This is a story of friendship, commitment, love and trust. It is not a sex story. However, this story deals with love between male teenagers. If you are offended by stories involving love between two teenage boys, please do not read this story. There may be some sex scenes in this story; however, sex is not the main theme. If you are under age 18 or 21 or it is illegal to read this story where you live, don't read it. Reproducing this story for distribution without the owner's permission is a violation of that copyright.


Sam Lakes

samlakes86 at yahoo

M.a.i.n.e. Frame PC



by Sam Lakes

Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Six

Colt knocked on the door and Alex answered.

“Hi” Alex said.

“Hi” Colt said.

They both stood there looking at each other and then both started to say something at the same time.

“Sorry. Go ahead” said Colt.

“No. I interrupted you, go ahead” said Alex.

“I just wanted to apologize for not being honest with you…I was afraid you wouldn’t like me if you knew. But that was unfair of me, and I ended up the looser. I think you are far more intelligent than me. I’m just smart when it comes to computers and science, but not when it comes to fashion, or people and probably thousands of other things that are far more important than computers. You are special to me and most of all I want to know about you, and the things you like, and the things you hate and the things that matter to you. I promise I will be totally honest with you about myself. I am working on my Ph.D., actually I’m finished and just goofing off helping Keith, and when the police picked me up I was drunk and running around, only not in my underwear. I was naked as a jay bird singing ‘Born to be Wild’!” Colt went slightly red in the face.

Alex smiled and then laughed “I’m sorry, but that’s so funny and cute.”

Colt smiled, “Ruthie didn’t think so, at least not at the time. She laughed today when I got upset about her telling you I was naked. I thought you’d think I was perverted.”

“No. I just think it’s funny. I mean you were only twelve and it only happened once, and you were drunk! Have you done it again?”
“No, that was the only time I ran around naked. I got drunk a couple of weeks ago, but this time I promised Keith that I’d never do it again, and besides Bob at the Frat house said I couldn’t come back until I could hold my liquor.”

“Why did you do it? Why did you get drunk?” Alex asked.

“I thought it would make me dumber. Alcohol destroys brain cells. But it didn’t work the next day after I got over my hangover I solved a problem I’d been working on for weeks. I just wanted to be normal.”

“Colt, nobody is normal. Everybody is exceptional in some way! You’ve got a great gift or talent, why and how isn’t important. What’s important, is how you use that talent. Never minimize yourself or your abilities.”

“I owe you an apology. I lead you to believe I was interested in computers - programming. But I’m not. I was just trying to impress you because I wanted you to like me. I like drawing, except not with a computer - I’m too used to drawing with pen and ink. I like sketching, fashion designing and coming up with new designs of my own. There are other things I like, like photography.”

Alex continued “I got upset with my Mom when she told me she wanted me to meet you on Sunday. I felt like she was playing matchmaker and the last thing I wanted was to get involved with anyone. Next year, I’m going to California to study, and I didn’t want anything to stand in my way. Then, when I saw you in the Mall, I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.” Alex blushed slightly and smiled. Colt smiled back.

“When we started talking and getting to know each other, it was like a part of me said to hell with California, but only a part of me. I guess I used your not telling me the truth as a reason; as a way to escape and at the same time I really liked you.”

Colt smiled “I think you should go to California. You should always go for your dreams; otherwise your life could end up as one big nightmare. It’s like if you said ‘Colt I love you, but you’ve got to give up working with Keith’. I’d tell you to take a hike, with a few extra expl etives that would turn a sailor’s face red. Ruthie’s right. We have to be honest with each other, and ourselves. I have to accept you as you are and I have to let you be and do what you want, not what I want. Maybe you’ll go out to California and meet the real boy of your dreams and maybe not.”
“Maybe the same will happen for you.”

“Yeah, maybe, and maybe not. Maybe when we’re older we’ll meet at a fancy cocktail party and realize we really are meant for each other, fall madly in love again and get married and have kids.”

“Yeah, have kids?”

“Yeah, you know adopt.”

“Anyway, I’d like you to be my boyfriend. My first real boyfriend, my first romance so that when I’m old and gray I can think back to these times and remember the enjoyable things we’ll have done this next year or however long it lasts.”

“You are so adorable and sweet” Alex said.

“I know. I was born that way” Colt smiled.

Alex leaned toward him and they slowly kissed.

“Excuse me, you two, but I think it’s time we got going” said Maureen with a smile, then she dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex and dramatically sniffed “You two are so sweet, I wished I had video taped this reunion.”

“Mom!” whined Alex.

“Yeah, Maureen, stop teasing us. Just remember back in the twenties when you were…Ow!” Colt exclaimed as Maureen punched him in the arm then he laughed.

“Maureen, you walk ahead of us” said Colt.

“Well, I thought you two could lead the way. I don’t know where your house is.”

“No way. You in front, I’m not going to have you walking behind us saying ‘Oh aren’t they so cute! Look they’re holding hands’ sniff, ! Sniff! Boohoo! Oh, look they’re kissing!!’ I’ll tell you which way to go. I like my privacy.”

“Mom, please!” said Alex.
“Oh, okay!” she said as she move ahead of them.

Colt took Alex’s hand, and they walked slowly, behind Maureen; occasionally stopping for a brief and innocent kiss.

When Maureen got to the corner of Pinehurst and Cleveland Colt giggled and said ‘Turn left. It’s the third house on the right!” As she was walking up the drive she realized that Colt and Alex were not close behind her. They had gone right and were standing in the drive of the third house on the left watching her and laughing. She’d been duped! “You little …!” she said quietly to herself and then began laughing with them.

Ruthie came out to see what Colt was laughing about.

When Maureen got near them, Colt laughed and said “That’s what you get for punching me in the arm.”

“You definitely have your mother’s sense of humor!”

“You knew my mom? Oh, duh! That’s right. You, Ruthie and my mom, back in the old days…I have question for you two. Did you have to run really fast back then?”

“Run fast?” asked Ruthie.

“Yeah, run fast! You know, to keep from getting stepped on by the dinosaurs!” Colt laughed and started to duck, lost his balance and fell down on the ground, pulling Alex along with him, at which point everyone laughed.

Colt heard a motor scooter coming up the road and it was Alan and Arbor. They pulled into the drive as Colt and Alex stood up. Colt took Alex by the hand and ran with him over to Arbor and Alan.

He stood there as proud as could be with his arm around Alex as Arbor and Alan got off the scooter and took off their helmets.

