Never Too Far Away

Written By: Jaden

Disclaimer: This story involves love, relationship, and "adult" subject matter between teenage boys... so I guess that means your not supposed to read this if your under 18, but really if you are younger than that, I can't stop you. Just Don't Get Caught :)  If homosexuality offends you, then leave, or join the 21st century, and open up to it.

This Is FICTION... any character resembling a real life person is by coincidence, and in the rare event a character is based on someone in real life their name has been changed due to legal and personal protection.  You never know who's lurking around reading this.  So now the little spiel is over so hopefully someone will enjoy this.  Do Not Reproduce this story, and if you would like to have it on your web site, email me & get my permission. Thanks.  This is my first story so try not to crucify me to bad. Copyright Jaden 2002



"Please fasten your seat belts and put your trays in an upright position, we will be landing momentarily." The announcement came over the loud speaker and everyone prepared for the landing.

I took a few moments to wake up a little bit, but I was up and ready to get on the ground in no time.  I looked at Joey, who was still asleep, with his head laying on my shoulder.  I fastened his seat belt and decided to let him sleep the last few minutes.  I didn't have the heart to wake him, he looked so peaceful.  I still can't believe that he's here.  I didn't think I would ever see him again, let alone have him move in with me!  I don't think Mom will say anything about it, but if she does then I'll just have to handle it then.  The plane descended upon the runway with minimal turbulence.  When we came to a full stop, the stewardess instructed everyone to start getting off the plane.  I called out Joey's name, but he didn't even budge.  I ran my hand along the side of his face and he slowly started to stir.  His eyes fluttered open and once they were focused, he smiled at me.  I returned his smile and snickered to myself.  Hehe, he looks so cute with his hair all messy.  He undid his seat belt and we made our way off the plane.

After gathering our luggage we headed outside and I searched for any sign of Kai and Tyler.  We had arranged for them to pick me up.  I didn't see either of them, nor Kai's car anywhere.

"Are you sure they knew what time we were landing?"  Asked Joey.

"Yeah, positive.  I don't know where they are."

After about 20 minutes, I started to get restless, not to mention worried.  As soon as I opened the door to go back inside, a car pulled up honking it's horn.  I turned around expecting to see Kai and Ty, but instead I was surprised to see Scott.  I started walking towards the car and motioned for Joey to follow.

"Hey, Scott.  Where's Kai and Tyler?"  I asked.

"I guess something with that music contest came up.  Mr. Trollis wouldn't let them leave, so they asked me to come and get you."  He looked past me at Joey, "Who's this?"

"Oh, this is Joey, the newest member of The Phantoms and my best friend from back in New York."  Joey said hello, but shied away a bit.  I can understand him being nervous, after all this was a totally new environment to me not too long ago.

"New player, huh?  You must be pretty good for Coach to scout you all the way from NY.  I mean, if it works once, why not try it a second time?"  He smiled at me.  I just laughed, my ego inflating by the minute.

"Well, don't let Blade fool you.  Not all hockey players from our state are as arrogant as he is."  He gave me a shit eating grin and I punched him in the shoulder.

"Asshole... I'm not arrogant."  He just smiled and we threw our luggage in the trunk.  Soon enough, we were on our way home.  Scott was a regular chatterbox during the drive, shooting off question after question at Joey.  Joey handled them pretty well, but gave me a look for help a few times, to which I just snickered at him.  When we arrived at my house and the car stopped, Joey sighed in relief and just about jumped out of the car.  Scott and I laughed at his antics.

"Oops... think I was a little too chatty for him?"

"Haha, yeah, maybe a little.  He just needs some time to adjust.  Joey is a really fun and sweet guy once you get to know him."  I beamed at the thought of me and Joey hanging out like old times.

Scott gave me a funny look, "Uhhh, yeah.  Something you need to tell me buddy?"

"Like what?"

"Well, maybe that you have feelings for Joey."  I must've looked puzzled as he continued, "Oh, come on!  Dude, you are practically gushing about him."

"I don't have 'feelings' for Joey.  He's my best friend, I've known him since we were 10 or 11 years old.  Of course I care about him, but you know I love Tyler."

"Do I?"  I gave him a hurt look, "Look Blade, it's not that I don't think you care about Tyler, but you two haven't exactly been acting like a couple.  You guys spend so much time trying to protect Kai or Jordan's feelings, that it seems like you are just friends."

I sat there stunned at Scott's accusation.  I know that Tyler and I go out of our way to make sure Kai doesn't feel uncomfortable around us, and I guess the same could be said for Jordan and I, but we act like a couple, just in private.  "Just because you don't see it Scott, doesn't mean we don't act like a couple.  When we are alone, we show each other how much we care about each other, and no, not in a sexual way.  You can believe what you want, but I love Tyler and I believe he loves me."

"I hope you're right.  Well, I'm gonna head back to school.  You should get Joey settled in, then bring him over to the school and introduce him to the team.  Jordan stopped me earlier and said to let you know there's going to be a meeting after school about your music project."

"Okay... well, if Joey wants to go, we'll go.  Thanks for the ride, I'll probably see you later."  He said goodbye, then I hopped out of the car and he drove off.  I stood in the driveway and mulled over what Scott had said.  It really bothered me that he thought I didn't love Tyler.  I'd do anything for Tyler, anything.  What do I have to do to prove myself to everyone?  I was snapped out of my thoughts by a hand on my shoulder.  I turned around to see Joey with a concerned look on his face.  I gave him a weak smile.

"What's wrong bro?"

"Nothing you need to worry about.  Just some issues I have to deal with.  Well, lets go get your room set up inside."  I grabbed some of his suitcases and we made our way inside.  The guest room was next to the staircase, downstairs.  There was a queen size bed, dresser, television and a stereo.  It wasn't much, but once all of Joey's belongings arrive, I'm sure it will be good enough for him.

"Well, this is it.  Do you want to unpack now or later?"

"Later.  Can we go see your room?"

