Important story note from the author:

Okay guys, I made a HUGE mistake. Actually more than a couple issues. As I was writing this story, I forgot to move the guys from their Junior year to their Senior year. Sarah announced her baby when she was two months pregnant and that was in March in the story. Seven months later would have ended their junior year and the new school year would have started already. I have decided to move the story up. I have made a fix in to this story. I hope my slight change doesn't confuse anyone. Moving on from here, I have to figure out what I want to do because my original plan was to end the story with Graduation and I will be sticking with it. You will still see these characters in Jason and Shaun another of my stories.

Author's Notes:

I want to thank my Readers. You guys are the best. Okay, these characters are not meant to resemble any living or dead persons. I make no apology to anyone who is offended by anything in this story. If you do not agree with the idea of guys being in love, then find something else to read. Let me know what you think of the story by emailing me at

_Hnstskr4@aol.com_

Copyright 2008-2016 by Chuck B

****

The Journey Begins

Chapter 24

Senior Prom

It's time for prom tickets to be bought and Steve has already bought two tickets, now he just needs a date. He already has a plan to ask Eric out, so he just needs to put his plan into action and ask his boyfriend to the dance. One step followed by another and quickly, his plan is put into action. Catching Eric eating his lunch, Steve gets on one knee and offers him a tin foil ring. His actions catch Eric off guard.

"What is going on?"

"Baby will you go to Prom with me?"

Eric is speechless but he's smiling.

"I...I...will."

Steve then slips the DYI ring over Eric's finger. Steve was hoping to come up with something more romantic but this worked. The job is done and all is good. Both Eric and Steve are beaming but it is Eric who is smiling on the inside and the outside. Everything is perfect in their world.

***

Eric walks through the door as if he's walking on air. All he wants to do is spread sunlight and happiness. He has not been this happy since Steve was there to save him from Vince. Life has been great ever since then and the future looks even brighter. He grabs a glass out of the cabinet and gets the milk from the refrigerator. As he pours the milk into the glass, Sarah walks into the room. She notices the foil ring on his hand.

"Where did you get the ring?"

Eric looks at her and smiles.

"Steve got down on one knee and asked me to prom, and then he slipped this ring on my hand."

She smiles and hugs her brother.

"We have a lot to do Eric. Do you know what colors you're wearing?"

She waits for an answer as the buzzer sounds on the clothes dryer.

"Sorry, sis I have no idea what our colors are, I need to talk to Steve and find out."

Finishing his drink, he calls Scottie to share the news as well.

"Hey bro, how are you?

"I'm doing great. Steve asked me to prom today."

There is a silence for a second.

"Well there goes my date my prom."

Scottie says with some sarcasm to his voice. Eric knows that Scottie has been talking about taking his girlfriend, so he isn't sure what to make of the sarcasm, so he laughs it off.

"Seriously, I hope you have fun."

"Thanks man."

"You're welcome."

With that, the call ends, and Eric retires to his room. When Mark gets home, he talks with Sarah and then heads up to see Eric.

"Knock, knock can I come into your room?"

Eric turns and smiles at Mark.

"Mark come on in and have a seat."

Mark comes into the room and sits on the bed.

"Sarah told me that you're going to prom. Are you excited?"

"Yeah!" Eric's smile says it all.

"I can tell. Well, I know that I wasn't thinking straight after prom so just be careful okay."

Mark's warning causes some curiosity in Eric's mind.

"What exactly did you do after prom?"

`Do I tell him or not? Guess, since I brought it up. I should tell him.'

Eric can see Mark's apprehension and he almost told him to not answer the question.

"Well, I may have had a few drinks. I may have had sex, but hey if your sister comes to me because you've been bad at prom. I will ground you until you're thirty."

"Okay Dad." Mark just rolls his eyes at this brother in law.

"Seriously, you need to behave yourself at prom."

"We will Mark. Have I ever disappointed you before?"

"To be fair, you've basically been okay."

