By SF Writer
Copyright 2003  Stormnation, All rights reserved.

Chapter 15b: …till it’s gone

* * * * * * *

"We should really be getting to the party hadn’t we?" I said sitting opposite Marcel and Mom in the Restaurant Frente, one of the more expensive places to eat in town. But I have to say I’d settle for a good old cheeseburger or KFC any day over this crap they call cuisine.

"I think you should. I’ve got to get to work soon."

"I think we should." Marcel frowned.

"What’s wrong Bud? I thought you were looking forward to this Marcel glory fest."

"It’s for you too. For both of us. Like it’s always been."

"So what’s got ya down?"

"Nothing, Storm. We better get going."

We all got up and left our table, heading towards the counter on our way out. Mom paid for our meal, Marcel looking uncomfortable the whole time. He never liked seeing Mom spend money on him. I guess he just wanted to pay for everything these days. But my Mom wouldn’t have it. Especially not on our birthday. We headed outside at last, and I shook my head in disgust. "Mom, we are not coming here next year. Let’s just go to KFC for Pete’s sake. You pay way too much there."

"It was a nice evening, son. Just enjoy it."

"Well next year we can go somewhere a little less snobby, and a little more tasty. What do you think, Marcel Bud?"

"Oh that’d be a great idea, Storm." Marcel said unenthusiastically.

We stopped at Mom’s car, and I kissed her and thanked her for the evening. She told me that there was still one more present from her waiting for me when I got home but that I would have to wait until after the party and not to go home before it was over. I hugged her and headed back towards MY car hehe. My new Wrangler 99’. Oh how I loved my new baby. I turned to see where Marcel was and he was still back with my Mom, his arms wrapped around her and hugging her tightly. I knew something had to be up. Something was wrong with Marcel. Well hopefully Mom would have fixed him up. She usually did.

Finally Marcel let go of her and kissed her again on the cheek, having a hard time saying goodbye. Geez I know my Mom is popular but this is ridiculous. Mom beeped her horn as she drove off and we both waved at her. Marcel walked towards me with his head hanging down and looking as happy as a rainy day, his eyes being the clouds releasing the rain.

"What’s wrong, Bud?" I asked putting my arm around Marcel. "Why you crying, Bud?"

"Don’t worry, Storm. I’m fine. I’ve just had a hard week. I’m fine. Nothing that a good party with my best buds won’t fix."

"Yeah." I smiled. "That’s the spirit. We’ll cheer you up, Bud. And why?"


"Because we love your blonde ass. And we don’t want you to be unhappy. Because we love you. Get it?" I said still smiling at my blonde bud.

"Thanks, Storm." Marcel smiled. "I get it. That’s the problem."

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing. I just want to hurry up and get to the party. I’ll see you at the party." Marcel said ushering me into my front seat and closing my door for me like a chauffeur or something before he headed back to his own wrangler.

"See, Marcel, won’t it be cool to drive around town with our wrangler twins now to school and everything?"

Marcel just smiled back at me and revved up his wrangler before he backed out of the carpark stopping right beside me. "Yeah but you’ve got the best wrangler now. I’ll have to start driving my Dad’s ZX3 or something." Marcel grinned. "Just kidding. That’s a little pretentious even for me. Come on let’s go." Marcel said driving away.

"Right behind ya." I said as I changed into gear and backed out of the car park. "Oooh this is so cool. I love my new baby. Now let’s see if this party is as good as it’s supposed to be…"


* * * * * * *


"So is everybody having fun?" Sarah yelled.


"Don’t you mean…HELL YEAH!?"


"Ok well it’s been half an hour and these birthday boys still aren’t here. I can see someone just as cool way down the back there who probably thinks I can’t see him but is probably now pissing his pants knowing I’m talking about him. I spy with my little eye something beginning with…D!"

Sarah grinned and did the high brow nod to Dade as he stood staring at her in wide-eyed disbelief. "Now this prime example of a perfect guy is Dade Marcus as I’m sure you well know. Why don’t you come on up here, Dade?" Sarah said motioning for Dade to come.

Dade closed his eyes and shook his head for a few seconds realizing it was pointless. There was no getting out of this. For what reason had he been chosen for this public exhibition he did not know but he’d just have to hope Sarah didn’t embarrass him too much. Dade slowly made his through the crowd and towards Sarah trying not to focus at all the stares he was getting. Dade had never been one to seek attention rather trying to shy away from too much of it. That’s why the situation he was in right now made him particularly uneasy.

"Isn’t he a stud, ladies?" Sarah smiled.

Dade cringed at all the whistles he received as he got closer and closer to Sarah. It seemed as if he’d never get to Sarah, everything moving in painful slow motion. He started to sweat, it seemed hotter than usual. The lights glaring just a little brighter than they seemed just a minute ago and everyone seeming just that little bit more imposing.

"Not only is he a looker. He’s one of the most talented people I know. He just doesn’t like sharing it do ya, Dade?"

Dade shot an empty scowl at Sarah as he cringed at what he knew she wanted him for now. "Oh no, Sarah. Please." Dade whispered.

"Dade, I know I’m slipping this on you at the last minute but do you think you can play us a little number later on? Pretty please. I know Marcel and Storm would love it if you did." Sarah whispered back to Dade.

"So why am I up here now then?"

"Ok people! Dade’s going to give our DJ a rest and take over the mixer for a while. Who here wants to hear Dade rip up a few tracks for us aye?"

"Wooo Hooo!"

"Ok I can handle that. Just don’t make me sing in front of these people please, Sarah."

"Dade you know I can’t sing to save myself. Who’s going to lead happy birthday at least? Please, Dade."

"Don’t give me that. You can sing. But if you really want me to, Sarah I will. Ok?"

"You’re the best, Dade." Sarah said kissing Dade on the cheek and causing him to blush embarrassingly.

"Oh man, you guys gotta love those dimples. He’s a babe just like his brother. It’s genetic. Oh wait wait! What’s this I see?" The crowd of partygoers erupted into a frenzied collection of loud cheers and claps. "Well wouldn’t you know! It’s our birthday boys! Ok Dade, hit it. You’re singing gig has just been moved forward."

"I thought I was just going to DJ for a while."

"You are. After. Come on, Dade. You’re the best singer out of everyone. Here." Sarah gave the mic to Dade and winked at him as she moved behind.

"Come on, Dade. Come on, Dade." Dade said closing his eyes and whispering to himself. "Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts."

Dade tried to think of inspiration to give him courage and not feel like he was about to unload the drink he just had in his pants. It didn’t take him long. "This is for my brother and Marcel!" Dade said excitedly to himself. "Of course I can do this."

"I suppose everyone knows Happy Birthday right? Well we’re gonna do it a little Dade style so just try and go along with me…"


* * * * * * *


"Marcel! Geez you are a hard man to get a hold of tonight." Mike said pulling Marcel away from the door as he entered. "Happy Birthday."

Mike put his arm around Marcel and walked him towards the outside party area of Marcel’s house where the majority of people were messing around in the pool or dancing poolside. Huge banners with happy birthday Marcel were plastered and hanging everywhere. Dusk was slowly giving way to night but the heat in the air was as intense as if it were daytime, fuelling the partygoers want to get wet.

"Marcel this is my present to you. It’s not much, I’m not rich like you ya know but I hope you like it."

"Dickhead." Marcel said shaking his head and taking the wrapped box from Mike’s hand as he sat down. "Like I give a fuck how much money you have. You’re worth a hell of a lot more than paper with ugly ass faces on it."

Marcel removed the wrapping carefully, not wanting to tear the plain green wrapping that adorned his box. He cautiously put the wrapping on a chair beside him and began to remove the lid of the box. He was oblivious to the noise surrounding him, the eyes that were on him, his attention focused completely on his gift. As Marcel put the lid to the side, he looked intently inside the box. The box was stuffed with crumpled cellophane and in the center a card lay. Marcel picked up the card and noticed a silver bracelet beneath it emblazoned with a saying that made Marcel grin from ear to ear.

‘Forget the rest, Marcel’s the best’


"Read the card." Mike said.

Marcel slipped the bracelet around his wrist gently and picked up the card. His eyes dashed from side to side reading the card and its contents in disbelief. He gulped and bit his lip trying not to cry when he knew soon he would anyway.

This card entitles the bearer to a lifetimes supply of support, pestering, good times, bad times, love, annoyances and all the other things that come with friendship.’

Marcel felt a pang of guilt and remorse shoot through him, subtly changing his demeanor to that of a strained distressed look. Mike figured the card had just gotten to Marcel, which made him feel good because it obviously meant he was important to Marcel.

"Sappy crap I know." Mike smiled. "But I’m making a play for everything that’s important to me. That includes, Sarah, Mom, Dade and Storm, Lucas and…you." Mike said sitting down. "Sarah paid for most of the bracelet. She deserves the credit for that gift."

"Mike…do you realize I am going to hold you to this card for the rest of our lives." Marcel said wanting to take Mikes hand and hold it to show Mike how much he meant to him. But he knew it wasn’t something guys were supposed to do, even in friendship. That privilege was limited to girls. Marcel wanted to take Mike’s hand but hesitated again, not wanting to damage Mike’s reputation or standing in school.

"In case you didn’t notice, I want you in my life. For as long as I can have you. Marcel, you’re so awesome. Do you realize how much you’ve changed? You’re so strong, reliable. You’re always there. I just…I just admire you so much, man."

"Geez, man. I don’t know what to say, Mike." Marcel said red-faced. "I have great friends, that helps like you wouldn’t believe."

"Let’s get back to the partying before we both end up like faucets. You’ve got loads of people here wanting to shower you with gifts and attention. Live it up, bud; tonight’s your night."

"And Storm’s."

"Tonight’s your night man. For you and Storm. You know Marcel it’s too bad you don’t swing the same way I do. Have you seen the number of girls that drool over you?"

"Yeah don’t you wish you were me?" Marcel grinned.

"Nah, I got my baby. She’s all I’ll ever need."

"More like all you can handle." Marcel laughed. "Just kidding. You two are just as bad as Storm and Lucas. I sometimes wish I had a partner like you guys. I mean I’m the odd one out, the third wheel so often. I guess that’s one good thing about me…never mind."

"Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Blondie. If you really wanted it you’d have it. I think you could bring a number of guys ‘to their senses’ so to speak. Marcel, I gotta ask you though. Do you still resent Lucas and the fact you never…you know? "

"Resent might be a bit strong a word. I guess I might...a little. It’s not so bad now. But well it wasn’t meant for me. That much is obvious. I’ve got so many reasons to…"

"To what, Marcel?"

"My life’s so screwed up, Mike. But things will be better soon. You’ll see."

"Course they will man! I know you’re feeling lonely and everything, Marcel but I’m here for you man. And you know if I were single I’d be with you if that’s what would make you happy. Even though it wouldn’t because I’m not your type and you’re not mine but you get the idea."

"Shut up, Mike, I get the idea." Marcel said grinning. "It’s funny how things change. I mean you and I have always had this bond because we both wanted to be ‘adopted’ by June. I wish I could call her Mom but she wants me to be closer to Elizabeth. I guess you and I have that in common. But I know that you’ve wanted that all your life and as long as I’ve known you you’ve always been the unofficial Marcus kid. She’s awesome isn’t she?"

"She sure is. She ‘is’ my Mom. She’s practically raised me all my life. That’s one of the things you and I have in common. We’re stuck on her and want to be part of that house. Although I want to be part of the family. You want to sleep with part of the family." Mike grinned.

"You don’t know the half of it. I should feel sorry for myself because I never get what I really want. But that won’t get me anywhere. Besides tonight is the night to PARTY! Come on Mike, let’s go flirt with some skirts."

"Hey pal, I like living. Sarah won’t let me live if I’m ‘flirting with the skirts’."

"You should’ve thought about that before you got married!"

"Shut up." Mike said shaking his head and getting up. "I’m going to go find Sarah. You go flirt with some skirts. But watch out, you flirt with them too much and you might get converted."

"I wish." Marcel smiled. "Hey Mike. Thank you."

"What for?"

"You know what for."

"Anytime, Stud."


* * * * * * *


Sarah stood outside trying to get some fresh air before she had to go inside again and horde the masses. The air was crisp and cool tonight, not as hot as Sarah had hoped. Day was fast giving way to night but thankfully the skies were clear and it seemed as if there wouldn’t be any chance of rain tonight. Since the majority of partygoers were outside, in the pool, by the deck or out around the grounds Sarah considered this a good thing. The house itself was crowded enough already without having everyone who was outside coming in too.

Sarah shook her head in dismay at seeing some teenybopper wannabes standing against the wall holding cigarettes in their hands like they’re the coolest thing. Sarah figured the kids which is what they looked like to her, had somehow managed to get in with someone else who was invited. She figured they were about 13 or so and were trying to be cool by coming to Marcel’s and Storm’s party. Sarah decided she’d better be responsible by sending them on their way and headed towards them.

"Hi, Sarah."

"Hey, Sarah."

"Hey, it’s Sarah."

"Hi, Sarah."

Sarah smiled politely at the partygoers also outside grabbing some air or groping each other in make out sessions. She didn’t recognize half the people saying hello to her but figured she’d smile and say hi anyway.

"Hi, guys." Sarah smiled.

Sarah approached the group of three girls and one guy that was trying to impress them. She tried not to smile too obviously at how silly they looked knowing she’d probably been the same when she was their age. "Oh boy, I just made myself feel old." Sarah said to herself.



"Oh my goodness. It’s that girl."

"Hi, Sarah." The kid said holding the cigarette to his mouth and smiling at Sarah way too smugly for her liking.

Sarah raised her eyebrow in detest at the gesture before she remembered why she was standing there in the first place. "What’s your name, boy?"

The kid having sensed Sarah’s displeasure at his presence straightened up, his eyes going wide and face losing the former cockiness it just held. "Bil…Billy Sis…t…"

"Oh you gotta be kidding. I should’ve guessed. You look different, Billy. What are you doing here?"

"We followed Brad. We wanted to be at the party."

"Brad’s here? Where is he?" Sarah said impatiently trying to work out what Brad was doing here. "Come on boy, out with it."

"I don’t know. He doesn’t know I followed him. You won’t tell him will you? He’ll b…"

"I won’t say anything. You take your little friends here though and you get out of here. I want you to go straight home do you understand me Billy?"

"Yes, Sarah."

"Good. Now beat it."

"Ok, Sarah." Billy said quickly ushering the girls away as well.

"Billy, wait!" Sarah yelled grabbing Billy by the jacket.


Sarah took the cigarette out of Billy’s hand and stood on it. "Where are the rest of them?"


"But nothing. You’re underage and you’re in my zone boy. Don’t make me ask you twice."

Billy didn’t bother arguing, he pulled out the rest of his cigarettes and promptly handed them over to Sarah before she squashed them all on the ground making Billy cringe.

"What else have you got, Billy? Don’t tell me you’re just trying to impress these girls with cigarettes."

"Ok, Sarah." Billy said pulling a little whiskey flask from under his jacket and handing it to Sarah.

"Is this all you’ve got?"

"Yes, Sarah, I swear it."

"Good." Sarah said pouring the whiskey out and giving the empty bottle back to Billy. "Now you better put that back in your Dad’s room before he notices it’s missing hadn’t you?"

"Yes, Sarah."

"Off you go." Sarah said ushering Billy away.

"Promise you won’t tell Brad?" Billy asked turning back

"I tell ya what. You go straight home. And I won’t tell Brad you came. You stay away from this stuff for a few years at least and I won’t tell him you were here tonight drinking and smoking."

"Ok deal." Billy said turning to run off.

"Geez I’m an old bag." Sarah said shaking her head. "And what the hell are you doing here Brad?"

Sarah felt two familiar arms slide around her waist and a familiar chin rest on her shoulder and she smiled warmly to herself. "Hello, my football stud."

"Hello, my old bag." Mike smiled.

Sarah slid her hand behind her and down Mike’s stomach gently and slowly moving lower and lower. She rested her hand on Mike’s jewels and suddenly took a solid grip over Mike’s privates’. "I’m sorry, what did you just say honey?"

"That I really love you and you light up my life and I don’t know what I’d do without you and you’re the most beautiful woman in the whole world." Mike said cringing.

"I’m just messing with you, stud." Sarah said smiling as she turned around to face Mike.

Sarah rested her head on Mike’s shoulder and kissed his neck tenderly, sucking gently on the nape of his neck as her hands slid around Mike’s torso with her thumbs slipping in between the top of Mike’s jeans and her fingers down over his butt. "Sarah, Sarah don’t tease me."

"Mike, you are so my guy." Sarah said smiling, her head gently resting on his shoulder. "I love you so much, Mike, do you know that?"

"I know. Do you know how long we’ve been together now? It still feels like it was only yesterday we got together but it’s been nearly six months. Officially anyway."

"Only six months? Feels like forever."

"I hope that’s a good thing."

