The following is a work of fiction. Any similarities are entirely fortuitous. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at this address with your comments.

A Promise Amended 04

Tyler:

Jared seemed to actually be jealous. The way his face was contorted when he asked about my date was a dead giveaway. That and the fact that he left so suddenly tipped me off. I waited a little while after he left before going to check on how the boys were doing on my car.

"So, Travers, who else have you given my address to?" I sarcastically asked him.

He looked at me apologetically. "I'm sorry, I really wasn't thinking."

"Well, it's all right." I assured him. "Jared seemed to be a little upset though."

"Of course he's upset. Look at what he gave up." Zac chimed in.

"Boy, you are just a loose cannon." I directed at Travers.

"We're sorry to hear about that." Tommy said.

"Yeah, well, you boys are doing a great job. When you're done just make sure you put everything back in the garage." I walked back up to my apartment and hopped in the shower.

Alan called me around two and asked if we were still on for Friday and next week. Mom called me as well. She wanted to me to come by tonight for dinner. The kids wouldn't be with me so I figured it'd be nice not to be alone for a few hours.

Travers, Tommy, and Zac came back in. They were tired, but eagerly accepted their money. I wanted them to stay for a quick drink, but homework needed to be done so off they went. Travers took a shower and then fell asleep. Eventually I had to wake him up so he could go to Jared's. Both he and Keegan will be back Saturday though. After he left I drove to mom's house passing Jared's house along the way.

Upon entering my parent's house, I envied the smell of fresh baked pie. It's been forever since I've had a good pie. Alan's pie last night was amazing, but even he can't beat my mom's pie.

"So, how are things, Tyler?" mom asked.

"They're going as good as could be given the circumstances." I replied, sipping some soda. "Alan and I are an item now, I think. I'm having him again for dinner Friday night and he invited me to his parent's house for Christmas Eve."

"That's great," mom said. "When do we get to meet him?"

"I'm not sure," I replied.

"So, since you two are an item now, does that mean you've had sex?" she casually asked.

"Mom!" I scorned her. "That is none of your business."

"You have then?" she went on.

"No, we haven't had sex yet. And I'm not entirely sure I even want to. I guess I sort of feel like I'm cheating on Jared by even talking to him."

"But Jared is the one who-"

"Yes, mom, I know. You don't even have to say it."

Dad chimed in. "How are the boys doing?"

"Keegan seems to be doing all right." I sighed. "But Travers isn't dealing with it very well. He keeps blaming himself and no matter how many times I reassure him that it isn't his fault he just can't stop."

"Hmm, you should take them camping." he said, standing up from his seat.

"But I don't have anything plus I'm not sure how good I would be with camping anymore. It's been so long since I last went with you." I argued politely.

"Nonsense," he grinned. "Let's go in the garage and load up your Murano. Just go for Saturday night and come back Sunday. When I took Travers out fishing that one day he absolutely loved it, and I'm sure Keegan would." Without further argument, I knew dad was right. The two of us walked into the garage and started unpacking the old camping stuff. What seemed like hours later, mom came to get us for dinner.

After all of us ate, dad went back outside to finish packing my Murano. Mom kept me inside for a cup of coffee before I had to leave. She did start to talk about Jared though. My mug could not have emptied fast enough. Finally, dad came in and said everything was ready.

"I should get going."

* * * *

Travers:

"Thank God it's Friday!" I said loudly.

Trevor laughed. "I don't know if you've realized this yet, but we've been out of school for a week. You really have no reason to be so loud about it being Friday."

"Hey," I got serious. "Don't go bursting my bubble. If I want to shout, then I will shout."

"Or what?" he challenged me. "What are you gonna do?"

I kept silent for a minute letting the viciousness of my punishment for him sink in. It was becoming increasingly difficult to refrain from laughing. Trevor's face grew into a smug look showing as if he'd won this battle. I'm sure, however, he wasn't expecting what I was about to throw out there.

"You will be restricted from fucking me." I smiled victoriously.

His expression dropped from smug to fear. "Baby, I'm so sorry! I was totally just joking!"

I laughed. "So was I."

"You asshole," he scoffed. "I thought you were serious."

"You are such an addict, you know that?"