Mark has really been disappointed in his brother in law only one time, and that was when Vince entered his life.

"Then trust me okay."

"I hope you don't let me down."

With that, Mark left Eric's room and Eric went back to working on a project.

***

At school the next day, Eric and Steve are eating lunch together as usual. They discuss plans for prom but nothing is set in stone. Steve wants to have a special dinner, just the two of them, but Eric wants to go to the party that the rest of their group is going too. Despite being told that there might be drinking Eric wants to go the party. He asks the question about the colors to Steve and he still doesn't know what the color combination they'll be wearing. They just want to have fun. Eric is still walking around on cloud nine.

***

Sarah is determined to get the information from Eric about prom. Seeing Eric come in the door gets her excited. She is even more excited than she was when she getting ready for prom.

"You look like you're glowing still."

It's clear that Eric is still excited and Sarah's excitement is easily seen.

"Yeah we made plans for after prom today."

"Oh?" She wants to know what their plans are for prom night. She wants him prepared for what could happen while he's out after prom.

"We plan on going out to grab some ice cream and then we're going to a party."

Now, she is even more concerned about the after prom events.

"Who is throwing the party?"

"I don't know Sarah. I heard about it through kids at school."

"So are you sure that you should be going to this party?"

Eric didn't like being questioned like this, it made him feel like a little kid.

`She sounds like Mom.'

"You can trust me."

"I know that I can trust you but I still want you to be safe out there."

Since becoming Eric's guardian, Sarah has become even more concerned for his safety. Eric smiles at her and pats her on the back. She gives him a hug and then leaves the room.

***

Eric is still in his room and has started homework when Mark knocks.

"Come in Mark." Eric finishes his last question on his science homework.

"So this promo thing is really happening huh?"

"Yeah, it's happening."

Mark is a little embarrassed that Sarah asked him to talk safety with him. It means that Mark will have to find a way to bring up sex with his brother in law. He's hoping he can skirt around the issue and still talk to him about being safe.

"I need you to do me a big favor?"

Eric has no idea what Mark is going to ask of him and depending on what it is he may or may not follow through on the favor.

"What's the favor?"

"I need you to promise me that you won't you won't drink or do any drugs at this party."

"You already know that I'm not going to do either of those things so what's the point of the promise?"

There is some attitude being thrown at Mark. It's silly really, Mark knew that Eric wouldn't drink or do drugs, but at least he could tell Sarah that he talked to her brother. Mark feels that he succeeded, but he didn't get much done at all.

"Thanks Eric."

"You're welcome."

Having the conversation over with Eric, Mark walks out of the room.

***

When Jason gets home, Sarah and Mark come over to visit. They discuss prom, what's already been said to Eric and Steve, but then the conversation moves to what needs to be said. Shaun isn't home so Jason agrees to talk to the kids. He knows there is one topic in particular that wouldn't have been easy for the guys and that is sex. It's the one talk that neither Sarah nor Mark can truly do justice. Not because they don't know about sex, but because they aren't gay.

***

When Sarah and Mark get home from Jason's, they head upstairs to talk to Eric. They knock on the door, and Eric invites them into his room.

"Must be super important to have both of you up here."

Sarah didn't say anything, Mark looks at Eric and has a serious look on his face.

"We think it's important."

"Jason is going to talk to Steve and you on prom."

Sarah has finally opened her mouth.

"Why does he want to talk to us?"

Sarah walks up to the bed and puts her arm on her brother's shoulder.

"We want you and Steve to talk to Jason."

Eric thinks he knows why they are having them talk to Jason.

"Okay, I'll call Steve."

"Are you mad?"

Mark is worried that he might have hurt Eric's feelings. Steve and Eric need the correct information immediately. Jason may not have a doctor's degree, but he will have a science degree so he is a bit more qualified to handle the talk.

"Nah, I'm not mad. You're okay."

Eric smiles and pats Sarah on the back.

`Okay that was easy enough.'