"Anything less and I’d be worried. I’m so proud of you Mike."


"Because. You’re my guy. Because you make me proud. You make me so proud and so happy that you’re with me. And that you let me be your girl. There are so many things I love about you, Mike. You’re my football star. You care about your friends…your family. You work hard. You’re honorable. You’ve got integrity, Mike. I really admire that. I’m so proud of you for talking to June and I’m so happy you’re going to be living there permanently now. I was so worried about you. I just…I just look at you tonight and realize how lucky I am and how much I love you. How much you mean to me. How proud I am of you. How proud you make me feel to be your girlfriend. You’ve been there for me when I had my scare and I didn’t want anyone to know…"

"Don’t talk about that. Don’t talk about that." Mike said quickly putting his finger to Sarah’s lips and trying to stifle back the sudden tears that Sarah’s words had caused him. "I don’t want you to talk about that. It’s not gonna happen, Sarah. It’s over now. I don’t wanna talk about that. I don’t want to talk about that."

Mike buried his head in Sarah’s neck and held her tightly to him, kissing her hair and face as gentle sobs racked him. He wrapped his arms tighter around Sarah and held onto her as if he would never let her go. Sarah rubbed Mike’s back and held the back of his neck soothingly, whispering into his ear. "This is why I love you. One reason of so many."

"You’re so strong. You shouldn’t have gone up to see Storm that day, I knew you were feeling sick that day. You should’ve stayed home. I don’t want you taking risks like that Sarah. As soon as you feel like you’re going to have a bad day you tell me and you’re staying home and I’m looking after you. No questions."

"No Mike. Look it’s over ok? You know as well as I do I’ve been given the all clear. I was just feeling under the weather that day. Everybody does sometimes. I’m not going to live my life being paranoid."

"I think you should tell everyone what happened. They all love you. They all care. They’d wanna know. I mean would you have told me if I hadn’t of found out myself?"

"You didn’t find out yourself. I asked June to tell you. And what good will it do telling everyone Mike? I’m not some weak little bitch. I can take care of myself. Now June isn’t going to tell anyone, I know that. Doctor Patient privilege or whatever. Plus she cares about me and she won’t. I want you to promise you won’t either. It’s over and done with Mike. I want you to promise me."

"You think that letting people help you is weak? A minute ago you just said you were proud of me for letting June help me. What’s with the double standard here?"

"Mike. It’s over and done with. There is absolutely no point in me telling everyone. Why put them through the grief? Promise me, Mike. I want you to promise me you won’t say anything."

"I don’t know if I want to make a promise that I’m not sure I can keep."

"For fuck’s sake, Mike. If you want me to start drawing lines I will. This is MY problem and I won’t have it spread around so I can turn into a damn charity case. You’re not telling anyone. That’s it. Bottom line. No room for discussion."

"OUR PROBLEM. OK!" Mike said getting worked up, his face showing the frustration he felt. "You and me. OUR problem. As long as you’re with me it’s our problem."

Sarah took two steps backwards, closed her eyes and turned away from Mike while trying to talk herself into calming down. She quickly turned around and opened her eyes before she walked right back up to Mike and put her hands on his shoulders. "Ok let’s chill out. By the way that’s another reason I love you right there. Now let’s just get a grip on things ok Mike. Nothing’s going to happen. I’m invincible remember? So just take a deep breath, calm down and kiss me."

"What?" Mike said in surprise.

"Are you hard of hearing, Stud Boy?" Sarah said wrapping her arms around Mike’s neck as she kissed him urgently at first then as Mike began returning the kiss she began moving more softly and tenderly. Sarah kissed Mike until she felt all his tension leave him through her. She wanted to make sure her guy would be feeling better before she thought about anything else. Mike moaned softly as their juices flowed into each other and their tongues teased each other fleetingly. When Sarah felt as though Mike was once again completely at ease she angel kissed him lovingly and let her hand rest on his cheek while she wiped his teary eyes.

"And there’s another reason I love you. You’re a great kisser. Everything’s ok, Mike. Do you know how much I love you?"

"I do. Let’s just try and have a good time tonight. For Marcel and Storm. And for us. We deserve it."

"Mike, you know…I really wanna go home. I wish I didn’t agree to this hosting and organizing. Because you know what?" Sarah said easing Mike against the wall and grinding his hips towards her own as she pressed herself against him.

"What?" Mike gulped as he rested his hands on Sarah’s ass, letting himself wander a bit and then quickly moving them away and closing his eyes to try not to think the thoughts he had.

"I really want you. I wanna make love to my Stud Boy right now. Is that a bad thing?"

"Uhh hell no?" Mike gulped again.

"Do you feel the same, Mike? Do you want to?"

"Uhh hell yeah?" Mike squeaked.

"I really wanna show you how much I love you, Mike. I want you inside me again. I want us to make love, have sex, whatever you want to call it."

"I’ve got some…you know."

"Me too." Sarah smiled.

"Does that mean we get to do it twice as much?"

"If you think you can." Sarah said winking at Mike.

"Geez Sarah. You’ve got me. You have so got me. You wanna…you know…do it now?"

"You mean do I wanna have sex now? You can say the word Mike. It won’t bite."

"Umm ok…do you wanna have sex now?"

"Where?" Sarah said looking around.

"Ummm damnit. I can’t think of anywhere. It’s too crowded."

"Do you think you can wait until after the party?"

"Hell no. I’m about ready to burst. We can wait but I have to go to the bathroom and relieve myself right now."




* * * * * * *


Josh made his way nervously through the dancing crowd. He smiled the odd smile to faces he did not recognize and then to people he recognized but didn’t really care to talk to. Not that it particularly mattered since no one was really paying much attention to him. Josh had never been one to invoke attention from people, tending to mostly be unnoticed and overlooked. Josh knew that he was still living down Brad’s sidekick title assigned to him. And he knew a lot of the looks he was receiving from people tonight were ‘where’s Brad?’ when they saw Josh.

Josh had really enjoyed himself tonight though, having at first felt uncomfortable and out of place he was surprised by the people who were more than willing to give Josh a helping hand. His friend Lucas, his new friend Claire Carlyle and of course his closest friend at the moment Dade Marcus. Who Josh was attempting to find right now. Dade had been quite popular tonight and was being pulled every which direction by hopeful girls wanting to impress or hang out with the Dadester. The last time Dade had been pulled away Josh didn’t see which way before he was overwhelmed by partygoers.

"Hey Josh! Yo Barrett!"

Josh turned to see who was yelling at him but he couldn’t see through the crowd of faces. He was surprised to see Storm standing in front of him. The last time these two had met hadn’t exactly been the best meeting. Josh wasn’t sure what to expect from the Stormy one. All he knew was that Storm daunted him and made him nervous. Storm smiled warmly at Josh as he patted him on the shoulder playfully.

"Hi Josh. Thanks for coming."

"Umm it’s…I mean I’m really…oh…damnit Josh you’re such a geek sometimes." Josh said smacking himself on the forehead. "This is why I’m not popular like you."

"Who cares if you’re popular or not. I don’t care who here gives a rats ass about me. As long as my real friends are cool with me then I’m cool. That’s all that matters. And who says you look like a geek?" Storm said grinning at Josh. "Not bad, not bad. Who gave you fashion tips?"

"It was Dade actually. He helped me pick these out."

"Oh it was my little bro huh. Yeah he’s got style that one."

"Must run in the family."

"Ok well Josh, I just wanted to say hi and thanks for coming. And to thank you for what you did for Dade."

"To be honest, I didn’t really do anything. He ended up saving me from Brad."

"Well anyway I just wanted to say thanks and tell you that you know, everything’s cool between us." Storm said extending his hand to Josh.

"Cool." Josh said blushing as he shook Storm’s hand.

"Well you have a nice night Josh." Storm said smiling as he walked away through the crowd.

"Wow." Josh sighed as his eyes followed Storm away.

"Wow what?" Dade said walking up next to Josh and trying to see what Josh was looking at.

"Your brother…man now I know why Lucas is…I mean wow. I think I’m in love. You shoulda seen the way he smiled at me. And his hands when they touched me…oh man I thought I was gonna melt. And he’s so cool. Oh I gotta sit down." Josh said moving towards the row of seats up against the wall and sitting himself down.

"Oh puh lease." Dade retorted as he sat down next to Josh. "Get over it. I thought you were in love with Marcel."

"Nah I just like him. But I don’t have a shot. But your brother…oh man."

"Oh boy. Well Josh there’s something I want to talk to you about. As soon as you come back down to earth."

"Oh?" Josh said snapping himself to attention. "What is it?"

"Uhhh do you remember when you were at my house and I said for you to take a shower while I talked to Marcel?"

"Yeah, I remember. That’s when you two had that fight."

"Well…umm I sorta led you wrong there. I took you out of the picture so I could try for Marcel."

"huh HUH?" Josh said realizing just what Dade had said.

"I’m sorry Josh. I feel really bad about it. But I knew you were going to try for him and I couldn’t let that happen without first telling Marcel how I felt. If it makes you feel better he rejected me."

"It doesn’t make me feel better. How long have you liked him?"

"I don’t like him…I love him. It’s been a while. I’ve known him a long time."

"So wait a minute…are you telling me…that you’re…you know?"

"No no no. I’m not. Or I am a little bit. All I know is Marcel is the only one. No one else. There’s just something about him where I could be with him like you would want to be. But apart from that it’s all girls."

"So that means I don’t have a chance with you either aye?"

"Hmmm nah. Do you think I’m cute though?" Dade said throwing Josh a killer smile that flaunted his heart breaker dimples.

"Whoa. You Marcus’s have sure got it. Really got it. So like why did Marcel reject you? I mean he’s not gay so you’d know you never stood a chance. Why put yourself through the agony?"

"Sucker for punishment? Anyway I just wanted to apologize. It’s been weighing on me a lot."

"So that’s why you’ve been weird around me. Don’t worry about it Dade. You probably felt 100 times more than I did or could. Mine was just a crush. Anyway hey I bought you this." Josh said pulling a paper bag out of his jacket pocket and giving it to Dade.

"For me? Why?"

"Because I saw it and you’re my friend and I thought you might like it."

"Thanks Josh." Dade said as he took the bag smiling when he saw what was inside. "Supernatural! Wow, how’d you know I liked Santana?"

"You’ve got some of his old stuff and I know you like him you said so. And I know you haven’t gotten this one yet so I thought I might as well get it while I was shopping."

"Geez man. Thanks a lot. So Josh I saw you talking to Claire Carlyle quite a bit there. You planning on going bi or something, Big Boy?"

"The opposite actually. I was talking to her brother. He’s pretty cute. Just like her. And he like has no problem telling everyone he’s gay. Too bad he doesn’t live around here."

"I hope he’s not some kind of save the world self righteous activist. There are enough of them already. The rest of us will just get on with living life instead of preaching it."

"That’s a pretty bold statement."

"Yeah well, I’m a pretty bold guy."

"Well he doesn’t shout it. He just doesn’t hide it. You know?"

"Yup, I know. I’m just saying if I were gay I’d hate for someone to get in my face and tell me I have to shout it to the world because it suits their version of how things should be. I’ll do what I like when I like. And I wouldn’t want to be classed simply because of the way I am."

"You feel pretty strongly about this."

"Well like heterosexuals don’t go around shouting out that they’re straight do they? Why should I go around shouting that I’m gay or bi or that I like chocolate syrup on my ice cream. I just wanna be ME."

"I like chocolate syrup on my ice cream."

"You do? Cool. We should have some. Mom makes the best kind. But she doesn’t make it often. Apart from that I like the Hershey’s one."

"Well I told Claire and Jacob that I’m gay. Does that make me one of those activist people too?"

"No. Because you chose to of your own choice. Nobody rammed it down your throat that you have to shout it to the world and rub it in people’s faces. I’m sick of it. What a shitty life that would be if you had to keep doing that. You’d spend most of your life shouting at people your life instead of actually living it. And most people don’t really give a fuck so why bother? I mean look at my brother. They’re just fine the way they are. They’ve told the people that are important to them. They haven’t walked into school and yelled out ‘hey we’re bi, look at us’. I know my brother, all he wants to do is be with Lucas. He doesn’t want to be GAY or BI, he just wants to be with Lucas."

"I know where you’re coming from Dade. But not everyone is the same. Some people aren’t as secure as you are. Or as secure as Storm. Some people aren’t as secure and think the best defense is an attack. In other words shouting out what they are. People use different methods to feel comfortable with themselves. But you’re right nobody has the right to tell you what you should do with your life simply because you fit loosely into some sort of class or group."

"If I ever end up gay or more bi than I already am and somebody tells me to go shout it to everyone just to make them feel better about the world I’ll smack their fucken head in and that’s the bottom line. Don’t tell me what to do."

"Just calm down ok, Dade?" Josh said putting his hands on Dade’s shoulders. "What’s bugging you?"

"Nothing. Nothing. Maybe it’s just because I’m having a bad day." Dade said taking a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself. "Subject change. So Josh, I know you’ve got an important game tomorrow. I wish I could come watch you. I know it’s a hard go for VC now that Brad has been taken out. Mike’s fairly confident it’s either you or Lucas or maybe that guy Isaac."

"I want it. I think I’ve earned a shot at it too. Do you know if Mike has any preference?"

"You mean will he be bias towards Lucas because they’re best friends? I doubt it. When it comes to football Mike goes for the best whether they’re his friends or not. That’s why Brad was in there so long, because he was the best. But he isn’t anymore. I think whoever performs the best out of you guys tomorrow will get the VC. I’m not taking bets though. I know how good you are and your game last week was incredible Josh. It really was. But I know that Lucas isn’t just our Dude boy. He can be very determined and steadfast. And he’s consistent."

"You really pay attention don’t you?"

"Well I have a mission. As soon as I hit your guys’ school I’m going to try out for the football team and kick all your asses. So I’m taking notes now so I’ll be ready and know all your weaknesses! Then I’ll take Karate back up and wipe the floor with my Stormy brother and show him I’m not some little man."

"You wanna take out your own brother?"

"Are you kidding? Of course I do. I’m sick of playing second best to him. I can beat him. And I can beat him well."

"But why? Why do you think you have to prove yourself? Everyone already knows you’re awesome. I mean did you see the way Sarah introduced you?"

"You mean embarrassed me."

"Everybody loves you. You don’t realize how good you’ve got it. I mean all your brother does is watch out for you. Trust me I know."

"Maybe you’re right. I should try and fix things with him. Sometimes though I just get sick of being compared to him all the time."

"I don’t know Dade. I…I really don’t like the way you feel about your brother but it’s none of my business. It’s not my place to say anything."

"What do you mean it’s not your place? You’re my friend. If you can’t tell me when I’m being a dickhead or something, who can?"

"Thanks. I guess I just feel like you could really put a rift between you and your brother. And I know you used to be close so that’s why it worries me. If you keep feeling resentment towards your brother you could end up without a brother one day."

"You really think so?"

"One day. I can already feel the tension between you two. If you want some advice from someone who cares about what happens to you Dade, fix this. Fix it tonight. Don’t let it drag on. Fix it tonight. Go and talk to your brother."

"Are you sure I should? I mean I’m not really his favorite person right now. He might just go off at me."

"Aaahhh so you do actually care what he thinks. Dade, tell me something. Are you proud of your brother?"


"Yeah. Are you proud of who he is? I mean I know he’s not perfect. None of us are. But are you proud of him?"

"Yeah…I am proud of him. I mean…he’s a fighter. He doesn’t let anything take him down. He doesn’t do things just because they’re easy. I am…yeah I am proud of my brother. I am proud of my brother. I’m really proud."

"Do you love him?"

"Of course I do. I just…I guess in reality…I am scared I won’t live up to him. That’s why I resent him. But yes I am proud of him. He’s earnt everything he has. The more I think about it, the more I know how proud I am of him. He’s my bro. I love him."

"Why don’t you go tell him then?"

"You’re right. I can fix this." Dade smiled. "Thanks Josh."

"Nope. Thank you. For letting me be your friend. You don’t know how much has changed for me since that day you and I became friends Dade. Just don’t keep giving me static. I’m your bud, I like it when you’re around."

"Oh don’t worry. You and I are hanging out tomorrow for sure. I’m gonna go find Storm." Dade said standing up and looking around for his brother.

"Ok you do that."

"Hey look! Marcel’s gonna say something. Let’s get closer and see what he’s got to say." Dade said as he saw Marcel jump on stage.

"Lemme see." Josh said poking his head above Dade’s as the tried to make their way towards the front of the crowd so they could see what Marcel was about to say.

"This should be good." Dade smiled.


