STORM FRONT
By Tyrel "Rock" Wolf

CHAPTER 9 - The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

* * * * * * *

"What the hell happened to you?" Mike said rushing over to me.

I stumbled inside the doorway, shaking my head to rid the dizziness that clouded my vision. My knees nearly gave in and Mike grabbed me. I rested my head on his shoulder and let my weight go, Mike holding me up.

"Storm, what happened?"

"I got my ass whipped, what does it look like…" I mumbled. "I’m ok, really…I’ll be ok. Just help me up to my room."

"Bullshit you’re ok. I wanna know what happened. Who did this?"

"None of your damn business, I can look after myself…I’m going upstairs."

I pulled myself away from Mike and started stumbling towards the stairs. Mike followed me, sweeping me up and carrying me over the threshold. He ran me upstairs before I could get free.

"Hey I’m not some damn bitch, put me the fuck down." I moaned.

Mike snarled at my comment and kept carrying me upstairs "Storm, you’re a fucking difficult shit you know that. Won’t let anyone help you. Now shut up and let me look after you damnit."

I did shut up, there wasn’t any point in arguing with Mike. Not as if I could put up a fight. Shoot off my mouth maybe, but that’s about it. The dizzy feeling in my head was starting to pass. Hopefully I could get over all this before anyone else noticed. I felt Mike lower me onto my bed gently and I curled up into a fetal position, hoping that sleep would take me soon. It was a warm day outside, but inside I felt cold and alone. Something I haven’t felt for a very long time. I pulled at the sheets and moaned softly, pain just getting to me a bit more than I could handle. My eyes were closed but I knew Mike was still there, watching patiently. Mike lay a blanket over me, I snuggled into it contentedly. Letting its warmth invade and comfort me.

"No one else, just you." I whispered softly, letting myself slip into the comfort zone I knew as the dreamscape.

* * * * * * *

Mike put a warm face cloth to Storms face, wiping off the excess blood and dirt. He wondered who was responsible so he could go out and teach them a lesson. But he knew it was more important to stay here and make sure Storm was ok. Storm would stir gently occasionally but did not awaken.

Mike sat watching Storm sleep, Storm occasionally letting out a slight moan that would engage Mikes attention. He looked around the room, noting all the photos of himself and Storm when they were kids. An old baseball Mike recognized that would trigger a memory he had of Storm and him playing in the little league. Everything in Storms room triggered a memory in Mike that seemed so familiar and warm. Memories of days that now seem so carefree and stress free, happy days that put a longing in Mike that would only grow stronger with the passing of time. And still he sat.

Mike didn’t move from the room once, vigilant in his watch. His mind swaying from one thought to another. One moment remembering times past, the next trying to contemplate the future, the next wondering why his life had taken the path it had. Time went by, the afternoon making its rapid descent into dusk. And still he sat.

Mike smiled to himself; this house, this room, felt like home. He watched Storm sleep, feeling content in the fact Storm felt safe enough to sleep. Storm didn’t like people watching him sleep, even when he was sick. You had to be pretty close for him to let you do that. Mike made a conscious decision in his head, to acknowledge Storm as his brother from now on. He’d always thought it to himself, but now he would make it known to Storm that he felt that way.

The world seemed to go on outside without Mike realizing or even caring. Mike could hear in the back of his mind, the phone ringing or footsteps downstairs. But he was in a moment of thought and reflection that didn’t acknowledge anything outside this room. Time seemed nonexistent, the passage of dusk into night not having any effect on Mike. He was in a moment that didn’t care about the outside world. Time passed, the cold crept in…and still he sat.

* * * * * * *

"AAH" I gasped sitting up.

"What is it, Storm?" Mike asked concerned.

I looked at Mike, wiping the cold sweat that covered my brow. "Mike, you’re still here."

"Of course I’m still here. Here, drink this." Mike said putting a glass of water to my lips.

I drank the water down, not letting a drop remain in the glass. I took a few deep breaths, trying to recapture the events of today. "How long have I been asleep?"

"Four hours."

I sat myself up properly, leaning against the wall. "Shit. And you’ve been here that whole time?" I asked in shock.

"I’m worried about you. You know sitting here this whole time made me realize even more how much this house, and you, mean to me. This place feels like home to me. And I realized you’re not my best friend, Storm."

I knew Mike and I had grown apart, but to hear him say those words still hurt me. As long as I’d lived, there’d been Mike. He wasn’t just a friend to me, he was family. But one thing that always remains constant, is change. Mikes path was leading somewhere away from me, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. I tried to hide my face, getting all teary eyed. Damn, I cry way too much. Maybe it’s a hormones thing, maybe it’ll pass with time. I hope so because otherwise I’ll have to stock up big time on kleenex. I didn’t know what to say to Mike, so I said nothing.

"You’re my brother."

"What?" I said in surprise.

"You’re my brother. This place feels like home because it IS home. YOU are my brother. YOU are my family. You can trace my whole life back in this house."

Uh oh. I could feel it coming on. "Oh shit. I’m gonna start crying again. You think they call me Storm because I cry too much?"

"Who cares what they think. Cry if you want to, people do that. You don’t cry coz you’re a wuss. You cry because you feel so much. Storm, you are so deep that normal people don’t understand you. They don’t know what’s going on inside you. I’ve known you 15 years and even I don’t have you all figured out yet."

By that time I had already started with the waterworks, I kept rubbing them away with my arm. I knew I cried way more than normal people but I didn’t care. It made me feel better. To hell with them. But I was only crying because I was really happy, honest.

"Thanks Mike. I needed that. I don’t feel like crying anymore. I just had to let it all out. Everything has just been getting to me lately. And then when you said I wasn’t your best friend anymore, I just lost it. That’s worse then getting the shit kicked out of me."

"Hey, speaking of that. Who the hell did this to you?" Mike asked concerned.

"I don’t know." I replied.

"What do you mean, you don’t know? Why not?"

"Because they got me from behind. It all happened so fast."

"Who are ‘they’?"

"I don’t know!"

"It was Brad wasn’t it? He didn’t make it to afternoon classes either. It was just me and Sarah."

"What? What about Lucas and Marcel?" I asked in surprise.

"They weren’t in class this afternoon either."

"What the fuck is going on here? Anyway, Mike I don’t want you getting yourself into this whole thing. I can handle myself. I’ll take care of it."

"You’re not going to let me help you, are you?"

"You know me too well. Too proud for my own good. And you must tell NO ONE about this."

"I promise. Then just tell me this. Are you ok, Storm?" Mike asked concerned.

"I’m ok. Just sore and tired. I’ll be ok tomorrow. I just need to sleep."