Sarah is glad to have the talk over with and things seem good to her. Eric could have been easily upset. Lucky for them, he understands their reluctance to discuss sex with Steve and him. Sure, there might be parts of the task that might have sucked at but there might be other parts of it that they might have done very well in the end.

"We'll let you go Eric."

Mark didn't want to take up any more of Eric's time. Together, Mark and Sarah left the room and left Eric to do whatever he was doing before they came into their room.

***

After calling Steve and then waiting on him to arrive, they walk to over Jason's house. As they enter the yard, Shaun pulls up in his car. They wait by the front door for Shaun to open the house rather than knock.

"Hey guys, what's up?"

Shaun has not seen the couple together all week with the exception of Eric who he has seen in passing only.

"Sarah and Mark want us to talk to Jason about being safe at prom for some unknown reason."

Shaun smiled as he unlocks the front door. He steps inside and is followed by Steve and Eric.

"Jason is probably in the office or in the pet room, and I will chase him down for you. Sit down in the living room and he'll be right with you."

They sit down in the living room and are soon greeted by Sasha. Eric reaches down and picks her up. She immediately begins purring. Even Steve reaches over and pets her. Jason appears in the living room a few minutes later.

"Do you want to sit here or go into the dining room?"

"Let's just stay here."

Steve doesn't want to get up because then Sasha might be scared away.

"Okay well, we're going to get started. Do you know why you're here?"

"Something about prom safety, but since it's with you, I'm guessing that somehow it has to do with sex."

Eric knows it has everything to do with sex, because otherwise Sarah and Mark would have taken care of it. Jason reaches into a bag and pulls out three large bananas. There are also some other items in the bag but those are for Shaun and Jason's private use and passes one out to each of the guys. He then reaches down and pulls out a whole mess of condoms and dumps them into a bowl on the coffee table.

"Sarah and Mark are hoping you won't need this information but they want me to go over it any way. Let's get going. Hold your banana at the bottom with one hand and then open your condom wrapper, and put it on correctly."

Jason quickly does the same. He tears open the condom wrapper, puts the little tip pointing up and then carefully unrolls the condom.

"So go for it, I expect to see those bananas with raincoats on them correctly."

Now he watches the teens as they put the condoms on their pretend penises. He's hoping to catch any tears or other errors in the condom. Amazingly, they didn't have any tears or other issues.

"You guys did great."

The guys smile at each other and celebrate with a small kiss.

"One more thing, don't use more than one condom at a time. You shouldn't use the same condom over again. I need you to keep that in mind. Are you guys good?"

"I'm good. What about you Steve?"

Steve just smiles and nods his head. Steve peeks into the bag that Jason pulled the bananas out of and eyed Jason with a questioning look. Jason saw him glance down into the bag and a bit of red filled his cheeks.

"Those items are for my husband and me."

"Do I even want to know what's in the bag?"

"No."

Jason and Steve both say "No" at the same time.

"Second thing I want to talk about is drugs and drinking. In short, I don't want you doing it. I want both of you to promise that you won't drink or do any drugs on prom night."

The young men agreed to stay away from being drunk or stoned.

"Don't accept drinks from anyone because they could be slipping you a drug."

Eric's eyes get big as he thinks about his time with Vince. It would have been easy for him to have tricked Eric into taking something via a drink. Jason can see the wheels turning in the young man's mind, but he doesn't question it. If nothing else, he is hopefully thinking over prom and the after prom festivities.

"Don't worry he's safe with me."

Steve said as he flexed causing the other guys roll their eyes. Eric feels safe with Steve period and he hopes prom will take place without any problems. He wants to enjoy prom without his boyfriend feeling like he needs to protect him. Steve's only job should be enjoying himself.

"Okay guys, you either need to eat with us or you need to head out."

Steve sees Shaun standing behind Jason and decides that it might be a good idea if they left.

"I think we're going to head out."

Eric looks confused because he really wanted to stick around and eat. Jason is a great cook and with him cooking, whatever the food is going to be, it will be great. In no time, they are up and out the door.