* * * * * * *


"Ok listen up people, I have a few things to say." Marcel said grabbing the DJ’s mic and standing on top of a wooden box so everyone could see him. "First of all I want to thank all of you for coming. Gave me a good excuse to collect in lots of presents for Storm and I. You guys are awesome. Oh yeah and thanks for NOT trashing my house. Anyway, I have some good news. I’ve been offered a place in the Drake Sports Academy for at least six months. Which I’ve already accepted. So this might be the last time I get to freeload presents off all of you. I just want to say that I’ve made the best friends here and it’s not easy for me to leave but I think it’s best for me. This will always be home to me though. Thanks everyone. So this is a farewell and a double banger birthday. Now let’s PARTY HEARTY PEOPLE!!"

Dade, Mike, Sarah, Josh, Lucas and I all stood dumbfounded while everyone else seemed to cheer Marcel and clap on. Marcel gave the mic back to the DJ and hopped down.

"Did he just say what I think he said?"

"Marcel’s leaving?"

"He’s leaving?"

"This is all my fault."

"He did not just say he was leaving, he can’t do that."

"He’s got to be fucking with us."

I had my fists clenched and tried to mask my sudden feeling of loss with anger. I couldn’t believe what I heard. Dade looked at Marcel with a confused look and for an instant I thought I saw something in Dade’s eyes. But he quickly left us before I could make anything of it. I knew Marcel was one of Dade’s best friends though and obviously Dade would be cut up about this. I thought about following him but I wanted to hear this from Marcel himself. And besides Dade and I weren’t exactly clicking together like Lego right now. Maybe it was better I leave him alone. Josh wandered off after Dade, the least affected of all of us he was understandably.

Mike and Sarah, they were a different story. Both just looked completely lost for words. Sarah had a ‘What the hell?’ look on her face while Mike’s was more distressing. I guess we were seeing first hand just how much of an impact Marcel had on our lives and to contemplate him leaving just didn’t sit well with any of us.

"Hey guys." Marcel said walking nervously towards us.

"Fuck you Marcel." Mike said storming off.

"Is this the best way you could tell the people you supposedly care about?" Sarah said trying to hide her hurt as she went after Mike.

"I’m sorry, I didn’t know how to tell you guys." Marcel said emphatically to an unresponsive audience of now two.

"You know I’d just started to love your bull headed nature. I don’t know what to say. Good luck I guess. It was nice knowing you Marcel. It was really awesome to know you, eventually." Lucas said extending his hand.

Marcel clearly offended by the simple hand gesture shot Lucas a hurt look and actually looked like he was going to cry. Marcel cry? I’ve seen more full moons. Lucas shook Marcel’s hand and walked away shrugging his shoulders at me and shaking his head.

Marcel stood there by himself looking in absolute shock. He stood there crying, not even bothering to wipe his tears. Gentle quiet steady flowing tears flushed his reddened cheeks. I pulled him through to the kitchen and closed the door behind him to stop any prying eyes from seeing Marcel’s more vulnerable side.

I stood in front of him and just looked at him standing there as I had an eerie flashback. "You looked this exact same way six years ago. When I first met you."

"The best day of my life."

"I don’t know what to say Marcel." I said trying not to choke up. "I just don’t know what to say." I said shaking slightly. "I can’t believe it."

"This is so hard Storm. I’m leaving so many people I love behind."

"You’re leaving behind a hell of a lot of people that love you. Who love you very very very much." I said wiping my nose.

"I think it’s the right thing for me to do Storm. I really do. It won’t be forever. I’ll be back one day."

"Yeah that’s what they all say. You’re not coming back."

"Are you going to resent me for leaving?"

"Not a chance in hell. I’m behind you bud all the way. I just wish behind you wasn’t going to be so far away. I think as you can tell by my current state that I’m having a hard time dealing with this. Not the best birthday present." I said finally bursting into tears. "Shit, this is our last birthday party together. Our last bud party. You and I, we’re a team man. I can’t believe it."

"I wanna tell you Storm. And you know this. That out of everyone I’m going to miss you the most. You’re responsible for who I am today. My best friend and the person I’ve idolized ever since I met you. You really are the best thing that ever happened to me. And I want you to know whatever happens in the future wherever our paths take us. Never forget what we have. I will always be there when you need me. No matter where I am."

"That doesn’t make this any easier. Just promise you’ll never forget me. And you’ll keep in touch."

"I promise."

I grabbed Marcel and hugged him, squeezing him as close to me as I could. We were holding each other so tight I thought we were going to explode. I just knew this could be the last time I’d ever feel my bud close to me and I wanted to hold on to it as strong and as long as I could. We held each other there for a good long while, neither saying anything. We just held each other, our eyes closed and heads buried in each other’s shoulder. Every so often one of us would whimper and cry and then we’d grab each other even closer and tighter. Letting go was going to come all too soon.


* * * * * * *


"Marcel. I don’t want you to leave without us being ok. I don’t think I could handle it. I don’t want you to leave resenting what I said or did…or felt." Dade said feeling Marcel’s presence behind him as he stood in Marcel’s room.

Marcel stepped up behind Dade and put his hands on Dade’s shoulders as he leant his head against the back of Dade’s. "You have no idea how much I am going to miss you. You say I’ve always been there for you. Well that’s only because you were there for me. I hate to admit it but I wasn’t always everyone’s favorite or first choice. But you always made me feel first place no matter what. I’ll always love you for that. Good things come to people like you. You’ll see. You deserve the best."

"Forget the rest…" Dade smiled in reflection. "I’m going to miss you even more than you will me. My Marcel. My Marcel. Forget the rest…"

"Dade’s the best."

"No it doesn’t go like that."

"It does to me."

"I don’t want to say goodbye. I’ll say see ya later. But I won’t say goodbye."

"I’m not going forever."

"So you keep saying. I wish you weren’t going at all. I have no problem telling you that I really hate the fact you’re leaving. You have no idea how much I hurt inside right now. Once you’re gone. No one will know how I’m feeling. I won’t have anyone to talk to. I’ll be all alone. Nobody understands me except you. Nobody knows what it’s like to be me. I don’t think I can ever find someone to take your place."

"I sure as hell hope not. I’ll be back to claim it. Why don’t you try talking to Storm? Or Lucas?"

"Nah. They wouldn’t understand. They’re too wrapped up in each other to notice me. It’s ok Marcel. I’ll be fine. Does Mom know? She’ll really miss you. She loves you so much."

"I love her too." Marcel said choking up. "And I’ll miss her so much. I owe her more than money could ever buy. I owe so many people. But especially her. You’re so lucky to have her as a Mom."

"I know. I really do."

"I told her I was leaving not long after I found out. She asked me how I was going to tell everyone. I told her it would be really hard. She said she’d always be there for me when I needed anything. And I could always call her and would have a home if I needed it."

"That’s my Mom. Will you keep in touch Marcel?"

"Every single day. I know it’s not your birthday but I bought you something for us to keep in touch."

"I already have a phone."

"It’s not a phone. It’s a laptop. So we can email each other. Here look." Marcel said pulling the laptop out from its bag on his desk.

"Whoa. Marcel! How much money did you spend on this! I want you to take it back tomorrow."

"Sorry Dad, no can do. It’s yours. Early birthday present."

"Even if I did accept it. Me and computers…we just don’t compute. I’ve got two left feet when it comes to those things."

"You’re a clever guy. You’ll pick up in no time."

"I’m not that clever. I can play the guitar, I can dance with a hockey stick and I can write music. But I’m not real clever. That’s Storm’s department."

"Don’t start with me Dade. You know how I get when you talk like this. You and I both suffer from second best syndrome but you are not stupid."

"I never said I was. I’m just not real clever. I work hard though. And I always do my best. My best just always lags behind my brother. I’m not feeling sorry for myself; I have no problem admitting the perfectly obvious. I don’t have a problem with that."

"That’s even worse. Don’t b-rate yourself. Don’t compare. Just believe in yourself. Corny but true. I believe in you."

"That’s why I’m still smiling."

"You’re taking this computer and I want an email every single day. You can guarantee I’ll be keeping in touch that’s for sure."

"How many times a day can I use this thing to email you?"

"As much as you want."

"Does that mean I have to learn how to type? Why can’t we just use the phone? I’d rather pay money then learn how to type."

"You’re really fighting this technology thing huh."

"My technology is limited to TV, Video Games and our DVD player. Apart from those things I’m a basics kinda guy. I’d rather play outside or hum some chords to make a song."

"So you don’t want it? Either way it’s ending up in your house. I’ll just give it to Mike or Storm and you’ll all have to share anyway. So you may as well take it now."

"Shit Marcel. I know you’ve got lots of money but did you have to go spend it like that?"

"Dade. I won’t be able to do things for my friends for a long time. This was just as much for me as it was for you. My last hurrah man. Plus I need you to have one so you don’t have any excuses not to stay in touch."

"I’m still not happy with you spending so much money. I’m not happy at all about it. You could use that much better in your bank account for a rainy day."

"Geez. You are such a dad man. I’m gonna miss you watching out for me."

"For a moment there I forgot all about you leaving. Reality really does bite."

"So put a muzzle on it." Marcel said smiling at Dade.

"Marcel. Does what happened with us have anything to do with you deciding to leave?"

"Honestly? Yes. But it wasn’t a deciding reason. I would’ve gone anyway. I just think you need anything but to be confused right now. And I think I confuse you. So it’s better this way."

"I’m not confused about anything. I love you. What’s to be confused about?"

"Just because you love me doesn’t mean you really want us to be together."

"I’ve been thinking a lot about that. And I think you maybe right. Because as much as I love you maybe it’s more of an intense best friend thing. Maybe."

"How did you work that out?"

"Well umm I mean. You’re hot Marcel but…you don’t turn me on."

"You don’t know how happy I am to hear you say that."

"So will you stay?"


"In that case I lied, you turn me on quite a fair bit. But in all honesty being with a guy that way just…no offence but it turns me off. I could only be with you because of how much you mean to me and how much I love you but I can tell you right now we would never do ‘that’. I’d take tits and hooters over dicks and dildoes any day."


"Sorry." Dade grinned. "It’s the truth. But I want to know this. You never gave me a straight answer. Not that you could ever give me a straight answer." Dade said smiling. "Sorry. Ok well would I ever be an option for you? Could you ever love me that way?"

"OooOOh that’s so hard." Marcel said cringing and smiling at the same time. "Ok ok. I definitely could no doubt about it. I just really don’t think you’re like me. And you obviously don’t either. If I seriously thought you were I’d snap you up before you could blink. I can’t think of many people that have a hold over me like you do Dade."

"You mean apart from my brother."


"Sucks to be me. Just kidding. Well oddly enough. I feel really good because we sorted everything out between us. I know you’re leaving but I know you and you won’t let go of us. You’ve made me feel heaps better tonight Marcel. I really love you man. Thanks a lot."

"Well I am really glad our goodbye didn’t end up a cry fest."

"Oh don’t worry. I’m gonna cry. I’m just doing my best to make it’s after you’ve gone. Probably one night when I’m sitting in bed remembering when we used to talk the night away looking out my window. Or something like that. Just keep in touch and I’ll pretend you’re taking a really long holiday and will be back real soon. I’ll pray every day that you come back real soon. Uh oh…"


"I’m getting that feeling again when I’m longing for you. We have a really strange relationship don’t we?"

"We do. Very strange."

"Marcel. You know I have to make sure that there’s nothing there physically."

"What do you mean?"

"Well…I mean this." Dade said grabbing Marcel and pulling his lips towards his own.

Marcel almost gasped in surprise as Dade’s lips made a sudden assault on his. Marcel stood there letting himself be kissed, his arms hanging at his side wondering what to do and his mind racing. He figured he may as well enjoy the moment and wrapped his arms around Dade as the two began to kiss more urgently. Marcel’s lips parted and soon their tongues were dancing in a full on make out session.

Marcel tried to control the rising passion in him but his inhibitions overwhelmed him. Any lingering doubts he’d had were being kissed away right then. Marcel almost fainted from the job Dade was doing on him. His hands slid up and under Dade’s shirt and up along the smooth skin of his back. Marcel could feel the smile on Dade’s face against his lips as they assaulted one another. Dade’s hands drifted down Marcel’s back and rested on his right cheek. Marcel let out a moan as Dade squeezed his hand around Marcel’s ass.

"Oh god." Marcel whimpered.

Suddenly Dade shoved Marcel back onto his bed and Marcel lifted his head off his bed in surprise. Dade winked at him and walked smugly to Marcel’s door, opening it to leave and then turning back to Marcel.

"And THAT is what you’ll be missing." Dade grinned. "Bye now."

Marcel watched Dade walk out and close the door in wide-eyed disbelief. "OOOoOOoOH FUCK that was good." Marcel said yelling into his pillow and breathing heavily curled up on his bed, cuddling his pillows as he tried to come down from the unbelievable rush he’d just gotten. "That was damn good. That Dadester…I gotta have one."


* * * * * * *


"Hi Bro."

"Huh." I said putting my drink down as I turned to see who had spoken to me. "Oh Dade. This isn’t alcohol man, its just punch."

"Don’t worry man. I’m not here on Mom’s behalf. I’m here for you. I really want to talk to you Storm. I’m so sorry about today. I’m so sorry Bro. I didn’t mean for any of that to happen. Can you please forgive me? Can we be buds like we used to be?"

"No sweat. Buds."

"Really? That easy?"

"Dade I’ve got better things to do than fall off side with my only brother. I just need you to tell me what’s going on. What did I do to make you…turn on me? Before I left everything was fine and then I get back and I dunno…something’s changed. What’s going on Dade?"

"Storm…I don’t know how to tell you. I don’t even know how to talk to you. I mean…I…I don’t know how to say it all."

"Let’s start from the top. Why do you hate me? Or resent me? Or whatever the hell it is you’re feeling."

Dade’s eyes met mine and quickly downcast themselves again trying not to give away any of what he felt. I think I knew most of what was bugging him but I wanted him to say it to me himself. I wanted him to tell me what was wrong, not me tell him.

"Storm…I can’t say it. I just can’t. I’m sorry ok."

"What do you want me to do? Pat you on the back and tell you everything’s ok?"

"I don’t know. I just want us to be ok."

"Dade we’re not going to be ok as long as you keep hiding things from me. I mean I tell you everything about me. I told you about Lucas and I. I mean, I thought you and I could talk. I thought we were buds. Nobody and I can say this without thinking twice…Nobody has been there for you like I have. Nobody. I deserve better than to suddenly be put on the outside."

"No you’re wrong. Marcel’s been there for me. He’s always been there for me." Dade said shaking his head.

"What?" I said almost laughing in surprise. "How long has Marcel been around? Six years. How long have I been around? Since you were born. What the hell are you talking about? Marcel’s been there for you more than me? Bullshit Dade. Big loads of bull shit."

"Goes to show how much you know then."

"Well why don’t you fuck off and talk to your damn Marcel then huh? Go on. Since he’s been there for you so much and I haven’t why don’t you fuck off and go talk to him then."

"Because I wanna talk to you."

"Well I don’t believe the crap that’s coming out of your mouth. Marcel’s been there for you more than me? You off your rocker, Boy?"

"It’s true."

"Fuck off Dade. Fuck off. I really don’t want to talk to you. Just fuck off mate." I said shaking my head and waving him away.

"And what if I don’t?"

"Then I might get you some toilet paper."

"Aye? What for?"

"To wipe the shit off your attitude."

"Are you serious?"

"Deadly. I know you’re sick of me. I know you think you have to get out from my shadow. I know you want to be equal. The only person that can decide whether or not that happens is you. Let me tell you something though little brother. I earnt every single thing I have today. I don’t give a fuck how you feel about it, I earnt all my friends, all my achievements. I did it all myself. I didn’t do anything to hold you down. I’ve always tried to help you grow. But you’ve gotta dig it in and put in some effort Dade and don’t blame all your fuck ups or miss outs on me. You won’t be able to blame me forever you know. Go tell that to your fucken boyfriend."

"Hey you’re the faggot not me."

"What did you say?"

"Oh shit. I didn’t mean to say that Storm. I didn’t it just came out."

I grabbed Dade by the collar and yanked him towards me so our faces were close and he could see the anger in my eyes. "Don’t you ever say that to me again you understand?"

"Storm lemme go. I’m sorry man. I’m really sorry."

"Maybe I oughta just beat this shitty attitude out of you. I mean it’s not like you could do shit to stop me could you little brother?"

"Storm let me go now!"

"Sure thing." I said throwing Dade backwards.

"Aaaahhh shit Storm." Dade said his face red and showing he was about to cry. "Why’d you do that? I said I was sorry."

"Fuck sorry. Get the hell up. Now."

"Why?" Dade said rubbing his head.

"Because you and I are going to sort this out once and for all."

"No Storm. I don’t want to fight you! I don’t wanna fight you! I’m not going to fight you so you’re just gonna have to kick my ass."

"What’s wrong little brother? This is your chance. Your chance to prove yourself against the so called scourge of your life. I’m responsible for your shitty life aren’t I? This is all my fault isn’t it? You want to be equal. You want to be better than me. Here’s your chance."

"I’m not fighting you."

