The following is a work of fiction. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. Any relation to similar events or persons, fiction or real, is completely fortuitous. 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 with your comments.

Have you forgotten all I know, and all we had?
You saw me mourning my love for you
And touched my hand
I knew you loved me then

I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you
I have to be with you, to live, to breathe
You're taking over me

Taking Over Me © by Evanescence, 2003

Control. It's extraordinary the tactics people employ to obtain it. Some rely on deception while others engage in outright trickery. Then there are those who resort to extortion. Why do we fight so hard for control? Because we know to lose it is to put our fate in the hands of others. And what could be more dangerous?

© by Marc Cherry, 2005

Taking Over Me 02

The sun settled into its middle position in the sky casting down wonderful rays of heat and nourishment. Although it's nearing the end of January, meaning the outside temperature feels like being sprayed with cold water immediately following a sweltering shower, I'm wearing a tank top and shorts. But, hey, I'm hiking. Hiking forces me to use a lot of energy. Energy creates heat. Heat causes me to feel good. See how that all works? Earlier today Tyler asked if I'd like to go hiking, and I jumped at the chance. We've had little time to bond together what with Christmas and New Years about a month ago, plus the heavy storm systems that blessed us during that time. So, the two of us are hiking in the mountains with nothing to distract us from the wonders of Mother Nature. All the lush firs and tall pines, the chirping birds and frantic squirrels, moist soil filling the tread of my shoes, make the mundane undertakings of daily life seem entirely insignificant. Even the break up seems irrelevant to life while out here in the great outdoors.

Tyler stopped walking and pulled out two water bottles from the backpack he's been carrying. I graciously took a bottle and sat on a boulder.

"So, you seem to be doing a lot better." He noted audibly. "It's nice to be hiking with you again."

"Yeah, I'm doing a lot better." I agreed sincerely. "And it's definitely nice to be here again." I swallowed a huge gulp of water.

"I was thinking tonight we could rent a bunch of movies and just make pigs of ourselves. How's that sound? You can go back to healthy eating tomorrow."

"If I'm going to eat stuff that's eventually going to kill me there had better be homemade pizza and fettuccine, otherwise I'm not showing up."

Tyler laughed. "We live in the same house. I'm pretty sure you're showing up."

"Speaking of hanging out, I need to call Claire and tell her I'm still alive." Tyler frowned as I said that. I'm sure he's been worried about suicide, too. "I miss her, anyway."

"Well, super. The only way to get over the bad is to create good."

"I thought the only way to get over an ex is to get on top of someone else?" I chuckled at the thought of me sleeping with anyone other than Trevor. What a fucking joke.

"Improvise, my dear cynical son." Tyler dropped his bottle back into the pack, reaching for mine. "Come on. Let's keep going for a little while."

I was more than happy to oblige. I'm here in the wilderness to forget about my problems, not reminisce about them. Fuck Trevor. I hope he's happy with the outcome of the separation. I still want to know what could have possessed him to actually go through with it. Ever since we first started dating years ago he was so indecisive with even the simplest of things. Since when did he grow the balls to do this? He probably planned it weeks ago so he'd actually be prepared. That son of a bitch.

I have to let the pain and the sorrow go. If it keeps consuming me I'll never be sane again. Tyler said the only way to get of the bad is to create good. How the hell am I supposed to do that when all I actually want to do is curl up in a ball and die? It's a miracle I'm even hiking right now. Sure, I immediately accepted his invite to hike, but that was just because I was miserable in my room. I needed to get out of the house and get back out into society . . . even though we're miles from human civilization. Perhaps if I continue escaping my current comfort zone it'll return to the level it used to be. It wasn't uncommon for me to go to a party and literally talk to everyone. Granted the parties I attended were hosted by very close friends so the people there were often mutual friends but still. I'm a social butterfly, as Trevor always said. Out of the two of us he was the quiet one. That was one of his cutest qualities. His shyness always made me melt inside. When he was especially nervous he'd casually scratch behind his ear. At parties we weren't always together the entire time so when we'd be apart and I saw him scratching I knew to bail him out. It was like a silent SOS. He never knew for sure that I watched out for him in that sense, but maybe he did have a clue. Not that it matters.