"Ok Bro." Mike said getting up to leave.

"Mike."

"What is it?" he asked.

"I love you too, Bro." I smiled.

I pulled him in and gave him a big hug. I squeezed him tightly, patting him on the back as he returned the hug.

"You know it’s a good thing I’m not gay or I could find this hug quite…exciting."

"EeeEwwWWW!!" I said jumping back.

"I’m not that bad am I?"

"Of course not. But that would be like…kissing my brother." I grinned. We smiled knowingly at each other, happy in our little relationship development. "We’ve always known it inside, let’s just sorta make it official. Mike, will you be my brother?"

"Always have been, always will be."

"Now are we supposed to say I do?" I grinned. "Seriously though. We’ve been through so much shit together. We’ve grown up and lived our whole lives together. No matter what happens. I want you to know I am your brother. So think of me as your brother."

"That goes double for me. I’ve always thought of you as a brother. Now it’s just official. I’m going to let you get some rest now. I just wanted to stick around long enough to know you were ok."

"Four hours…damn. If that doesn’t prove you’re my brother, I don’t know what will."

I gave him one last hug, resting my head in his shoulder. He held me gently and rubbed my back, lulling me. I could have fallen off to sleep right now. I yawned softly, my eyes growing weary again. "I love you, Mike."

"I love you too." Mike said laying me back down. "Get some rest, Bro. I’ll be here in the morning to see if you’re ok."

"Thank you." I said softly, smiling at Mike as he went out. Mike smiled back at me as he closed the door gently behind him. I pulled the blankets close to me, wrapping them around me like a cocoon. Closing my eyes, I smiled to myself. Mike and I had our downs lately but all through there still remained the bond that we had built ever since we were babies. I let myself slip back into the dreamscape, thinking about all the times Mike and I had spent together. I didn’t even have to start counting sheep, the Dreamscape came for me instantly.

* * * * * * *

I rubbed my eyes, yawning as I sat up. I looked out the window, seeing that the sun had just come up. It’s warm rays filling me with a renewing sense of hope and happiness, as they always did. Watching the sun in the morning was something I liked to do as much as possible. It always put a good start to the day. I smiled to myself, yawning and stretching at the same time. Ouch. Yesterday came flooding back to me. I was angry at Marcel for making me look like a weak fuck. I was preparing myself for the inevitable confrontation with Brad. And I was still angry with Lucas, for taking it upon himself to tell Josh about us. Heck I didn’t even know or like Josh. He was Brads sidekick for petes sake. How could Lucas even think of doing such a stupid thing. He was so na´ve it wasn’t funny. You just can’t go around blurting stuff like that out. And then pulling me away from Brad, that was the last straw. And as for Brad, I’d sort him out once and for all.

"Lucas." I said surprised, turning around and seeing Lucas asleep on the futon on the floor.

"Huh? Wha?" he mumbled turning over. "Oh Storm!"

"What are you doing here?"

"I…I…I wanted to talk to you last night. But I got here and you were asleep. But I didn’t want to go, so I slept down here."

"So you slept down there? You know I’m usually the one sleeping down there."

"Yeah, I know. I figured it must be my turn."

I smiled at him. It was so hard to stay mad at such a sweet guy. "Come here, baby." I said shifting over so both of us could sit on the bed.

Lucas sat down on the bed next to me, sitting as close as he could. I put the blanket over both of us and we leaned against the wall. I put my arm around him and pulled him closer, he leaned his head on my shoulder and I kissed him tenderly on his soft cheek. "Lucas. I’m sorry for pushing you. And yelling at you like that, you didn’t deserve it."

"It’s ok. I’m the one who’s sorry. I had no right to tell Josh." Lucas said softly. "But Storm. You hurt me so much yesterday. I would have never said those things to you. Or ever touched you like that."

"I know. I know. I’m sorry." I said pushing myself away. Fuck, those damn tears were coming back again. I replayed in slow motion the events of yesterday. I couldn’t believe I had done that to Lucas. Yelled at him, pushed him against a wall. I was so angry I wasn’t thinking straight. I had such an angry streak sometimes. I pulled myself away from Lucas and sat at the end of the bed.

"I hurt you. I can’t believe I did that. I am so sorry. But you won’t ever have to go through that again." I took a few deep breaths, letting a few tears slip. "I think we should break up."

"What?" Lucas gasped at me in shock. Lucas pulled himself over to me and put his hands on my face "No, no. You can’t do this to me. I’m sorry, I’m really sorry. We’ve been through too much Storm. We can’t break up."

"I don’t deserve you. And you didn’t deserve to be treated the way you were yesterday. I totally overstepped the mark."

Lucas started getting a bit hysterical. His eyes were sad and in panic, tearing up as he spoke "No, no, no. Please don’t do this. Please, Storm. Please. It’s ok, Storm. I deserved all of that yesterday."

My heart sank as I spoke "No, you didn’t… It’s over."

Lucas looked at me in total disbelief. His mouth was open and a gasp fell from it. "Noooo. Nooo. You can’t do this… You can’t… Storm, please… please. I can’t believe this is happening…" It seemed as if he spoke in slow motion, every single word pulling at me one by one.

"I’m sorry." I said running to grab the nearest clothes to me and rushing out the door. No time to look back, it was too late to change anything.

* * * * * * *

"Hi Honey." Mike said walking into Sarah’s room.

"Mike!" Sarah smiled.

Mike walked up to Sarah and wrapped his arms around her, Sarah wrapping her own around Mike and resting them on his lower back. Mike kissed her lips tenderly, smiling "How’s my honey today?"

"She’s great." Sarah smiled.

Mike kissed her again gently, unable to contain the way he felt for Sarah "I love you."

"I love that you love me." Sarah smiled back. "Oh yeah, and I love YOU too."

"I bought you something." Mike said pulling a lollipop out.

"Well, thank you Mister Mitchell." Sarah said taking the lollipop and sticking it in her mouth.

"Now you have to tell me, what’s wrong?" Mike asked.

"Nothing, because I’ve got you."

"See, now I know something’s wrong. You’re getting soft."

"Ok, ok. It’s just everything is changing. I’m not sure where I fit in anymore. I’m used to being the confidant and motherly type to everyone. But everyone is growing up now. I’m just not sure where I fit in."

"You fit in with me. I know things are changing. That’s life. Maybe you should just try being the friend for once. Start looking after yourself and then you can look after them."

"Marcel’s changed. For the better I think. But I don’t know what’s going on with Storm."

"Storm. Don’t worry about him, he’ll be ok. Just worry about yourself, I’ll look after Storm."

"What do you mean, he’ll be ok? What’s wrong?"