***

The next day at school, word has leaked out that there would be a gay couple-attending prom. It also didn't take long for the student body to figure out who the couple was that was going to prom. They are getting attention, some good and some bad. Sarah had worried about the school system saying that they couldn't attend, but as Steve found out that wasn't a problem. The school administration had heard about a gay wrestler who was kicked off the school team for being gay. Two different newspapers had interviewed the guys. One was the school newspaper and the other one was a local newspaper. They didn't want any bad press, and they've witnessed other schools where gay couples have banned couples from prom only to have it explode and make national news. Rather than fight, the school is making a big deal out of them attending prom.

***

The school newspaper's before prom edition came out with stories on where to go to get tuxedoes, dresses, flowers, limos, photographers, and even places that offer post prom events. Eric made sure to grab a copy of the interview for himself, Sarah, Mark, Jason and Shaun. He didn't want anyone else left out. Sarah was busy making copies of the city's newspaper articles on for everyone. After school, Eric made his rounds delivering the school's newspaper to his family and family. Once home, he carefully put the school paper and the other article that he got from Sarah into his scrapbook.

***

A couple days later Steve shows up at the house.

"Something amazing has happened Eric."

Steve's face is all lit up. He's so excited that he can barely get the words out of his mouth.

"We...we got a phone call from Dante's Suits. They're giving you and me free tuxedos for going to prom. All they ask is that we do some do a photoshoot for them after prom so they can use us for advertising."

Eric is shocked that anyone would do something like that for him and Steve.

"Why are they doing this for us?"

"I asked them about it and I got told it's the first time this year that a LGBT couple announced their attending prom. Pretty cool Babe?"

Now Eric is speechless, he has never had a stranger reach out to him because he's gay.

"I think it's awesome."

The guys find Sarah to tell her the awesome news. She too is speechless.

"You guys are going to need to write a thank you note."

The guys roll their eyes and smile. They already know what they need to do and plan on writing it up. Rather than have Sarah tell Mark, the guys stick around until he gets home.

"Cool guys, I wish someone would have given me a free tuxedo for prom and especially for the wedding."

High fives were passed around as well as a bunch of congratulations.

***

A little later in the day, Sarah approaches Eric to talk. He's working on a project at his desk when his sister enters the room.

"Have you thought about the limo?"

Eric thought for a minute before answering the question. There haven't been any discussions on how to get to prom, to dinner, or the party, and then back home. Eric doesn't want to make plans without Steve and yet there is no way that his sister will walk away. She wants to have everything perfect when she is involved in something.

"No, we haven't talked about a limo."

Sarah looks puzzled. They should be about talking about it already and making plans as to where they are going and when. By this time, Mark had everything planned out in its entirety. She'll have everything planned in no time.

"What time is prom?"

"I think it starts at 5:00."

After a few seconds, there is a light going off in her head. Eric can see it on her face and he knows he's in trouble. He was hoping that this gets her out of his room.

"When are you leaving prom?"

"We are staying the entire time so we will be there till 10:00 pm."

After prom, they are going out to grab some ice cream, and then they're going to the party.

"We are thinking that dinner will start around 10:15 and we have till 11:00 and then we are going to head to the party after that, and I think we are staying an hour or two unless something changes."

"Then I assume you're going home for the night."

Eric assumes the same as his sister for the end of the night. He decides to call Steve and double-check the plans for the entire night since he is the planner of prom. Getting out his phone, he places a call to his boyfriend.

"What are you doing?"

Eric puts his finger up letting her know to wait just a second.

"Hey Babe, what's going on?"

"Sarah is trying to come up with times for the limo, so she can make all the arrangements for it."

"Okay, what have you told her already?"

He glances down at Sarah's notes.

"We are staying for the entire prom which ends at 10:00, going out to eat until 11:00 pm, and then the party till midnight or one in the morning, and then home right?"

"Yeah everything sounds good, but I don't see any sense in being at the party for an hour or even an hour. Let's say a half hour at the most."