"You always were the weak one. I always had to look after you because you couldn’t look after yourself. Poor little Dade. Such a little wimp."

"I know what you’re trying to do. It won’t work. I’m not fighting you."

"Of course not. A fucken weak lil wuss like you couldn’t fight me if my legs and arms were tied."

"You’re not so tough." Dade said standing back up. "Storm’s supposed to be some kind of bad ass. Horses ass maybe and a bad one at that but I dunno about tough."

"Oh yeah. I suppose you’re some kind of tough guy then. I hear in middle school you’re quite the man. But that’s middle school…with all the little kiddies. Maybe you should go hang with your little kiddy friends and leave MINE alone."

Dade’s eyes burned with the same anger I had in mine not moments ago. I’d pushed Dade. We’d just have to see how far…

Before I could blink I was sitting on my ass having been hit hard in the jaw by Dade. I shook my head and tried to focus myself "Whoa." I said shaking my head again. That was one hell of a hit.

I brushed my fingers along my lips and felt the warm wetness of blood. I held my fingertips in front of my face and shook my head at the amount of blood on my fingers. "You did a hell job of splitting my lip Dade. You’re very good."

"You taught me how to do that."

"And you say I never did anything for you." I said bringing myself to me feet. "Now let’s see if you do that well…when someone fights back." I said slamming Dade in the head with my fist and charging him against the wall straight afterwards.


* * * * * * *


"Dade and Storm are fighting!" Stacey Peters yelled hysterically.

Brad grabbed a hold of Stacey’s arm as she ran past him and turned her around. "What did you say Stacey?" Brad asked in surprise.

"Dade and Storm, out the back. They’re fighting really bad! I have to tell Marcel, we gotta stop this." Stacey said trying to run away again to find someone to help.

"No. Don’t tell anyone. I’ll take care of it." Brad said reassuredly.


"But nothing. Keep your mouth shut." Brad said tiring of Stacey’s persistent defiance. "I’ll split them up."

"Ok but hurry!" Stacey said in a panic. "They’re gonna kill each other."

"So much for apologizing. This is just too good to pass up, sorry Sarah." Brad snickered quietly to himself.


* * * * * * *


"Give up Dade. You know you can’t beat me." I said standing over Dade as he lay slumped against the wall.

"When I’m dead. Then I’ll give up. And not a moment sooner." Dade snarled back as he threw his arm up right between my legs and just about killed any chances I might have of feeling anything in that area again. I grabbed my groin and wobbled on my feet, I thought I was going to pass out.

Suddenly I felt something like a locomotive hit me hard from the side right as one of Dade’s fists caught my midsection. I was knocked right off my feet and did a 180 in mid air my head and shoulders hitting the ground with an almighty whack.

That was it. Game over for me. I felt a flurry of fists against my face and I instinctively brought my arms up to defend myself. I was still reeling from whoever hit me from the side.

"Get off him!" I heard someone yell but it all sounded faint to me.

"Fuck off! He’s mine." Another voice yelled before I felt the familiar hit of someone’s fist on my back and head again.

I’ve heard that voice. I know that voice. I’ve heard that voice. I know that voice…I know that voice. Brad. Even though I felt like I was nearly going to pass out my fury drove me to new heights. I was running on adrenaline now. I knew someone was above me even though I couldn’t see so I threw my fist straight up as well as my leg and hit whoever it was square in the nuts and in the face. When I knew I had dazed them momentarily I hauled myself up and grabbed who I could see was Brad my nemesis now by the neck and hauling him to his feet and dropping him. He staggered to get his grounding and I chopped him with both my hands just below his armpits on either side. I quickly followed this up with another two chops to either side of his neck and just to humiliate him, instead of hooking him with my fist I slapped him across the face hard before I planted a solid kick to his gut and sent him falling back. By now I was on fire and couldn’t help myself. Here was Brad…the guy I had dreamt of revenging myself upon all the while I was in hospital. I would make him suffer like no other.

"Damn…this is fun. " I said grinning a little too wickedly. "No torn brotherly love ties here. Just good old hatred."

"Stop right there, Storm. That’s enough." Dade yelled grabbing me in a necklock as I moved forward to assault Brad some more.

"Two on one you lousy shit. I thought you could fight your own battles." I said trying to get free but Dade had me surprisingly secured. "Fuck you Dade. Go on finish me off you two piece fucking losers. You’re nothing but a fucking sell out Dade. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. I hate you. I HATE YOU!!" I said bursting into tears and crying like I never had before, all my anger and hurt welling up until I had to scream "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

"Don’t you know Dade and I go way back…" Brad snickered. "We’re a good team. We plan good strategies. We’re just made to work together."

"You were there weren’t you Dade. You were one of them. You set me up. You helped Brad. It all makes perfect sense. You hate me that much. I just wanna die. Just finish me off. I would have rather died in hospital then to find this out. Just go on. Just finish me off." I said slumping in defeat as my spirit gave out.

"Sshh Bro. Shhh. Don’t cry. I swear I didn’t help him. On my life I swear I didn’t." Dade whispered as his headlock turned into more of a desperate attempt to hold me.

"Ok get off him Dade." I heard Josh say as he pulled Dade off me and put my arm around his neck to help keep me up.

"Josh…" I whispered.

"Hi Storm. Don’t worry, everything’s gonna be fine."

"I’m ok. I’m ok." I said standing up by myself having regained most of my composure.

"Are you sure?"

"I’m sure." I said trying to compose myself. "Josh, do me a favor."


"Get Dade out of here. Brad and I have to finish something."

"Ok Storm." Josh said moving swiftly to Dade and ushering Dade away. Josh looked at me one more time to make sure it was ok for him to go and I nodded back at him. It’s the second time that guy has helped me.

"Storm you believe me right?" Dade yelled as Josh dragged him away. "Please say you do."

"We’ll talk later." I said quietly as I simply nodded at Dade without looking at him and signaled Josh to take him away. I wanted to believe my brother didn’t help Brad. As indifferent as our relationship had become I had to believe that. "Ok Brad. You’ve about fucked my life up enough. It’s time we finished this. Now get up so I can break every bone in your body…slowly." I said my spirit filled with nothing but a burning hatred for the scum that sat before me.

"Come on Storm. I’ve won already. I beat you. You can’t top what I’ve done to you." Brad said cockily with just a hint of nervousness in his voice.

"I could seriously damage you. But that wouldn’t be any fun. You wouldn’t be around for me to torment the rest of your life." I said moving towards Brad and standing before him menacingly. "Payback’s a bitch."

"Come on Storm. You’re not like me. You won’t do anything." Brad said, his voice getting a bit shaky as he backed against the wall a little further.

"Do you remember when Braddy was a little boy? Well he really was a dorky joy. He wasn’t tough no he was shy, and oh I made that Braddy cry." I said as I leant down and slowly gripped Brad’s shirt, looking him square in the eye as he shook his head desperately at me. Pleading with his eyes to let him go. "And I’ll do it again."

"Please don’t. Please don’t." Brad cried shaking his head even more vigorously. "I just want us to be friends like we used to. Please. Don’t do this Storm. I’ll be good."

I quickly pulled Brad up and off his feet with all my strength and shoved him back hard against the wall, not taking my hands off their grip on his collar. Brad visibly sobbing and shaking his head and pleading with me to stop. Too late for that. I’m getting my revenge one way or another. I got right up in Brad’s face, Brad a wreck of tears. "Time to pay the price Braddy boy. Remember the old days? Let’s go back in time."

"NooOOooo!!!" Brad screamed.


* * * * * * *


I walked outside the back of Marcel’s house to try and find Dade. I knew he wouldn’t be far from here. I could see his solitary figure sitting alone in the dark on the concrete wall of Marcel’s back courtyard.

"Ok Dade, your turn." I said pulling up a chair and sitting down directly opposite him. "Please Dade let’s sort this out now. I don’t think I can take much more of this tonight."

"Storm you gotta tell me that you believe, that you know I didn’t help Brad. You gotta know I didn’t. Come on Bro, you know how much it hurts that you think I helped him?"

"Do you know how much it hurt thinking you had helped him? I just wanted to die. But I wasn’t thinking straight because I know deep down you’d never do that to me. I know you didn’t help him. I know you didn’t." I said trying to reassure myself more than anything before realizing that I really did know inside that Dade didn’t help Brad and how stupid it was for me to believe it in the first place. "I know you didn’t Bro."

Dade looked at me hesitantly before his eyes moved back to staring at the floor again. "Storm I don’t want to fight you. I’m sorry for throwing the first punch."

"That was a hell of a punch too. That was a hell of a fight. Remind me not to piss you off again."

"I didn’t want to fight you."

"I’m sorry for pushing you. But I mean a lot of what I said. About earning what I have and not doing anything to try and hold you down. I know a lot of what I said was spiteful and for that I’m sorry. But both of us said some things that we really meant and felt. We can’t push things like that aside and just pretend everything’s ok."

"You’re my big bro, I look up to you. Can’t you just tell me what to do?"

"Sorry Dade. Doesn’t work like that anymore. You and I are on the same level. I may be older but not much older. And you’re the old man not me." I said smiling weakly. "You want people to accept you on your own merits. To be recognized for being Dade Marcus and not Storm’s little brother. You want out of my shadow. I know how to fix all this. This is the last time I’m going to give you a big brother speech Dade. I don’t want to be your big brother anymore Dade."

"What?" Dade said in disbelief trying to hide the hurt he felt inside.

"I don’t want to be your big brother anymore. I wanna be your friend. If I’m not your big brother you won’t think of yourself as my little brother. Let’s just be brothers and friends. Like me and Mike. So no more speeches from me. I’ll try not to interfere with your life. And I’ll try to be your friend and equal ok?"

"But I like you being my big brother. I’m proud of you. I don’t wanna be just friends." Dade said crying now with self blame and regret as he rubbed his eyes.

"I thought that’s what got us into this mess. That you hate being referred to as my little brother. That you wanted to be your own person."

"I am my own person. I’m so stupid I used you being so awesome as an excuse for my just not being awesome. I blamed you for me not being like you. If I lose you as a big brother because of my stupidity I’m gonna hurt for a long time. I don’t want you to stop looking out for me. I don’t want you to stop being my big brother. I want you to help me. Just stick with me please Bro? Don’t give up on me."

"Bro..." I said grabbing Dade and holding him as close to me as I possibly could. "You know I’ll never do that. Never."

Dade wrapped his arms around me in an almost bear hug and buried his head in my shoulder. I’d held Dade like this quite a few times and one thing that always bugs me about when he cries on my shoulder; he makes a big mess. Wiping his eyes and nose on my shirt as he rubs his face in my shoulder. I guess that comes with the big bro territory huh. "Dade you haven’t changed." I said smiling.

"Huh?" Dade replied perking his head up.

"Nothing Bro…just…we’re cool now right? You don’t secretly resent me anymore or anything?"

"I swear it Bro." Dade said raising his right hand. "Honest, promise, cross my heart, hope to…"

"Yeah I get the idea. Man I’m really tired. And sore." I said laughing. "How bout you?"

"I’m sore…just a bit." Dade said sarcastically. "I think you and I against Brad and all his thugs would have been unstoppable. We can sure lay on the damage huh?"

"You’re telling me. You punch harder than Brad, Bro." I said holding my jaw and laughing.

"How’s your lip Bro?" Dade said having a closer look at his handiwork. "Oh you should still be good to kiss Lucas. No major damage."

"Ya think? I got a sore as head. My jaw aches. I’ll have bruises on me from you and Brad. And did I tell you my head hurts? You fucken hit me in the balls too man. I sure as hell didn’t teach you that one."

"Last resort man, you were kicking my ass and you know it. I hope I don’t get a black eye. And you kicked me a lot too. That’s no fair, you got steel cap boots man. But hey, I’d take a hard kick up the ass to a bitch slap in the face like you gave Brad. That was just humiliating."

"He deserved it. And he won’t be coming near us again. In fact trust me Brad will be an Angel from now on. I taught him one hell of a lesson he’ll never forget."

"What did you do?"

"I roughed him up a bit. Mostly intimidated him. He used to be scared of me when we were younger. Brad and I have quite a history. I thought we’d gotten past all that but I guess he didn’t."

"Past all what? You know I never did find out why you two weren’t friends anymore. Just suddenly one day you weren’t. I thought it might have been because of his birthday party but you never did say."

"It was partly that. You notice Brad used to be the one to tag along with me?"

"Everyone tags along with you, what was so different about that?"

"Well. I wasn’t always…nice to Brad. Basically I was a bully to him. I taught him everything he knows about being a jerk."

"What?" Dade said in disbelief.

"I used to intimidate Brad a lot. When he really just went out of his way to try and be my friend. He always wanted to hang out but I’d always blow him off."

"Eeewwww." Dade cringed grinning at me.

"Geez Dade get with it. Blew him off as in told him to get lost. He actually used to have a really submissive nature. I think I took advantage of it. I made him piss his pants once doing some dare that he didn’t want to but he was so scared of me he still did it. But like I was only 10-11 years old. I was a shithead I know that. But he went way over the line when he finally decided he wanted to pay me back."

"Was it only Brad you were like that to?"

"Yeah. I think because he made it so easy. But like I was only a kid. He was older than me. I didn’t know any better at the time. I don’t even remember half the shit that went on. I know kids can be nasty without even realizing what they’re doing. I’m a testament to that. I don’t think I’m a bad person. I was just a shitty kid at times."

"Is he really going to leave everyone alone from now on?"

"He won’t touch us ever again."

"How do you know? What did you do to him?"

"Well after I sorta scared him shitless and smacked him around a bit. I almost wanted to make him piss his pants again and walk into that party. I was so angry at him. Then I slapped myself for even thinking about doing that. In the end…I talked to him. I apologized for what I could, I mean I can’t remember all that stuff. I said sorry. Then something really shocking he apologized to me. And told me that that’s the original reason he came tonight but he saw us fighting and wanted to have a go at me again. I told him if he ever touched you again I’d break every bone in his hand. And then I told him that I owed him a chance for us to be friends again."

"Oh you gotta be kidding me. You’re not seriously giving that jerk a chance to be your friend? What the hell is wrong with you? The guy is a screw up! I can’t believe you’re gonna be friends with him, Storm. I get sick just thinking about it. Storm, can I be the one to give advice for once? And could you listen to me?"


"STAY AWAY FROM HIM! I don’t trust him. And neither should you. The guy is evil that’s all there is to it. He gets a kick out of hurting people for gods’ sake. I know what you’re thinking. You think you’re responsible for him being such a fuck up. It’s like you said, you were a KID man. The guy has always been a screw up. I feel really strongly about this, Storm. Please stay away from him. Please, Storm, for me? Please Bro. Just stay away from him."

"You’re really serious aren’t you."

"Very. Please Storm. Will you trust me on this one?"

"I’ll tell you what. Dade, let’s make a deal. You give me two weeks with Brad. You can hang with me, me and you together with him. If by the end of two weeks you don’t think I can be friends with him. I won’t."

"Hmm. Do I have a choice?"

"Please, Dade."

"Two weeks. No more. I get to make the call?" Dade asked firmly.

"You get to make the call, Bro."

"Ok then. Let’s see if you can save the loser. Sarah’s pretty much fucked him up in school so he really is a loser now. I’ll be watching, Bro. And thank you for trusting me."

"We’re gonna be fine, Bro. Just give it some time. And as for Brad, I trust you more than I trust myself to make the right call. Come’ ere and give me a hug, Bro."

"You know I love you don’t you?" I said gripping Dade in a solid embrace. I leant my head on Dade’s shoulder and realized that Dade really wasn’t my little bro. This guy was almost taller than me now and just as strong and I knew from our fight tonight that he was more than capable of taking me out. All he needed was the right motivation, I just had to make sure he never got it.

"I know, Bro. I love you too. I really do. Let’s not fight like this again please?"

"Yes, please. Next time you’ll probably kick my ass anyway. So yeah let’s not fight. Besides we’re brothers we should be on the same side. We’re a team. You and me."

"The Marcus Bros. That’s us. We’re the spunkiest guys in town." Dade grinned. "Everybody loves us."

"Yeah we know that, let’s just not let them know that we know that." I said winking at Dade. "Come on, Bro. Let’s go party."

"Sweet as. Let’s go." Dade smiled.

I put my arm around Dade and we headed back towards the party. Just as we opened the door to go back inside Mike charged past us followed shortly by Sarah. Neither looking in too good a mood. Dade and I both looked at each other cringing. "Oooh lover’s tiff you think?" I whispered.

"Mike, you can’t pull this tonight of all nights. Just go back inside and don’t be a jerk!" Sarah yelled.

Mike just waved her away as he walked off even faster. "I’m not a jerk, he’s the jerk! He doesn’t give a shit about us. He’s just another rich fuck that’s been playing us all this time and now he doesn’t need us he pulls this out of the blue! I don’t need it. I’m outta here, Sarah. You can stay if you like but I’m not."

