listens for any sounds, but the only sound is Riley's sobs mixed with him talking to himself. The argument and the fact that Ethan blamed Riley for the breakup helped to bring the teen to tears. Opening the door, he finds his brother sitting on the toilet, fully dressed, with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, but Ryan does not even look up at his brother.
"Riley, look at me."
Glancing upwards, he looks right into Caden's face.
"Listen to me; none of what Ethan said is true. Our breaking up is not your fault. Do you understand?"
Riley doesn't say a thing to his brother, nor does he smile at him; he is more or less ignoring Caden.
Again, he looks up at his brother and, again, he says nothing. As Caden looks into his brother's face, he can see that Riley's eyes are still red from crying.
"Not... my fault?"
"You didn't do anything wrong. Ethan is flat out wrong. How about we go into the living room?"
Reaching a hand out, help is given to Riley so he can stand up. Once he is to his feet, the brothers head off towards the living room.
"Is... is E-Ethan com-ing back... back?"
"He might come back, but we might be leaving."
The look on the teen's face is priceless; at first he looks sad, but then his face changes to happiness.
Seeing his brother smile helps Caden relax, so he decides to make a phone call.
"Caden, what's up?"
"You aren't going to believe this, but Ethan and I are done."
`Finally, now I have a chance to see if we can get together.'
Jared isn't' sure if he believes Caden or not over the whole "Ethan being done" thing, but he hopes this means that the friends might come together.
"Are you serious?"
Caden frowns as he readies to answer the question.
"Yes, he broke it off. The louse was cheating on me with one of the nurses from the hospital, so I really don't want to stay with him anyway."
Jared is glad that his friend is finally done with Ethan and the whole cheating issue; maybe that will keep them apart.
"It's about time. That guy is a walking pile of crap."
Caden did not attempt to defend his ex-boyfriend. What was said is completely true, so there was no point in trying to come up with an excuse to defend him.
"So what are you going to do?"
The answer is not an easy one for him to voice, because he has never had to face this issue.
"I'm only sure of one thing, and that is that Riley needs to get out of here."
The apartment is no place for him or for Riley and besides, being around Ethan would be incredibly awkward, now that he knows about Andrew.
"Remember, you can stay with me."
He does not want to use his friendship to his advantage, but he has no other choice.
"I can't think of anything else, so I'll take you up on your offer."
Jared is glad to hear that Caden has accepted his offer, but at the same time, he is sorrowful for his friend.
"Do you need anything else?"
Caden thinks over the question, and he decides that he could use some help in moving.
"Would you be willing to help me pack up my stuff?"
He didn't need to be asked to help, but it feels good knowing that his friend is reaching out to him. It's a relief that Jared is willing to help when Caden needs him.
"Are you free to come now?"
Jared smiles because he knows that this trip is just one more chance for him to see Caden.
"Cool, then I'll see you when you get here."
Jared is still smiling, but Caden is not smiling at all; he is dreading the move. It would be nice if the friends were meeting under better circumstances.
Jared shows up twenty minutes later with boxes and garbage bags to put stuff in for packing. And without much being said, they move to Riley's room to pack his belongings first. Much of the talking revolves around the move, but Caden is worrying about Riley. He should not be worrying, because he knows everything will turn out okay. Instead of worrying, he puts his energy into the move. The furniture is going to be moved by professionals and then placed in storage until they have a place of their own. They have five more rooms to pack, the master bedroom, Caden's corner of the office, the bathroom, the living room and the dining room/kitchen. It takes several hours to pack the brothers' belongings. Caden and Jared now move the boxes to either Jared's or Caden's car. When the cars are loaded up, Caden gets a little sad as he realizes this portion of his life is coming to a close.
Hey, Chuck here, if you liked this story (or even if you didn't like this story), feel free to email me at: Hnstskr4@aol.com. I will do my best to answer all emails in a timely manner.
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