“Hi, Boy Wonder” said Alan “And who is this cuttie?”

“Alex Kidner, this is Alan Benison, another medium smart person. Alan this is Alex, he’s cuter than you, and much smarter!” Alan shook Alex’s hand.

“This is my very best friend and mentor in everything except computers, Arbor Maine, or you can call him Biii.”

“Watch it, Geekoid!”

“Bitch Fucker!” responded Colt.

“Hi, Alex” Arbor shook his head then punched Colt hard in the arm.

“Ow! That fucking’ hurt.”

“Ah! Ah! Ah! Watch the language; you’re in the presence of the innocent. Please forgive my minion,” Arbor laughed, “Soon you come to realize that he’s not really a geekoid, but just an ordinary, common garden variety boy genius. Nothing special. So, is this a sort of boyfriend thing?” Arbor asked Alex.

“Yes” Alex said as he gave Colt a hug with the one arm he had around him.

“This is terrific! I was getting worried! I thought my best friend would try and turn me gay! He’s been looking at my butt a lot lately” Arbor joked.

“Alex, you’ve made a bad choice hooking up with these two. They are insufferable and inseparable.” Alan laughed as he pulled him away from Colt and walked him over towards Ruthie and Maureen.

“Arbor is a neat kid, as is the Boy Wonder. Arbor’s the only person, I’ve ever met, that, takes his best friend out to the movie with his girlfriend. Of course, Boy Wonder usually gets thrown out, after ten minutes, which leaves Arbor free to enjoy the movie and his girlfriend’s company. I nearly broke up with my fiancé because she wanted him, Boy Wonder, to go to the movie with us. He is, to say the least, a royal pain in the patouche except when he’s working. Don’t get the idea I don’t like him. When you really get to know him, he’s a delight, especially if he likes you. There’s just that little period of time when you’d like the world to end and him to be the first to go. If you get through that then you’ll find he’s a charm, a pot of gold, and without him life becomes placid and boring. He talks of Arbor being his mentor it’s actually the other way around and it’s not just Arbor, it is Keith, myself, and many others. He’s got his Masters and I know of at least five other people who would still be struggling with their Masters if he hadn’t helped them, and when I say helped I mean he helped, he advised, he taught, he consulted, badgered and pushed. At one time, he would be at my front door every single day of the week harping on me to do this or that. I would never have gotten my Master’s without his help. I would have quit long ago. He would have had his Doctorate last year, except he was too busy helping others. To him it’s no big deal. I’ve never seen him so happy . He’s a different Colt, not quit so wild. I think you’re a good influence on him. To him, I think you’re the biggest deal in his life. Look at him!”

They stood and looked at Colt and Arbor for a minute “He’s positively glowing, it’s like he’s alive!”

Alex smiled “I just realized what it was that I like about him. It’s not how smart he is or his looks, it’s just him. I can’t explain it. It’s just him!”

Alan looked at Alex and then he hugged him “You are something special too!” Then he continued walking towards Ruth and Maureen with his arm around Alex.

“Is this your son?” asked Alan.

“Yes, he is” replied Maureen.

“He is special. I can see why Boy Wonder is totally in love with him! Hi, I’m Alan Bennison, friend of the family.”

“Oh, I’m sorry! Dr. Maureen Kidner, this is soon to be Dr. Alan Benison” Ruth said introducing the two.

“My pleasure, Maureen. You don’t mind if I call you Maureen, do you? Please call me Alan because I’m not yet a doctor.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Alan.”

“Moved in okay?” asked Ruthie.

“Yes. Thanks to Arbor. Of course, we had to set up my PC. He’s gotten very knowledgeable.”

“Yeah. Thanks to Colt. I think. Colt denies helping him, but then that’s just ‘oh I just gave him a few pointers’ Smith” laughed Ruth.

“Where’s the boss?”

“Out back cooking.”

“Well, I’ll go help” said Alan and he walked off.

“Isn’t he the most beautiful guy you’ve ever seen? He is such a babe! And he’s so smart! I really love him, Arb.”

“You did good, my boy. In the extreme! Hey, we can double-date! We could go to a movie sometime, how about it?”


“Sure, as long as you don’t get us all thrown out.”

“I promise. I’ll behave myself. Besides, it would be too embarrassing and Alex would be upset.”

They walked over to the others.

“Alex, Arbor wants to know if we would like to go to the movies sometime with him and one of his many girlfriends?”

Alex looked towards Maureen “May I, Mom?”

“Yes, but don’t forget we have dinner with that boy what did you call him?” teased Maureen.


“Where’s Dad?” asked Arbor.

“He’s barbecuing” replied Ruth.

Arbor dashed off.

“So, what do you think of Arb?” Colt asked Alex.

“He seems really nice. I like him.”

“He’s the best. What did Alan have to say? What ever he says about me is probably a huge exaggeration. I gave him a few pointers on his Masters and he runs around telling people that I practically did all the work. He seems a bit weird to most, but once you get to know him he’s likable.”

“Well, he’s definitely a fan of yours and I like him. He’s very observant.”

“He works with Ruthie and Keith sometimes.”

“Hey, Geek!” called Arb from their room “Who broke the window?”

“I did!” answered Colt “I wanted to see if Mother could fly! But she was unable to overcome the gravitational pull of the Earth.”

“Does she still work?”

“Yes. Her case is damaged that’s all.”

“Hey, Wonder Boy, are you still on scheduled for a ride tomorrow?”

“Damn! I completely forgot, Alan” Colt said then he turned to Maureen and Alex “I forgot I promised Alan I’d ride with him tomorrow on the Devil’s Creek Trails. What time was I supposed to come over for dinner?”

“Seven” replied Maureen.

Colt turned back towards Alan “See you at 7am!”

Alan gave him a thumbs up.
“We’re mountain biking buddies” said Colt “I’m still learning how to do bunny hops and such, it is awesome fun! Would you like to go?”

“Sounds like fun, but riding down Parker’s Hill was enough for me. Do you plan to enter any of the races?” asked Alexl as they walked to the back yard.

“Someday. I’ve only been mountain biking for a month. Alan’s really good and he’s a good teacher. Hey! Arb, you going tomorrow?”