"Hey wait just a second!" Dade called out after Mike angrily as he left my side and went off after him, catching me by surprise as I didn’t expect either of us to take part in this argument.

"Dade!" I yelled shaking my head not wanting to be part of another argument tonight.

"Now why don’t you listen up." Dade said firmly as he grabbed Mike and spun my not very happy surrogate brother around to face him. "Marcel is not a jerk. If he was he wouldn’t have told you at all. And I can’t believe you just called him a rich fuck that’s been playing us. What are you? Stupid or something? Has he been playing you for a whole six years? Ya silly fuck. Why don’t you get over yourself, Mike? Have a look at what’s really going on. This is Marcel’s shot. You should be happy for him!"

"Fuck you, Dade. He ‘is’ a jerk. Real friends don’t tell each other they’re leaving a few days before they go. I don’t have to take this from you. Now he doesn’t need us anymore, just kick us to the curb with a ‘oh hey guys I’m leaving’. I don’t care what you think, he’s a jerk and he played us."

"Take it back."

"Dade, just back off." I said standing behind Dade.

"Take it back." Dade said even more firmly.

"Or what?" Mike said almost finding Dade amusing.

"Or I’ll smack your fucken head in."

"Ok you two, just chill out." Sarah said stepping in between Dade and Mike as the two stared each other down.

"Oh please. And for the next joke." Mike said turning away from Dade.

"Not again." I sighed closing my eyes almost being able to see what was going to happen before it was going to happen. You just don’t do that to Dade. Sure enough I opened my eyes and Dade lunged himself towards Mike, the only thing stopping him from knocking Mike over being the fast reflexes of Sarah pushing Mike aside and casually sidestepping Dade before she grabbed the back of his collar to stop him from falling forward.

"I said, both of you chill out." Sarah said grabbing Dade by the scruff of the neck and pulling him roughly along towards Mike as she grabbed Mike’s shirt and yanked him towards her angrily. "You know I’m pretty damn disappointed in both you males right now."

"He shouldn’t have said that about Marcel." Dade said his eyes flaring as they burned into Mike.

"He was the one picking the fight." Mike protested. "Catty little shit."

"I’m not catty." Dade replied in surprise, trying not to show the fact that he found Mike’s comment slightly humorous.

"Yeah you are." Mike said realizing that Dade had indeed found humor in what Mike had said.

"I am not!" Dade said squirming in Sarah’s grip. "I might be a little shit but I’m not catty."

"Shut up both of you. Dade you say sorry to Mike. And Mike you apologize too. Both of you were being jerks."

I just stood there watching Sarah do her stuff, wasn’t much I could do. Sarah would probably do a better job of handling the situation anyway. When neither of them said anything Sarah’s face become silently tense, you could see the rage and anger inside her just waiting to burst out.

"NOW!" Sarah screamed mightily just about knocking the socks off both Dade and Mike.

"Sorry Bro."

"Sorry Dade."

I almost laughed at how quickly and submissively the two apologized to each other but I was too busy feeling shell-shocked from Sarah’s outburst. "Oooh you two are in trouble." I teased, couldn’t help myself.

"Shut up you." Sarah said bluntly.

"Sure, Sarah." I replied just as quickly as Dade and Mike had apologized to each other. Did I really go out with this chick? How the hell did I survive so long?

"You two better get over all of this and I don’t even want to see you looking at each other the wrong way. We don’t need to be fighting with each other. Now Mike, you’ve made it clear to me that you don’t want to be here so just go home."


"But nothing. Dade you go back inside and you’re going to sing me a song real soon. And tomorrow both of you are going to forget about all this and act like you should."

"Umm how should we act Sarah?"

"Don’t start with me, Dade."

"Aww come on honey, the guy’s asking a simple question."

"Your wife’s really nasty." Dade whispered

"You should see her when you don’t feed her on time. Oooh dangerous." Mike smiled.

"Shit you two piss me off. Fuck off home, Mike. Go on." Sarah said shoving Mike away angrily.

"But I don’t want to go anymore."

"Ya think?" Sarah said staring Mike down.

"Ok, Honey." Mike said turning to leave, throwing me an ‘oh shit’ look as he did. "I’ll see you later."

"And you’re going to talk to Marcel before you leave too."

"Ok don’t start with me on that one, Sarah. I’ll see you later." Mike said his demeanor quickly becoming tense and angry again as he walked.

"Dade, you’ve got big balls. But don’t ever pull that again. Now get inside." Sarah said finally letting Dade go.

"Shaaaaaaaammmeee." I teased softly as Dade walked past me to go back inside. "Someone got busted."

"Hey Storm."


WHACK. Dade smacked me hard upside the back of the head before he took off inside. I scowled to myself as I held the back of my head in agony. "I’ll catch you ya little fuck."

"Storm, wait!" Sarah yelled.

"What, Sarah?"

"Someone saw you fighting with Dade AND Brad. You wanna tell me what the hell’s going on in 500 words or less? Why the hell does everybody want to beat the crap out of each other tonight?"

"Oh boy…"


* * * * * * *


"Lucas, where the hell is Lucas?" I asked.

"I’m over here Storm!" Lucas called.

I turned to see Lucas sitting with Claire and Josh. I hoped I was reading too much into it but I could shake the feeling that Claire made me feel. She just felt like a threat to me yet she’d only ever been nice to me. It didn’t help that Lucas had his arm around her. Well not really around her, just resting on the seat behind her head and she looked like she didn’t mind. I figured maybe I was just in a crabby mood and looking for a reason to pick a fight with Lucas.

"You guys look busy I’ll come back later." I said turning to Josh. "Hey Josh, you wanna go shoot some hoops and we can leave these lovebirds alone?"

Josh gave me a weird look and I just realized and remembered that Josh knew about Lucas and I. Oh well. I’m an intensely jealous idiot. There I said it. But who’s to know if there was any substance in my jealousy?

"Oh here we go." Lucas said rolling his eyes. "You’re such a jerk sometimes Storm."

"Well fuck you too mate."

"What did you say?" Lucas said standing up, surprising me even.

"You heard me dipshit."

"Hey hey you guys just chill out ok? This is supposed to be a fun party. It’s your birthday party Storm, come on let’s just all sit down." Claire said interrupting.

"No thanks Claire." I said calming down a little. "Don’t mind me. Enjoy the rest of your night."

"Storm, you’re bleeding."

"What? Where?" I said looking at myself.

"Here." Claire said using her hands to hold my face up and then moving one further up and feeling around my hair. "Oh man. What have you been doing?"

"I can’t feel anything. Can’t be that bad. I’ll go check it out in the mirror. See ya later." I said walking away so I could go to Marcel’s bathroom.

"I’m coming with you." Lucas said concerned.

"Yeah me too. I want to have a better look. I know how to treat it." Claire said following behind Lucas.

"No thanks. You two just keep doing whatever you were doing. I’ll be fine. It’s probably nothing."

"Yeah and I bet that bruise on your neck is just a hickey. Whatever. I’ll tell Sarah to make you let me help if you force me Mister."

"You’ve been hanging out with Sarah way too long. But ok. You can come if it’ll make you feel better."

"It will."

Claire dashed ahead and went straight into the bathroom to see if there was any first aid equipment. As soon as she slipped inside Lucas flipped me around and grabbed my arm roughly.

"What the fuck is your problem?" Lucas said barely audible but with enough intensity to feel as though he yelled at me.

"Don’t swear Lucas. It doesn’t suit you."

"I’ll say whatever the hell I like. Whenever the fuck I like. I won’t take this shit from you Storm. You think I’m cheating on you with Claire or something, is that it? And what the fuck was all that about just then? Go back and do whatever you were doing? You think I’m stupid? You think I can’t read that? If you were trying to make me angry just then you succeeded. You told me to get fucked, you called me a dipshit. You tried to start a fight with me. You implied that I wasn’t being faithful. I am really pissed off."

I’ve never seen Lucas angry like this. He wasn’t yelling or anything. He didn’t hit me. But he spoke so quietly it chilled me. Quietly forceful. And his face oh man it had a serious ‘don’t fuck with me now I’m not in the mood’ look. He was dead serious and damn well pissed off. That much was obvious. But he’d never ever been like this with me before. When I swear I hate to say it’s like part of my regular vocabulary but when Lucas swears…let’s just say he uses it for impact. Nuff said.

"What are you gonna do? Hit me? Go for it."

"You want me to hit you, is that it?"

"If you want." I said shaking and my heart pounding plus trying to stop myself from becoming a blubbering mess. "Everyone else has had their shot tonight. Why don’t you join the club?"

"If I wanted to hit you. I would’ve done it already! You’re just really trying to push me way too far tonight Storm. You push me anymore and I’ll…"

"You’ll what?" Claire said catching Lucas and I off guard. "Get off him." Claire said pulling Lucas hand off my arm and shoving him away.

"What the hell?" Lucas said surprised.

"Look in case it’s not overtly obvious to you Storm’s already had his ass kicked tonight. He doesn’t need it from you too. Beat it Lucas. I don’t know what you two are fighting about but it won’t happen tonight. And it won’t happen here. You can sort it out later. Maybe you can even do it without beating each other silly like some morons. Now get out Lucas."

"Fuck you I’m not going anywhere."

"Claire it’s ok. We’re not gonna fight." I said trying to calm her down.

"Of course you weren’t gonna fight. You were going to stand there and let him kick your ass. Since you won’t go anywhere Lucas you just stay there and think about what an idiot you look like. I really thought you were better than this Lucas." Claire said pulling me into the bathroom and shutting the door.

"Claire it’s ok. Really. We were just talking, we weren’t going to fight."

"Is that right? You’re going to have bruising on your arm he was grabbing it so tight. I’ve never seen him so angry like that before. And to think I really liked him. But I think I saw his true colors tonight. You did me a favor. I’m just glad I got there before he went any further. Now this is going to hurt." Claire said dabbing some antiseptic into my cut.

"Everybody gets angry. That was my fault anyway. Don’t hold it against him. I’m sure you’ll like him just the same tomorrow."

"I’d just hate to go out with him and then find out down the track that he’s like that. Better to find out now before anything happens."

"So like, you’re planning on going out?" I asked inquisitively.

"Maybe. I can tell Lucas is attracted to me. But I don’t think he wants me. I don’t think I want him anymore though either."

"So you think he likes you?"

"Well…what do you think? You’re his best friend. Do you have any idea?"

"I know he used to a lot. Remember that little mix up we had. Around that time I think he liked you. Right now…I’d say he’s…yeah I’d say he’s attracted to you. I can read people well and it looked like he was really comfortable around you. Like how I used to be with Sarah."

"How long did you two go out?"

"Too long." I said holding back a laugh and smiling instead. "We were way too comfortable with each other I think. We really used to be so close. But I dunno, I guess time can change anything."

"I’m an old fashioned dreamer then I guess. I always believed true love could outlast time."

"If that’s how you think than whoever is lucky enough to have you will be very happy." I said pondering my words.

I’d been jealous of Claire but she was someone to be admired. Something else about her made me think. I’m not too willing to face that thought yet but one day I might have to. In the last few minutes I’d begun to like Claire more and more, I could see why people liked her.

"I don’t suppose you’re available then?" Claire said smiling. "There we go, all done."

"Wow, you’re really good. You’re like my Mom."

"Yeah oh man you know I wanted to be a nurse but your Mom…man she’s so cool. She’s a doctor and looks to be a pretty good one too. I wish I could be like that someday."

"Why don’t you come over? I mean if you’re serious she could probably help you."

"You want ‘me’ to come over to ‘your’ house?"

"I don’t bite. And I’m sure my Mom doesn’t either. But I dunno about Dade. He might like to bite you." I said smiling.

"I didn’t mean it like that. I just mean like I can’t believe you’re inviting me to your house. I mean you’re Storm. Only like the pack you know, your awesome group go to your house."

"Oh yeah my house is so cool man. I mean wow you can look at the walls or even walk on the floor. Hell you can even open the door if you like. I mean you can’t beat that. It’s so obvious why everyone wants to come to my house."

"But I have it officially, you’re inviting me to your house? You personally? I’m not tagging along with Sarah or anyone but you yourself are inviting me to your house."

"Yes Claire. It’s no big deal. Just come over sometime. We can hang out, you can talk to my Mom, see how crazy my family is and then we can go up to my room and make some babies."

"Sarah told me you had a demented sense of humor. Well I’m gonna take you up on your offer."

"Which one? The coming over and talking to Mom offer or the making babies one?"

"Geez. Sarah was so right about you! You keep this up and I’ll be in love with you in twenty minutes. You’re so funny."

"Yeah people laugh at me all the time."

"OK that’s it. Let’s get out of here before I do something I DON’T live to regret." Claire said red faced and smiling as she grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the bathroom.

"Oh Claire, don’t tease me like that. You know I’m hot for ya."

"I’ll bet you are." Lucas said standing in the same place we left him in.

"Lucas don’t start something. We’re supposed to be having fun tonight remember? It’s ‘somebody’s’ birthday remember?"

"Then fuck off and let somebody and I sort this out."

"Hey don’t talk to her like that!" I said instinctively.

"Why are you holding hands?" Lucas said his eyes narrowing.

"What’s it to you?" Claire snapped. "It’s none of your business what we do. You jealous or something?"

I tried to let go of Claire’s hand subtly but she squeezed it even tighter and shot Lucas a disgusted look. "Claire. Can Lucas and I have some time to sort this out please?"

"Everyone thinks you’re a nice guy but now I can see you’re just an asshole. If you need me Storm I’ll be downstairs. Don’t let this jerk push you around."

"Thanks Claire."

"Anytime Storm. Don’t forget I’m taking you up on that offer. I’ll see ya later Storm. Bye Dipshit."

"Yeah get lost and mind your own business."


"Ok you." Lucas said angrily grabbing my shoulder and pulling me along.

"What are you doing?"

"Shut up."

"Lucas you’re crazy man. I’m not going with you."

"Nobody makes me angry like you Storm. Feel proud of yourself?"

"Not really. But I’m still not going anywhere with you. You’re scaring me. I’ve never seen you like this before."

"Why are you being such an asshole to me?" Lucas said grabbing his head in frustration. "I’ve had enough. I’m going home."

"But the party’s not over yet."

"Well in case you didn’t notice I’m not in the mood. You really killed it. I go through so much for you and you treat me like shit for no better reason except the wind’s blowing the wrong way. I think I deserve way better than to be treated the way you treated me tonight. I think you should treat me better than you do. I want you to treat me the way I treat you. I don’t want you swearing at me again or calling me a dipshit. I don’t want you looking at me funny thinking that I’m off fucking some other girl or whatever the hell’s going through your head. I’m not just talking about tonight because it’s not the first time you’ve gone off at me. I don’t want any of that attitude you gave me tonight. You know, you really don’t deserve me."

"You’re right. I don’t. And I just ruined your chances with Claire so now you’ll…"

"WHAT?" Lucas yelled in shocked surprise. "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT! Ruined my chances! What the hell makes you think I want a chance?"

Lucas grabbed me by the shirt and yanked me towards him. "Fuck you Storm. How dare you even contemplate the thought of me getting with Claire. Damn you for not trusting me or even thinking I want a chance with her. And damn you for thinking our relationship is that mediocre. I’m obviously the only one who thinks you and I mean more than some fling where we can change partners when things get a little tense."

"I guess I’m damned then."

"Now is not the time to be a smartass."

"I love you."

"What?" Lucas said not expecting me to just blurt out what I should try and make obvious.

"I love you."

"I…I know you do."

"Can we go home together please? We can talk about this more. But don’t leave me here by myself please."

"I…you really know how to work me don’t you Storm. I was ready to bust a hole in that wall a few minutes ago. I’m still angry at you though."

"I know. I’m sorry. Can we just go home and talk about this together? There’s something I need to tell you."

"Ok Storm. But I want something from you."


"I want you to hold my hand."

"Now?" I said my heart dropping a few thousand miles into my gut and my eyes wide in shock.

"I won’t hide anymore Storm. That’s what gets us into messes like this half the time. I’m sick of it. I love you and you know there are no limits on that. How much do you love me?"

"Ok done." I said instantly when Lucas asked me how much I loved him.

I gave Lucas my hand and closed my eyes, taking a deep breath and preparing myself for what was to come. I knew what this meant. But Lucas wanted to know how much I loved him and there wasn’t any way in hell I’d show that I didn’t. At first I was hesitant and down right shit scared of the idea but when Lucas asked me how much I loved him and wanted to see if I was willing to do this for him it took less than a split second to say yes to him. To hell with the world. I’ve got my baby.

"You ready?"

"As ready as I’ll ever be. Let’s go."


We headed towards the stairs, my hand in Lucas hand. I really loved nothing better than touching him whether it was holding his hand or kissing him or even just messing up his hair. My appetite for him was almost insatiably obsessive. I held his hand tighter and as I did a smile worked its way across my face. I was starting to really like this. We got to the top of the stairs and I took one last gulp and said goodbye to the old life that used to be mine.