"He broke up with Lucas."

"When?" Sarah asked in disbelief.

"This morning. He came over to see me on his way up to Abby’s. He’s going to stay up there till Monday. Trying to avoid Lucas."

"What happened? Did he tell you?"

"They broke up, that’s all he said."

"Do I need to kill Lucas?"

"No, he’s really low right now. Storm was the one who dumped Lucas. He’s not in the best shape right now. And Storm won’t be back until Monday which is right when we leave for camp. He’s definitely trying to avoid Lucas."

"Geez, Poor Storm. He must be going through hell. Oh man, I wanna talk to him."

"Then call him. But he’ll be ok. I want you to worry about YOU. Are you going to be ok while I’m gone?"

Sarah flashed back an annoyed look "I’m not that needy. I’ll be fine. Wait…I’m sorry. Thank you, I know what you mean. And I’ll be ok, I promise." She said angel-kissing Mike again.

"You know I only worry coz I love you." Mike said pulling Sarah closer to him.

"I know. I know. I love you too. And I think I’ve told you that enough times. It’s time I showed you how much." Sarah smiled moving her hands further down Mikes back and sliding them teasingly under Mikes shirt.

"Oh Boy." Mike gulped. "Umm are you thinking what I’m thinking?"

"I sure am."

"Right now?"

"Right now. We’re home alone. I’ve got everything we need." Sarah said pulling a condom out.

"Ooooh boy..."

* * * * * * *

"Lucas."

"Marcel? What are you doing here?" Lucas asked surprised.

"I just wanted to see how you were. I heard about you and Storm. I just wanted to see if you were ok." Marcel said standing there, feeling slightly awkward about this situation.

"Why? This is what you always wanted. I’d have thought you’d be happy about the whole thing."

"I suppose I deserved that. But I thought we sorted this out yesterday at school."

"Yeah. I know we talked. We only talked because that was me being the nice guy. I’m sick of being the fucking nice guy all the time. Trying to get on with everyone and making everyone else happy. The ‘Dude’ that everyone thinks is a stupid bitch."

"Fuck. There is something in the air. Everyone’s waking up and realizing everything isn’t peachy keen. I flipped on Sarah, when she didn’t deserve it. Is that what happened with you and Storm?" Marcel asked.

Lucas moved a space on his bed, letting Marcel sit down. "Why should I tell you anything?"

"Because. I’m sorry for treating you the way I did. Here I was complaining about the way I got treated and I was treating you like you were a dumb shit. I want us to be cool."

Lucas sat on his bed eyeing up Marcel cynically "Cool huh?"

"I want us to be friends. Real friends this time. Not just tolerating each other."

"I don’t know. You’re not a very nice person anymore."

"Gimmie a chance Lucas, I’ll be a good friend."

"Why should I trust you? Let’s face it, you and I have never gotten along. I can recall so many times when you’ve taken digs at me. And you remember the party? I remember what happened there. Then the way you were with me yesterday. You and Storm could start up a treat Lucas like shit club."

"Ok I’m going to get back to the Storm bit soon. But I want us to be cool first. Lucas, I am telling you this face to face. I am sorry. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t care about you. I want us to start again. I want you and I to really get to know each other and be friends. Can you forgive me and gimmie a chance to show you how serious I am?"

"So this is one of those, wipe the slate clean moments huh?"

"Yup. Give it a chance, Lucas." Marcel said putting his hand out to Lucas.

Lucas put his hand out cautiously, never once taking his eyes off Marcel. They finally shook hands, both grasping lightly before letting go. "Cool" Lucas said flatly.

"I want you to be able to trust me with anything. I swear to you, I will be the most loyal friend you’ve ever had. I won’t ever betray you. I don’t do that to my friends."

"I guess I’m still a bit stand offish with you. It’ll come with time."

"I know you’re still not sure or comfortable. And I might be overstepping the mark, but I think you need this."

"What?"

Marcel shuffled himself next to Lucas and put his arm around him. Lucas was nervous at first but eventually eased up. "Why did you break up?" Marcel asked softly.

Lucas hesitated momentarily but then gently rested his head on Marcels shoulder. "He broke up with me. Said he didn’t want to hurt me anymore. Said it was better this way."

"It was because of yesterday wasn’t it? When you two had that argument? He pushed you and yelled at you and now he feels bad about it? And that’s why he broke up. He’s trying to protect you from him." Marcel said matter of factly.

Lucas lifted his head and looked at Marcel amazed. "How did you know?"

"I know Storm, I know how he thinks. He thinks he’s doing the right thing."

Lucas eyes were getting watery but he didn’t want to start crying in front of Marcel, he didn’t trust him that much yet. "Well he’s wrong. He’s not doing the right thing. He’s just hurting me even more. He should’ve tried to work things out. He thinks he’s doing the right thing by me, well that’s bullshit. We could’ve worked through it. We could’ve gotten past it. I’m so angry at him." Lucas gulped.

Marcel held Lucas closer, gently rubbing the top of his head. "You know I really misjudged you. I had you pinned as such a no brainer. I am really sorry. I can see why Storm is so attracted to you."

"It’s ok. Thanks." Lucas smiled sadly. "I just wish he’d come back. I’d give anything to have him back with me. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t even want to think of not being together. I couldn’t handle it.."

Marcel pulled Lucas around to hold him, Lucas sobbing softly onto Marcels shoulder. Marcel rubbed Lucas shoulder gently "It’ll be ok Lucas. It’ll be ok."

"What am I going to do Marcel? I have to get him back."

"Lucas, I want you to tell me why you love Storm?"

"Wha?" Lucas said rubbing his eyes.

"Tell me what it is that you love about Storm."

Lucas sat himself up properly smiling "Ok, I love the way he treats me. He makes me feel like the king of the world. He’s so deep, you know? You just can’t ever fully understand him. He’s kind, and very thoughtful. He knows what I’m thinking before I even say anything. He can just read me so well. And he’s got that killer smile, which just fits in with the rest of his sexy self. And he’s soo cool. I could keep going on Marcel but I think I know what you’re doing…" Lucas grinned.

"Good, now isn’t that worth fighting for?"

"How?"

"Tell him. Call him. Do whatever it takes. Find him and tell him how much he means to you. Tell him what a jerk he’s being. Make him realize that you’re not giving up. I’m telling you Lucas. Storm loves you. I bet you he’s scared."

"Scared of what?"

"Scared of happiness. Scared of hurting you. He’s being a big chicken shit. You have to take the hard line with him. Tell him that these things happen in relationships and he can’t run off every time you two have a fight or whatever. Deal to the bastard."

"Hey, that’s my guy you’re calling a bastard."