“You bet!” replied Arb.
Colt was awake at 5a.m. He took a quick shower, did some stretches, and was out the door by 5:30. Alan’s new apartment was ten miles away, and after five minutes, Colt stopped and took off his shirt as he didn’t want to arrive completely soaked. The cool morning air felt good. The occasional smell of fresh brewing coffee was in the air as he raced to Alan’s, pushing himself to his limit. He arrived at Alan’s at six-o-five completely out of breath, as he pounded on the door.

The door opened and a half-asleep Alan appeared “FUCK! I might have known. I’m going back to bed wake me at a decent hour like 8:00…” he muttered as he let the boy in and wandered back to his bed room.

“Eight! You said seven,” Colt said still half out of breath.

“No. You said seven… it’s - it’s six fucking o’clock, Colt!”

“Can I use your shower, I’m sweating like a pig” he asked.

“Sure anything” Alan mumbled and disappeared into his room.

Colt found a towel and proceeded to take another shower. He found Alan had a radio in the shower so he turned it on and found a station he liked and proceeded to sing along as he showered. His voice was still that of a young boy and although he had a fair singing voice, and it carried well, it was not conducive to sleeping. Alan lay in his bed almost asleep when Colt’s voice carried into his room and woke him. He groaned and turned over covering his head and ears to muffle Colt’s singing. It didn’t work. He could still hear the boy’s voice and after five minutes he finally gave up trying to get back to sleep.
“Hey! Caruso! You know your voice is not very conducive to sleep!” Alan said.

Colt stuck his shampoo covered head out from behind the shower curtain “What?”

“Never mind, Wonder Boy. I needed less sleep anyway” Alan said sarcastically.

“Oops! I’m sorry. Look go back to bed I’ll be a quiet as a mouse” Colt apologized.

“Too late, I’m wide awake. So hurry up so I can take a shower. You want some breakfast?”

“Yeah, I’d love some. You want me to cook? I make some killer pancakes!” Colt turned off the water. “Can you hand me that towel?” he asked, sticking his hand out.

“Sure, you make breakfast. When will Arb be here?” Alan inquired as he handed Colt a towel.

“Don’t know. I guess when Keith wakes up and brings him over here. Arb’s too lazy to ride. I’d guess about the time I have breakfast made” laughed Colt.

Colt was right. Just as Alan sat down at the table and started dishing himself up a plate of pancakes and sausages, Arb knocked on the door. Colt went to the door, opened it then slammed the door in Arb’s face and tried to lock it, but Arb, being stronger, managed to keep the door ajar. “Let me in!” he yelled “I smell Coltcakes! I need ‘em”.

“No! No!” squealed Colt, as he fought to close the door.

“Shvinehut! I vant zee Coltski cakes before Ieee dieee of unger!” yelled Arb as he pushed hard on the door. Colt suddenly released the door and Arb fell into the room. Arb got up and pounced on Colt wrestling him to the floor. Colt was almost hysterical with laughter, as Arb sat on his chest tickling his ribs.

“Stop! I’m gonna piss myself!” screamed Colt
“Hey, guys! I’ve got neighbors!” Alan yelled at the two noise makers, who immediately went quiet for a few moments, then got up and joined Alan at the table, still giggling like a couple of six year olds.

“Hi, Alan” said Arb.

“Your brother is correct. You arrived just as we sat down for breakfast. You two never cease to amaze me. Anyway, Wonder Boy, how are you doing on your bunny hops?”

“Damn good! I think I really got it now. I’ll show you after breakfast.” Colt took a huge mouthful of pancakes closed his mouth and looked like a little chipmunk with full cheek pouches, which made Alan laugh. Colt had a quizzical look on his face then, he crossed his eyes, causing the other two to go into fits of laugher. Colt got tickled because the other two were laughing and spat out half what was in his mouth when he swallowed wrongly and started choking. Bits and pieces of pancake flew all over and because he was facing Arb at the time, Arb got hit right on the cheek with a big glob of half chewed, wet and sticky pancake.

“Jesus, Colt!” exclaimed a now very perturbed Arb. Meanwhile, Alan and Colt continued to laugh. Laughter being contagious Arb quickly lost his indignation and started laughing after wiping the stuff off his face.
Colt watched as the two more experienced mountain bikers went racing down the path. Alan maneuvered like a pro as he came to a sharp turn and it looked so effortless and easy. Arb followed; with not quite the same skill level, but still doing well. “Come on wimp boy!” yelled Arb from the bottom of the path.

“Arb, knock it off! Let him go at his own pace. This is not a novice trail by any means” Alan said, but it was too late. Colt pushed off down the trail. As he approached the turn, he realized he was going too fast to make the turn. Ahead of him was a log. To the left of the log was a warning sign. Behind the log was five feet of ground then a fifteen foot drop off then a steep incline, populated by small bushes and rocks, down to the bottom of the trail, where Arb and Alan waited. Colt jumped the log and with horror he saw that his momentum was going to carry him over the small cliff and in a split second he and the bike were airborne. The landing was worse than the fall, whereby, luckily, Colt separated from the bike, and landed face down in a bush; flattening it to the ground, and getting the breath knocked out of him.

Colt lay there for a few moments, trying to breath, then he got up. The upper part of his sleeve was torn and he had a three inch gash on his upper arm which was now bleeding.

“Colt! Are you al right?” called Alan, who was running up to him.

“My bike’s got a scratch on it” Colt complained. He was observably upset, and as usual for him, he was holding back from crying. He was pissed with himself at losing control of the bike, and not being as good as the other two. He picked up his bike and walked past Alan who then noticed Colt’s bleeding arm.

“Colt, your arm is bleeding, let me have a look at it” said Alan.

“FUCK off! It’s fine!” he said angrily as he stormed down to the trail with his bike.

“Colt…” Arb started to say.

Colt glowered at Arb, as he pushed on past him and said “I’m not a wimp.”

“Colt, I was just kidding. Your arm’s is bleeding! Let Alan clean it up.”

Colt ignored him and kept walking his bike back up the trail at a faster pace. He saw that the two were going to follow him and yelled angrily “Stop following me!”

“Colt, knock off the theatrics! I need to take a look at your arm” Alan replied.

“My arm is fine! Leave me alone!” he cried and turned around quickly so they wouldn’t see him crying. His arm was hurting him a lot now, but he was determined to go down the trail again and do it right. He felt the blood trickling down his arm and could feel it’s wetness in his shirt.

Alan got out his small first aid kit and ran off after Colt.

“Look, Wonder Boy, when you ride with me, you follow my fucking orders. Now if you want to do it over that’s fine, but you’re going to let me doctor that arm!” Alan ordered “Now take off the shirt.” He could see Colt’s tears now. Quietly he added, “It’s okay to cry, Colt. I know it’s got to hurt.”