Other than him himself, I'm going to miss the sex. God, that kid was a master in the sheets. He hit my buttons better than Charlie Sheen's ability to sleep with hookers and not catch a disease. The way he shoved inside of me with each thrust and his magical tongue that wiped my mouth clean. Mmm, shit. I need sex. Badly. But I'm stuck with just my right hand, sometimes my left. What a downgrade.

What am I doing? I shouldn't even be thinking about him much less thinking about the incredible . . . earth moving . . . glass shattering . . . sex we had. Definitely shouldn't be thinking about that, especially here in the wilderness with Tyler. I mean, I can't simply jump behind a tree and take care of the large problem I've placed myself in. I'll just have to suffer, and not draw Tyler's attention for him to look over his shoulder. With every step my raging member rubbed against the fabric of my boxers. The sensation wasn't helping it go down.

As we continued hiking, the trail was becoming steeper. The rocks were growing in size, and the soil was almost to the point of being mud. Traction was difficult to keep and a few times I lost my balance but quickly recovered without making a big scene. But suddenly I lost grip entirely and landed roughly on my left knee.

"Ow, shit!" I grumbled.

Tyler carefully came over to me and set his bag on the ground. He lifted my leg and whistled. "You're cut up pretty badly."

"Huh?" I looked down at my leg and saw blood oozing out from several places. I didn't even realize I cut myself. "Ugh, I hate blood." The only good thing is that my boner has completely disappeared. Ha.

"Don't worry. I'll wrap it up." He dug into the backpack. "Hm, I must've forgotten to pack the first aid kit."

"Great. It's going to get infected and I'm going to have to have it amputated. Please have Jared do it for me."

"Oh, hush, you drama queen." he chuckled, pulling out a few napkins and wiping around the wound. "We'll just have to head back to the car."


"Don't worry about it. The trail was slippery anyway." I reached for his extended hand to help me stand. "I can't believe I forgot the first aid kit."

"Happens to the best of us, Tyler."

"Well, we're just lucky nothing more serious happened. Jared's the whiz when it comes to this stuff. I only know history."

"You at least know it well." I laughed sarcastically.

We made our way down the trail to his car. It only took us a quick thirty minutes, just over twice as fast as it took us to hike up. As we made it to the Murano, Tyler went around to the back to fetch the emergency kit that came with the car. In no time he had my leg sanitized and wrapped in a bandage, and we were heading home.

Once home, Jared greeted us with a warm lunch. Tyler must've texted him we were on our way. I never even knew.

"What happened to your leg?" he asked worriedly, coming over to inspect it.

"It's just a scratch. I slipped and fell. No big deal." I diverted through the dining room to get into the kitchen. "What's for lunch?"

"I made mac and cheese."

"From scratch!?"

". . . From the box." Jared laughed heartily. I was so hopeful. "I know you can't have a lot so I made you a salad."

Tyler sampled a bite of the food. "I'm going to make pizza and fettuccine tonight. Travers is going to rent a few movies and we're just going to be pigs tonight."

"Travers is going to eat pizza and fettuccine?" he asked incredulously. My family knows I eat healthy. They also know how strict on myself I can be when it comes to doing so. Many nights I've had to deny their dinner for something much healthier. Tyler tries to accommodate me as best he can, but he has himself and three other mouths to feed. Keegan despises anything green. Torry doesn't like fish. Jared won't eat anything raw. I feel selfish for eating like I do, but at the same time I just want to stay healthy. "Well welcome to the real world, Travers. It's about bloody time." With that being said he poured two heaping spoonfuls of noodles into a bowl for me. I stared into the goop. I could feel my heart sobbing.

"Boys! Lunch is ready!" Tyler shouted upstairs. Keegan and Torry came flying down the stairway and ran into the kitchen. It's hard to imagine being fifteen. It's even harder to imagine I used to act like them when I was that age.

"Whoa, Travers, what happened to your leg?" Torry prodded. Keegan merely glanced down, more concerned with his food.

"I tripped and cut myself up."

Torry laughed hysterically. "You've always been a klutz. Way to go, dude."

I turned to Keegan and asked, "Can you feel the love in this room right now? Can you?" The two of them scoffed. "Movie night tonight. What do you guys want to rent?" I asked politely, setting them up for a joke.