"Wait!" I said suddenly.

"What? What is it?"

"Tell me you love me. I need to hear it."

"I love you. You know that. More than anything."


"Nope not long enough. More."

"Do I get a quick kiss before we do this?"

"Does it have to be quick?" Lucas said lifting my face to his and kissing me gently with those strawberry teaser lips of his.

I closed my eyes and took in the moment before finally letting go. "Man I really love kissing you." I said smiling.

"You ready now?"

I took a few deep breaths and squeezed Lucas hand to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. "Ok I’m ready."

"Then here goes nothing."

"Or everything…"


* * * * * * *


"Holy shit." Claire muttered in disbelief at the sight before her eyes.

"Whoa." Jacob said beginning to smile broadly. "Wow. Now that’s cool."

"You gotta be kidding. Is there something in the water around here? Next thing you know I’ll be putting the hits on Sarah." Claire said shaking her head in disbelief. "I need some air or I think I’m gonna pass out."

"Sis, what’s with you?" Jacob said running after his sister.

"Let me go talk to her." Storm said letting go of Lucas hand and going after Claire. "I won’t be long Babe."

"Yeah ok." Lucas said slumping against the wall and sliding downwards.

Lucas knew what was coming as he slid down the wall and held his head in his hands. He tried to fight it but he was so hurt and frustrated he couldn’t help himself. Without even caring if anyone saw him Lucas let out a quiet wail as he began letting his anguish and hurt manifest itself into streams of tears. He had never known someone that could turn his emotions inside out the way Storm did. Storm had the potential to make Lucas the happiest person in the world. And just as equally make him as miserable as he felt now.

Lucas felt like he’d just been hit with a barrage of sledgehammers hitting his most vulnerable spot. The love he had for his Storm. Storm’s open hostility towards Lucas hurt him more than he’d care to show Storm. He knew he could never treat Storm that way so why if Storm loved him so much would he attack Lucas so openly? It ripped Lucas apart trying to figure out why Storm treated him the way he did. Especially when Storm knew how easily Lucas was hurt by him. Storm was the only person that could hurt Lucas. And the only one who could love him.

"It’s just a good thing I love you so much." Lucas whispered to himself as he sobbed.

"Hi Buddy."

"Marcel?" Lucas said looking up in surprise.

Lucas tried to stop his crying and began wiping his eyes but realized soon it was pointless as Marcel had known him long enough to know when something was bothering Lucas anyway. Lucas put his head in his hands, trying to lessen his sobs and sniffles so he could have some form of coherent conversation with Marcel.

Lucas felt Marcel’s arm move around him and his hand gripped Lucas shoulder firmly. Lucas could almost feel Marcel taking a deep breath and sigh inside knowing he was about to have a serious talk with Lucas and get a few important things off his chest.

"So what did Storm do?" Marcel asked finally breaking the momentary silence.

Lucas leant his head tentatively on Marcel’s shoulder and sighed nervously to himself. "Do you mind if I do this?"

"If I did, I wouldn’t be here. So what did he do?"

"I don’t know what I did. Storm just comes out of nowhere with this nasty attitude and he tells me to get fucked and calls me a dipshit. Maybe I’m just over sensitive but that really hurt me. And the worst part was when he thought I was getting it on with Claire. She’s made moves on me so many times and I’ve rejected her. Even tonight she did. I wanted to just tell her about us but last time I told someone Storm and I broke up for a week. He should know that I belong to him. I’ve shown him so many times. I mean, I don’t get it." Lucas said as his tears began again. "I don’t get it."

"Let me give you one word that often describes Storm; frustrating." Marcel said with a sly smile of remembrance on his face. "Make that very frustrating."

"And sometimes you just wanna kick his ass right? And then five minutes later he’s got you feeling so bad for even thinking about doing it?"

"Yeah see now that’s frustrating even still. I’ve been there so many times but to this day not once have Storm and I come to real blows. We’ve come very close. But Mike’s the only one unfortunate enough to get into a real fight with Storm. That was over Sarah…almost six months ago now. You remember that?"

"Yeah I remember. You know, I swear I’d rather kill myself than lay a hand on Storm. I’ll never do that. I can’t see us getting into a fist fight. I just don’t see it. I’ll pray it never happens."

"You’d have to be a much different Lucas to let that happen. I’ll tell you some things about Storm. He’s unpredictably predictable. And he’s often the flipside of that too. He’ll frustrate you and hurt you sometimes but more than anything he’ll prove himself worthy to you. You’ll feel frustrated now. But trust me. You’ll be glad you put up with it. And…"

"And what?"

"He’ll change. For you. I can see it in his eyes. He’ll change for you. To make you happy."

"You think so?"

"I’m one of his best friends remember. I know these things." Marcel said with his eyes drifting off into deep contemplation filled with remorse and regret.

"Marcel…I’m really sorry."

"What for?"

"For coming in here and…moving in on your territory. I feel like I’m partly to blame for your leaving. Like I’ve forced you away because of me and Storm."

"Forget about it, Lucas. You’ve got nothing to be sorry about."

"I pushed myself in between you and Storm. I know he was your best friend before I came here. And you suffered more than Mike because of me. I just feel sorry for you know. I know you loved Storm and it hurt you to see me get what you’d wanted for so long. I’m really sorry, Marcel."

"Let’s put it like this Lucas. I was here for six years. You were here one day and you effectively blew me out of the water and became Storm’s new best friend. Three months later he was your boyfriend. Three months after that and you’re still together. I never had a chance to begin with. That’s the bottom line."

"I’m sorry. If I’d never come here…"

"Things would still be the same way they were six months ago. I’d still be stuck on Storm and be his best bud. Mike would still be with Sarah. I still wouldn’t have Storm. And he still wouldn’t have you. He wasn’t meant for me. Things happen for a reason. Yeah sure you’ve got a lot to do with me wanting to leave. But who knows what great things could happen to me for doing this. If you hadn’t come and I had no reason to leave then what things would I be missing out on? I could become national champ for all we know. I could make it to the world champs one day. I mean Storm doesn’t need me anymore. He’s got you. Mike’s got Sarah. There’s nothing holding me here anymore. It’s the right time."

"You know what…I AM really sorry. Because you don’t realize how much Storm does need you. How much Mike needs you. How much Dade needs you. How much I need you. How much Sarah needs you. We all need you, Marcel. The only reason we’re semi ok with this is because you’ve got a shot to make the big time. To be the best like we know you are. But when you go…it’s us that will be feeling the void. I know some part of you resents me. And I’m really sorry about that. Because you have no idea…how much you mean to me." Lucas said pausing and covering his eyes with his hands. "And I know that I admire you for your strength. And because of who you are. You’re my friend, Marcel. Six months just doesn’t seem long enough. I wish we had longer together because I know we’d be even greater friends than we are now. If you come back…"

"When I come back."

"When you come back. I hope we can carry on being friends. You know everybody else has a sorta close tie to you. I’m the one with the least connection. I mean Sarah’s like you guys are really close. She likes watching out for you. Even though she doesn’t have to anymore. Mike’s your sorta brother or something. You guys have some kind of bond going on because you’re both so close to June. Storm’s your best friend. Dade’s your best friend. You guys are all so close on a sorta more than normal friends level. Like a real pack. They’ve all got closer ties to you than I have but I still feel like I trust you. And that you’re a real friend to me. Do you know what I’m saying or am I just a blubbering mess?"

"I know what you’re saying. Trust me Lucas, not just anyone gets to be my friend. If you’re my friend I’ll do just about anything for you and I’ll try my best to always be there. If you’re my friend, then you’re my friend all the way. You and I have been through enough to know that we’re not just casual buds that’s why I was really upset to get a simple handshake from you. Anyway just know I’m ok with you Lucas. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine. And besides, I sat down to see how you were. So are you feeling a little better now that you’ve let out a bit of your penned up torment due to our Storm?"

"I have. Thank you, Marcel. I’ve just had so much stress on me worrying about him the last few weeks. And we only just get back here and he’s off at me about something or other. I just couldn’t take it, I had to bust a water tank. I know he’s been through a lot but so have I. Worrying about if he’s going to be ok. Worrying about if he still loves me and wants us to be together. Wondering if I’m the only one that feels this strongly about us. I’m tired, man. I’m drained. I’m really tired."

"Suck it in, Lucas. It just comes with that whole love thing. I know you’ve been stressing out a lot lately. And I know how much you love Storm. Just hang in there ok, Lucas? It’ll all be worth it you’ll see."

"I know. Right now I just really feel like taking him home and falling off to sleep together while he holds me. I miss that so much. I can’t remember how long it’s been since we did that. Just held each other all night."

"I know you guys haven’t had sex yet so that comment doesn’t turn me on as much as it should." Marcel grinned. "But when you guys do tell me all about it ok so I’ve got something to daydream about at the academy."


"You’re so…virginal, man." Marcel said grinning even wider.

"DUDE!!" Lucas said almost yelling as he blushed in embarrassment. "Shut up!"

"Lucas, what’s your problem? We’re both men here. I know you’ve slept with a girl before. You never said so with your mouth but you said so anyway. I pick up on these things. Storm’s the only virgin out of us. You just be sure that if it’s you for his first time…be responsible. You’ve got a lot more experience than he does. And you’re the oldest. You know how it works, Lucas. Just be responsible."

"I haven’t slept with a guy before though. Just girls. So I’ll be as nervous as he is. And I’d be nervous anyway because it’s well it’s Storm. My Storm. My dream guy. I know a dozen girls that would love to be in my place. But regardless of all that he’s still the guy I love more than anything so I promise not just to you but to myself that I’ll be responsible. And I won’t push him into anything."

"Now you said girls as in plural. How many girls have you slept with Lucas? I won’t tell anyone."

"Uhhh two Dude." Lucas said uncomfortably. "I’m not real proud of that. I wish Storm was my first. The first girl I slept with was a lot older than me and I didn’t really know what I was doing until after I did it. That only happened once. The other girl was my girlfriend before I came here. We…we slept together a few times."

"Lucas it’s ok." Marcel said wrapping his arm a bit tighter around Lucas shoulder seeing Lucas become visibly distraught by having to reveal that aspect of his past to Marcel. "It’s part of life. Don’t feel bad."

"I just wish that Storm was my first because none of them meant anything to me like Storm does. I feel like I’m not good enough sometimes. Like he deserves better. Someone who hasn’t ‘been around’ like I have."

"Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it. But trust me, you’re good enough."

"I trust you. But you know Storm doesn’t know about me not being a virgin. I’ve always avoided the subject before. I don’t want him to think less of me. I know I have to tell him eventually. There’s so much about me he doesn’t know yet. He knows I’ve had girlfriends and a little bit about my past but not much. He doesn’t know I slept with them. I’m afraid to tell him a lot of things. I don’t want to lose him."

"Come on, what could you possibly have done to make Storm not love you anymore? I know when you tell Storm about sleeping with your girlfriend that he’ll wish he was first. But if you think he’s going to let you go because of that you’re dang crazy."

"So you think he’ll be ok with it? He won’t back off or anything?"

"Nah, not Storm. He knows it’s none of his business and that it was part of your life."

"It is his business. I want to be his business. I’m so scared, Marcel. I don’t want to tell him."

"You already know what I think. I’ve slept with one girl in the hopes it might de-gay me. Unfortunately it did not work and I still get turned on by people with three legs. But, I think the best person to give you advice would be…Sarah. The Wise One. She’ll fix you up quick smart. I think you’ll need to talk to her to make you feel at ease before you attempt anything with Storm. Go find her quick. I’ll talk to Storm but I won’t tell him anything you said."

"Ok." Lucas said shooting to his feet. "I’m gonna go find her and get her advice."

"Good luck."

"Hey Marcel."


"Thanks." Lucas said giving Marcel a quick kiss on the cheek before he ran off to find Sarah.

"Whoa. Twice in one night." Marcel said grinning to himself. "I like it like that."


* * * * * * *


"How’s it everybody?" Dade said grabbing the mic off its stand. "Sarah tells me it’s my time now so we’re gonna have a little fun. Let’s show these two birthday boys how much we love them by embarrassing the hell out of them. First of all let me tell you a few stories about my brother and what he was like when he was a young lad…just kidding bro. So why we all here? Because these two are turning sixteen. Now before we let them attack all the presents you guys brought. I wanna do a little song for my two best buds standing over there. Let me just grab this guitar."

Dade grabbed the guitar and placed a mic next to it. There was an electric guitar there but Dade preferred the natural sound the acoustic gave and he was more comfortable with it. He settled himself comfortably and gently played a few short riffs to get the feel of the guitar. Finally feeling comfortable with the feel of the guitar and managing to allay himself of any fears he had of performing, Dade prepared himself to sing.

"Ok this is just a little something I wrote a little while ago that I think might be appropriate today. Remember I’ve never performed in front of a group of people like this before so like don’t eat me up please. It’s called Inspiration. Anyway here goes…"


* * * * * * *


"Holy shi…he’s gonna sing." I said in disbelief.

"Sssssshhhhh." Marcel said impatiently watching Dade with an intently focused look on his face. Marcel always had a thing for Dade, you’d think they were lovers or something and more than just best friends.

"Marcel, where’d you send Lucas? I can’t find him."

"Don’t worry. He’s fine. He’s off talking to Sarah I told you before. Now shut up and listen."

We were standing at the opposite end of where Dade was and I had a hard time seeing over everybody in front of me. They had all given us space but I still couldn’t see all the way ahead properly. Marcel had the right idea, he was standing on a chair so he could see properly. I quickly followed suit right behind him and leaned my head over his shoulder to see.

"Oh man." I said getting butterflies in my own stomach from just seeing Dade up there.

Dade began playing a gentle riff, slowly increasing in pace. It’s melody eerily haunting and inspiring at the same time. I think I was nervous enough for Dade myself. A rush of anxious excitement running through me as I looked on. Marcel on the other hand was focused intently on Dade with a proud smile on his face that in turn made me smile. Eventually Dade stepped forward towards the mic stand and the words began to flow smoothly from his mouth…

Said you didn’t know how I felt deep inside my heart,
I wondered an endless time how I missed the spark.
Trying so hard to live up to your dreams,
I realized in time that person could never be me.

Reading the sunset, writing the dawn
Can you teach me how?
Telling your story, making your own path true
Can you teach me how? Will you show me now?

I wish you’d see how much you mean to me
I’m hoping I live the way you inspire me
You can’t ever know
Please don’t let me go
If one thing is true, my inspiration…is you.

My inspiration is you.

Silence. Dade stood self consciously while everyone simply stood looking at him in awe. Nobody expected his voice to flow so smooth and powerfully, or his fingers to dance on their strings like a spider weaving it’s web. Or his words to reverb through me, to pull at me. Or even more ironically, to inspire *me*. Nobody expected. Nobody expected. Please forgive me for not expecting it Dade.

"Whoa." I said in shocked disbelief.

"Yeah, what you said." Marcel gasped shaking his head as he smiled proudly.

"Was he singing to you or me?" I asked not once moving my eyes.

"Both of us. I think."

"Did anyone get that on tape?" I said urgently. "Did anyone catch that!?"

"Yeah no worries!" Sarah said pointing to the corner of the room where a guy was holding a handy cam. Thank you Sarah for thinking of everything.

Marcel began clapping furiously and cheering and the whole place erupted into a mighty chorus of appreciation. I couldn’t describe the feeling within me at that moment. I was so extremely proud of my brother, in awe even. I just…I had no words to describe it. He just made me very proud to be his brother.

"Hey that’s my bro!" I yelled. "You rock Dade! You rock man!"

Dade smiled back at me with those dimples of his and gave me the thumbs up as I smiled back proudly at him. Sure this night was for Marcel and I but all eyes were on Dade right now. He was handling the cheers and supportive comments in stride. True Marcus style I would say. Smiling the right way at the right times, waving on all the right cues and nodding your head in all the right spots. It was obvious Dade liked getting the attention or perhaps it was more appreciation. Maybe that’s what he wanted. Not attention, but appreciation and respect. From his peers and myself. I think it’s about time I started giving him what he wanted. One things for sure. You’ve got way more than just my respect bro. Way more.


* * * * * * *


I looked around at the group of us sitting around like one big married super group. Me, Marcel, Sarah and Lucas. The obvious missing member being Mike who’d gone home earlier after finding disillusionment with Marcel’s announcement that he was leaving.

"Well that was one hell of a night." I said letting out a deep breath.

"You can say that again." Sarah sighed.

"Well that was one hell of a night."

"Funny Ha Ha." Marcel said sarcastically. "Geez this place is standing up surprisingly well. No broken windows or trashed walls or anything."

"Anyone who looked like they were about to get stupid were promptly shown the door. That’s what you get when you have Super Bitch running the show." Sarah said yawning. "I’m glad the show’s over though. I’m pretty whacked."