“I messed up, Alan. I was going too fast. I’m not a wimp! I just couldn’t make the turn. I messed up!” Colt cried.

Alan gently turned Colt’s head towards him and looked into the boy’s tear-filled eyes and softly said “Wonder Boy, you did a perfect hop over the log, you went off a twenty foot cliff and you survived. You are NOT a wimp! Jesus, Colt, I’ve never done that!” Alan smiled at the boy.

“You don’t think I’m a wimp?”

“Colt, you are Wonder Boy. Here take off the shirt” he said as he helped Colt take off the torn shirt and then looked at the cut. “Do you remember the day I started calling you Wonder Boy?” Colt shook his head ‘No’, “Well, it was the day you changed my life by getting me to look at my non progress on my Master’s, and when you spent four hours working with me on my thesis. If it hadn’t been for you, I’d be just another Bachelor of Computer Science. I wouldn’t be working and nearly through my Ph.D. I would have given up, but you, you changed that for me. You’re faster than a speeding computer, more powerful than the biggest Cray, able to leap giant problems with a simple algorithm! Give me your water bottle I need to wash this out.” Colt handed him the water bottle.

“You’re going to need some stitches in this” said Alan “I’m going to wrap it up, but we need to get you to a doctor.”

“Okay, but…”

“No. No buts. We’ll come back another day and then you can do it the right way.”


“Did you hear me! I said NO!” Alan said firmly “Arb, come on up”

When Arb arrived he saw the gash that Alan was starting to wrap. He felt bad and sorry that he’d made the wimp comment to Colt and Colt sensed his guilt.

“It’s okay, Dr. Benison is taking care of it” Colt said trying to ease Arb’s guilt.

“I’m sorry, Colt…” Arb started to apologize.

“T’is nothing, my fine fellow! Just a scratch! But if you ask for me on the morrow you will find me a grave man, or should I say boy, na, ow! FUCK it, Alan! Take it easy!” Colt winced with the pain, then smiled “A curse on both your houses! You have made worm’s meat of me!”

“Come on Shakespeare, move it on up the hill” laughed Alan.


“Young man, you go up and lay down for a while” Ruth ordered.

“I’m not tired. It’s not that bad, Ruth” he complained to no avail and walked up the stairs within five minutes he was fast asleep.

“Movie?” asked Arb.

“Sure” replied Alan.

“Mom, I’m going to a movie with Alan” stated Arb, as he stuck his head into the study.

“Okay” she replied.

An hour later Colt woke and walked downstairs. “Where’s Alan and Arb?” he asked.

“They decided to go to a movie. How are you doing, honey?”

“I’m fine. It hurt more to get the stitches than the injury itself. Can I go to the mall?”

“Sure. I’ll just finish up here and take you” she replied.

“I was going to ride. I’ll be careful and besides there aren’t any cliffs near here”

“I don’t know, Colt. You’ve got to take care of that arm.”

“Mom, I’ll be alright. You know if Keith were here he’d make me ride my bike. I wouldn’t have a choice!” Colt smiled at her “When is he due back here?”

“He’s scheduled to arrive back from New York about nine tomorrow night.”

“Can I go to the airport with you?”

“Yes. I think your dad and Keith are having dinner tonight.” Just as she said it she could have kicked herself because she knew Paul was a sore point for Colt. Colt didn’t say a thing, but the look on his face was enough. “Damn! Why did I have to mention Paul!” she thought.

“Later, dudette” commented Colt as he left.

Half way to the mall he changed direction and rode for two solid hours to the trail, listening to music and singing, trying not to think about his Dad. He finally arrived at the trailhead at three o’clock. He rode along the trail to the downhill run which he’d previously come-a-cropper on earlier that day. Slowly and cautiously he went down till he got to the bottom then back up to the top to do it again faster. For an hour an a half he practiced relentlessly; getting to the bottom and nearly running back up the hill until he could do the whole trip perfectly and with speed.

From the bottom he looked up at the fateful cliff he walked up to the area he’d fallen into and discovered that there was only one really bad rock in the way. A crazy idea hit him and after fifteen minutes of digging and pushing and kicking he managed to move the rock out of the way. He found a way up the cliff and went to the top and jumped off landing on his feet, but because he was relaxed when he landed he managed to maintain his balance. With the bike it would be different and he judged that the bike not being a full suspension bike couldn’t take the shock, but if he let the bike fall on it’s own without his weight it would be fine. He went over and over every aspect of the stunt.

Arb and Alan arrived back home at five and Arb ran up the stairs to wake Colt, but discovered he wasn’t there and came back down and walked into the kitchen “Mom, where’s Colt?”

“He went to the mall about one o’clock. Didn’t you see him there?”

“No” Arb said. He looked at Alan and suddenly Alan knew what Arb was thinking.

“Oh, no! Tell me we’re not thinking the same thing Arb!”

“The trail?” said Arb.

Alan nodded “Let’s go. Damn that kid!”

“Wait up you two. What’s going on?” asked Ruth.

“I think Colt’s gone back to the trail ‘cause we didn’t see him at the mall or his bike.”

“Oh, Jesus! I’m coming with you,” she said.

They arrived at the trailhead thirty minutes later and hurried along the trail by foot when they saw Colt trackstanding at the shove-off point with headphones on and singing as loud as he could oblivious to their presence.

Alan yelled “Colt!”, but it was too late, the kid pushed off going hell-for-leather down the trail. With horror they watched him hop the log at full speed and off the cliff. They witnessed the near perfect separation of bike and biker. Alan saw Colt’s muscles tense and extend as he deliberately swung the bike out and away from him. Then his young body disappeared from sight.

Ruth screamed in horror.

Arb felt like his heart skipped several beats and had an instant pang in his gut as he screamed “Colt!”

As they approached the cliff’s edge they heard Colt yell “Yes! I did it!” and as the got near the edge and looked over they saw Colt shirtless with the dressing on his arm picking up his bike.

“Colt!” they called, but he remained oblivious to them as he started sing the next song on his tape. Colt looked up at the cliff and saw the three.
“Hi, mom! Did you see me? It was perfect!” Colt beamed with excitement “Did you guys see me hop the log? I had to give a couple of pedals and then I have to push the bike out in front of me and push it away. That’s the hardest part! But, I did it and I landed boom! Right on my feet! What a rush, man! I can do the turn Alan! I was practicing all afternoon until I got it down really good then I had this crazy idea of jumping off the cliff. Whoa!”