Keeg immediately spoke up. "Ohh! We should rent that movie about the planet's oceans being dried-"

"It doesn't matter what you want!" I shouted. Keegan frowned. Torry laughed. "No, I'm serious. It doesn't matter." Jared and Tyler joined in the laughter. Only Keegan wasn't laughing. He shot me an evil look. "Lighten up, fruitcake."

"Coming from the fruit tree himself." he countered.

"Ouch," sarcastically I mocked.

"Okay, boys, that's enough." Tyler cut in. "Eat your lunch. When you're done I'll run you to the rental shop. I have to run to the store anyway."

Our two garbage disposals made quick work of their noodles. They make piranhas appear kitten-like. I on the other hand eat pretty slowly and eat small amounts at a time. If we go out to eat I'm always the last one to finish much to the dismay of Jared and the two piranhas. I'm pretty much a grazer when it comes to eating. It's taken much training to eat like I do, but it has been well worth it. And don't fret. I'm not malnourished. Although I eat slowly and only small amounts I eat throughout the day. I receive plenty of nutrients. When Trevor was in the picture I would get double doses of protein if you catch my drift.

Jared stood opposite us and ate his own bowl of noodles.

"I forgot to tell you. Austin wants us to come over next week for dinner." he said to Tyler. Torry, though, got excited. "Adults only," Scratch the excited. "Travers, he wants to know if you'd baby sit Parker."

Parker is their little boy. He's about four years old and cute as a kitten. I love babysitting him. He's way easier to entertain than the two piranhas I call brothers. Pop him in front of a TV and my duties are done.

"Sure. I never mind watching him. I like him." I stared at Torry and Keegan when I accentuated 'like.'

"Why don't you like watching us?" They asked in unison, mouths full of food. Disgusting.

"Need I state the obvious?" Tyler chuckled to himself. "I'm guessing Friday?"

"Probably. He never really gave me a day."

Torry deposited his and Keegan's bowl into the sink. Tyler told them to get ready to go to the store. I have only taken a few bites and am so not ready to leave.

"Take your time," Tyler whispered.

Jared rolled his eyes. "Don't tell him that. You won't leave for another hour."

"God, Jared, you split my sides." I stood up and circled a finger around my right ribcage. "Is that my liver right there? Is it?"

He rolled his eyes again. "Anyway. What're you guys thinking of renting?"

"I want to rent something tremendously scary. Those little brats are going to shit their pants tonight."

"You are so sweet, Travers." Tyler sighed dejectedly. "Finish eating and then we'll go."

"Hey, I just realized something. Today's Friday."


"Don't you have work? And why are the boys home? Did you guys ditch today?"

"It's a teacher service day today so the entire district has the day off."

"Oh, makes sense, I guess."

"Now, Travers, I expect you to eat a lot tonight. You lost quite a bit of weight the past week and it wasn't in a healthy manner." Jared began. "Don't make me bring home powdered weight gainer."

"It'd probably be healthier than gorging myself." I shot back.

"Definitely, but not as fun." Jared served himself another bowl of goop. "At least you eat healthy so you can replenish your malnourished ass."

I laughed quickly. "Don't be jealous, Jared. If you start eating right and working out more you can have an ass just like mine." Tyler snickered at my comment.

"I'm laughing on the inside. For your information I work out plenty. You know that. And you," he stared at Tyler, "have never complained about my ass before."

Tyler turned four shades of red and tried to hide his goofy grin.

"Anyways," I said just as Torry and Keegan came from upstairs. "I guess I'm done." I looked into the bowl and realized I still had quite a bit to go. The boys really want to leave, though. I went into my bedroom to fetch my phone and wallet. I had a text from Claire.

Hey how are you doing? Text me back asap

Claire is my best friend. We met in my senior year of high school. It didn't take long for us to tell each other everything and persistently hang out. When Trevor broke up with me she immediately did the best friend thing and tried to cheer me up, but she had yet to learn that's not how I move past a tragedy. We haven't spoken since. I feel kind of guilty. She's probably worried sick about me.

I'm much better. Lets hang out tmrw.