"Sure, follow me."  We descended up the stairs to my humble abode.  I opened the door and motioned for Joey to go in.  He ran around the room like a little kid, looking at all my gadgets.  Then of course he had to flop down on my waterbed.

"I see someone's still spoiled."  He stuck out his tongue at me.

"Hahaha, I have the same exact stuff I had back in New York."

"Soooo?  You were spoiled back then, so that means you're still spoiled now."  He smiled, then looked like he was thinking. "So, how many times has this bed been abused?"  A mischievous grin spread across his face.  He tried to get up off the bed, but I tackled him back down.  He struggled, but I held his arms down.  Suddenly, he stopped struggling altogether and just stared into my eyes.  There was something there.. something I couldn't quite pinpoint in his eyes.  I pinched his cheek then hopped up off of him.

"Oh, I almost forgot.  Do you want to head over to the school, so you can meet the team and some of my friends?"

"Hmmmm... stay home or go to school... tough question."  I grabbed a pillow and whacked him with it. "I guess we could go, but can I borrow a pair of shorts and boxers?  I didn't get a lot of my clothes packed, so I don't have many shorts with me and you know the deal with the boxers."

"Of course, you can borrow whatever you want.  Why do you want boxers if you don't normally wear them?"

"Well, I don't want you to be grossed out by me wearing your clothes without any underwear on."

"Uh, Joey, buddy, I wouldn't care if you never wore clothes again." He blushed and smiled, "The boxers are in the top drawer if you really want to wear a pair."

I went into my closet and took out a pair of my bermuda board shorts and threw them to him.  I grabbed the matching shirt for him as well.  He opened my top drawers and pulled out a pair of boxers.  He looked at them, then turned and gave me a funny look.

"Uhh, maybe you should wash these things after you cum all over them."  I blushed furiously and walked over to him to grab the boxers.

"Well, you see.. uh.. those aren't exactly mine."  I don't think I could've possibly gotten any redder.  I took the white, puppy covered boxers from his hands.

"Oh really... your boyfriend's?"

"Yeah.. he kinda gave them to me after our, uh... first 'encounter'."

"Hahaha, well looks like we are gonna have to talk about some things later."  He stripped down quickly, me staring at him the entire time, and then threw on the shorts and shirt, minus any boxers.  He caught me staring and gave me a smirk.  I just looked away, embarrassed at being caught... again!

"All set?"

"Yup.  Let's go to school."

We went outside to my car and I locked the house up.  After a short ride, we arrived at school.  It was about 2 o'clock, so there wasn't much time before school let out.  We walked side by side into the front entrance.  There were some girls in the hallway who said hello to me and 'my friend', then giggled like only girls would do.  Joey gave them one of his killer smiles and winked at them.  I pulled him by the shirt jokingly, thinking to myself that he was going to break many hearts in this school.  I decided to bring him to the office so he could fill out any forms that needed to be done, for final registration.  That didn't take too long, apparently Mr. Jarvis had already faxed most of the information that was needed over here.  When the clock hit 2:30 the final bell rang and the halls became flooded with students.

Many people greeted me on their way to their lockers and I introduced Joey as we went along.  The girls continued to giggle and wink at him as we walked by them.  The smile on his face told me he was enjoying all the attention he was getting already.  We arrived at the locker room as the final students were leaving from last period gym class.  We were about to walk in when someone came running out of the room, right into us!  Joey and I didn't really falter too much, but the other boy started to fall backwards.  I grabbed him, to make sure he didn't get hurt.  As soon as the boy looked up and his eyes met mine, I realized that it wasn't just some boy, it was Jordan.

"Jordan?  I didn't know you had gym for last period."

"Yeah... it's the only opening they had, but I don't mind.  It's mostly all juniors like me."  I thought about that for a moment... I thought he was a senior!

"You're a junior?"

"Uh, yeah.  You didn't know that?"

"I just assumed you were a senior.  So you're only 16?"

"Yup.  I'll be 17 in July."  He paused and looked at Joey... I mean 'really' looked at Joey.  His eyes traveled Joey's body up and down and I saw a little smirk come across his face.

I leaned and whispered to him, "Take a picture, it'll last longer."  He blushed, but his smirk stayed, "Jordan this is Joey, Joey this is Jordan."

Joey extended his hand out to Jordan and they shook, "Nice to meet you, Jordan."  Joey just had to throw in one of his killer smiles.

"Same here.  So, you are the guy from New York?"

"Yup, in the flesh.  Blade has told me a little bit about you.  Maybe you can help me out, like finding classes and stuff, seeing as I'm a Junior too."

"That'd be great."  Jordan shot out one of his beautiful smiles to match Joey's.

"Okay smiley guys, you can get to know each other later.  Joey has to meet the team, then we'll be down to the auditorium, so you guys can talk then."  Joey said goodbye to Jordan and walked into the locker room.  I heard Scott greet him, so I figured he'd be okay for a couple minutes without me.  Jordan stood there, just smiling at me.

"Hehe... why do you have that goofy grin on your face?"

"No reason."  The boy could not stop smiling!

"Sure, there's no reason why that smile is stuck like that.  So, what's your first impression of Joey?"  I grinned at him.

"He's gorgeous, but he's not into me, he's into you."

"Uh, excuse me?"

"Blade, it's so obvious.  He's digging you, even I can see that."

"Dude, Joey's straight.  Even if he was, he knows that I'm taken."  That brief look of pain flashed across Jordan's face, but was soon replaced by that smile again.

"Yeah, I know.  I think it's finally sinking in, that you can't be with me.  I do love you Blade, there's no denying that.  I'll always be hoping for a shot with you, but I realized over the weekend, that I can't be miserable about it, nor put you through what I have been lately."

The hallway was deserted, so I pulled Jordan in for a hug.  "That means a lot to me Jordan.  I don't want you to think that I don't care, because I do.  I care about you a lot, just not on the same level as a certain someone else.  Now, tell me what happened this weekend that has made you change your thinking."  I gave him a mischievous grin.