“Crazy is right! Colt get you little butt up here, now!” shouted Ruth who was still recovering from the shock of seeing Colt flying off a cliff.

“Yes, ma’am.” Colt said then he looked at his arm which for the first time since he’d been there was somewhat painful and sure enough he could see the blood starting to seep through. He picked up his shirt and laid it on his shoulder in such away that it hid the bandage. He was hoping she wouldn’t notice.

“Ruthie, I had to do it. I felt like a real wimp this morning. I just had to do it. It’s a man thing. Keith would understand” Colt said as he approached “You understand, right Arb? Right Alan?”

Neither Alan nor Arb responded. They knew better.

“Look, I know to an intelligent lady such as yourself, Ruthie, uh, Mom, this may sound like a lame excuse, but it’s a scientific fact! I studied it at the U’s library, it’s a testosterone thing and I’m nearly at my prime, get horny and all that sort of stuff and well, Keith would surely understand.” Colt knew he was just giving a line of b.s., but he figured it was worth the try, and he used every cute mannerism he had for melting Ruthie’s heart.

Ruthie looked at him “I have never heard such a load of tripe, Colt Smith.”

“No. Honest, I’ve read stuff about testosterone, Mom. At the - am I making things worse?”

She smiled and nodded yes. But he had been successful in calming her down.

“I love you. I beg you; don’t be too harsh on me. I really had to do it.”
“Colt, I can understand coming out here and practicing carefully what you had failed to do this morning, but coming out here, alone, and jumping off a cliff is what I’m pissed about young man. That has nothing to do with being a man!”

“Yes, ma’am” Colt said quietly as if he conceded defeat. “But, you know if Alexander Graham Bell hadn’t worked just a little harder than most he may have just ended up being a regular guy and we might still be using the telegraph today.”

Alan and Arb almost laughed as they knew what Colt was doing - instilling doubt in you opponent.

“Colt, Alexander Graham Bell, didn’t jump off cliffs.”

“I know that. But he did work hard. He always went just a little farther. He’d work long hours when he could have just been like any average person, but then he would have just been average and we’d have never heard of him. All great geniuses push themselves to the limit and beyond! It’s part of them, their inherent beingness. Just like them, I have to do the same! I always have, you know that! Look come with me, let me show you.” Colt took Ruth by the hand and led her down the trail.

“Five bucks says he get a commuted sentence” Arb whispered to Alan.

“Ten bucks says he’ll get her to watch him do it again” Alan responded.

Alan would have won his bet except as Colt turned to go back up the hill, his shirt which had been covering his bandage, fell off revealing the bloody mess.

“Colt! There is no way you are going to do this again today or until that wound is healed! To think I was going to let you do it again! You are grounded from your bike until that arm heals.”

“That’s not fair! Keith wouldn’t ground me” argued Colt.

She took him by his good arm and spun him around suddenly so that he was facing her.

“Colt, I love you dearly, and I’m not angry with you, but I’m also responsible for your well being. Now, if I know Keith, which, in case you have forgotten, young man, I do, I know, without any doubt, he’d do the same thing. It’s back to the hospital for you to get that arm looked at. Arb, come get this bike.”

“I can manage my own bike.” Colt pushed his bike up the trail to Alan’s truck then got in Ruth’s car.

On the way home from the hospital Ruth said “You know, giving me the silent treatment is not going to make me change my mind about grounding you.”

“I know. I wasn’t intending on giving you the silent treatment” he sighed, “I was thinking about Alex. I just remembered I was supposed to have dinner with him and Maureen an hour ago. That shot they gave me is sort of making me sleepy.”

“Well, I remembered for you and called while they were re-stitching your arm.”

“Thanks…” Colt said, as he drifted off to sleep.
Colt walked over to Alex’s. It was late Friday afternoon and he’d spent most of the week hanging out at Biodyne Research with Maureen. The president of the company had given him free access to most areas, because he’d been so impressed with Colt’s natural ability to learn and apply data. Alex had been a little upset, because Colt had spent more time with his mother at Biodyne, than he had with him.

“Hi” he said as Alex opened the door. He stood there with his right hand behind his back.

“Hi” he smiled.

“Oh, here, I bought this for you” he said as he handed Alex a single long stem rose.

“It’s pretty. Thank you.” Alex leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “Come in, Mom’s almost ready. How’s your arm, today?”

“It’s fine. The stitches come out next week. I can’t wait. I hate being grounded from my bike. Alan and Arb are going out tomorrow and I can’t go. It really sucks.”

“Maybe you and I could go to a movie.”
“Yeah , I’d like that.” He smiled “I think I’d rather be with you than a bike. Although, it’s almost a toss up, between Biodyne, and a movie. I’m joking. Don’t hit me remember, I’ve got a wound.” They both laughed.

When they arrived back at the Maine’s, Arb greeted them from the bedroom window.

“How’s the security program working? I’d thought I’d see if Alan can break it!” asked Arb.

“Bet a hundred that he can’t,” wagered Colt.

“You’re on, Boy Wonder!” yelled Alan from inside the bedroom.

Alan had at one time hacked into several Department of Defense computers and had the reputation of being able to crack just about any system. He almost went to prison for it, however, he somehow managed to do a deal with the government.

“Arb make sure he powers off as soon as the notice appears!” warned Colt.
Arbor replied, “Yeah, okay.”

Fifteen minutes later they were in the back yard Arbor tapped Colt on the shoulder.


Colt turned around “Yes?” he said smiling.

Arb looked decidedly worried “Uh…Alan made a bit of a mistake…I was in the bathroom…and he…”

“Arb! Don’t joke with me. I have all my research on Mother. So knock it off!” Colt said, sensing something was wrong.

“It’s not a joke.”

Alan appeared without the PC.

“Alan! Tell me this is a joke! Tell me you didn’t go beyond the screen which says ‘POWER DOWN NOW’!”

“I thought I could get past it - I was almost there” Alan said quietly.
“Bullshit!” Colt screamed at Alan as he ran up to his room.

“Alan, are you serious?” asked Keith.

“I’m sorry…I thought it was just a trick.”

“Oh, Jesus!” cried Keith as he took off after Colt.

Colt stood looking at Mother. Mother was dead. Colt’s program had worked. It was just a pile of useless computer parts. Colt picked up the computer and stormed past Keith.