I rejoined everyone in the kitchen. Tyler told me I was chauffeuring this time, not that I mind. I drive a hybrid. What's better than a hybrid? Oh, right, an electric. Electrics still haven't prevailed over the hybrid market. There are a couple of electric cars, but I do a lot of distance driving so they're not really the best option for me. I keep trying to convince Tyler and Jared to purchase one for work purposes. That'd save quite a bit of gas. Jared's actually talking about selling his Suburban and buying something more economical. After all it is only the five of us. Why the hell do we need an extra four seats? He's looking at the Tahoe hybrid, but he likes luxury. That's one of the biggest differences between him and Tyler. Jared likes the luxurious things whereas Tyler is okay with simple. For road trips or family things we usually take Tyler's Murano anyways. Regardless of what he chooses I'm going to try my hardest to make sure it's a hybrid.

The four of us piled into my car and I drove to the store. Claire texted me back while on the way. I finally had a chance to check the message after I parked. Everyone knows better than to text and drive while their parents are in the car. I mean, I don't text and drive at all, mostly at red lights and stop signs or in traffic. I can text without looking at the letters so it allows me a little leeway. Tyler let us venture in the rental place while he went a few buildings down to the grocer.

Glad you're doing better :)) want to just kick it at your house?

I replied, Yeah come over around 11.

See you then!!!

Perfect. Have plans to hang out with Claire tomorrow. Thinking about it now, I really don't want to spend another day at the house. Oh well. We'll figure something out when the time comes. Perhaps we can hang out with Elizabeth, Lizzie for short, and Olivia-our other best friends. Our little group began a couple of months after the first day of college. Lizzie's one of the craziest mother fuckers ever. Let's play a little game. What color is her hair? Is it blonde, brown, red, or a random color? So we'll come back to her in a sec. Olivia is similar to all of us in a way. Like Claire she takes school very seriously. Like me she's overly loyal. Like Lizzie, well, she can get wild if need be. The four of us have had some truly crazy times over the course of our college career. The sad thing is we all have different plans for the future. Although I don't know my plans as of right now I do know I'm transferring to a four year college. For the most part they're not going too far away. About a thirty minute drive is what they're looking at. It's just going to be sad not going to classes with them anymore. But who knows? I might figure out a career path soon and could end up at one of their campuses.

Ready to find out Lizzie's hair color? If you guessed red you're correct. Liz is a true blue red head. And not like an off red or an orange-red. Purely red hair. Don't get the wrong impression of her, though. She's wild while still having a very tame side. Knowing when to be wild and when not to be is one of her strongest attributes. Pour a little alcohol down her throat and wild time begins. Out of the four of us only I don't drink. Claire drinks the least, followed by Olivia. Again, Lizzie isn't hardcore. She just likes to have fun and be a social butterfly at the same time.

Torry and Keegan quickly found a movie they each wanted to rent. I reviewed them for quality purposes and approved. One was a comedy and the other was an adventure-drama. Keegan and his damn "based on a true story" movies. He eats that shit up. While they waited by the checkout, I hunted for the scariest film available. The hunt need not last long for however tough the boys act they have a very strong little girl side - [cue in evil laugh]. I grabbed a movie from a series of independent films that I've seen a few of before. They're quite the thrill ride, but it's a hit-and-miss kind of thing. This one had better be a hit. I paid for the DVDs and we went back out to my car.

"So what's Tyler getting from the store?" Torry asked.

"Food," I replied.

He scoffed. "I know that, but what for?"


"What's for dinner?"


"What kind of food!?"

"Food you eat,"

"Travers!" Torry groaned.

I snickered evilly. It's so much fun being the older child.

"He's making pizza and fettuccine."

"Sweet! We haven't had homemade pizza in forever!"

I leaned against the car and stared up into the sky. A plane flew overhead, its engine chugging. I've always wanted to fly on a plane be it a single engine or a giant 747. Maybe that's what Claire and I can do tomorrow. Our cities municipal airport has a charter service. Who knows the price, though. But Jared would buy me a ticket if it meant me having a life again. It can't cost more than fifty bucks a person, right? I mean, I only want to stay in the area. It's not like I want to go cross country. Claire may not be down for that. She's flown before, though, so she should be all right. I just don't want to stay indoors all day tomorrow.