"My point exactly." Marcel grinned.

Lucas smiled back at Marcel strangely "This is weird. You and I, this is too weird."

Marcel flashed his ‘I am Marcel’ smile "You’ll learn to love me." he grinned.

"That’s what I’m afraid of."

* * * * * * *

Dade walked into his bedroom and threw all his hockey gear down. He flopped himself down on his bed and sighed to himself. It had been a long tiring day on the field and he wanted to rest. He threw on his headphones and jacked the radio on, just in time for the Top 40. He closed his eyes and moved his head in time to the music, letting his mind meld with it. He opened his mouth and sung gently along with the radio.

"DADE!!" Lucas yelled.

"Huh What?" Dade mouthed pulling off his headphones and looking at Lucas in surprise. "What is it?"

"I need a favor, dude."

"It’s yours." Dade replied instantly.

"I didn’t even tell you what the favor is yet."

"Doesn’t matter, it’s still yours."

"Man, you are so cool."

"So tell me what you want, what you really, really want?" Dade laughed.

Lucas rolled his eyes, smiling "I need you to ring Storm for me."

"Where is he?"

"He’s gone up to Abbys for the night."

"Ok I’ll call him for you. Lemme guess, you guys are on the outs and you’re scared he won’t talk to you?"

"Uuuuh yeah." Lucas replied sheepishly.

"Ok, sit down. I’ll call him."

Dade motioned Lucas to sit down next to him while he picked up his phone and dialed the number. Lucas waited anxiously for a response. Finally someone picked up on the other end. "Hello?" Dade said.

"Dade? Hey little bro. How are you?" The voice said.

"Hi Abby, I’m all right. Just tired, we won today though. I was going to go crash at Gary’s house but I might just stay home. How about you?"

"I’m great too. How come you didn’t come up with Storm?"

"Didn’t know he was coming. Speaking of my Stormy brother, is he there?"

"Not right now. He’s gone with Rob to the movies. Shall I get him to call you?"

"Yes please Sis."

"Ok then Dade. I’ll do that. Take care little bro. Love you."

"Love you too Sis. Bye."

"Bye Dade." Abby said hanging up.

Dade hung up the phone and looked at Lucas, shrugging apologetically. Lucas smiled back at him, not feeling too good right about now.

"It’s cool. Thanks anyway Dade." Lucas said.

"Lucas, are you ok?" Dade asked.

"Yeah, I’ll be all right Dude." Lucas said managing a small smile for Dade.

"It’s Saturday night. Go out man, get laid or something. Relax, chill out. You’re free man!" Dade yelled.

Lucas looked at Dade surprised. "I can’t do that. I have to sort this out or I’ll go crazy!" Lucas said throwing his hands up in the air.

Dade stood up and put his hands on Lucas shoulders. Dade started shaking him "He’s gone to the movies man. He’s having fun. Forget him for once. GO HAVE SOME FUN!!"

Lucas frowned at Dade, unsure of why Dade wanted Lucas to forget Storm "I don’t want to. I want to go home and be miserable." Lucas pouted.

"You’re going to be difficult aren’t you. Two can play that game Mr. Wait here." Dade said firmly.

Dade jumped into the shower and was back out in less then five minutes. He quickly got himself changed, spraying on some cologne and making sure he looked his best. Dade pulled Lucas up and marched him downstairs, Lucas dumbfounded. "What are you doing?" Lucas asked.

"I’m taking you out and YOU are going to have fun. Understand? And don’t think you have a choice either." Dade said shutting the front door behind them.

+ + + + + +

Monday morning, what a drag. I walked into school having just hopped off the Train from Abbys house. I looked around to make sure no one saw me and proceeded to walk through the gates. I was so glad no one had seen me. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. At least there wouldn’t be any chance of running into Lucas. Mike and Lucas should both be halfway to camp by now. I wish Mike was still here though, I really needed his support right now.

"Storm!"

I knew it, too good to be true. I turned around to face who had just called me. "Marcel." I said coldly.

"What’s wrong?" Marcel asked.

"Did you like humiliating me on Friday?"

"What are you talking about?"

"You made me look like an idiot. Like I couldn’t handle myself. Now everyone will think I’m a weak bitch."

"I’m sorry Storm, I didn’t mean to humiliate you or anything. I just really hate Brad. And he was pushing you around and I just didn’t know what else to do."

I stood there in the cold, looking at Marcel. And just my luck, it started to rain. Quite predictably, neither of us moved. I felt pretty bad, was I going to alienate all my friends now? I looked at Marcel, biting my lip. "I’m sorry Marcel. Marcel…uuuh it doesn’t matter. I’m sorry."

"What is it Storm?"

"Nothing…nothing."

"Why won’t you talk to Lucas, you know he was calling you at Abbys right?"

"Yeah. I know. I’ll handle it. You and Lucas new best friends all of a sudden?"

"We’re just starting from scratch. He’s a great guy. You should talk to him when he gets back."

"Yeah. I know he is a great guy…that’s the problem. He’s too good for me. Anyway, I shouldn’t be saying this shit out loud." I said walking away.

"Wait Storm. He’s not too good for you. Nobody is."

"You know, I spoke to Sarah. I’m really glad you decided to stop taking shit from everyone. Good on ya. Go to class. I’ll see you later, buddy." I said walking away properly this time.

I walked away with my head hanging down. I don’t know why, I just felt low. I didn’t feel like I really had anyone. Marcel was different now, he had to move on without me. Had to grow out from us. In a way we were his security blanket, but now it was his turn to flourish. The best thing I could do now was let him go. If he came back after he had found himself, so be it. But for now, I wasn’t what he needed. Everything is changing, time for us to all move on.

* * * * * * *

Lucas yawned as the football team all sat together in the forest, in the middle of nowhere. They sat on the forest floor, huddled in a circle and lounging about like a bunch of lazy bums. The Coach stood there telling the group about some of the team building exercises they were going to learn today. Lucas sat there yawning, he didn’t even like football. He was just good at it, and Mike asked him to try out so he did. Lucas admitted though, it was pretty peaceful out here. Maybe a day out in the forest would do something for him. He smelt the clean pine air, then realized it smelt the same as Merlow. Maybe that’s why Merlow was such a great place to live. Clean, Green and everything in between. After sitting there for half an hour though, Lucas had decided this really did suck and he wanted to go home.

"This sucks." Lucas whispered to Mike.

"Nah, really?" Mike replied sarcastically.

"I wanna go home. This camp bites." Lucas whispered.

"Me too. But at least it’s distracted you from Storm. And that Friendly Baseball game against White Swan tomorrow should be cool. This camp is good for you. It’s crap for me though. You should stay here and I should go home."