His smile beamed and he started his story, "Well, Kai asked me to come with him and Tyler to his beach house, which I'm sure you already knew about."  I nodded and he continued, "It was so much fun!  We hung out on the beach and went surfing.  Kai taught me a few tricks, he's really awesome at surfing.  Tyler and I actually got along, I couldn't believe it."

"I told you he isn't a bad guy."

"I know.  Well, we kinda got a little hammered on Saturday night."  He looked at me sheepishly, "It's not something we planned or anything, we just got a little carried away.  I don't really remember much from that night, I think I passed out."  A couple members of the team yelled out my name from the locker room.  I stuck my head in and told them I'd be in, in a few minutes.

"Go on."

"Well, when I woke up on Sunday, Tyler was gone.  Kai said his mother called and he took him home."

"What?  Why?  Was everything all right?"

"I don't know, that's all Kai told me.  Tyler's been in school all week, so I guess it wasn't anything big."  I was now intrigued as to what caused Tyler to go home early.  "Anyway, on Sunday night, Kai and I sat on the beach and watched the sunset together.  It was so peaceful and beautiful.  Then when Kai put his arm around me, I just felt this overwhelming rush go through me.  I've had this smile ever since. Hehe, it won't go away."

"Whoa!!  Back up, Kai put his arm around you?  What happened after that?"

"Well, nothing really.  We just laid there on the beach for I don't know how long.  We talked, and just relaxed, enjoying each other's company.  It was great."

"That's awesome buddy!  So you think there might be something there between you two?"

"Maybe.  I don't know.. I hope so.  I really like him, Blade.  I'm just afraid that something will happen and I'll get hurt again.  You're still my first choice as of right now.  I don't even know if he's interested in me romantically, so I don't want to get my hopes up."

"Don't worry, Jordan.  If Kai has feelings for you, I don't think he's the kind of guy that will hide them for long.  Just be patient, or if you decide you really want him, then go for it yourself."

"We'll see.  I have to get down to the auditorium, so I'll see you in a little while."  He wrapped his arms around me, then it looked like he was starting to lean in for a kiss, when he stopped himself and blushed.  Jordan pulled away and walked off towards the auditorium.  I just shook my head, hoping that he would be truly happy soon.

When I entered the locker room, everyone started calling out my name.. hehe, there's some goof balls on this team.  I searched around for Joey and spotted him talking with Scott and Coach Rollins.  He saw me and gave me a goofy look as I approached.  The Coach must've seen me coming too.

"Blade, it's good to see you.  I'm glad everything worked out on your trip.  J.C. tells me that you and him are best friends from back home."

"Yup.  We played on the same team when we were younger and he will do nothing, but add to our team now."

"That's great, I'm glad to hear that.  It looks like your arm is all healed up, are you cleared to start playing again?"

"As far as I know.  I wasn't told I had to come back for a follow up, so I'm assuming I'm ready to go."

"Fantastic.  With you coming back and the addition of J.C..... "

"It's Joey, sir.  J.C. was just a nickname I had at my old school."  Joey interrupted.

"Ahh, okay, as I was saying, with you coming back and the addition of Joey here, we should be ready to roll right through the playoffs."

"We'll do our best Coach."

Coach looked at his watch, "Well, I have to get these guys outside and running.  I'm assuming you two will be joining us tomorrow for practice, right?"

"Yeah, we'll be here bright and early."

"Great, I'm looking forward to working out some new lines tomorrow.  Nice to meet you Joey and welcome to The Phantoms."

"The pleasure is all mine, I'm sure."  He flashed one of his smiles and Coach head off, rounding up the guys in the locker room.  Scott didn't say anything while I was standing there, just sort of kept giving me a weird look.  I couldn't quite read him.  He said goodbye, then Joey and I started off to the auditorium.

We made small talk, him telling me what he thought about the school so far and how much he thought he was going to like it here.  I smiled and laughed along with his enthusiasm.  The way he acts is so cute.. uhhh, I mean, I say that in a strictly platonic way of course.  We walked through the auditorium doors laughing away and it must've been loud enough to make the other people there stop what they were doing to see who had just come in.  I scanned the room for familiar faces.  My eyes rested upon Jordan first, who greeted us with a big smile.  He seems really happy today.. one of the rare times I've seen that from him.  I waved to him and mouthed to him, that we'd be over in a minute.  I looked towards the stage and there was Kai.  I did a double take when I saw him, because his hair was different.  He didn't have it all spiked up like usual, but had it in a semi brushed down, semi bed head look.  It looked really good on him.  I started walking towards him, when someone spoke from behind me.

"Hey."  I turned around, as did Joey, to see who spoke.  A huge smile immediately spread across my face, as my young, blonde, boyfriend walked over to me.  I wrapped my arms around him when he was close enough.  He seemed a bit tense, but relaxed after a few moments.

"Hey, Ty."  He smiled at me, then downcast his eyes.  I just gave him a sideways glance, but decided he was just being shy.  "I missed you so much, baby."  I whispered to him, trying to get him to meet my eyes.

"I missed you too."

"Ahem..."  Joey cleared his throat beside us.  I shot him a death glare, but I couldn't keep a straight face, with him giving me a goofy grin.  I snickered at him, then gave the introductions.

"Joey, this is Tyler.  Tyler, this is Joey."  Joey extended his hand and Tyler grasped it.  Maybe it was just me, but it looked like they held on a bit long.

"Welcome to Anaheim."

"Thanks, I like it here already.  Hehe, it does help to have my boy Blade here.  I probably wouldn't have come if he wasn't here."  I blushed a little bit at that comment.

"Uh.... why is that?"  The questioning tone in Tyler's voice, told me it was my cue to jump in.

"Don't worry, baby.  We were best friends back in NY.  You don't have anything to be worried about, this clown is into the female persuasion.  Isn't that just wrong?"  I stuck my tongue out at Joey and Tyler laughed  a little bit.