Alan was standing next to Ruth looking some what upset, and telling her what had happened, when Colt threw the PC at him and it landed at his feet.

“WHY? You are such a fucking moron! Do you have a perverted interest in seeing me FAIL! I hate you!” Colt’s attention turned to Arbor “I told you not to let him go past the point of no return! WHY? Everything is lost! All my research! Designs! Concepts! Everything! Every fucking, goddamn thing! My thesis! Everything!”

“It wasn’t Arb’s fault, he was in the bathroom. Didn’t you have a backup?” asked Alan.

“Oh DUH! What the Fuck do you back up a 100 terabytes of data to floppy disks? It was safe. I thought I made it clear not to go past the POWER DOWN Screen!”

“Colt, I’ve got Mother’s Designs…”

“I don’t give a Fuck!” he screamed “I lost over 4000 hours of work! MY THESIS WAS COMPLETED with all the relevant research data behind it. All my work, everything! Gone! Toast!” Colt looked up at Keith pitifully, as the tears streamed down his face. Colt turned and ran off back into the house then out the front and got on his bike and rode away.

Keith was now pissed.

“Arbor what possessed you to let Alan try and break the security. Didn’t you listen to me when I explained to Colt the security system I wanted? Were you asleep? Or what? Didn’t you warn Alan what would happen?”

“I thought he’d just shut it down!”

“Did you tell him the computer and all the data would be wiped out if he didn’t?”

“No, sir” Arbor’s bottom lip began to tremble.

“Damn it Arbor! You’re just as much at fault as Alan!”

Arbor couldn’t hold back the tears. He had really messed up.

“Just a damn second!” said Ruth.

“If the data was so important, it should have been backed up! Colt is partly to blame for that!”

“Ruthie, Colt had a 100 terabytes or so of data on that PC. They were special drives! What’s he supposed to backup on to? Have you got a 100terabytes free? Look the damage is done and the data is lost and so is the computer. I’m sure he’s got some notes…God what a mess!”

Arbor left the group and went up to his room.

“You were a little hard on him, Keith” Ruthie said.

“Ruth, Colt lost everything!” said Keith.

“Keith it was my fault. Arb did tell. Maybe not how serious, but that’s not his fault. He’s not like Boy Wonder. And you were too hard on him,” Alan insisted.

“Well, I think you should go talk with him. Meanwhile, I’d better make sure Colt’s where I think he is.”

“Can I go with you?” asked Alex.

“He was pretty upset and I usually just let him cool off for a while. He’ll be in tears and he hates people to see him cry.”

“I know he’s upset and I’ve seen him cry…I just feel like I could help.”

Ruth shrugged her shoulders and said “Okay, but if he takes your head off don’t hold it against him.”

Ruth, Maureen and Alex drove off to the CompSci Lab building. They went to her office where she told Alex how to get to the roof.

Alex pushed the door open to the roof. He could see Colt standing near the outside wall looking out over the University. He was crying quietly. Alex quietly walked over to him and gently placed his hand on Colt’s shoulder.

Colt turned and looked at Alex and then embraced him. They stood there silently for several minutes.

“I had a cousin once who got into a bunch of designs I had worked on for hours. She successfully destroyed every last drawing. She was only three at the time and at first I was so mad and so upset. All that work wasted! All that time, wasted! Well, my cousin is still alive and I still love her very much and in a way I love her a lot more. It was really my own fault because in the back of my mind I knew I should have taken more care to protect my work. It’s not like I didn’t know that little kids have a great curiosity.”

“I had no other choice, but to redo all my work, but because I’d already done the work before when I recreated it, it was better than the original; because my thoughts and ideas had already been organized and I threw out a lot of stuff that was unnecessary. I know this isn’t on the scope of what you’ve done, but …”

Colt pulled back, put his fingers gently to Alex’s lips to stop him from saying anymore. He looked at Alex, then managed a slight smile as he thought over what Alex had just said.

He said nothing for ten minutes, allowing Alex to continue holding him in his arms.
“You’re right. It will take time, but not as much time - in fact probably about a quarter of the time. I can build a new Mother, and she’ll be far better than Mother One. I’ve learned so much in the past two years that I won’t be talking terabytes - tera is trillion, quad is quadrillion, peta is quintillion, we’ll be working in petabytes of data and terahertz which means bigger and faster than anything. I can build a better security system one that recognizes the users DNA structure and if it doesn’t recognize the user it just shuts down or just acts like a regular laptop!” Colt was getting excited.

“I love you, Alex Kidner!” he said and then kissed him. “I guess I should apologize, to Alan and Arb for my being so…so reactive, and also to everyone else for ruining the evening. Do you think it’s too late?”
“No.” Alex answered.

Chapter Seven

Colt and Alex ran into Ruth’s Office.

“I’ve got to use the phone to call home. Do you think Alan is still there?”

“Yes” said Ruth who was some what shocked at Colt’s demeanor.

“Arb, my very best friend, is Alan still there?” asked Colt enthusiastically.

“Yes. He’s very sorry, Colt. And so am I.”

“Don’t let him leave. We’ll be home in a flash! Bye!” Colt said and then hung up.

Ruth just looked at him and then at Alex. Maureen did the same.

Colt beamed “Isn’t he just the smartest guy you’ve ever met! I truly love him! Well, come on! It’s Party Time!”

Colt ran into the kitchen, “Benison, stand up!” he yelled.

Alan somewhat taken aback by Colt’s deposition, stood up not knowing what was coming next.

Colt ran at him and leaped into the air saying “Catch!” Alan caught the boy. Alan was six four. Colt was five-six. Colt wrapped his arms around Alan’s neck and looked at Alan’s astonished face and smiled from ear to ear. Colt said “Alan, I’m very sorry. I went a bit nuts there, and really it was my fault for designing such a stupid system. I take back everything I said about you, because they were all lies. Will you forgive me for being so vile?”

Alan looked at Ruth and Maureen; who were smiling, and Alex who was beaming.

Colt smiled “Alex gave me a reality adjustment and I realized it wasn’t your fault I had all that crap on the system and a lot of it was pure crap! But you owe me one hundred bucks, buddy, ‘cause you didn’t break through the security system!”

“Okay, Boy Wonder. Get down and I’ll write you a check” said Alan “And turn around so I can use your back as a table.”

Colt jumped down and turned around dutifully. Alan looked at Alex and mouthed

“Thank you.” Alex smiled back.