"Me? Get distracted from Storm? Are you kidding? My name is Lucas Sheridan. I am totally and utterly in love with Storm Marcus. And no stoopid camp is going to make me forget about him." Lucas whispered defiantly.

"Why are you telling me? Tell the bastard himself."

"I’ve been trying! He’s avoiding me like you wouldn’t believe. And now we’re here and I can’t contact him at all. I can’t do shit here." Lucas said frustrated.

"Exactly! Forget him for once. I’m sure Storm wants you to have a good time. Now try and have some fun ok?" Mike said pushing Lucas playfully.

"Ok. Ok. I’ll try. Hmmm. You have been pathetically happy since we left Merlow and you have that stupid grin. What’s up with you? You on drugs?" Lucas asked concerned.

Mike rolled his eyes and smiled at Lucas "No Dumbass. If I tell you, promise not to tell anyone?"

Lucas crossed his heart and raised his right hand "I promise."

"Ok." Mike said looking around to see if anyone was watching. "Sarah and I…we did it." Mike grinned proudly.

"WHOA! DUDE!" Lucas yelled in surprise. "That’s awesome. I can’t believe it. You beat me. Congratulations man." Lucas smiled.

Lucas gave Mike a high five, both grinning wildly. Mike and Lucas both couldn’t help smiling. Mike because he was so proud of himself and Lucas because he was so happy for Mike. "It was totally out of the blue man. I wasn’t even expecting it to happen."

"Did you use protection? I thought you were going to wait till you were 16?" Lucas asked.

"Yeah we did, Sarah made sure. Which was good. And I thought we were going to wait too. But well…we didn’t wait. I’m not one to kiss and tell but…it was fucking awesome." Mike whispered.

"’Fucking’ being the operative word." Lucas grinned.

Mike punched Lucas in the arm, Lucas grimacing in pain. "That is so crude. We made love man. It wasn’t a fuck. It was special. I’m never going to forget it as long as I live. You know I thought I was in love with Sarah before. But now man, I tell you. There is no way in hell I am ever losing that girl. We’ve shared everything together now. There’s no part of each other that we don’t know. Sarah…Sarah…oooh Sarah." Mike moaned falling backwards and rolling around on the ground.

"Aaaah. So now I see why you’re in a hurry to go back to Merlow. You got it bad for her. You and Sarah make such an awesome couple. I really hope you guys stay together." Lucas said a little sad.

Mike, being the receptive sensitive new age guy that he is, picked up on this straight away "Hey, don’t be sad. You’re killing my buzz damnit. Look there’s nothing we can do while we’re here. They’re there, we’re here. So let’s have fun. Forget Storm for now." Mike grinned.

"Everyone wants me to forget him. Why? I thought you were ok with us now."

"We are ok with you. But there’s nothing you can do so stop pining over it. I’m going to make you forget about him this week Lucas. That’s a guarantee."

"Good luck. You’ve got a tough job ahead."

* * * * * * *

Lucas sat on his bunk, working on some of the theory work the coach had given. He chewed on his pen trying to immerse himself in his work to distract himself from thinking about Storm too much. It was Monday today and he wouldn’t be in Merlow again until the end of the week. So there wasn’t any point in putting himself through unnecessary turmoil over something he couldn’t fix. But that didn’t make him feel any better.

"That was a long day wasn’t it." Josh said flopping himself down on the bunk next to Lucas.

Lucas pulled his head up surprised "It sure was." Lucas replied.

"You looking forward to that Baseball Friendly tomorrow after we’ve finished our drills for the day? Should be fun."

"Uhh yeah Dude, should be great." Lucas said not really paying attention to Josh.

Josh popped his head over and tried to see what Lucas was doing. "I can help you with that if you want?"

"Uhh it’s cool Dude, thanks anyway."

"Oh ok." Josh replied.

Josh lay there watching Lucas work, sighing to himself. He picked up the football next to Lucas bed and started tossing it into the air and catching it. He lay on the bed and kept throwing the ball into the air, never stopping. Lucas eventually became distracted by what Josh was doing. Figuring there must be a reason Josh was here.

"What is it?" Lucas asked.

"uhh I just … I don’t know." Josh replied. "I’m sorry about yours and Storms fight last week. I take it that it had something to do with me right? Sorry."

"Oh, don’t worry. It’s not your fault."

"Are you guys ok?"

"He dumped me."

"Oh man. That’s terrible. Will you get back together?"

"That’s up to him. He’s avoiding me. And it doesn’t help being here at camp because I can’t get in touch with him. But you can guarantee as soon as we get back home Dude, I’m going after him." Lucas said firmly.

"You’re angry, aren’t you?"

"Very. I’m pissed off at him. At first I was hurt, now I’m just angry."

"Are you going to hurt him back?"

"No, of course not. I’m angry at myself for even feeling this angry at him. He thought he was doing the right thing. I feel like kicking his ass and making him realize he isn’t."

"So you’re going to smack him up? Don’t you think that’s a bit harsh."

"No I’m not going to do that. I feel like doing it but I’d never actually do it. Don’t even think that." Lucas said clearly getting frustrated.

"That’s good. Because I think he’s been through enough of getting his ass kicked."

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing. Just go easy on him."

"What are you talking about?"

"Nothing. Anyway, I better go."

"No, no don’t go. There’s something you wanted to talk to me about isn’t there?" Lucas asked curiously.

Josh bit his lip, unsure of what to say or do. Something he was very good at. "Umm sorta. But you look like you need some time alone."

"That’s the last thing I need. Sit back down. Talk to me."

"Ok. I just wanted to know how you deal with who you are? I mean, you’ve told your parents. All your friends know. You have great friends who support you. You don’t let who you are phase you. You’ve got a kick ass boyfriend. I mean, you’re the man. You’re so cool. I wanna be like you."

"You wanna be like me? First of all, you can’t. You have to be like you. And yeah I told my parents, they accepted who I am but they didn’t like it. I hate to say it, but you can do a lot better than Brad. He is a jerk."

"I know. But he’s strong, you know? He’s all I really have, even though he is a jerk. I don’t have much choice."

"Yeah you do. You got me. I’m your friend. You can hang with me, and Mike is a really great guy once you get to know him. He just doesn’t like that you kiss Brads ass. He really hates Brad."

"Don’t I know it. Mike scares me. I think he wants to kick my ass too. You guys have such a tight group. That’s so cool man, you guys always stick up for each other."

"We used to. But we’re drifting apart. Things are changing. But I’m your friend. I’ll help you however I can."

"So uhh does that mean we can hang?"