"Oh, then I'm good."

Steve laughs a little to himself, because he knows that his guy is always good.

"Yeah, you're fine."

Eric smiles at his boyfriend's comment and blushes just a little bit.

"I love you Steve."

"I love you too Babe."

Sarah looks at her brother and smiles. Something about seeing him smile when Steve and him talk that makes her happy and she smiles, and Mark loves it too. His happiness, it seems is impart to him being in love with Steve. It's a love that has been growing stronger since Steve and Eric came back from the separation

"I need to let you go, Sarah needs my help with something."

"Okay, I will talk to you later."

"Bye." Still to this day, Eric hates saying goodbye to his boyfriend.

"Well, are we good?"

Eric tenderly pats Sarah on the back.

"I take that's a yes?"

Eric just smiles and walks away from his sister. You might think that his behavior is rude but Sarah knows him enough to know that all is well. She immediately starts calling around for a limo. Eric heads upstairs and takes a quick a nap.

***

Flash forward a month and Eric is getting ready for the big night. His shower is done, he's shaved and he's in the process of getting dressed. Stepping out of the bathroom, he enters the living room.

"Sarah, Mark, I'm ready. You can take your pictures now."

In a heartbeat, they enter the room. Sarah whistles at him causing him to blush.

"Looking good bro!"

"Thanks Mark!"

Mark pulls out camera and snaps seven quick pictures. Someone knocks at the door. Sarah smiles as Eric opens the door. Eric is taking in his handsome boyfriend looking so fine in his tuxedo.

"Come inside Steve."

In a heartbeat, Steve and Eric are hugging and exchanging a deep kiss.

"Wow, you look so amazing Babe."

"Eric, you think that I look good, have you bothered to look at yourself. You are so hot."

Eric breaks out in a blush that almost turns his face tomato red. They exchange another kiss as Sarah takes a picture with her phone.

"Okay, I want some pictures of you together."

Steve gets pictures of just Eric, then he has Sarah take one with him and Eric standing together, and then he takes one with Sarah, Mark, and Eric standing together. With that last picture, a car can be heard outside.

***

The driver gets out and knocks on the door. Sarah smiles at the guys.

"You're limo has arrived."

She opens the door and smiles.

"Be safe guys."

Mark said as the guys leave the house. The guys get about half way to the vehicle and then they turn around and wink at Mark. The driver doesn't look happy when he sees the guys walking hand in hand to the limo. Steve picks up on it right away.

"I don't like his attitude."

Steve whispers into Eric's ear.

"I'm not about to let him ruin this day."

Eric isn't about to let him drag them down. The driver opens the back passenger door and waits for the guys to enter the vehicle. They enter it and they put on their seat belts. The driver comes around and opens the front driver side door. He gets in and closes the door. Looking backwards, he opens the divider.

"Are we ready to pull out and pick up the rest of your party?"

"Yeah, we're ready."

Starting the car up, they head off towards Rick's house where they'll pick up Rick, his date Kelly, Parker, and Parker's date, Amanda.

"How long have you guys been together?"

"We've been together for 15 months already."

The driver, Alex, smiles, as he looks back over the past year with his own special someone. Alex smiles as his passengers kiss. Alex is quiet for the rest of the drive. He pulls the limousine up to the Rick's house. He shuts down the vehicle, unclips the seat belt, and gets out to approach the front door.

"He has a nice ass"

Steve says in an attempt to get Eric riled up.

"Umm...should you really be looking at his butt?"

Eric jabs his boyfriend in the ribs. "Ouch." It did hurt a little bit but Steve smiles and then leaned in for a kiss. In the middle of Steve's kiss, the door opens and the rest of the party enters the limo.

"Ready for the 2nd best night of our senior year?"

Steve asks the group, and everyone says "Yes" and they exchange high fives. Eric looks back over the last 15 months.

`My best nights were when Steve saved me from Vince, and then our first year anniversary. I don't think prom will compare to those nights.'