Tyler finally came from the store with several bags in hand. Keegan helped him out by taking a couple. I quickly drove home out of boredom. Tyler is such a drama queen, too. He kept his hands securely planted on the door and his seat. Like I drive crazy or something. I simply have zero tolerance for stupid people on the road, and I drive defensively . . . and sometimes offensively if there is such a thing. You're probably thinking I'm an immature young adult who needs to learn how to properly drive. Wrong. I'm far from perfect and I know there's a lot to learn still, but at the same time I try my best to not do what I find annoying. I use my blinkers. I stay in the right lane if I'm just cruising. And I pay attention to when traffic lights change. Stupid drivers definitely fail in those three categories, including many, many others.

Upon arriving home, Torry and Keegan jumped out of the car and raced inside. I helped Tyler bring in the groceries. Still full from lunch he said he'd start dinner in a few hours. Jared unloaded the bags.

"What is this?" he asked to no one in particular. From two brown paper bags he pulled out a bottle of tequila and a six pack of Raspberry Smirnoff. "We have liquor, Tyler."

"We're low on tequila and the bottles are for . . . Travers."

That grabbed my attention in a flash. I stared incredulously at him. I haven't taken a drink of alcohol since my rebellion years ago.

"You're kidding, right? Tyler, you know I can't drink. You know what'll happen." I still can't believe he bought me alcohol.

"Come on, Trav. It's been what, three years? And I bought the Smirnoff because it has a low alcohol content." The genuine sincerity on his face prevented me from totally losing it. "I just thought tonight you could really let loose."

"I don't think that's a good idea." Jared spoke up. "Slipping into old habits doesn't take much."

"No. It just takes willpower not to fall down." Tyler rebutted. "But if he doesn't want to, then I'm not going to force him. I was only throwing it out there."

What a terrible temptation. On the one hand I can surely control myself enough not to fall back into what used to be a horrible drinking problem. On the other hand I've been sober for so long I'd hate to ruin that streak. Then again alcohol would be a nice way to drown out the problems dealt to me in regards of the break up. But if I take a drink, even a sip, who knows what the outcome would be. Quick decision. If I don't make one now I'll be thinking about it until my head explodes.

"No, I want a drink. I'll be fine. I'm much more aware of the consequences." I blurted out.

"Well all right then!" Tyler happily said, grabbing a bottle and popping the top off for me. "Jared, mix us up some drinks!"

Jared smirked and went into the pantry. Tonight is going to be that much more fun. While they prepared their own drinks I shuffled into the living for a little TV time. As I flipped through the channels I came across one of Trevor's favorite shows. Unfortunately I like it too. But to watch it would make me think of him too much and that's something I definitely shouldn't do while drinking. I can already feel the alcohol soaking into my blood stream. It won't take long before I'm completely buzzed.

Torry came down and sat with me. He couldn't believe I had a bottle in my hand. He wasn't around when I was rebellious, but he's heard plenty from Keegan I'm sure.

"Travers, can I ask you something?" he asked softly, peeking around into the kitchen.

"Sure," I said indifferently. I just figured it was something random.

Sitting back down, he looked very uncomfortable all of a sudden. I turned the volume down and sat up straighter.

"No, no, turn it back up!"

I turned the volume up. "What's going on, dude?"

"I need your help with something."

Again he seemed super uncomfortable. His face was turning red and everything. He wouldn't even look at me.


"Can you help me . . . Um . . . I was thinking . . . hoping . . . you would want to maybe . . ." So help me if he says anything about experimenting I am going to lose it. ". . . help me lose a little weight."

Thank God it wasn't about experimenting. I'm sure he could even tell I was relieved. I smiled warmly.

"Of course. But what makes you want to lose weight?"

"Um, I'm fat."

"Dude," I chuckled, "you're definitely not fat."

He again got up to peek into the kitchen. Turning back around to me, he lifted his shirt up quickly. "This is fat,"

"You're fifteen. It's just a little leftover baby fat. Not a big deal."

"If you won't help me, then I'll just find my own way to lose it."

"I never said I wouldn't help." I've always been in decent shape. I don't know what it's like to 'get fit.' But it's common knowledge what being overweight can do to someone's mentality, especially if they're teased because of it. "Are you teased at school?"

"A little," he sheepishly replied. "It's nothing serious. Just a few jabs here and there, but it'd be nice if that wouldn't happen anymore."