"Duh, I just said that. Ok now I want to shoot some things off you and you tell me what you think."

"Ok."

Josh gave Lucas his full attention and Lucas readjusted his position on the bunk so he was facing Josh. "You like guys. Is this correct?"

"Yes."

"You don’t deny it or think you are just confused."

"I’m not confused. I’ve always been this way."

"But you’re scared. Scared to tell anyone. You don’t want to come out to your parents. Or your friends."

"My parents would freak. They would just explode. There’s no way I’m telling them, or Brad. And apart from him, you’re my only real friend."

"Well you told me. It’s hard, I know. You won’t be happy with yourself until the people you most care about, know who you are. But that doesn’t mean, go home and tell them. Only you will know when the right time will be."

"You’re too cool." Josh smiled.

"And another thing. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. Don’t hide behind Brad because you think he’ll protect you. Because he won’t. Accept who you are and rock on Dude. There’s nothing wrong with you. So stop hiding yourself from everyone and come out of that shell you’re hiding in."

"Easier said than done."

"I’m going to help you. If you ever need anything, I don’t care what time it is or whatever. If you’re feeling down or confused, call me. Heck, even if you’re feeling happy, call me. I’m here for you."

Josh smiled, a big wide happy smile. Somebody finally cared for and understood him. Somebody was willing to help him learn to accept himself. Somebody wanted to be a real friend for Josh, a foreign concept for Josh. And that somebody was Lucas.

"I’ll do it. I’ll make it. Thanks to you. You’re better than that guy at the gay youth center."

"Dude, don’t underestimate the power of friendship. It’ll get you through hell and back."

"Lucas…If it doesn’t work out with Storm, will you go out with me?" Josh asked bluntly.

"Thanks for the offer, Dude. But no. You’re not my type."

"What is your type?"

"Storm’s my type. Nobody but Storm gets me."

"That’s cool, I at least had to ask. It’s no wonder you’re taken. You try to act dumb but you’re Obi wan Kenobi in disguise. And you’re pretty hot stuff too. But I suppose, the person I really like though is…I like Marcel."

Lucas lay back laughing, how ironic this whole situation was. He wanted to tell Josh about Marcel but he knew it wasn’t his place to. And he had already lost Storm for being a big mouth, he couldn’t lose Marcel too. Time to play ignorant.

"That’s too bad. Marcel is so straight it’s not funny." Lucas grinned.

"I figured as much, he’s a ladies man. He is such a babe. Have you seen his killer bod. Ooh man, I have dreams about that guy. But oh well, I’m good at being single anyway."

"Marcel huh. Cool. You never know, it could happen." Lucas grinned again.

* * * * * * *

I opened the door and walked in. The lights were off and it was dark inside. I closed the door gently and walked inside quietly. I walked up the stairs softly, plodding along till I got to my bedroom.

"Storm. What time is it?" Dade whispered from his room, yawning.

"It’s 10.30pm. Go back to sleep. Mom will be home soon." I said back, hoping he’d go back to sleep.

"Where have you been? I haven’t seen you since you got back from Abbys."

"Out Bro. Don’t worry about it. Night Dude."

"Night Storm."

I walked into my room, throwing my bag down. I took off my shirt and put some shorts on, flopping onto the bed. I was amazed at how quickly my life had gone downhill. I had no boyfriend, hardly any friends and it was all my own fault. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. Time to hit the dreamscape.

+ + + + + +

"Storm!" Sarah yelled.

"Uhh Hi Sarah." I said trying not to look her in the eye.

Sarah punched me hard in the arm and I tried to look like it didn’t do anything, but damn is she strong. "Where the fuck have you been hiding?" She asked looking pretty pissed.

I rubbed my arm and feigned a smile, hoping she’d ease up. Not a chance. "Uhh nowhere."

"You know, you dissappear off the face of the earth. I find out from Mike that you’ve broken up with you know who. And then I have to track your ass to Abbys for a whole 5 minute conversation. You practically avoided Marcel and I yesterday. And you weren’t at home last night, and you didn’t go to training. Now tell me, what the fuck is going on?"

"Uuuhh. I just…I just…I don’t know. Uhh I need to go." I said trying to walk away before I started giving Niagara Falls a run for its money.

"The hell you do." Sarah said pulling me back.

I kept my head down so I wouldn’t have to look her in the eye. The hallway was abuzz with students. Lockers slamming shut, loud yells from one end of the hallway. Friends talking and chewing away the recess time. And here was Sarah and I, standing right in the middle of it all. She must have been waiting for me to get back to my locker eventually so she could pounce and catch me.

"Please let me go." I said softly.

"What’s wrong Storm? I’m really worried about you. I’ve never seen you like this before. Talk to me and I can help you." she said soothingly.

"You look after us too much. I’ll be ok. Just gimmie some space."

"Ok. You really want some space?" she asked defeated.

Not really. I want you to look after me. I need some help. But I am too proud to ask for it. "Yeah." I whimpered.

Just as Sarah was about to say something she was interrupted by the sound of the bell. She didn’t move, just kept staring at me funny. I think she knew I was full of it, she was probably just trying to work out what was going on inside my head. Good luck, I still hadn’t worked that out yet.

"Sarah!" yelled a few voices down the hall. I looked over and saw it was Stacey peters and my nemesis Claire Carlyle. Obviously Sarah had started making her some new friends. Sarah and Marcel were both changing and moving on pretty well. But where does the Storm go? Does it dissipate and fade away? Probably a good idea.

I turned back towards Sarah "I’ll be ok." I whispered. Bullshit I know, but she didn’t need to be dragged down to whatever hell I was going to. Better to just let her get on with her life, along with Marcel. Everyone can just go his or her separate ways.

Claire pulled Sarah away by the arm, Sarah looking back at me strangely. She yelled out to me that she’d find me later. Don’t count on it. I pulled out the books I needed from my locker and slammed it shut. I turned to walk to class, alone and feeling pretty pathetic.

"Aww Poor Stormy is a loner. Got no friends have we? Why don’t you just give up on Sarah? You lost her you loser. Give up. You guys haven’t been together since last year but you still hang around her like a bad smell. You should just stay away from her, you loser." Stacey said. She had stayed behind just to give me shit, what a gal.

If she only knew. "Stacey. You forgot your face mask." I said walking away.

"What are you talking about rain boy?"

"Your face mask. I’m surprised your parents let you out of the house without it. Your so damn butt ugly. You should wear your underwear on your head."

Her face scrunched up looking totally pissed. Geez, and I used to think this girl was a babe. Somebody shoot me now. "Fucking loser. Go find some friends. Even Adrian wouldn’t hang out with you anymore. And thank goodness, Marcel has realized what a LOSER you really are."