"We’ve gotten rid of nearly everyone right?"

"The guards are doing a final sweep of the grounds. I think Richard Ashton is crashed out though Marcel. Probably a few more too. I know Richard’s parents and if I had of sent him home in a taxi or dropped him off at this hour he would have been grounded for life. So I just put a pillow under his head and a blanket on him."

"Yeah I did the same for Carl Bentley. He’s crashed out down in your basement. That guy just can’t handle his alcohol. He shouldn’t even drink." I said frowning.

"He’s a lot of fun though. A nice guy. Never has anything bad to say about anyone. Just likes hanging out with people. I don’t mind him crashing out over here." Marcel said yawning a bit himself. "He’s a pretty laid back guy."

I thought about what Marcel had just said and wondered how completely different to Carl I was, or all of us were. "Do you think we’re neurotic?"

"Erotic?" Marcel said grinning.

"Now who else could have said that?" Sarah sighed. "Who will be our Blonde babe now that you’ll be gone Marcel?"

"Hey I’ve got dirty blonde hair." I said tousling my hair around with my hand.

"Yeah well one out of two aint bad huh." Marcel smiled.


"Don’t say that about my Baby." Lucas said moving behind me and wrapping his arms around me and resting his chin on my shoulder as he kissed my cheek softly. "My Storm."

"Yeah his Storm." I smiled.

"So Mike and Dade have already gone home huh?" Marcel sighed.

"Don’t worry Marcel. I’ll fix Mike up." Sarah said putting her arm around Marcel. "Besides, you’ve got that rosey grin on your face. When are you gonna tell us who the hell you’re smitten with?"

Marcel’s eyes went a little wide and he gulped subtly trying to hide his lack of desire to share with us the name of the person responsible for his love struck glow. "Uh no one."

"Come on Marcel." Sarah pleaded. "I gotta know."

"I can’t tell you ok. It’s not my place to say anything." Marcel said firmly.

"Ok ok Marcel. But come on you gotta at least tell us if you’re with this person." I said butting in with my piece.

"Uhhh no I’m not. I’m still a single man."

"Man?" Lucas said dumbfounded.

"Shut up Dude boy." Marcel grinned as he punched Lucas in the arm playfully.

"Hey don’t touch my Baby." I said mock defensively.

"Yeah don’t touch his baby!" Lucas said poking tongues at Marcel.

"You two are so cute."

"They are kinda cute aren’t they Sarah? In a mildly demented way."

"You know what’s demented?" I said moving back into Lucas and pulling his arms around me tighter so I could feel his warmth holding me. "Is the way we are. We’ve all been through heaps. And I think that’s good because no matter what happens we’re always going to be together. I mean Mike might not be here."

"And Dade."

"Yeah I suppose. Him too. They might not be here but like whenever we get together it’ll be as if no one’s ever left. Marcel you’ve been here for six years. Lucas has only been here for about six months. But it’s as if both of you have been here forever. Marcel you’re always going to keep coming back here. Not just for us but because this is your home. This is where you turned into Marcel. You might not come back for six months, a year, who knows? But you’ll be back. And when we all hook up together again it’ll be just like it’s always been…a group of demented psycho’s hanging out together."

"Just the way it should be. I am Sarah the Strong!"

"I am Marcel the uhhh…Marcel the Master!"

"Master Bater." I laughed. "Well I’m Storm. That’s it."

"I’m Lucas the…yeah Luscious. That’s me." Lucas smiled cheekily.

"Luscious…oh boy. Luscious. We need to go home Lucas. Right now." I said a little too excitedly.

"You guys can’t all go home. Sarah do you wanna crash over here tonight? Come on can you guys stay here please? Don’t leave me by myself."

"I’m sorry Babe. I’m really tired and well...I wanna go sleep by Mike over at Storm’s."

"Hey! It’s not just my house. It’s Mike’s too now remember. It always has been you know that. It’s just official now."

"Well I miss my Stud. I just wanna hold him and sleep by him tonight. I’ll be over here about 8 tomorrow morning Marcel to help clean up and everything. Sorry man."

"No it’s ok Sarah. I’ve already organised the clean up. This is just a tad bigger than the last party we had here." Marcel said sarcastically.

"So are you going to leave sometime this weekend Marcel?"

"I’ll probably leave at about midday tomorrow. There’s no hurry. I’ll just take my time driving over. If I stay at motels along the way I should be there about Tuesday afternoon. If I just grab a few hours sleep here and there in the car on the way I could probably make it by Monday."

"I think you should stay at a motel Marcel. That’s a hell of a long way to drive even with a one night stop. You should take two. Yeah definitely Marcel stop over one night at least please."

"Yeah Marcel please. We don’t want anything to happen to you. Just play it safe ok?" Sarah said looking Marcel straight in the eyes so he knew she was serious.

"Man I wish one of you were coming with me. That is such a long drive without anyone to talk to."

"Well then just don’t go! Change your mind!" I said in a last ditch effort to get Marcel to stay even though I knew it would be for nothing.

"It’s too late. Everything’s already arranged. Besides, I think it’ll be good for me."

"Marcel." Sarah said sighing. "You know, I sorta feel the same way as Mike. Why the hell did you wait so long to tell us you were going? Or even that you were thinking about it. Did you tell anyone at all apart from your parents?"

"Yeah, I told June after I first found out I was accepted for sure last week."

"Why am I not surprised?" Sarah said shaking her head.

"What do you mean Sarah?" I asked curiously.

"Nothing Storm. I’m just saying that everybody talks to your Mom. So I shouldn’t be surprised that Marcel did. She’s probably sick of us talking to her about our shit."

"Nah, I doubt it. She loves you guys. But Sarah and Mike have a point Marcel. Why didn’t you tell us?"

"I didn’t know how to tell you. And I don’t think I could have handled a week of goodbyes. That would just be too much. I just want us to remember this night. It was a good night. That’s what I want to go out on. Not a week of teary goodbyes."

"Yeah well. I’m not real happy about it but that’s the way it is. You should have told us Marcel."

"Yeah I’m with Storm on this one. Sorry Marcel but you should of."

"I’m sorry guys ok. I don’t know what else to say." Marcel said hanging his head in disappointment.

Sarah and I looked at each other and knew this was our cue. We sat either side of Marcel and put our arms around him with us both giving him a little kiss on his cheeks. I leant my head against his and Sarah did likewise on the opposite side. "You know we love you Blondie."

"And not just because you’re a hell sexy stud either." Sarah smiled. "You know you’re the best Marcel."

"Just remember us when you’re the world champ ok Marcel?"

"Oh please don’t even go there. I’m with you guys for life. You know that."

"Ok that’s it. Lucas, let’s go before I start getting the waterworks again. Come on Babe." I said getting up and slipping my hand into Lucas’s as I pulled him to his feet. "Whose house are we going back to?"

"Can we back to yours please?" Lucas pleaded anxiously. "I really like being at your house way more than mine. My room is like a ghost town. I like yours better. Please Storm."

"Sure thing Babe." I said stealing a quick kiss from my luscious love’s lips. "Anything you want."

"Cool." Lucas sighed happily. "You haven’t had anything to drink have you Storm?"

"Nope you know that’s not my thing. Don’t worry I’m safe to drive."

"That’s good because otherwise we’d be walking. I’ve had a few to drink tonight."

"Come on Sarah." I said ushering her along. "You’re coming with us right?"

"Yes please. I don’t fancy walking and I don’t have my Mom’s car. Why don’t you guys sit at the back and you let me drive Storm? Gimmie a test drive of your new baby. I’ve had my licence longer than anyone, you know I’m safe."

"Course I do." I said throwing the keys to Sarah. "Thanks Sarah."

Sarah wrapped her arms around Marcel and gave him a warm hug showing how much she loved him as she kissed him on the cheek. "You’ll come see me before you go right?"

"You know I will."

"And us too?" I asked wrapping my arm around Marcel’s shoulder as he walked us towards his garage.

"And you too."

"Even me Marcel?" Lucas asked uncertainly.

"What’s that supposed to mean?" Marcel said obviously offended at Lucas doubt of how much Marcel had become attached to Lucas as a friend.

"I just..."

"Oh shut up." Marcel said grabbing Lucas and hugging him tightly as he rubbed Lucas back. Marcel held Lucas face up with his hands and looked Lucas in the eye. Lucas eyes wavering nervously. "We’re buds ok? Got it Lucas?"

"Yup." Lucas said choking up but trying to keep himself together.

"Good. Now get going. I’ll see you guys tomorrow."

Lucas and Sarah hopped in the wrangler. Lucas at the back and Sarah in the driver’s. I took this quick opportunity to pull Marcel aside and try to pluck info from him. "Marcel, who are you so…in love with? Most of tonight you’ve just been looking smitten and love struck. Who’s the lucky guy?"

"No lucky guy. Not for Marcel anyway. Story of my life huh?" Marcel said flatly.

I felt a pang of guilt realizing the unintentional implications of what Marcel had just said. I still hated the fact I’d been the focus of Marcel’s unrequited love. He deserved so much better. And somehow here I felt as if he were in a similar situation again. Wanting someone he couldn’t have. I patted him on the shoulder and went to hop in the back with Lucas. "Love ya Bud."

"Love you guys. Drive safely."

"Oh come on, it’s not that far to Storm’s. See you tomorrow Marcel."

"Ok Sarah."

"Bye Marcel Dude."

"Later Bud."

We waved at Marcel as Sarah backed us out of the garage, one of the few cars that were allowed such privileged parking tonight. Marcel walked outside and stood on his driveway watching us go and looking down at his bare feet with his hands in his pockets and his mind in contemplation. I felt really bad leaving him alone on his last night in Merlow but well I had to be with Lucas tonight. The first night in ages we’d been by each other. Sarah wanted to be by Mike too, I could understand the way she felt. There’s nothing better than just lying next to someone you love and just feeling their warmth as they hold you or you hold them. Now I felt even worse for Marcel. All he had was his big empty bed. It’s a crime for someone so great to be so lonely. I could see that in his eyes tonight. He really wanted someone and he was feeling pretty lonely right about now I’m sure.

As we drove away from Marcel and left him standing on his driveway in the dark, Marcel waving at us half heartedly I had a sinking feeling that this would be the last time I would see my bud in a very long time. I think looking at him he had the same idea. I know he said he’d come and see us but I think inside both of us knew that we wouldn’t want to go through another goodbye scene. Marcel looked so lonely standing there by himself and we seemed to be driving away oh so slowly. The darkness and cold wind of night making him shiver slightly in his singlet and track pants that he always liked sleeping in. You wouldn’t pick him as a guy that comes from such an affluent background from how he looked right now. He just sorta looked humble right now. Wasn’t wearing any shoes, no fancy outfit just his regular white singlet and blue pants that he’d gotten changed into for bed. I just hope that whatever comes in the future for my mate that it’s good. No not good, great. That’s more like it. I hope the best things in life find my bud and give him some of the good stuff like I’ve got. I’ll never be able to forget Marcel, and I’ll never be able to replace the void he’ll leave behind him. Bye Marcel. Take care Bud.


* * * * * * *


"You stupid idiot Marcel. What the hell are you doing?" Marcel said sniffling and wiping his tears away with his blanket. "Leave all your friends, ruin your only shot at love. Leave everything you care about. You really are a blonde idiot aren’t you Marcel?"

Marcel began sobbing, pulling his blanket to his face as he cried streams into it. He thought about all the things he was about to leave behind, all the people he’d grown to love, all the things around Merlow that made it his home. Everything that had made Marcel, Marcel. The more Marcel thought about it the more he cried knowing he wouldn’t quite have this life again. He sat up on his bed Indian style and rocked himself gently as he sobbed. He pulled the blanket around him more and was taken by surprise as he heard a thud hit his floor. He popped his head up and opened his eyes inquisitively as he looked around his bedroom to see what had made the noise. He leaned over each side of his bed to see if something had fallen off it and found lying on the ground a small wrapped box with a ribbon around it; Dade’s birthday present to Marcel.

Marcel picked the box off the floor and held it in his hands, shaking his head in disbelief. "I can’t believe I forgot about this."

Pulling the ribbon off gently, Marcel unwrapped his gift. Once he’d removed the wrapping a plain brown cardboard box awaited him. Marcel’s heart began beating nervously and Marcel had to take a few deep breaths to get a grip. He wasn’t sure whether he should open it or keep it’s sercrets hidden forever knowing that it’s contents would probably just make him think of Dade even more than he already had tonight. Marcel’s hands felt sweaty and he had to close his eyes to try and calm himself down. Why tonight of all nights did he have to realize he felt something for Dade? Any other night he wouldn’t have had a problem but now things had changed. Marcel felt like sleeping beauty in a way, his heart and mind not waking from their blinded state until a kiss awakened them.

"Just a big idiot, silly blind idiot." Marcel said shaking his head.

Marcel decided he’d just go ahead and open the present, ripping the top off and biffing it to the side. Inside lay a card with a big headed cartoonish picture of a Herculean god with a big grin on his face that Marcel smiled at as he picked up the card and opened it.

‘Happy Birthday Bud,

You are so awesome
You really rule
You tease the girls
And make them drool
They’re wise to think you’re really cool.

I’m just like them
I think Marcel’s one hot Stud
You’re sixteen now
Happy Birthday Bud!

Love your Bud forever,

Marcel smiled and stifled a laugh reading Dade’s card. Dade could always make him smile inside. He seemed to know just how and when to cheer Marcel up. It was a bond the two shared, being able to read the other’s mood. Both had used it on more than a few occasions to help the other. Marcel carefully put the card to the side of him, that one little card being able to completely change his mood to a happier one.

Marcel pulled out the next item that appeared to be a folder of some kind. Opening the cover Marcel instantly knew what it was; a photo album.

"Oh man…" Marcel said in surprise seeing pictures of himself and his friends from years past. Some of the pictures contained Marcel in some of his more embarrassing moments. An eleven year old chubby blonde blue eyed kid picking his nose was just one of many. Some had Marcel doing things he loved most, hanging out with his friends and performing in some big comp or simply training on the field. Some photos were so old or long forgotten that Marcel’s eyes became wide eyed just remembering what the photos were about. But every single photo brought to life memories in Marcel that reminded him even more of how much he loved this place. Each photo made Marcel smile and laugh, reminisce and remember. The album was like a timeline of Marcel’s life in Merlow. Marcel began to wish the memories went back even further. Seeing photos of himself and Storm and Dade and Mike when they were young just made Marcel wish he were here even earlier than he was. Six years seemed like forever yet at the same time it just wasn’t enough. Marcel wished he completely existed in this town and wasn’t just an import. Even though he knew he wasn’t one. This was his home now as it had been for as long as he’d known.

The photos towards the end of the album had Marcel from more recent years, same people in the photos just with different haircuts and bigger bodies. All the smiles seemed the same though through all the photos. No matter how old or young someone was like Sarah for instance, her smile seemed and felt the same all through the years Marcel had known her. Sarah was always Marcel’s favorite girl, nobody beat Sarah in Marcel’s eyes. She was the Queen with the beautiful smile, radiant face and strong willed, beautiful spirit. "Yup, there’s my queen."

To Marcel’s grave worry and resentment at himself for not noticing sooner was Mike’s increasing lack of his former happy self and smile. In recent years Mike seemed to look just that little bit more worn and tired, his smile fading just that little bit until eventually Mike was just a shadow of his bubbly smile filled childhood. Marcel shuddered and cursed himself for not seeing before what now seemed so obvious. All he hoped and wished for was that Mike would be ok now. Marcel hoped he would have a chance to patch things up with Mike before he left so Mike wouldn’t grow to resent him over time. Marcel knew what a blessing Mike was and how much he wanted Mike around in his life. He didn’t think he could handle not having things ok with Mike before he left.

Closer to the end of the album the photos were laced with Marcel and Dade and showed just how much time they’d spent together over the years. Marcel looked at a lot of the photos with the two of them together and noticed that in more than a few of the photos Dade was smiling proudly at Marcel as their arms were wrapped around each other’s shoulders like buds. Marcel wasn’t sure whether he was imagining things but in all the photos of them together Dade seemed to be really happy or have an affectionate aura around him. What made Marcel smile the most though was looking at the photos of Dade smiling and looking happy. Dade had the biggest smile Marcel had seen, it totally lit Marcel up when Dade did that smile of his that showed off his dimples that Marcel thought were so cute.

"Thanks Dade." Marcel smiled as he closed the photo album and put that to his side along with the card. "Whoa, still more."

It was another folder that was laminated and had ‘For your eyes only’ on the cover. Marcel looked inquisitively at the folder and opened it anxiously wondering what its classified contents were. "Oh I should have known." Marcel smiled seeing what was inside.