After Alan gave him the check Colt turned to Arbor and smiled “Ruthie said Keith chewed your butt off, it wasn’t your fault. It really was my fault.” Arbor shook his head ‘No’.

“Well, anyway, you take this and buy yourself a new butt!” Colt laughed as he gave the check to Arbor. “So, now it’s Party Time! Let’s Party!”

Twenty minutes later, Colt told Keith he needed to talk with him.
Colt closed the door to the study. “I’ve been talking with Maureen about DNA and DNA Testing. I want to build a new and improved version of Mother. When are you going on your business trip?”

“Next Wednesday.”

“In order to get some new chips made when do you need the designs so that they can be being made?”

“Colt, there’s not enough time…Okay by Wednesday of this week. But what has this got to do with DNA?”

“Okay. You’ll have them by Wednesday morning. There will be about ten new chips. Keith, this new design is light-years ahead of Mother One. DNA… Everybody can be recognized by their DNA structure - pattern like a finger print, but harder to falsify! With the n ew security system, Mother will look and feel like a regular laptop computer, but when the person has a registered DNA pattern Mother Two will go into Mother Mode. Now, I want to tell Alex about Mother One and Mother Two. He helps me to think clearly. He’ll keep the secret I’m sure. Please, Keith.”

“All right l It’s evident he has a good effect on you, but no one else. Only Arbor and Alex. Not even Ruth or Maureen. Colt, Mother was ahead of all other computers on this planet and there are people who would kill for this technology or at least try to steal it from you. They would try to get at you through those closest to you. So, be careful and make sure Alex and Arb are careful too.”

“Okay I can deal with that ” Colt left the room and went to see Alex.

“I’m going up to the U for a while” Colt said to him.


“To work, I’d love for you to come along, but I’ll be there a long time, and I think you’d get bored. I’ve got a tight schedule so the movies are off for tomorrow, but I’d love it if you could come up to the U around lunch and maybe we could spend some time together. I love you. I just need to get this work done before Keith goes on his business trip.”

“I understand. Lunch is fine.” They kissed briefly, and then he left.

Alex got up from the table where his mom, Alan, Ruth and Keith were talking about the good ole days when they were freshmen. He walked into the kitchen. Arbor followed him in. “I’ve heard most of those stories before” he said to Alex, then he asked “Where’s Colt?”

“He went back to the U. He said he had some work to do. The movies are off for us tomorrow.”

“That’s just like him. Are you upset about it?”

“No. Well, a little, but I understand and he does want to see me at lunch time.
What do you mean ‘it’s just like him’?”

“it’s j ust that when Colt gets into his work, nothing else exists, nothing, not you, not me, just his work. It used to upset me a lot, but I’ve sort have gotten use to it, over the years. I used to wish I’d never taught him to read.”

“You taught him to read?” he questioned.

“Yes. When I was five I would read to him he was only three and one day he asked me to show him how to read. When I was six I taught him to add and subtract. The rest is history. So, what about you, what magic did you perform tonight?”

“No magic. I just told him about an experience I had which sort of related to what had happened and he thought it over for a while, a long while actually, without saying a thing, and then decided that he could redo his work. As much as I was looking forward to going to the movie with him, I understand how important his work is to him.”

“Maybe, but if you ignore the ones you love, because of your work, you aren’t just hurting yourself. I don’t think I ever saw how much like his Dad he is, and he’ll be that way when he grows up. Do you want to go to the movies with me?”

“Thanks for the offer, but I’d hate to be a tag-a-long.”

“Oh, I meant just you and me, Beth says she can’t because she’s going to visit her grandmother.”

“Well, in that case, I’ll go. Do you think Colt would be upset? I mean we’re sort of …”

“No. We’ll ask him to go and if he says no then I ask him if he minds if we go without him. I’m sure he won’t. I mean it’s not like I’m trying to steal you away from him. We’re just friends, right?”

“Yes” he said, however Alex felt a little awkward like he was not being honest.

Arbor and Alex talked for the rest of the evening about each other. Arbor walked Alex home along with Maureen, and after Maureen went inside, they continued to talk until 2a.m. when Arbor finally kissed him good night.

Chapter Eight

At first it had been just a thought or feeling that he had to get this work done, however as he worked through the night the feeling grew and along with it was a sort of fear, the feeling that something evil and morose was about to happen.
He had worked through the night, at the engineering workstation, and had run numerous simulations to test some concepts; using ‘Biggie’, the University’s super-computer. Despite his speed and single-mindedness it had been nearly twelve hours of tedious detailed work. Testing, debugging, correcting and re-testing over and over to try and attain perfection, and finally, the main computer chip design was completed and ready for Keith to take to the manufacturing lab. He only had the nine support chips to finish, and three days to complete their disign. The feeling of impending doom would not go away. He tried to assign his overactive imagination as the cause, but yet the feeling persisted and continued to wax.

He was typing some notes using a Power Book laptop he’d checked out from the storeroom. He was so immersed in his notes that he wasn’t aware of Arbor and Alex walking in and standing behind him.

“Colt” Arbor said quietly.

“One second” Colt responded automatically as his fingers continued to punch out keys at and incredible rate. After two minutes he looked up.

“Hi Arb. Hi Alex! Nine more chips to go!” he said. He looked tired. Hell, he was tired.

“You look like shit. Have you slept any?” asked Arbor.

“There’s no time to sleep, I’ve got to get this finished by Wednesday, so Keith can get them made. I’m starved! Shall we order a pizza or something?”

“I thought we could talk you into coming to the mall and having lunch and then a movie” said Alex.

“You’re joking, right? Get real! I have to have this done by Wednesday. Normally this would take me a week or more, but I have this schedule to meet. I can’t waste my time going to a movie.”

“I just thought you could use a break and we could spend some time together. I thought you wanted this last night, and that’s why you said to come here today.” Alex said.

“I did. I did want you to come here. I did want to spend some time with you, but I don’t have the time to waste a whole afternoon away.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to be such a waste of time for you!”

Colt closed his eyes for a second and sighed “I didn’t mean it like that. The movie is a waste of time, there’s no way I could just sit there and watch it. My attention would be here, I’d probably end up getting kicked out again.”

“Come on Alex. I told you once he gets into his work, nothing else matters. Not you, not me,” said Arbor.

“That’s not true, Arb…I have to get this work done! I only have until Wednesday!”

“Why? Why can’t it wait until Dad comes back from his meeting?”