Ok, calm down Storm. Don’t let her get to you. She’s not worth it. "Stacey. I’m sure he’s realized what a flea attraction you are too. But don’t worry, get that bark right and sit when you’re told. And he might bring you some doggie biscuits." I said smiling. Her face was even worse now. And there I was thinking I wouldn’t get anything happy out of today. "Have a nice day. Woof." I grinned walking away.

I walked to class with a short lasting smile on my face. I started to think about what Stacey had said. I didn’t really care that she thought I was a loser. I’ve dealt with worse before. But what did she mean, Marcel had finally realized what loser I am? Has he moved on that much. Maybe he’s realized what a shit I really am. Maybe it was my own fault for holding him down all these years.

I walked into class and saw Marcel, sitting at the back. With someone else. Cody Richards was sitting in my chair. Marcel had already found my replacement. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. And Cody was the next best on the track besides Marcel and I so he’s a natural choice. Cody was a likeable guy, easy to get along with. I didn’t really have anything against him, apart from the fact he was sitting in my chair.

I tried not to make eye contact with Marcel and accept my humiliation gracefully as I sat down in the nearest empty seat. Still, I asked for it. If I didn’t have been such a prick avoiding Marcel and Sarah yesterday in school none of this would be happening. Good on you Storm. You’d successfully pushed everyone close to you away. First Lucas, now Marcel and Sarah. I’m sure that if Mike were here right now I would find some way of alienating him too.

I felt like everyone’s eyes were on me. Boring into me, saying ‘look at him, he’s sitting by himself’. It was so obvious to everyone that I’d been pushed aside. I stuck out like a sore thumb. They were probably wondering how the Storm had become such a loser. I’d been pushed out of my comfort zone and now it seemed everything was harsh and confronting. I felt awkward and rejected. I didn’t fit in anymore.

I kept my eyes on the front of the class and tried to get straight to work. I couldn’t even bring myself to look behind me. I could just imagine Marcel’s face saying ‘Now I’m the man’. Maybe if I just try and immerse myself in work I won’t have to worry about what a loser I just realized I really am. You did it to yourself Storm. You did it to yourself.

"Storm." Marcel whispered from behind me.

I tried to play ignorant and act as if I couldn’t hear him. I didn’t want to turn around and let him see how uncomfortable and loserlike I was feeling right now. I pretended I was concentrating hard on my work and trying to pay attention to the teacher. Since when has Storm Marcus ever been an attentive student. Since he discovered he has no friends.

"Storm. Talk to me." Marcel whispered.

Nope. Not going to budge. Still playing ignorant. I was too proud to turn around and see the jerk that had taken my seat. I wouldn’t budge an inch, not turning once. I thought I had finally shaken Marcel off when I felt someone tapping my shoulder. I felt the hand holding something on my shoulder and I turned my head to see what it was. A little folded piece of paper. I feigned a little smile to the person who passed me the paper as I took it off them. I put the paper on the corner of my desk, not wanting to read it. I left it there for most of the class, not once opening it.

I was doing a good job of class today though. I had practically done all my work without any problems. Wow, someone should put this in one of those self help books. To succeed at school you need only have no friends. I’m sure I could make millions selling that baloney. As time ticked on and I could feel class drawing to its inevitable conclusion, I couldn’t help looking at the piece of paper. I would reach to open it and then withdraw my hand again. Eventually I plucked up the courage to open it. I braced myself for what it would contain.

Storm,

Don’t turn around…

Don’t turn around? Now come on, he didn’t really think I was going to fall for that reverse psychology did he? I knew exactly what he was doing. And it was working. I turned my head around slowly…

"Daniel Marcus. I don’t believe your work is that way do you?" The teacher asked.

I shot my head back around quick smart "No Sir." I replied nervously.

"Good. Then pay attention."

"Yes Sir."

I put my head back into the books just as the bell for the end of class rang. Phew, that lucky bell saved me again. I threw all my books in my bag as quickly as I could. I didn’t want Marcel seeing how rejected and pathetic I felt.

"Storm!" Marcel yelled getting up.

Nope. Not gonna happen. I shot out of my seat and straight out the door, never once looking back. I sped down the hallway and made sure Marcel couldn’t see where I went. I just didn’t need to be with anyone right now. So this is what being a loser feels like? I made it to my next class, and luckily neither Sarah or Marcel was in it. I lay my head down in my arms and wondered how the hell life had taken such a downturn in a matter of days. I sat there wondering just how much worse things could get. I didn’t think they could get much worse, but that was usually a sign that worse things are yet to come.

No one ever told me the road to hell was so lonely.

* * * * * * *

Mike sighed in relief to himself as he managed to make it to third base. Now all three bases were loaded, one false move and Merlow was dead in the water. The afternoon was sweltering hot and everyone playing and watching had sweat on their brow. The sun beamed down, heating the game to intensity. The White Swan boys had given Merlow a fair walloping in this Baseball friendly between the two schools Football teams. It was the Ninth inning and White Swan had the lead 6-3 over Merlow. Merlow had all three bases loaded with one out. One home run and Merlow could still take the game.

The crowd was fairly large and lively, lapping up the school competition. The rivalry between these two schools went back years and this game had become a fixture of pride for whichever school took the win. Even though it was only a friendly game it was yet another reason for one school to gloat about being better than the other. As the sun beamed down, the crowd became nervous as the game neared it’s inevitable conclusion.

Brad stepped up to the home plate, swinging his bat around to warm up. This was his chance to save the game for Merlow and get a bit of glory. Brad spat on the ground and readied himself for the pitch. Mike stood on third base waiting for his chance to make it home. Merlow was losing and they needed a miracle to win. Maybe Mike could get them a bit more dignity in their defeat if he did manage a steal.

Lucas watched on nervously as the pitcher wound up. The game went into slow motion and Lucas watched as the pitcher let loose a fastball. Lucas could see the ball fly along its path towards Brad. Brad reared back and swung the bat strong and true against the ball. Lucas mouth dropped as he saw Brads bat connect square on with the ball. The ball shot clear, the game suddenly swinging back into fast motion. The ball drove itself into the air, crowd watching in awe. As the ball made it’s way back down, Brad stood fast anxiously waiting for his fate to be decided.

"You’re OUT!" The umpire yelled at Brad. "TWO OUT!"

"FUCK!" Brad shouted angrily.

Brad threw his bat down defiantly, as he walked back to the player’s dugout. Mike cursed Brad under his breath, angry with his silly miss. Lucas stood up and headed out towards the plate, grabbing a bat on his way. He patted Brad on the shoulder "Don’t worry about it, Big Guy. I’ll get them."