Steve is capable of making his heart skip a beat, one such time was when he asked Eric if he was still worth waiting on and Eric was lost in the moment. Eric leans close to Steve and kisses him on the lips. He wants him to know that he loves him with all his heart.

***

They arrive at the city's convention center, and one by one they exit out of the vehicle. Eric proudly takes Steve's hand as they enter the convention enter. He's anxious as they enter and does his best to hold his head up. A multitude of applause fill the room and they're met with smiles. It doesn't take them long for them to find their party's seats.

"Can I have your attention please?"

Their principal announces from the stage. The crowd quiets down to hear what he was to say.

"I want to welcome everyone to our prom. Have fun and enjoy your Junior and Senior Prom. I now invite your Senior Class Advisor Mr. Smith to come up and address you."

Mr. Smith gets up and walks up onto the stage.

"I would like to welcome you to the senior and junior prom. If you paid for pictures please come up to the booth."

Eric and Steve get up and head over to the photographer's booth. They exchange a quick kiss while waiting in line. A girl from their class tells something to Steve that makes him smile. Not knowing her name, Steve quietly points her out to Eric and says, "She thinks you're hot". Eric smiles as he enjoys a hug from his boyfriend. When it was their turn to take a photo, Steve sits in the wicker chair while Eric stands directly behind him. Eric rests his right hand on his boyfriend's shoulder. Their image will forever be locked in time. After their pictures were taken, they go back to their seats. After pictures, Mr. Smith stands up and again takes the microphone.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to announce your prom court. When your name is called please come up on the stage. This years Prom Court is a first for our school, we do not have a queen this year. Instead, I present to you Steven Hill as this year's king. On his right hand, side will be his date for the evening; Eric Keiser will be this year's king also. Mr. Owens would you please bring up the crowns and place them on the heads of our kings. Next, I would like to call up our prince and our princess. I would like to call up for our Prince, Charles Smith. For Princess, I would like to call up Kathryn Page. I would like to ask our Kings to please crown their prince and princess at this time."

Steve takes the crown, Eric takes the tiara, and together they place them on the appropriate heads, then go back, and stand alongside Mr. Smith. Eric and Steve are smiling inside and out right now.

"A round of applause please for your Prom court. Now if I can ask the prom court to sit at their tables. Starting with the tables where our Prom court is sitting, the food is ready to be served."

Slowly, everyone receives their meal while their kings get to eat their meals along with their friends. Today's meal is roast beef or fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, tossed salad, and banana or chocolate cake. Prom so far has been great and it's not over yet.

***

The meal has been cleared away off everyone's tables, and the dj walks up to his booth. He looks out over the crowd and smiles.

"Good Evening, I hope you're having a great evening. Going to get busy up here and start up some awesome music for you. Feel free to dance with your important someone whenever you feel like."

After a couple of fast songs, Eric gets Steve up when the intro to his "Stay with Me" starts up. They embrace and start to dance. Eric leans in to him a steals a quick kiss.

"Can this be our song?"

Steve grins and kisses his guy. During the rest of the dance, Eric rests his head against Steve's shoulder and closes his eyes. Steve leads which makes lets Eric just enjoy the dance. At the end of the song, the guys sit down and talk as they admire each other's eyes. They talk to each other and amongst their group. Steve all of the sudden grabs Eric and pulls him to the dance floor. For 3 minutes, they enjoy each other's company, as "All of Me" is broadcasts out across the dance floor. Without a break, "See You Again" plays and the guys continue dancing to it. For some reason though, this song hits Steve hard and he isn't sure why, but it kind of makes him sad. He doesn't want the dance to end but the song stops. He's reluctant to let go of Eric, but Eric leads him back to their seat. Tonight has been an amazing night.

Soon the Principal Owens walks up onto the stage and takes the microphone. He smiles as he looks out amongst the gathering of students.

"It's always sad to see the end of prom night. I want to encourage all of you to be safe this evening and make wise decisions. Stay safe and enjoy the night."