"Bullying still goes on in school? What the fuck is going on in Capitol Hill?" I love politicians and their inability to perform any kind of actions. "I'll help you out, dude. We'll start tomorrow."

"Cool. Thanks a lot, Travers."

Torry began walking away, but I grabbed him and stared him dead in the eye.

"You will listen to everything I say, got that? If I tell you to eat something you eat it, and I tell you not to, then you will drop the food. Understand?"

"I got it," he frowned, walking away.

That may have seemed harsh, but you don't know what Torry and Keegan have been like the last year or so. With the onslaught of puberty they have been mouthy little shits who don't often listen to anything I say. I know it's just the hormones, but if he wants my help he's going to listen to every damn thing I have to say.

I swallowed the last drop of my Smirnoff. Only a slight buzz, enough to feel relaxed, is with me. I got up and headed for the kitchen. When I entered, the most peculiar thing happened. Tyler was leaning against Jared at the island and the two were simply holding each other. But as soon as Tyler saw me he jumped away from Jared faster than a lightning strike. This is odd because they have never been afraid of showing affection in front of us kids before.

"Another drink?" Tyler asked as though he didn't flinch away from his husband like he had a rampant virus.

I eyed him suspiciously. "Yeah,"

Popping the cap off for me, he said, "Here you go,"


Jared took a huge swig from his glass and refrained from looking at me. Tyler went back to prepping dinner. I guess we're going to pretend that didn't just happen. I went back to the couch and propped my legs up.

An hour or so passed by and another bottle at that. The buzz was growing and so was my boredom. Tyler had long since disappeared into his office. Jared's in the garage tinkering with the cars. The boys are upstairs watching TV. I'm pretty tired of sitting around. I guess I can go downstairs for a soak in the hot tub even though alcohol and scalding water shouldn't mix. But there's no set law so fuck caution.

I went upstairs to ask the boys if they wanted to join. Surprisingly they both did. We all changed into board shorts and went downstairs to the basement. Torry and Keegan went straight to the Jacuzzi, but I took a moment to check everything out. It's been a while since I've actually been down here. Tyler and Jared received this house as a wedding gift from Jared's aunt. And bar none this is the strangest house design ever. The previous owners had everything basically custom built from the basement up, and about three days before construction finished they disappeared. From the way the house is constructed they were quite the eccentric people. Our basement is a kids' paradise. From the game room with numerous arcade machines and a pool table to the movie theater that houses a popcorn machine and a beverage bar, there is always something to do. I can't forget about the pool and Jacuzzi, plus the sauna and two full changing rooms with showers. The oddest feature in the basement is a bedroom with its own bathroom. The most randomly placed bedroom ever. A year or so back it wasn't clear if we could continue living here because of how expensive it was becoming. But luck was on our side and we scraped by.

Keegan and Torry looked totally chill in the hot tub. They both had their heads resting on the edge, staring up at the ceiling. I tossed my shirt off and slowly stepped in. I noticed Keegan was checking me out. I'm glad there isn't any awkwardness over what happened yesterday. Today was like any other day in the Delfino-Young household. Let him stare, though. Staring is much less harmful than what he did do.

The three of us stayed in the Jacuzzi for only about thirty minutes or so. Tyler called us upstairs because he wanted to play Monopoly. What a joke. I don't mean that to be rude, but to be perfectly honest and to not inflate my ego any larger than it already is I am a vicious Monopoly player. No one ever likes to play me because I'm that damn wicked. Funny thing about my dad is he finds the positive in any situation. Even though I clobber them all it's okay because we're spending time as a family. After one game Tyler started dinner with Jared's help. The boys and I showered and changed into regular clothes, then met in the living room for a little TV.

Claire texted me saying she's excited about hanging out tomorrow. I replied I'm excited too, and that's the truth. Torry fetched my fourth bottle of Smirnoff. I think my family likes that I'm chilling with them finally. This is how it used to be, minus the drinking. We're a close-knit family. When one of us is in pain we're all in pain. It may sound cliché or corny, but the truth doesn't lie . . . One of my more stupid lines of the night.

"Dinner!" Tyler hollered from the kitchen.