"Fuck off faggot." Brad cursed.

Lucas shook his head at Brads comment, but didn’t have the time to worry about it. He stepped himself up to the home plate and swung the bat around loosely. Brads comment filtered back into Lucas mind just as the pitcher let loose. Lucas tried to respond but missed the pitch and it shot straight past him.

"STRIKE!" The umpire yelled.

"Damn." Lucas cursed to himself.

"Stop hitting at garbage Lucas!! Mike yelled.

"Do it Lucas!" Josh yelled from first base.

Lucas took a few deep breaths and took his place back on home plate. He closed his eyes and tried to focus himself. He opened them back up and wiped the sweat off his brow. He took a few scrapes at the ground with his feet and steadied himself again for the next shot. The pitcher wasted no time in sending the ball Lucas way. Lucas expected a fastball but was fooled by a curveball. He swung the bat out and missed the ball again.

"STRIKE TWO!!" The umpire yelled.

"Come on Lucas!" came a few yells of support. "You can do it Lucas!" they screamed.

"Yeah, come on you dumb shit!! At least I hit the damn ball!" Brad yelled.

"Fuck up Brad! It’s just a friendly you Dickhead." Josh yelled.

Lucas shot a very pissed look at Brad. There was no way in hell Lucas would screw up now. Brad could not have the last laugh. He set himself up confidently this time and zeroed his eyes in on the ball as the pitcher began to wind up. The pitcher shot a confident grin at Lucas and Lucas winked back at him. The Pitcher let loose, Lucas tracking the ball intently. In a split second Lucas responded with a devastating swing, driving the ball up and away.

The ball soared out of the park, Lucas tracking it till it disappeared in the distance. The crowd went wild and Lucas threw the bat up and jumped in exultation. He grinned wildly jumping up and down, waving to all the crowd as he made his way around the bases.

"GRAND SLAM HOME RUN!!" The umpire shouted, giving Lucas thumbs up.

Lucas jogged around the bases extremely pleased with himself. He smiled proudly at all the Lucas chants coming from the Merlow team and supporters. Lucas finally made it all the way around and was instantly flooded by the rest of the Merlow team. Josh patted Lucas on the back, smiling. "Awesome Lucas!"

Lucas was inundated with pats on the back, and even a few on the ass. Mike made his way through and gave Lucas a big hug and lifted him up on his shoulders. Lucas taken quite by surprise "Suck on that Brad!! WOO HOO!!" Lucas screamed.

"Merlow KICKS ASS!! Lucas is the man!! Let’s hear it for Lucas!!" Mike yelled.

Lucas was taken aback by all the attention he was getting, he was the man. He couldn’t stop smiling to himself and letting out an insane amount of woo hoo’s and excited yells. Lucas had never felt so exhilarated and on top of the world. Lucas decided to let go of everything on his mind and revel in the moment that was certainly his. He cheered along as Mike and company carried Lucas back to the changing rooms.

* * * * * * *

I turned into my street and headed up towards my house. The night was cold and empty. But the cold was the last thing on my mind. I walked slowly up to my front door, noticing that most of the lights weren’t on. Dade must have already been asleep. I opened the door and walked in. The lights were off and it was dark and empty inside. I closed the door gently, walking inside quietly. I walked up the stairs, softly plodding along till I got to my bedroom.

"Storm. What time is it?" Dade whispered from his room.

"It’s 10.30pm. Go back to sleep. Mom will be home soon." I said back, hoping he’d go back to sleep.

Not going to happen. Dade jumped out of bed and walked up to me, shaking off the sleep in his eyes. He looked pretty pissed. "Where have you been? This is the second night in a row you’ve come home this late. And I know you weren’t with Marcel, because he’s been here half the night. I had to practically kick his ass home. And I know you weren’t with Sarah because she rang asking for you too."

"Shut up Dade. And don’t you dare tell Mom. Just mind your own damn business."

That didn’t seem to scare Dade one bit, he just came back even stronger "Don’t even threaten me Daniel. I don’t know what sorta shit you’re going through with Lucas. But you know what brother? You look like the idiot here. Lucas is busting his ass trying to sort this shit out and you’re running away like a damn coward."

"Leave it alone Dade. You don’t know anything." I said trying to keep calm.

"I’m starting to think you don’t deserve him. And what’s all this crap with Marcel and Sarah. You jerking them around too?"

"Come on, why don’t you just lay it all out Dade. Don’t hold back now, you’re on a fucking roll."

"How long are you going to keep this bullshit up for? Where the hell are you at these days? You dissappear before anyone wakes up, you get home just before Mom gets home. Where the hell are you?"

"I’m Out. That’s all you need to know, and all you’re going to know."

"You know Storm, I am getting sick of you fucking everyone around. I let it slide last night but not anymore. Sort your shit out brother. You’re being a fucking jerk."

"Fuck you, Dade! What the hell do you know! Why doesn’t everyone just leave me the hell alone!"

Dade shot me a disgusted look "You’re a piece of shit you know that. And to think I looked up to you. Alone. That’s all you’re going to be if you keep this up." Dade yelled walking back into his room and slamming his door shut.

I walked into my room, throwing my bag down. I took off my shirt and put some shorts on, flopping onto the bed. Amazed yet again at how quickly my life had gone downhill. I had no boyfriend, hardly any friends and it was my own entire fault. Did I really want to wake up at all? Couldn’t I just live in the dreamscape forever. I felt so lost. Was there really any point in waking up?

I lay there thinking about what a mess I had made of my life. There just didn't seem to be a way out. I was losing everyone close to me and there was nothing I could do about it. I pulled the sheets up close to me and hid myself in them. Wanting them to protect me from the hell that was my life. I let my tears flow into the sheets, not caring whether anyone walked in. The gentle thrum of my own sobbing lulling me to sleep. Maybe the dreamscape could take me.

+ + + + + +

 

This has been a while coming.  Sorry for the wait, I've been away from the net for a bit.

Now that you've read Chapter 9, if any of you guys have the song Empty by The Cranberries you should listen to it.  Think of Storm when you listen to it, that song is the theme for this chapter.

It's the big 10er next time.  Times they are a changing.  The Pack is drifting further and further apart.  Storm is on his way down, Lucas is on his way up.  Mike and Sarah are sailing sweet and easy.   Marcel is starting to be more affirmative and getting the friends he wanted.   Josh is at a turning point in coming to terms with himself.  And Brad, well Brad is still a jerk.  What will be next?

Stay Tuned for Chapter 10 and send me a note to let me know what you thought of Chapter 9
And check me out on The Ice Zone at http://members.tripod.com/icezone/

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