"That's too bad.  I'm sure he'd make plenty of guys come out of the closet."  Joey blushed, and gave a shy smile to go with it.  Tyler continued to avoid looking me in the eye.

"Joey, can you excuse us for a minute, please?"  I begged him with my eyes.

"Sure.  But if you're not back in 5 minutes, I'm going to hunt you down and drag you back here, out of whatever closet you are going off to make out in."  We both blushed, then made our way back to the music room.  I said hi to Kai as we passed and he gave a small wave and a weak smile.  I almost stopped to find out what was up, but Tyler just pulled me along, not even giving Kai a second glance.  We finally reached the music room and Tyler closed the door behind us.

"In much of a hurry?"  I asked.

"No... why do you say that?"

"Well, you practically pulled me back here."  His eyes went straight to the floor again, "Tyler, is there something wrong?  You're acting strange."  He turned around and walked over to a desk, then sat down.  Before his eyes met mine, I thought I heard him sniffle, but I could be mistaken.

"Can you come sit over here?"  He patted the seat next to him.  I began to really get worried at this point.  He took a deep breathe, then began, "Blade, you know I love you, right?"


"And I would never hurt you intentionally..."

"Tyler, what's going on?"  My voice wavered a bit, afraid to hear what was going to come out of his mouth.  He took my hand and placed it in his.

"I love you with all my heart, I swear to you.  I-I don't know how to tell you this....."  A few tears started streaming down his cheeks.  I sat there, not knowing what to say.  My mind was all over the place, trying to figure out what had happened.

"Baby, don't cry..."  I wiped at his tears, but as soon as my hand came in contact with his face, the dam burst and he almost started bawling.

"I d-don't want to l-lose you."

My eyes became watery seeing him in this state, but I had to know what was going on, "Tyler, just tell me what happened."

He looked up and his eyes finally met mine.  There were so many emotions flooding them, sorrow, regret, anger.. just a painful thing to look at.  "Something happened this weekend."

I could feel the butterflies well up in my stomach, "Like what?"

"I-I fucked up.  Kai, Jordan  and I had a lot of alcohol on Saturday night.  It was fun, everything was going great.  We were like three good friends just having a good time, t-then Jordan passed out for the night.  Everything's so blurry...."

I could sense the worst coming, and I tried to brace myself.  "Go on."  I still held onto his hand.

"I don't r-remember what started it or w-why it happened..... K-Kai and I... w-we"  His words were a struggle to get out, between his frequent sobbing.  "W-we s-slept together."  The moment he said it, I dropped his hand.  I felt numb, and just gave him a blank stare.  That made him start crying even more, "When I woke up and found him laying with me, I knew something was wrong and I made him take me home.  I swear t-to you, I didn't have any control over what happened... we were so drunk and...."

The tears made their presence known, as they furiously poured from my eyes, "Y-you think that's an excuse?  Do you think that makes a difference?  Just because you were drunk, I should just pretend nothing happened?  I can't believe this!"  My crying started to get heavier, but I tried my best to keep it under control.

"I'm sorry!  Please... I love..."

I cut him off, "Don't say it.  If you loved me, you wouldn't have done anything.. you knew that you would lose control if you got drunk.  You haven't even acted like I'm your boyfriend since we've gotten together.  You still act like Kai is your boyfriend.. even your mother still thinks you're together!  Fuck, Tyler, this was sex, not a kiss!"

"P-please...."  Both of us were sobbing hard.  My heart felt like it was shattered.  I stood up and started towards the door.  He grabbed my arm, but I shrugged him off.  "Blade!  I'm begging you, please don't leave me!  I-I need you, I love you, even if you don't believe it."

I stopped and turned towards him.  I just looked at him and that just made it hurt even more.  I reached around my neck and took off the necklace.  I looked at it for a moment.  It was the first time it had been off my neck since Tyler gave it to me.  My eyes were so blurred with tears, I could barely see it.  I wiped my eyes, then threw the necklace to Tyler.  "G-give it to Kai, that's who your heart really belongs to."  I turned and ran out the door, leaving Tyler in the room crying his eyes out.

The people in the auditorium all looked at me as I ran past them with tears streaming down my face.  I didn't care what they thought, fuck them, fuck everyone.  Jordan called out to me, but I just kept going.  Once I got just outside of the school, a hand grabbed my arm.

"Blade, please... we have to talk about this....".  Kai.  I whipped around, fist balled up and swung right at his face.  I stopped myself about half an inch from smashing in his nose.  He let go of my arm, startled by what just happened.

"Tyler said enough.  Well, you got what you wanted, you should be happy.  I mean, what goes around comes around, right?  I guess this is was what I deserved."  I choked back a sob as I spoke to him.

"It was an accident... we didn't mean for it to happen..."

"I don't fucking care, Kai!!!  It did happen!  Why the fuck did I come here?  Playing hockey is not worth this kind of heart break."  I sunk to my knees, finally giving in to my sadness.  Someone came up behind me and placed their hand on my shoulder.  I looked up at Kai momentarily, "Game over, I guess you win after all."

"I'm sorry.. so sorry."  Kai whispered out, then headed back inside.

I didn't even turn around to see who was behind me, I could just sense it was Joey.  He wrapped his arm around my waste and helped me up.  We made the long trek back to my car silently.  He took my keys and I got in the passenger side, no questions asked.  Whoever says 'It's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all', is full of shit and should be brought out for a public hanging.  The pain inside was tearing me apart.  Joey kept glancing over at me, with concern in his eyes.  He pulled up to my house and got out of the car.  The passenger side opened and he offered his hand to me.  I took it and as soon as I stepped out, he wrapped his arms around me in a tight hug.  I laid my head on his shoulder and just sobbed.

"Shhhhh... it's gonna be okay, bro.  Just get it out, I'm here for you."  We stood there out in the open, holding onto each other for at least 20 minutes.  I felt safe in his arms, he gave me the source of comfort I needed at the moment.  We were broken out of our embrace when a car pulled up behind mine.  It was Eric and Matt.  I tried to turn my head away, so they couldn't see my tear streaked face, but it was too late.  Joey let go of me, as Eric came up to us.