"I am not!"

"Are too!"

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

"I'm not going to apologize for having a healthy sex life." Trevor stated.

"Healthy? I'm going to have to burn every sheet you've touched."

Trevor suddenly looked upset. "Fine, I guess I should go then." He very quickly stood up and opened my bedroom door.

"Trevor, wait, I was just kidding!" I pleaded.

He stopped right under the door frame and slowly turned around. "So was I."

The realization that I had just been played finally came into mind. "You are such an asshole!"

"Back at you, baby." he chuckled.

"I was kidding about everything though."

"I know you were."

Trevor and I went down to the basement and changed into our swim suits so we could sit in the Jacuzzi. The hot water being propelled from the numerous jets were massaging my back and it felt so damn good. I could tell Trevor was enjoying it as well. The way his face was I'd swear he was having an orgasm. It wasn't until Keegan bounded into the room that the two of us got out. We changed back into our clothes after a quick shower. Keegan and him went into my room, but I needed to ask Jared a question. He was in his room with Taylor and the door was shut. I listened intently for any kind of sounds, but there was nothing. I was just about to knock when I heard their voices start up.

"I don't know how much longer I can do this. It's killing me." Jared said sadly.

"And you think I care? What you did to me was worse and if you back out now so help me I will destroy you and your family. Do you understand me?" Taylor viciously spoke.

Jared stayed silent for a moment. "When is this going to end?"

"Whenever I feel like you've paid your dues." Taylor began to walk towards the door. I ran down the hall and pretended I was just coming up the stairs. "Hi, Travers, what's up?" Happiness replaced her previous venom.

"Uh, I was just coming up to ask Jared if I could take Trevor and Keegan to the movies tonight." I said softly.

"Oh, okay," she smiled. "He's just laying down." She walked away from me without speaking another word.

I crept into Jared's room finding him with his head in his hands. "Jared?"

He shot his head up. "Hey, bud, what's up?" Jared wiped his eyes quickly.

"Well, I just wanted to see if I could have some money so me, Trevor, Torry, and Keegan can go to the movies tonight." I said, so badly wanting to ask what was wrong.

"Yeah," he choked. "Just take my card and the keys to the Suburban."

"You're letting me drive the Suburban?" I asked incredulously.

"Yeah, I trust you. How else were you going to get there?"

"I was going to run over to Tyler's and ask if I could borrow his Murano."

Jared smiled when I said Tyler. "How's he doing?"

"He's...fine."

"Good," he said. "Well, my keys and wallet are in the kitchen. Tell me before you go, okay?"

"Sure thing, Jared." I walked downstairs into my room. "Hey, guys, wanna go to the movies tonight?"

"Yeah!" Keegan shouted, running upstairs with Torry.

"I didn't know you wanted to go out tonight." Trevor stated.

"What else would there be to do?" I asked him, putting my socks and shoes on.

"You know, stuff," Trevor wriggled his eye brows.

"Gosh, do you ever stop thinking about sex?" I laughed. Just then, Keegan came running back into my room. "I figured we'd go to dinner first seeing as it's only four o'clock."

"Great, I'm starved to death!" Keegan exasperated dramatically.

I let out a comical sigh and then went into the kitchen to grab Jared's keys and wallet. Keegan, Torry, and Trevor went to wait out by the Suburban while I told Jared we were leaving. He wished us a fun time and to be careful.

* * * *

Tyler:

"Yeah, I'm all set up for it and everything. The only thing I haven't done is told the boys that we're going." I said to Alan.

"Well, I hope you three have fun." Alan replied with a smile. "And I will call you on Sunday, okay?"

I kissed him square on the lips. "I can't wait."

Alan left my apartment. His early leave gave me some time to mentally prepare for tomorrows trip. Just as I had told Alan, the boys have no idea what we will be doing tomorrow. But after a few minutes of thinking, I decided to just go to bed.

The next morning was intense. Within an hour I purchased over two hundred dollars worth of camping equipment my dad didn't supply me with or some things that just needed to be updated. Travers called me at about one and asked when he should bring him and his brother over. Three o'clock sounded good to the both of us so that was agreed upon.