For Marcel Andreveich Lewis (And no one else) - For you I will

If making stars to shine above
Or making true what we dream of
Could ever compare to what I feel
Then you would know
You’ve found true love

There is something I wish for you
It’s one day you’ll feel what I have inside
To know that someone has found your soul
Taking your love and making it whole

For you my love
I wish this and more
Wanting for you to know for sure
That somebody loves you
Somebody cares
Somebody feels what you know is there

For you I will
For you I believe
For you I want to fulfill your dreams
For you I’ll be happy
For you I will care
For you I’ll give my heart and soul
For you I’ll always be there
For you I will

Marcel whimpered and wept as he reached the last line trying to fathom the amount of soul that went into its creation. Brushing his fingers lovingly down the laminated paper Marcel closed his eyes and tried to stifle the tears flowing from his eyes. He tried to contemplate his past, the situation in his present and all the possible futures he had…if he chose to stay…or go. Would he ever get a shot at love like this again? Was he destined for meaningless relationships with people that didn’t mean anything to him? Would he ever meet another person like Dade?

Marcel had intentionally closed off any possibility of he and Dade having anything together. For so many reasons; Dade was one of his best friends but he was also his very best friends younger brother. The age difference between Marcel and Dade was close to Storm and Lucas but Marcel knew people wouldn’t look at it the same way. All Marcel’s purely platonic love that he’d conditioned himself with for Dade has tonight been turned on its head by one singe kiss. After that Marcel was head over heels smitten with Dade and all his objections had completely flown out the window. He was in love and he wanted so much to be with Dade now. He wanted so much for Dade to show him his love openly, wanted himself to show Dade how much he loved him and would be there for him. Wanted so much to just be with Dade right now. Just to simply be with him. If only he wasn’t leaving…

"Ahh fuck this." Marcel cursed jumping out of bed. "I’m coming Dade."


* * * * * * *


4am and Lucas and I lay side by side holding hands on my bed as we stared blankly at the ceiling. I don’t think either of us were tired and both of us were nervous. I could tell by the way Lucas chest were moving up and down and his stuttered breathing and how tightly he was squeezing my hand. If he were nervous though, I was petrified. I knew what was about to happen and it scared the hell out of me. And to tell you the truth I didn’t want it to happen. I just wanted to go to sleep and forget all about it. But ‘it’ wasn’t going to go away.

"Lucas…I’m bloody petrified." I said finally.

"Dude, I surprise even myself when I say I’m really nervous too."

"It’s not supposed to be like this is it?"

"I’m not sure."

"Lucas, I’ve never asked you this before but…are you a virgin?"

"Does it really matter Storm?"

"That depends. When was the last time you got laid?"

"Before I moved here. A long time ago."

"That’s good. I guess it doesn’t really matter I just suppose I wish I were your first. But I mean a stud like you. I shouldn’t be surprised."

"Don’t make me feel like a slut please Storm."

"Hey hey." I said rolling over so I was on top of Lucas chest and my head was above his and moving my fingers through the soft wisps of his hair that hung off his face. "I would never ever make you feel like that. You’re not a slut. I’m sorry if that’s what I sounded like that was what I was implying. I’m not. I’m just jealous of something I had and have no control over but hell boy you are not a slut. I mean…you’re my…I adore you Lucas. You are so high to me. You’re a god to me Lucas. You’re so untouchable. So daunting. So beautiful. You’re way too good for me Sheridan."

"There you go thinking I’m all that. You’ve gotta stop that Storm. I know you love me but man it scares me the way you feel. The way you look at me and think of me. I can see it in your eyes sometimes. It makes me uncomfortable. I just want you to love me for me. How do I fix this? I know we can’t make love until you and I are on the same level. We’re not making love until we’re on the same level and until you look in my eyes and BELIEVE that I love you with all my heart. I want you to admit it to yourself and believe it inside. This isn’t a bubble that’s going to burst Storm."

"You’ve got me all worked out don’t you?"

"I’m not stupid Storm. I know my Baby. I know you idolize me so much and you think I’m so good. I can’t get over how highly you think of me. You think something will happen to burst our bubble because you just can’t give in to happiness. You can’t believe that something so good like what we have and what you think I am could ever truly be yours. You just can’t believe that something so good was meant for you. Meant for us. This is all it comes down to Storm; just snap out of it. I’m here and if you think I’m leaving or that something is going to come between you and I you’re much fucking mistaken."

"Lucas don’t swear."

"Storm how do I make you see? I’m real ok? I’m here. I love you. Get it? I LOVE YOU. I want to be with you forever. There’s no way in hell I’m going anywhere. I’m real. This is real. We’re real. You’re not going to wake up in the morning and have this all be a dream. Believe in me Storm. Have faith in the fact that I love you with everything I am like I’ve said to you a thousand times before and that I’ll keep saying to you until my dying day. I love you."

"You really do understand me don’t you? You’re right Lucas. You daunt me. I love and adore you and think so much of you that I can’t believe that you could ever really be mine. I’m just waiting for the bubble to burst. I keep trying to find excuses to make me believe that you don’t love me like you say…but I just remembered something that made me think."

"What is it?"

"Remember when I was in hospital. I remember when I woke up and I saw you lying there and I knew you loved me. You were in such an uncomfortable position man. And then when you woke up…I think you showed how much you loved me right then. I could tell right at that moment when I looked in your eyes how much you loved me. The way you cried, and the way you held me. I knew you loved me. I know you love me."

"Look me in the eyes, say it to my face and believe it."

I took a deep breath as I moved my eyes to meet Lucas’s. I had to fight myself to just stay there I wanted to pull away feeling like I wouldn’t be worthy. But something in the way Lucas looked at me kept me from moving. It was as if I were caught in a trance and Lucas eyes were guiding me. "I know you love me. I know you love me. I believe it. I believe we’re meant to be together. I believe we’re soul mates. I believe you make me whole. I believe I love you with all my heart and everything that I am. And I believe that none of these things will ever change. Because I’m your Storm and you’re my Lucas. And that’s the way it is."

"And ain’t nothing gonna change that." Lucas smiled. "You and me for life right Storm?"

"And then some." I smiled back.

"You love me." Lucas said excitedly. "And you finally believe in how much I love you. You don’t doubt me or us anymore do you Storm?"

"No way Baby. I don’t doubt you or us. You and I for life. No more doubts Baby."

"No more doubts." Lucas smiled with so much joy he made my heart sing. "You finally believe in us. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt so complete and content and happy before. Thank you Storm."

"Lucas…" I said smiling.

"What is it my love?"

"It’s time."


I leant down just close enough to Lucas face to kiss his lips ever so teasingly. I moved my lips further down and kissed Lucas neck gently before I began my assault on his neck with a few subtle angel kisses. I bit softly his neck then proceeded to apply gentle sucking as I worked his neck tenderly. I bit down just that little bit harder as I sucked and heard Lucas let out a sharp cry. At that point I stopped my assault and moved my lips to his earlobe and began nibbling on it. I let go suddenly and whispered into Lucas ear. "It’s time."

"Ooooh hell yeah!" Lucas moaned in ecstasy. "It’s about damn time. I won’t lie. I’ve got about six months of aching for you all penned up inside of me Storm. Don’t expect anything quick Baby."

"How bad do you want me Lucas?" I said smiling teasingly at him.

"I want you so bad I think I’m about to damn well explode right now."

"Well we don’t want that. So what exactly do you plan to do about it Lucas?"

"Hard and fast then slow and easy. And those two are just for starters if you know what I mean."

I sat on top of Lucas with one knee to either side of him and rested my hands on his chest. "So uhh, you just gonna lie there and wait for it to happen?" I said nonchalantly.

"Oh hell no." Lucas said sitting bolt upright so quick he nearly knocked me over.

Lucas began fumbling with my buttons, a look of feverish anticipation all over his face. If I didn’t know better I’d say he was almost salivating at the mouth. "Take your time, no hurry." I said yawning.

"Oh fuck this." Lucas said as he just ripped my shirt all the way off exposing my chest and upper body to him. "Oh god do you know how much I’ve wanted this to happen. I’ll buy you a new shirt by the way. Sorry about that."

"Just shut up and make love to me already." I grinned.

Lucas hands trembled as his fingers gingerly touched my abs and slowly worked their way upwards. I thought Lucas was going to shoot in his pants as his fingers began to play with my nipples. Heck I was nearly going to shoot but I don’t know what he found so exciting about this. "Hey I thought you said hard and fast? We can save slow and easy for round two."

I pulled Lucas singlet over his head hurriedly and marveled for the second time tonight my Adonis of a boyfriend. I thought I would faint right then. "Ok pants and socks next." I said almost shouting.

Lucas went to unzip his pants and I grabbed his hand and pulled it away. "No…I want to do this." I said winking at him.

I leaned Lucas back gently and kissed him softly on the lips as I did. When I felt his head reach the pillow I increased the tempo of my kissing and eased my tongue into Lucas mouth searching achingly for Lucas own tongue as we frenched like we never had before. I gripped each of Lucas hands and interlaced our fingers as I held them against the bed. We clasped our hands together like vices, constantly trying to squeeze more out of the other. I continued my strawberry lips sensation, our lips tasting each others and our tongues desperately dancing with the others in passion filled kissing. Lucas and I had never kissed like this before, just the kissing alone was so urgent and passionate that we kept at it for over 20 minutes. I told you I couldn’t get enough of my strawberry lips.

I was eventually and regretfully the first to break the kiss. My breathing was so fast and heavy I thought I would pass out. Lucas raised his head to meet my lips again and tried to steal as much more kisses as he could before I finally broke away again. "More more please." Lucas begged.

"All in good time. We’ve got all night. There’s more to go."

I sat up again with my knees to either side of Lucas hips. I raised his hands up to my face before I kissed each of his hands tenderly as I looked him in the eye I gently held my lips to his skin and held both his hands. And suddenly I had the inspiration to sing to my love "My darling only you can make my dreams come true. And every night I pray, you’ll never go away. I promise I will try, until the day I die. To treat you like a King. Because you are my everything."

"Babe I can’t sing."

"You take me away from the pain and you bring me paradise. And when there are cloudy days you bring sunshine to my life. It never occurred to me the first time I saw your face I would fall so deep in love that your love can’t be replaced. You are my…you’re my everything."

"I’m sorry I have to do this." Lucas said a tear streaming down the side of his face as he sat up and held my face as he kissed me lovingly. "You make me so happy. I don’t know how you keep doing it to me. I love you so much. I love you so much."

"I may be new at this…but I’m going to teach you the real meaning of making love Lucas. So just lie back and relax." I said laying Lucas back down.

I hovered my lips down Lucas chest kissing every spot I could as I moved further down. When I reached his pecs I inhaled the scent that was my Lucas; masculine and scintillating while clean and inviting. I was so in heaven right now. Having my way with the man of my dreams and the love of my life. What could be better? I moved my lips over to Lucas left nipple and my hand to his right. As my fingers began teasing him my tongue darted in and out of my mouth sending Lucas into an anxious lust filled moan. When my tongue had teased him enough my lips enveloped his nipple and sucked on it with ever increasing motion and pressure. Lucas began moaning once again and his hands worked their way through my hair, one remaining on the back of my head and the other moving down and clasping my shoulder.

"Uh uh I love you Baby." Lucas moaned.

That was all the motivation I needed. Just when I thought Lucas couldn’t take any more of my assault on his nipples I moved down even more. I traced my finger along his abs and followed it down with the tip of my tongue. Stopping here and there for a quick suckle on flesh. Finally I reached the top of Lucas pants. My hands were still wandering around Lucas abs as I couldn’t get enough of feeling his skin. This was it, once this was done there was no turning back. Did I really want this to happen?

Hell yeah.

I unbuttoned the top button on Lucas pants and suddenly felt a huge surge in my groin area as I realized just how close in proximity I was to Lucas member. My heart was racing and I was a rush with excitement as I plucked the tip of his zipper with my tongue and caught it between my teeth. I looked up to see Lucas looking at me with wide eyes and I simply smiled back at him as I began moving further downwards pulling the zip with me and freeing more of Lucas jewels and boxers as I went. My eyes never once left Lucas’s as I did this and by the time I had finished pulling the zip down he looked like he was going to pass out from bliss.

I moved my hands underneath Lucas back and grabbed the back of his pants. I began pulling them down slowly, my hands grabbing as much of a feel of Lucas ass as they could. I slowly drew Lucas pants away from him and down his legs. His member stuck straight up through the fabric and I couldn’t help myself I had to have some now. I moved my head back up towards Lucas boxers and quickly and without hinting to Lucas I took the tip of his member through the fabric into my mouth and bit gently.

"Whoa!" Lucas said nearly jumping off the bed. "Shit damn mother fucker. Storm you’re killing me man. I don’t know how much longer I can last with this kinda treatment."

I gently slid Lucas pants off and threw them on the floor next to our shirts. I stood up at the end of the bed and began unzipping my own pants albeit in a rushed fashion. I simply unzipped them and down they came. I pulled my socks off and stood there in only my boxers as Lucas stared constantly at me as if he were getting high off it. I knelt down at the end of the bed and took Lucas feet. He wasn’t wearing any socks and now all he was wearing were his boxers. I traced my fingers along the bottom of Lucas feet and kneaded them gently in my hands. Lucas really was beautiful from his head down to his feet. I’d fallen in love with every part of him. I nibbled gently at his toes and kissed the top of his feet before I began moving up his calves and thighs making sure not to miss any spots that looked like they needed attention.

As I reached the bottom of his boxers again I reached my hands up to the top of them and began to tug at them gently to pull them down. Before I knew what was going on Lucas had flipped me over so he was on top and I was lying on the bed. "My turn." Lucas smiled.

"You know Storm I’ve never you know…touched it before. Do you…do you think I could?"

"Are you kidding?"

"I guess that’s a yes." Lucas said as his hands grasped the top of my boxers and gently tugged them down. I closed my eyes nervously as my own member shot straight out once Lucas had freed it. I was feeling very self conscious right now and wasn’t sure what to think or do right now. I just lay there with my eyes closed and waiting for the inevitable moment. Suddenly I felt Lucas fingers run up and down my shaft and my eyes almost rolled back into their sockets in ecstasy. Teasingly Lucas ran his fingers up and down and I shuddered in bliss. Slowly Lucas fingers wrapped my whole member and his hand held it nervously.

"Oh wow." Lucas stuttered.

"You’re telling me." I gulped.

"It’s so…big."

"Gee thanks." I grinned.

"I’ve waited for this moment so long Storm now I sorta…don’t know what to do."

"That makes two of us. Have you got protection Lucas? You know in case you know."

"I do Dude. Don’t worry I’ve thought about all of that. We don’t have to do that if you don’t want to Storm."

"I want to Lucas. Have to try at least once. I want you to go first. I want you to look me in the eyes when you do Lucas. I wanna be one with you."

"Oh boy." Lucas gulped. "First I have to give you something. Close your eyes."

I closed my eyes and felt Lucas fingers move lower down pulling my skin back. As I shuddered there on my bed with the night air giving me some much needed coolness I felt warm breath above the tip of my member. Suddenly I felt the tip of Lucas tongue at the top of it "Whoa Baby!" I screamed in utter ecstasy but at that exact moment Lucas pulled right off and sat up. "What’s wrong?" I asked in surprise.

"Storm do you get the feeling someone’s watching us?"

"Yeah I do actually. Sometimes I even feel like people are in my head reading my thoughts. It’s pretty freaky."

"It’s creepy. Do you think we should close the windows?"

"Yup. Oh and no wonder shit Lucas the door is open!"

"I still feel like someone is watching us. Like voyeurs. Let’s close the curtains too."

"Ok well close the door Baby and we can finish what we started."

Lucas closed the curtain before he walked his sexy godlike bod across the room and poked his head out into the hallway. Lucas popped his head back in and looked at me. Just when I was about to get some action. I sure hope he didn’t take long to get back into it. I wanted to prove my love and devotion to Lucas tonight. Tonight was the night. Two would definitely become one. My dreams would come true. Finally.

"Well this should teach whoever was trying to watch us make love." Lucas said swinging the door shut…


* * * * * * *


Well I hope you liked the 'second season finale' of Storm Front.  Marcel maybe gone but he's not forgotten!   Don't expect him to show his face in Merlow anytime soon though.  Well I'm going to focus on some of the other stories for a while until Chapter 16 comes out.  This will be the final Storm Front full chapter of this millenium though.  I have really enjoyed sharing this story with you and I hope you have enjoyed it too.  Hope to see you back for the next 'season' of Storm Front next millenium!  Thanks people!  PEACE OUT!

BIG NOTE: This is also THE 'jump off' Chapter.  If you want to pretend this is the end of Storm Front and get off the ride now this is a good place to do it.  This is an exit point if anyone wants out.  I hope you exiting people enjoyed Storm Front!  BYE BYE!


Stay Tuned for Chapter 15b: 'Till it's gone.' and send me a note to let me know what you thought of Chapter 15a
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