The guys gather up their party and head out to the limo.

***

Alex is already out there waiting on them to return to their limo. He opens the doors for the crew and lets them enter the limo. They drive out to an ice cream joint where the guys buy whatever their dates desire. Steve also pitched in and bought Alex whatever he wanted. As they are eating, Steve feels a tap on his shoulder. He turns to the back of him and sees Parker.

"Can we talk for a second? I think it's important."

Steve turns back towards his boyfriend and lets him know that he'll be right back. Parker and Steve walk far enough away from the group so that they can talk without being overheard.

"Steve, I heard through the grapevine tonight that Vince is going to be at the party tonight. Do you still want to go? If not, I think everyone would be okay with not going."

He's not sure what to do so Steve walks back to Eric.

"Babe, we need to talk."

Steve sounds serious and for whatever reason, that bothers Eric. Steve debates telling Eric because it could ruin their evening. On the other hand, he doesn't want Eric being caught off guard.

"So, what do you need to tell me?"

"Eric...Parker just told me that Vince is going to be at the party. Do you still want to go to it?"

Eric looks at their friends and thinks for a second. He doesn't want to disappoint them, but at the same time, he wants to be comfortable. He's nervous but as he looks up at Steve, a calm descends on him.

"Babe, as long as you're there with me, I'm not going to worry about him."

Eric kisses Steve to just make sure that he knows Eric is okay with the party. Parker again approaches them.

"So are we going to the party?"

"Yeah, we're going."

Parker high fives Steve and Eric. Everyone else smiles at them, and they climb into the limo and head towards the party.

 

In the limo, Steve and Eric hug each other. Eric heart's is beating a mile a minute. His boyfriend can see the fear in his eyes despite what he said at the ice cream stand. He takes Steve's hand and gains comfort from that connection.

"You okay Babe?"

Steve can feel something isn't right. What it is, he can't say for sure but something tells him that it has to do with the party. He waits quietly for Eric to answer, if he answers.

"I know, I said that as long as you're with me, I would be okay tonight, but I'm feeling a bit unsure of myself right now."

Steve removes his hand from Eric's and puts his arms around him. He delivers a gentle kiss, and then looks him in the eyes.

"Eric, I was there for you through Dale's mess, I was there for you when your parents kicked you out, and I will be there to face that twit with you should he choose to cause a problem tonight."

Eric's eyes get a little moist. Steve removes his arms and goes back to holding his boyfriend's hands. Unsure of what is going on between the guys, the rest of the party looks on with love. There is little doubt that if there is an issue tonight that everyone in the party will stand up for Eric and Steve. Five minutes later, the group arrives at the party.

***

As they enter the party, Eric feels less stressed than he did in the car. Steve looks around but doesn't see Vince. They make their rounds saying hi to people they know and as they make their way out the back door, Eric sees Vince. Apparently, the other teen doesn't see him, which is fine. A couple times, they get offers to drink. The drinks are turned down in the most polite manner. Around them, there are many people who appear to be drunk. Vince approaches the couple. He looks at them and then keeps on walking. He doesn't want to risk engaging Steve. Had Steve not been there, he might have said or done something to get back at Eric. It wouldn't be smart to attempt something with both of them already on alert. It's also very clear from the smell that's coming from Vince that he's been drinking. He heads for the front door and despite repeated attempts to stop him from leaving, Vince gets his keys and leaves. The rest of the night is spent enjoying the company of friends and even more dancing. One hour later, the guys are ready to head out as our the rest of their party. One by one, everyone gets dropped off at their homes. Steve and Eric are dropped off at Eric's house.

***

Eric quietly opens the door to his home, and Sarah and Mark are sitting in the dining room.

"We want to hear about prom."

Sarah says as he heads upstairs to get out of his tuxedo. He strips off his tuxedo and then hangs it up. Grabbing a pair of sweats, he quickly puts them before heading back downstairs. When he gets back downstairs, Steve has also changed out of his tuxedo jacket. Steve smiles as he looks at his handsome boyfriend. Thoughts will have to be controlled as he looks at Eric's bare chest and abs. They walk into the dining room together and sit down facing Sarah and Mark.