"What's wrong?  Uh, and what are you doing here, Joey?"

"Nice to see you too, Eric.  I'm living here, I'm the guy Blade scouted in NY."

"Oh, I didn't mean it in a bad way, I'm just surprised to see you here."  He turned his attention back to me, "Blade, why are you crying, what's wrong?"

"Tyler...."  I couldn't get the words out.  It hurt too much.

He jumped in before I could finish, "Oh my god, is he all right?  What happened?  Was he in an accident?"  I just shook my head and looked at Joey pleadingly.

"From what I've gathered, your brother and Tyler broke up a little while ago."  Eric just gave me a sorrowful look, then pulled me into a hug.  Once he let go, the very quiet Matt, did the same.  I slowly started to regain my composure.

"Thanks guys."  They all patted me on the back.

"Let's go inside, bro.  No one needs to see you like this."  Eric made a good point, we were standing out in the open.  He led the way, and the rest of us followed.  Eric grabbed some drinks for all of us and then we went up to my room.

Once we were in my room, we all plopped down on the bed.  It was a squeeze, but thankfully I have a decent sized bed.  As long as it doesn't pop.. I don't need my room flooded!  Joey laid next to me, putting his arm around me for comfort every so often.  Matt laid next to Eric.  I watched them intently and sure enough I noticed them keep taking shy glances at one another.  There's something there, I'm just not sure what.

"So, that's it.... you and Tyler are through?"  Eric asked.

"Uh, I think it might be a bit soon to be talking about this..."  Joey was trying to keep me from breaking down again.

"There's nothing I can do to change what happened, so I might as well tell you what happened."  I relayed what Tyler had told me to the three of them.  They were surprised at what I told them.  Throughout the whole conversation Joey held me close to him... once again he was being my rock when I needed him.  I turned my head and gave him as much of a smile I could muster up.  He smiled back and a silent communication passed through his eyes to mine; he was telling me he would get me through this, no matter what.  We were broken out of our little exchange by Matt.

"So, when are you two getting married?"  He snickered out, with Eric laughing beside him.

"What are you talking about?"  I asked.

"Look at you two... giving each other googly eyes, secret smiles, not to mention he's had his arm wrapped around you since we came in here."

"He's just comforting me, I'm allowed to smile, and we were not making googly eyes at each other!"  The two younger boys burst out laughing and Joey just smiled.

"Uh huh, sure.  So, when's the big day, Joey?"  Eric teased.

"You guys are a bunch of clowns."  Joey said between giggles.

"Hehe, anyway, what do you think of it here so far?  Anyone catch your eye at school?"  I swear my brother should be a lawyer or interrogator some day.

"It seems nice so far, minus the having my best friend's heart broken and to your second question... hmmmm maybe one."  I cocked my head to the side and gave him a weird look... that's when I noticed he was staring right at me.

"Ah ha!  Who would this person be?"  My ears perked up, as I was curious to hear this now.

"Hahaha, I guess we know what Eric is gonna be when he gets older.  Should we call you District Attorney Stevens from now on?"

"Eric is fine for now."  He gave a little smirk, "Now, stop avoiding the question."

"I plead the fifth."

"Ugh!!"  We all bust out laughing at Eric's little outburst.  "You soooo cheated!"

We laughed and chatted for what must've been hours.  It was nice, but no matter what we talked about, my mind always went back to Tyler.  I missed him already.  I tried my best to push my thoughts of him out of my mind, without much success.  At some point, I must've fell asleep, because I woke up and glanced at the clock, which read 10 pm.  I tried to move, but that wasn't going to happen.  Joey was tightly wrapped around me, his arm over my lower back and his leg thrown over mine.  I turned my head and just studied him with my eyes.  He's so beautiful.. there's not a thing about him that could be considered bad.  He's really changed since last time we were friends.  He's sweet, caring and most of all, not afraid to talk about things anymore.  His baby face looked so peaceful, just content being where he was.  I rolled to my side just a little bit, then brought my hand up and ran it through  his hair.    He stirred a little bit, and what looked like a small smile, broke out across his face.  I just let out a sigh, thinking what I wouldn't have given to be in this position a couple years ago.  I leaned over and gave him a friendly kiss on the cheek.  His eyes fluttered open as I pulled away.

He smiled, "What was that for?"

I blushed a little bit, I didn't think he knew I did that, "Uh, just a thank you, for being here for me."

"Anytime... but that's a thank you kiss?  Geez!  I'd hate to find out what someone has to do for a real kiss from you."  I laughed at him, then leaned in really close, our noses almost touching.

"Do you want me to really kiss you?"  I could feel his breath on my lips, but he didn't say anything either way.  I leaned in a bit more, our lips barely brushed, when an image of Tyler flashed through my mind.  I bypassed Joey's lips and licked the side of his face.

"Ewwwww... dude!! Hehehe, why'd you do that?!?!?"

I shrugged, "Felt like it and what do you think this is?  A Lip Service?  Silly straight boy."  I laughed at the look on his face and punched him in the shoulder.

"You're such a tease, you know that?  As far as my sexuality classification, I think I'm going to leave that undecided for the time being."

My ears perked up immediately at that, "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"

"If you think I'm saying I'm confused right now, then you're right."

"Shit... did I do this to you?  I mean, you were so sure of who you were before I popped back up in your life."

"It isn't your fault, though I will admit, I never really thought about it much until this past weekend.  I mean, honestly, I've always felt a really close connection with you... sometimes a 'more than friends' type connection.  I just brushed it off as me just really caring about you, because you were my best friend."

"So you really did want me to kiss you then?"  I asked, just out of curiosity of course.

He blushed a little bit, "Maybe."  He smiled and left it at that.