“I don’t know, but it just can’t wait! I have to finish it! I can’t tell you why, I don’t know why…All I know is if I don’t get it done then it might never get done.”

“That’s ridiculous! You always do this when you get into ‘your work’. Always.”

Colt looked frustrated. He knew Arbor was right, but this time was different. H e sensed something bad was going to h appen. He didn’t know what it was; only that he had to finish this work before Keith went on his business trip.

“It’s different this time.”

“Yeah right! Come on Alex, let’s go!” Arbor took Alex’s hand and stormed out saying to Alex, but loud enough for Colt to hear “You see, he’s just like his Dad, Paul, always too busy for those who love him!”
Colt stood there for a few moments. He was tired, hungry and decidedly upset not so much about what Arb had said, more over not knowing why he had this compulsion to finish.

“I’m not like my Dad!” he muttered to himself as he got up from the workstation and took off after them. Colt saw them getting on the bus to the Mall. They were still holding hands and didn’t see him. Colt hurried over to the bike stand, unlocked his bike and pursued the bus. He could see Arbor with his arm around Alex as they appeared to kiss each other.

At the end of a long kiss Arbor glanced back to see Colt on his bike chasing the bus on his bike. “Oh, shit!” he said quietly and Alex looked back. He called out “Stop the bus, there’s someone on a bike trying to catch up!”

The driver slowed and looked in his rearview mirror to see Colt peddling like hell to catch up, but then he turned down a side street. “Looks like he changed his mind” said the driver.

Colt turned down the alley way from the side street. If he hurried he knew enough shortcuts to arrive at the mall about the same time as the bus which was exactly what happened.

As Arbor and Alex got off the bus Colt arrived. “Hey!” he said as he locked up his bike in the bike stand. His T-shirt was soaking wet with sweat and he was out of breath. They walked over to him.

“You know the bus was slowing down for you and then you turned off” Arbor said.
“Oh, well, I needed the ride…” he puffed away then sat down on the ground and lay back, “One …sec…” he said trying to catch his breath. He tried to sit up, but lay back again.

“Colt are you okay?” asked Alex.

“Sure…I said I wanted to spend… lunch with…you! If you two want to be alone…” he gasped for air, however he also noticed a reaction to his comment and thought about the kiss he witnessed as he was trying to catch up to the bus.

“No. Glad you’re here, going to go to the movie too?” Alex asked avoiding eye contact with Colt.

“No. You go a head. I’ll be in there in a minute…I just have to cool off a bit…too sweaty.”

Arbor could tell from the tone in Colt’s voice that he knew how Arbor felt about Alex. “We’ll wait.”

“No. You two go. I’ll meet you in the food court” Colt’s intention for them to leave was strong, so they left. He closed his eyes and lay back down. At first he wanted to punch Arbor’s lights out. How could he have done this? This feeling was knocked sideways by the fear he’d been experiencing earlier. He didn’t have the time to be angry or upset with Arbor and Alex, he had to get back to work!

They waited for Colt in the food court for ten minutes.

“Damn!” Arbor said “He knows! He must have seen us on the bus.”

“Do you think he’s upset?” asked Alex.

“Sure, he’s upset. I should have said something.”

“I should have told him that I like you and I still like him too as a friend. Should we go find him and straighten this out.”

“No. Let him cool off a bit. We’ll go see him after the show.”

Colt got off the bus and collected his bike from the rack and rode on home. Now he was exhausted, hungry and his heart was broken. He went upstairs, took his clothes out of the closet, and emptied out his drawers placing everything in the middle of the bed he slept in. Put the picture of his Mom and Dad and him on the heap and got his toothbrush. He tied the bed cover corners together to make a bundle and dragged the bundle down the stairs, across the lawn to his Dad’s house and into his room where he put everything away, then he took the bedcover back before returning to the U.
Despite his upset, his primary drive was to finish the work. So, he packed up a stand-alone engineering work station called a taxi and took all that he needed to his room, where he continued to work until he could work no longer.

Arbor took Alex home. He convinced Alex that it was probably better for him to talk to Colt first. It didn’t take much to convince him.

Arbor went to the U first and was surprised to find the engineering lab empty and the lights out. He felt worse about his relationship with Alex. When he got home he went upstairs and discovered Colt had moved out of their room.

“Mom, Dad have you seen Colt?” he asked, as he walked into the family room, “He’s not at the U and his clothes are gone.”

“Did you two have a fight?” asked Ruth.

“No. Alex and I tried to get him to go to the movies with us and well, I think he knows we kinda like each other. Nobody said anything he rode his bike down to the Mall to have lunch with us and then he just disappeared.”

“So, what lead him to think you and Alex are interested in each other?”

Arbor withheld the fact that Colt had probably seen them kissing on the bus.

“I don’t know” he said not looking her in the eye.

“He just disappeared! He just moved out! You knew how he felt about Alex. You have no problem in getting a girlfriend or boyfriend and you just had to take his! I’m not surprised he moved out! I would have punched you in the fucking nose!” Ruth said angrily.

“Mom, it just happened! I didn’t intend it to happen.”

“So, Arbor,” said Keith “Just how did Colt learn of this romance between you and Alex?”

“I don’t know!” Arbor said angrily.

Keith just looked at him and said calmly “Arbor, you’re lying your head off. I think you should come clean.”

Arbor sighed “I think he saw us kissing on the bus. It just happened.”

“Bullshit! Total bullshit, Arbor. Things don’t just happen! You have to work at a relationship! They don’t just happen” she said.

Keith asked “Have you any idea where he could be? Did he say anything?”

“No, sir, maybe he went to Alan’s?”

“What’s his phone number?” asked Ruth.

“It’s not in service until Tuesday” answered Arbor.

“Well, come on show me where he lives” she said as she walked out the door.
Keith went up stairs to the boys’ room. He noticed the bedcover was on crooked and pulled the cover off discovering a few blades of grass. He looked out the window and saw a path made by the bed cover being dragged across the yard to Paul’s house. Keith smiled to himself at being such a good detective and left to follow the trail.

He unlocked the front door, walked in, headed straight back to Colt’s room and opened the door. Colt was asleep at the workstation, his hand still on the mouse.
Keith carefully removed the mouse from Colt’s hand, picked him up, laid him down on his bed, and covered him up with a light blanket. He looked at the engineering drawing on the computer and marveled at the work Colt had done. Then, he wrote a note to Colt and left.