When I got home I tuned to the weather channel to see what it was going to be like tonight and tomorrow. Unfortunately, I found out that there was to be a storm rolling in from the North in a matter of hours. The anger began to brew inside of me, but I calmed myself down fast enough to run back to the store and get a refund for all that I had just bought.

*

"Hey, dad," Travers and Keegan said in unison.

"Hey, guys," I smiled. "How are you both?"

"We're good," Keegan answered.

"So, listen, I was going to take us camping tonight, but apparently there's supposed to be a huge storm coming in. So, how about we go rent some movies and buy a whole bunch of junk food?" I said to them.

"Aww, I wish we could've gone camping." Travers disappointedly mumbled.

"I promise we will camp before winter break is over. I'll just have to go out and buy the gear that I returned today."

"Cool," Travers grinned. "Can Travers come over?"

"Actually, I'd prefer if it was just us three tonight. We haven't really had any bonding time lately." I said, hoping to not upset him.

"Sure, that's fine."

The boys unpacked what little they had and then we went to rent some movies. We each picked out one movie. Mine was an action movie, Travers's a horror flick, and Keegan got a comedy. After our movies were picked out we went to the store to purchase some candy and snacks. On the way home, the storm began to show its face. The wind began to pick up and with it started a ferocious downpour.

Later that night after a small dinner, the boys and I settled in on the fold-out and watched Keegan's movie first. My cell phone rang half way through the movie. Mom was checking in on us. I guess I forgot to call and tell her I was cancelling because of the storm. The movie Keegan picked out was indeed hilarious. Tears were streaming down all of our faces. My movie was one of those next. Sure, the previews made it seem great, but to be honest it wasn't the best action movie I've ever seen. Then the time came for Travers's movie. As soon as I popped the disc into the DVD player I began to think of Jared for some reason. Travers started the movie forcing me to block Jared out of my mind.

The movie Travers picked out was incredibly wicked. It had Keegan covering his eyes in just the first four minutes. I got comfortable resting against the back of the sofa whereas Travers and Keegan were laying length-wise at the foot of the bed. Forty minutes into the movie and it was getting intense. Even I was beginning to grow fearful of what was going to happen next.

"Dad!" Keegan bloodily screamed. He scurried into my arms and buried his face in my neck.

"It's okay, bud." I quietly said while rubbing his back. I could feel the moisture dripping from his eyes down my neck. The storm that was raging outside wasn't helping matters. In fact, the flash of lightning and roar of thunder made it seem like we were a part of the movie.

Only ten minutes after Keegan freaked out, Travers had his scare. "Fuck!" he shouted. He scooted up next to me and rested his head on my chest. Keegan was fast asleep by now so at that point it was just Travers and I awake, but I was starting to fade.

*

A thunderous boom scared me from my slumber. I blinked my eyes a few times to adjust to the bright light coming from the center of the room. I guess I must've dozed off. Travers did, too, apparently. The DVD menu was playing and the image it was displaying was that of the monster featured in the film. Definitely not something I wanted to see at the moment. I switched from the video channel to whatever I turned it to. Keegan was still sound asleep on my right and Travers on my left with their head's on my shoulder. Another loud booming sound came from outside along with a flash of a bright, white light. With great caution, I moved myself from under the boys and walked up outside onto my patio. The rain was beating down hard against my body, but I didn't care. Depression was building inside of me and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

"Jared..." I whispered into the night. Another clap of thunder and bolt of lightning filled the nearly pitch black sky. By now I was completely drenched. But for some reason I smiled.

Every storm brings with it hope that somehow, by morning, everything will be made clean again and even the most troubling stains will have disappeared. Like the doubts over his innocence. Or the consequence of his mistake. Like the scars of his betrayal. Or the memory of his kiss. So we wait for the storm to pass, hoping for the best even though we know in our hearts some stains are so indelible nothing can wash them away.*

* * * * * * * * * * * *

* by Marc Cherry, 2006

I hope you enjoyed chapter four. As always feel free to e-mail me with any comments or questions. Also feel free to join my group at this address. Thanks!

And don't forget to purchase A Life So Changed. You may purchase it here: Bobby's Storefront. If you liked the story online, wait until you see it in print! It would mean the world to me if you bought a copy! Thanks again!