Although pizza isn't exactly a healthy dinner, Tyler's pizza is definitely healthier than any fast food joint. And although I'm splurging tonight, much to the delight of Jared, that doesn't mean it can't be somewhat healthy. Clearly the pizza with bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, onions, turkey sausage and jalapeños is for me. And earlier I noticed Tyler bought one bag of skim cheese just for me. So technically my pizza is pretty neutral. The other three pizzas are for the carnivores. Between the four of them I'm surprised three pizzas is even enough. Jared, of course, has half a pizza built specifically to his preference, which includes pork sausage—he considers turkey sausage a sin—pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and olives. Let's not forget he prefers real cheese, not my "healthy shit that tastes like it was scraped from a cows inner anus." Really, Jared? Really?

"Here, Travers," Jared enthusiastically said, handing me a large plate with two slices of pizza and a more than generous serving of fettuccine.

"Gee, thank you so much. I'll remember this when I'm having a triple bypass."

"Oh, please! You already have your damn abomination sausage and skim cheese that tastes like a cow's-"

"Jared!" Tyler scorned.

"What? I wasn't going to say what you think you thought I was thinking about possibly saying."

"You were going to say what you think I didn't think I thought you'd say."

We just stared at each other and busted up laughing. The boys loaded their plates and asked Tyler if they could eat in the living room. He said they could as long as not a drop of food fell onto the carpet or couch. They promised to be careful. I sat in the dining room with him and Jared. The two of them were talking about routine adult things, but then Tyler brought something up that I had completely forgotten all about.

"It's our ten year anniversary at the end of June." he casually mentioned.

Note to self: consider throwing anniversary party.

"You think I forgot about it or something?" Jared asked.

"Just making sure you haven't. What's on February sixteenth?"

Jared quickly glanced over at me. I know what the date is, but I'm not getting involved. Someone's about to get into a little trouble.

"It's the day . . . we first met . . ." Tyler shook his head. "The day we . . ." Again, Tyler shook his head. "The day you . . ." This time a positive nod. "Were born?"

"Good boy," Tyler chuckled.

Jared let out a huge sigh of relief. "And you thought I didn't know."

"So June is your tenth year, huh?" I want to find out more about that so I can start planning things now. Sure it's still five months away, but it's never too early to start planning such a significant event.

"Yep. Ten years we've been married, unless you count the separation . . ." Tyler kind of trailed off sadly.

"That doesn't count," Jared insisted. "It was only a month or so anyways."

"Yeah," Tyler sighed.

I could see certain guilt in Jared's eyes. The separation a few years ago was technically his fault. It was an act of nobility that went awry. The separation was only about a month long, though, so personally I don't think it counts. Whether it does or not their anniversary would be in July rather than June, not that big of a deal.

"I'm already working on it, babe." Jared said with a mouth full of food.

"Really?" Tyler and I said in unison.

"Yes, really. Why is that so hard to believe?"

"Because—" We again said in sync, but Tyler let me say it. "Because you'd probably forget your head if it wasn't attached to your neck."

"Oh, bull."

"Sorry to say, honey, but it is true."

"As if, Tyler!"

Keegan called from the couch, "Travers, your phone is vibrating!"

I strolled over and grabbed my phone from the floor. A test message; probably just from Claire. I opened the message and my heart damn near stopped.

I'm gna come by tmrw and pick some things up. Okay?

Chapter two in the hole. I'd like to take this opportunity to express my extreme disappointment with how the first chapter turned out. I maybe heard from four or five people. I worked for months on this story and to only hear from so few readers is very discouraging. Hopefully I'll be hearing more from you guys because an author's only payment, at least on Nifty, is your messages. Why do you think it took me so long to post chapter 1? I wasn't receiving any messages, for the obvious reason, but still, lol.

Feel free to join my group: Shades of Wisteria. Oh, and don't forget about my instant messaging screen names! Don't worry about bugging me, either, because you WON'T. I love talking to my readers! Just make sure if you're going to add me you specifically tell me you're a reader. Otherwise I will assume you as spam and ignore you. We don't want that to happen, now do we?

AIM= brokendreamboi
Yahoo!= brokendreamboi

Here's my blog, which is kept updated: Bobby's Blog.

Oh, my Twitter also, which I occassionally post updates on: Bobby's Twitter

Visit my store here: Bobby's Storefront. You can purchase A Life So Changed and Beautiful Lie. Thanks ahead of time.