"Prom was pretty much awesome."

Eric said while holding hands with Steve underneath the table. He leans in and kisses Steve right.

"Steve made me feel like his king."

A smile breaks out across everyone at the table. There is a smirk on Eric's and Steve's faces. Sarah knows that smirk is a tall-tale sign that something is being left unsaid. She looks into her brother's eyes and demands to know what that was all about.

"Steve and I were voted to be the kings at the prom."

All of a sudden, Sarah's face lit up.

"Congrats guys, I wish Mom could be here to hear this news."

Mark high fived the guys and then high fived his wife. Steve wanted to share some of the romantic parts of the night, but decided against it. Somethings are meant to be kept in the heart. It's the way things should be.

"So were there any problems?"

Mark asked wanting to make sure that they listened to the talks that they had before prom. The boyfriends glance at each other. They avoided drinks at the party, they didn't do any drugs, and they haven't had sex. About the only problem they had was seeing Vince and that wasn't a problem to be honest.

"No, we didn't have problems. I think maybe Vince did, I think he left the party drunk."

The mood in the house became much darker. Sarah and Mark look they are in shock.

"Wait, he was at the party?"

It's not the response Eric was expecting from Sarah. He thought for sure she would be concerned about him being out on the streets drunk.

"Yeah, he was at the party, but he didn't give us any problems. I will say that when he walked past us, I almost got drunk off of the fumes."

"Yeah, he was pretty much wasted. I'm proud of my man. He didn't even flinch when Vince walked past us."

Mark still hadn't said anything about Vince's lack of judgement. It was then that Steve got a text from one of his friends. Steve carefully reads over the text. If he was friends with Vince, he might have started crying. He did look upset though, and that bothers the everyone especially Eric.

"Babe, what's up?"

Steve looks at Eric and then looks at his phone. He rereads the text to be sure that he didn't miss anything.

"Vince...., he didn't make it home."

Eric doesn't like the guy but he still didn't wish death on him. He feels sorry for Vince's family and the people that Vince called friends.

"Is he...is dead?"

For some reason, Eric wants to confirm what Steve said. He doesn't' get a verbal reply instead Steve just nods his head.

"I can't believe it."

Eric just stares into Steve's eyes. Sarah can't believe what she is seeing.

`Is he really upset that the scumbag is dead?"

She isn't usually this judgmental but that guy was bad news. He could have very easily hurt Eric or led him places that he didn't need to be. Even Mark is a little surprised by Eric's reaction. Steve just figures at some level Eric did really have feelings for Vince at one time or another. Nowadays, Steve holds Vince's place in his heart. It's a fact that makes him want to smile all day long. Steve doesn't smile at Eric instead he gives him a hug and does his best to give whatever comfort Eric needs. Sarah decides now is as good of time to get the sparkling grape juice as any. She grabs the champagne glasses from the cupboard and passes them out. Mark gets up and grabs the juice from the refrigerator. Opening the bottle he pours a glass to his family and to Steve. Steve releases his hold on Eric and the two sit down at their seats. Sarah lifts the glass and prepares a toast.

"Here is too many more years of love between Eric and Steve."

Everyone gets ready to raise their glasses together, when Eric speaks.

"Vince, I hope you make it to wherever you are going. Good luck on your journey."

Everyone raises their glasses in the air, and then in unison:

"Cheers!"

They drink their juice. Eric looks at Steve and wants him in a way that he's never wanted him before in their relationship, but he's sticking his gun on this one.

"Mark, Sarah, can Steve spend the night? I can sleep on the couch and he can have my room."

Mark smiles at his brother in law and gives a nod to his wife. She smiles at her brother.

"He can stay."

Eric runs over and hugs Sarah. He gives a high five to Mark, and then runs back Steven and gives him a kiss and a hug. The night has ended perfectly.

***

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