"Well, to be blunt... I think you're just unbelievably gorgeous and I just feel so awesome when I'm around you.  I didn't kiss you because it's way too soon and my heart is with Tyler.  I think you are, like you said, confused or maybe just curious.  I saw how you were with Nikki, I don't think you're gay."  He just shrugged, then got up off the bed.

"I guess I should be headed to bed.  School in the morning."  I got up and followed him down the stairs.  My mother was in the living room and she almost dropped the phone when she saw Joey.  She said goodbye to whoever she was talking to and hung up.

"Joey?  What are you doing way out here?"  She asked.

He looked at me for some help, "He's going to school with me now, Mom.  I told him it was okay for him to stay here; I didn't want him to have to live with strangers."

"I guess it's okay, but you know I can't afford to house another kid."  I looked at Joey and I saw his face immediately drop.  I just put my hand on his shoulder for reassurance.

"Don't worry about that, I'll use my paycheck from work on him."  He looked at me in surprise and a smile started showing on his face.

"I don't want you to waste your money on me...."

"It's not a waste, how could you even say that?  I want you here and you mean a lot more to me than the money."

I thought I saw a tear in his eye, but he brought his hand up and made it look like he was rubbing his eye.  "Thanks, Blade.  I'll go look for a job when I get settled in, so I can pay my own way."

My mom watched our exchange with a strange look on her face, but didn't say what she was thinking.  "That settles it then.  I'll help out with whatever I can.  Blade, just next time give me a little bit of notice on these types of things.  Welcome to your new home, Joey.  I'm off to bed, you two should be as well.  Goodnight."

"Goodnight and thanks, Jane."  Joey replied.  I said goodnight to her as well and she headed into her room.

Joey turned to me and immediately gave me a hug, "Thank you for everything.  When she said she couldn't afford to have me here, I thought that was it... I was going to have to either go back home or live with someone else."

"I would never let that happen.  If worse came to worse, I would get an apartment and we would live there."  I glanced at the clock, "We really need to get to sleep, practice is at 5:30."

"Aw man!"

"Yup, so time for some shut eye."  I leaned forward and kissed him on the forehead. "Thanks, Joey, I don't know what I would've done without you here."

"Don't worry about anything... everything happens for a reason.  Maybe you and Tyler will work things out.  Either way, I'll always be here for you... always.  Goodnight, bro."  He leaned his face in, his lips approaching mine, when he moved to the right and licked my cheek!  He walked to his room, laughing at the look on my face.

"You bastard!  I didn't want your kiss anyway! Haha."  I whispered out, just so he could hear it.  Joey smiled and closed the door behind him.  I smiled to myself and walked up the stairs.  I stopped by Eric's room, but the door was shut.  I don't know if Matt was staying the night or not, but whoever was in there, it sounded like they were watching some porno.  Hehe, maybe having one of their 'friendly' jack off sessions?

I stripped down and got in bed.  The good thing about having Joey there to talk to was, it took my mind off of Tyler.  I tried not to think about him, I just turned on some music on and just focused on the words.  Soon enough, I was off in dreamland..........

'Sorry, Blade.  Kai and I have decided we really are meant for each other."  Kai came up behind Tyler and started kissing his neck.  Tyler moaned and turned to face him.  They made out passionately, then stopped all of a sudden.  Tyler turned to me, with a big smirk on his face, "To think that I left Kai for you... what was I thinking?"  They laughed and then started going at it once again.  Clothes started flying and then Tyler started to go down on Kai....'

Beep.. Beep.. Beep.. Beep... I shot up, with my forehead dripping in sweat and tears pouring from my eyes.  The pain was unbelievable.. the knots in my stomach kept getting tighter and tighter, until I started openly sobbing loudly.  There was a knock at the door, then whoever it was let themselves in.  I couldn't see properly with the tears in my eyes, but I knew immediately it was Joey, when he sat on the bed and wrapped his arms around me.

"W-why did he have to cheat on m-me?  I love him so much."  I cried out.  Joey rubbed my back, trying to soothe me.

"Come on, Blade.  Calm down.. take deep breathes."  I did as I was told, "He messed up, it happens.  You'll just have to see if you can find it in your heart to forgive him."  After a few minutes, I settled down a little bit.  "Come on, we need to get you in the shower, get those tear streaks off your face."

We got up and went into my bathroom and Joey started the water.  I took my boxers off and threw them in the hamper.  I put my leg up over the tub and started to slip.  Joey caught me from behind, as I was falling backwards.  I was surprised to feel his naked body up against mine from behind.  I turned my head and looked at him, "Thanks.. I'll be okay to take a shower, you don't have to babysit me."

"Nah, it's cool.  I need a shower to wake up, might as well get them done at the same time.  I think the shyness factor has worn off by now."  I just gave him a weak smile, then we both stepped in.  It was completely innocent, nothing happened.  We washed up, helping each other out a little bit with our backs.  I climbed out first and dried off, then made my way to the mirror.  I fixed my hair as Joey dried himself off.. everything worked out pretty well.

Soon, we were off to practice.  It was good to be back on the ice again.  With the addition of Joey, our team now had the depth it needed to make a run during the playoffs.  He fit right in, picking up the plays like he had been here all along.  Coach had us run through a few different line rotations, trying to figure out who was going to work best together.  Joey and I gelled well together on the ice, seemingly always knowing what the other was going to do with the puck.  In no time, practice was over and everyone headed for the showers.  Joey took the shower head on one side of me and Scott took the one on the other.

"Looks like you're going to fit in great with this team, Joey.  How are you able to pick up the plays that fast?"  Scott asked.

"I don't know, I've always been able to pick up things quick when it comes to hockey."  They continued to chat, but my mind was on one thing and that was one thing I was going to have to face today.  I couldn't even think about him without tears coming to my eyes, I don't know how could I possibly face him and keep my composure.  I finished up and quickly made my way to my locker.  I got dressed and sat on the bench.  Joey came up to me.. buck ass naked of course, and sat down.

"Are you okay?"  The concern he carried in his eyes made me feel better... just to know that he cared that much about my well being.

"Yeah, just wondering how I'm going to make it through the day."  I gave him a sad smile.  He reached over and hugged me.. luckily no one else was in our aisle of the locker room.  It wouldn't have looked to good with Joey being naked and all.

"You know, if I didn't know better, I'd say you like this touchy feely stuff with me."

"No.. I uh, just, you see...."   I took my hand and ran it suggestively up and down his thigh.  After a few seconds of that, I stopped and pulled my hand away.  "What'd you do that for?"  His face was flushed.

"Just to prove a point."  I smiled at him mischievously and looked down at his crotch.  There was definitely some blood flowing in that organ!  Damn, that boy has grown!  He blushed furiously, his face turned bright red.

"Asshole."  He muttered under his breath, but couldn't contain his smile.  He quickly got dressed, and was tying his shoes as the bell rang.

I walked him to his first class, then went off to my own.  I passed the boys bathroom on the way... and saw Kai go inside.  He didn't see me walk by him.  I figured I'd face him soon enough, after all, he is in the class with me.  I continued on my way, when Tyler rounded the corner.  He didn't see me either, through the crowd of people.  I almost froze in place, as I watched his every move.  My heart started aching as he went by, but that was nothing compared to what I felt when I saw him enter the same bathroom Kai went in.  I practically sprinted to class and made it in the door as the bell rang.  I took my seat and Mr. Shatan began our lesson for the day.  I kept glancing at the clock and after about 10 minutes my sadness turned to anger.  They couldn't even wait until they were at home or somewhere private, they had to flaunt it in school in front of me.

I raised my hand.  "Yes, Mr. Stevens?"

"May I go to the bathroom?"

He gave me weary look, "Is it absolutely necessary?"

"Yes, it is."  I gave him a determined look.

He sighed, "Fine, but you best come back to class.  See if you can find the other trouble maker while you're out there and bring him back."  Yeah, sure... that'll happen.

I rushed out the door and went straight for the bathroom.  I was about to barge in, when I heard some shouting coming from behind the door.  I looked around and made sure the hallways were deserted as I cracked the door open just a little enough to hear what was going on.

"This is bullshit, Tyler!  Just because you know that I love you, doesn't mean I'm going to sit around and wait for you to love me again."  What Kai said confused me.

"I'm not asking you to do that!  I'm scared, Kai... I just need someone to be here and catch me when I fall, i-if Blade won't take me back."

"I would love to do that and I will be here for you, but as your friend.  I won't play second best to anyone, not even Blade.  There is someone else that I want to give it a shot with."  My ears perked up immediately.

"I know," Tyler whispered out, "but I don't want to end up alone.  I don't know if I can handle everything by myself.  I wish.. I wish we never went to your beach house this weekend."

"I do and don't regret it.  On one hand, I got to be with you, even if I really don't remember a lot of it.  Not to mention the fact that I got to know Jordan on another level."  Kai paused and continued, "Then the bad, we totally crushed Blade.... I never wanted to hurt him and I'm never touching alcohol again, if this is what it does.  We need to fix things, Tyler."

"I know... but I don't know if they can be fixed."  I heard him sniffle then continue, "He gave my necklace back.. he promised he would never take it off.  He doesn't believe that I love him, he thinks I'm still in love with you."

"Are you?"  I couldn't tell if there was hope in his voice or not.

"I love you, but I'm in love with Blade.  My feelings are really hard to explain right now."

"Well, there's only one way to find out."

"What's that?"  Tyler asked.

"One kiss.... we either feel something or we don't."  I got a lump in my throat hearing that.

"Okay."  I didn't hear anything at first.  After a couple of minutes I still didn't hear any talking... they must've have figured it out.  Tears came to my eyes and I wiped them away.  I've lost him.

I made my way back to class and just sat there with my head down, not even pretending to pay attention.  Kai never came to that class.  I went to each class feeling defeated.  Kai did come to the rest of the classes, but every attempt he made to talk to me was refused.  I didn't have anything to say to him... what could I possibly say?  I can't put the entire blame on him, I stole Tyler from him and now he's taking him back.  When lunch came around, I made my way to Joey's classroom, so we could go to lunch together.  He came out of the room, followed by Jordan.

"Hey bro."  He gave me a hug, right in the middle of what would be considered rush hour in school, without hesitation.  "I have to stay after for a few minutes so the teacher can talk to me about what they've gone over in class already and what I did in New York."

"Do you want me to wait?"  I asked.

"Nah, you go ahead with Jordan.  I'll be there in 10 or 15 minutes."  I gave him a weak smile, then started off to the cafeteria with Jordan.  He didn't really say anything on the way there, I guess he heard what happened and didn't know what to say about it.

When we walked into the cafeteria, our table immediately looked up at us.  I locked eyes with Kai first, who had a unreadable look on his face.  Jordan started walking over to them, but when he noticed I hadn't moved he stopped.  I looked at Tyler, dead in the eyes.  If what some people say is true, that people who are really close can feel what the other is feeling, then Tyler would have to be feeling like someone was stabbing him through the heart.  My eyes watered and I looked at Jordan, who winked at me, then came back over and led me to another table.  He set his stuff down and then went to say something to the normal table.  I watched him, wondering what was going through his head at the moment.  I mean, he has been trying to get with me for awhile now and now that I'm single, here's his chance.  He came back over and sat across from me.

"The guys and Tanya said hi."

"I only have a problem with two of them, the others are welcome to say it to me themselves."  He frowned a bit, but then perked back up.

"So, what do you have planned this weekend?"

"Jordan.... it's too soon for me to start dating...."

"Dude, I was just asking you a question, not on a date."

I looked at him sheepishly, "Sorry.  How are you holding up?  I mean, now that Kai is back with Tyler."

"What are you talking about?  Kai isn't back with Tyler.  Blade, what happened was a mistake... they were drunk.  I don't think they would intentionally hurt you."

"You can believe what you like, but they are together.  I don't want you to get hurt by Kai, like you did by me."

"They aren't together... they're just not.  Kai told me they aren't, it was just a big screw up."

I shrugged and left it at that.  Not soon enough, Joey arrived and took a seat next to me.  I smiled at him... it seemed lately he was the only thing that made me somewhat happy.

"Damn, that lady doesn't stop talking once she gets going.  Everything's good though, I'm actually a bit ahead of the class."

"That's good.  So do you like the school so far?"  I asked.

"Yeah, it's cool.. well as cool as school can be.  Thankfully, Jordan here is in most of my classes or else I would be totally lost."  Jordan blushed and smiled at him.

"Well, it's nice to have someone to talk to in class now.  It sucks when everyone of your friends is a senior."  Jordan seemed to take to Joey very easily, bypassing his shy demeanor.

We continued to talk about random things during the rest of lunch.  I kept taking glances at Tyler and noticed he was just staring at the table, not touching a bit of his food.  He wasn't talking to anybody, even when the others tried to talk to him.  I don't know what made me do it, but I decided to push my pride aside for a moment.  I pulled out a piece of paper and pen and started writing:

'Tyler, I don't want you to get sick over this.  No matter what, we'll still be friends.  I need space... this is really hard to deal with.  So, please eat your food, go about your life.  Necklace or not, you will always own a huge piece of my heart.  I'll always love you, Blade.'

I stood up and walked over to his table.  He looked up at me, not quite sure what to think.  I reached out my hand and handed him the note.  His eyes flickered a bit, he was blinking the tears back.  I couldn't be that close to him, without almost breaking down myself.  The whole table just stared at me when I started to walk back to my seat.  Joey and Jordan were staring at me as well.

"What did you write to him?"  Joey asked.

"I just told him to eat his food and we'll always be friends, it's just going to take time."  I said, not too enthusiastically, I might add.

"That's not going to be enough for you, Blade.  You know it and I know it."  Joey stated the obvious.

"If that's the only way he can be part of my life, then that's how it will have to be."  Before he could respond, the bell rang, signaling for us to leave.  Jordan took my hand and squeezed it, telling me he was there for me.  I smiled at him and pulled him in for a quick hug.  Joey headed off with Jordan to their next class.

The rest of the classes went by slowly, probably because I wanted them to go by fast.  I made very little small talk with Kai in art and history.. I'm not ready to forgive anyone yet.  I met Joey at the locker room for running, something that actually did go by quickly.  It was a pretty uneventful night, Joey, Eric, Matt, and I just hung out in my room again.  I was beginning to enjoy our little get togethers.  Soon enough we all went to bed.. the only difference being Joey stayed in my room.  It really comforted me to have him sleep next to me... it kept the nightmares away.

The rest of the week went by rather quickly.. well seeing as there was only three days, maybe it wasn't as quickly as I thought.  I didn't talk to Tyler or Kai for that matter, much at all.  I would say hello and how they were, but that's about it.  Joey continued to be there for me, which I greatly appreciated.  On Friday, I received a note in my locker from Tyler, asking if we could go and talk somewhere that night.  After battling with myself, I broke down and told him yes, and I would meet him after school.  The thing I didn't count on was me staying longer than expected after running.  Coach wanted to talk over the lines and some plays with me.

When I went outside, Tyler was nowhere to be seen.  I let Joey take my car home and I decided to walk.  It gave me a chance to think through what I was going to say to Tyler... if I could forgive him.  After a few miles, my heart won out over my head, and I decided I would forgive him.  When I came upon my street, I was practically beaming about the idea of having Tyler back.  I started to jog a little bit, when I came to a halt in front of Kai's house.  There on the steps was Kai, holding Tyler, kissing.  Heartbreak times two.  I walked closer to them and they still didn't know I was there.

"So, this is what you wanted to talk about?!?!"  I yelled out.  They both jumped a foot in the air.

"B-blade... it's not what it looks like."  Tyler stuttered out, obviously not expecting me to be there.

"Fuck you, Tyler.  Fuck you."  I laughed out of disgust, "If you love something let it go, if it comes back it's yours. If it doesn't it never was... DMX, smart guy.  I guess you never were mine.  Thanks for breaking my heart, not once, but twice."   I turned around and started running home, afraid of how much my temper was flaring.  Kai and Tyler both called out to me, but I wasn't going to hear anything they had to say.

I got to my house and flung open the door.  I went straight to my room, but ran right into Joey as I was entering.  We both went down, with me falling on top of him.  He looked at me and saw the tears that had just started, then immediately wrapped his arms around me, trying to calm me down once again.

"What happened, baby?"  Joey has this thing with calling me baby.. I don't know if it's because I cry so much or what.

"He fucking hurt me again.."

"Shhhh... it'll be okay, I'm here, don't worry.  I'll never leave you, Blade."  The tone in his voice was so soft, but yet so serious.  I looked into his deep, dark eyes, showing him my emotions.

"I'll live... somehow.  I want to get to sleep, will you sleep in here again?"  I asked.

"Of course."

I started to get up, when Joey pulled me back down and held me firmly against him.  Before I could figure out what was going on, I felt his lips over mine, the love passing from him to me.  I totally melted in his embrace and just laid there returning the wonderful feelings he was giving me.  Any thoughts on my mind went completely blank, as Joey tried to take my hurt away.

So ends Chapter 9.  Blade's got another dilemma to face.  Hehe, you know I couldn't just leave everything calm and peaceful!  Well, the temporary website opening should coincide with the release of Chapter 10.  I thank everyone who has sent pics in for the search for Tyler.  It's nice to see what everyone's vision of him is.  So, I haven't decided what pic will be used for him as of right now.  All of the other characters are taken care of, though, I urge you all to keep your own visions in your head, as the pics that will be up are just the closest thing to how I envision the characters.  Well, stay tuned for the tenth anniversary chapter up next.  Take care everyone.  Email me at: