WARNING: This entirely fictional story contains gay themes. It is a story about hope, trust, love and redemption. If you find stories with gay characters objectionable - just go away. If you are underage or reading this story is prohibited where you live - just go away. Otherwise enjoy!

The authors retain all rights to this work and under no circumstances can this story be posted on a pay-to-read site, or published in any form without the express written permission of the authors. Our thanks to the Archive and to David for being so patient with us. Support the FREE Nifty Archive to keep it free!

The characters may engage in consenting, yet unprotected sexual activity, but they are characters in a story. Real life requires that you must protect yourself with a condom and always practice safe sex!

Now that business is taken care of...a few remarks from the authors:  We want to thank everyone who has taken the time to write us.  Your notes are always welcome and whether you want it or not, we respond to all e-mail's. We have made many new friends - to each of you we say "thanks!"  This series is dedicated to all of you who have encouraged us to continue and to "DZ" author of "Boys on the Farm" and "Boys in School" ( Gay/High School ).  Without his gentle guidance, Will and Tyler would have still be a story unwritten.  Miguel...get well soon.  To the "Great White Whale" we can only say the pics didn't show the "goodies." We're pulling for ya Dude!     Mike and Alan

Will and Tyler's Odyssey
Part Two
(C) galacticflute 2001

   The summer past-by very quickly for both of us: we had traveled some, visiting friends on the south coast of Brazil and drove up to North Dakota for an old and dear colleague's birthday at his ranch outside of Minot. On impulse, we continued on to Edmonton and then to Seattle before returning to Fairview three weeks later. Ty and I love traveling this way: driving and stopping when and where we want, seeking out the unusual sights and "meeting the locals," as Ty puts it.

   While Ty drove, I continued to work on the outline for my new book, an outgrowth of my research into the tribal peoples who had inhabited the "Valley of the Red Hawk," the site of the present day Fairview, going back over 5,000 years. The research I started as a college freshman under Ted
Devereaux was about to come to fruition upon the publication of the book next year. When I drove, Ty was working on his own collection of short stories based on Fairview's pioneer history.

   Once we were home, the old, comfortable routine we had established years ago returned easily, with our time together filled with love and happiness. We had a very good life, surrounded by the best of friends and family, doing work that mattered deeply to each of us. During the time we were in Brazil, the four lane lap pool had been installed and enclosed just off the summer room. Even in the dead of winter and during the times that the University Aquatic Center was closed, we'd never
miss our daily swim again. For Ty, the laps have become his primary exercise...other than kicking my ass at wheelchair handball once or twice a week!  With the pool in place, we'd finally reached the point where our home was everything we'd ever wanted it to be. The best thing we ever did was to
buy the property from Derrick five years ago.

   We'd been back for a week when Ty asked me about the "memoir" I'd been writing from our journals last winter.

   "Have you thought about continuing that writing too Will?" Ty asked after we finished our dinner.

   "Yes I have Babe, but only if you will help me with the next section. From volume three on, we let several people make additions and notations to the journals...Warren, Jason, Todd, Dad too and several others with handwriting so bad that I need an English Professor to interpret them for me."

   Ty smacked the back of my head lightly with his hand and laughed.

   "Will you are so full of bull sometimes...you keep amazing even me with your line of crap!"

   "Okay, you get us some wine and a couple of glasses and I'll meet you in the summer room with a couple of volumes of the journal and I'll show you just what I mean." I told my lover as I got up from the kitchen table.

   Ty was already wheeling over to the wine cooler to select a nice vintage for us as I went into our office library to get a journal to start on. I'd been neglecting this project all spring and summer in part because the first three volumes had brought back too many memories for both of us. Throughout the first journals we reread, Ty and I had relived many very emotional events...the very early Thanksgiving morning when our brother Jason came into our lives, and dealing with his severe trauma together.

   Derrick adopting Jason; Warren's attempted suicide on Christmas Day in the wake of the physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father and Warren's own alcoholism. Our decision to fight the bigotry and hatred in our own high school and in Fairview; that decision took us places we'd never imagined, but we both had needed a break from those memories. Even so many years later, they continued to be troubling and yet, the love and trust we value so much was demonstrated over and over in those pages.

   The two books I carried with me contained the history of our relationship together, the meeting of new friends and the final chapters of Seth Bannister's legacy of evil.  In many ways, these volumes contain words that are just as disturbing as the first one's did, but like those first volumes they also contain love, hope and redemption too.  One event that plays-out is still having a lasting positive effect on our community and on abused and thrown-away boys from all over the state and elsewhere.

   When I got back, Ty was already sitting in the big overstuffed chair that seemed out of place in the summer room, but was our favorite chair to read in together. I sat next to Ty and we snuggled together, exchanging a couple of gentle kisses before Ty opened the book to the first page.

   "See what I mean...who wrote that?" I asked Ty pointing to the almost illegible script on the page.

   "You're telling me that you can't read that?"

   "No...who's chicken scratching are those Ty?"

   "Yours fool!" My partner laughed again.

   "And these," I asked Ty, pointing to a tight, very slanted scrawl that went on for a number of pages.

   "Dale Reagan's," my partner said.

   "Dale Reagan. Now I haven't thought about him in a long time. Don't he and his brother live in San Francisco now?

   "Last time I heard, he and Terry were still practicing at the Children's Burn Hospital," Tyler said, looking up at me, his eyes were filling with water and I began to feel my do the same.

    They were the two sweetest guys we met at our "end-of-the-summer" picnic that August and so full of pain and anger. They became very special to all of us. Ty began to read the words written there on the pages before us:

   "The stars above me in the clear night sky..."

Chapter One

   The stars above me in the clear night sky are so bright that they reflect off the water of our pool in the back yard. There is only the sound of the crickets in the warm June night to disturb the silence while I float on my back in the water, perfectly still, balanced between the air and surface of the

   I love floating on my back in the pool at night. To me, it feels like I'm weightless and tonight I'm somewhere up there among those bright pinpoints of white light. Of course the half a joint I'd smoked an hour earlier made the experience even better and the effect allowed me to clear my mind
of all the physical pain and soulful hurt I felt too.

   The porch screen door squeaked a little when it opened bring me back to the here and now and the reality that faced my brother Terry and me. I knew it had to be Terry who was coming over to the pool side; he was the only other one home at the moment who understood my need to float alone
under the stars was therapy for me, both for my wounded heart and for my destroyed body.

   I felt the slight pressure change against my skin when he too slipped silently into the water. A few moments later I sensed him alongside me, then I felt his hand touch mine as our fingers gently intertwined, arms outstretched at our sides while we floated together.

   Terry and I stayed in the pool for another hour together before the chirping sounds of the crickets was interrupted by the crunch of tires in the gravel covered driveway of our home. Grandma and Grandpa were back from the prayer meeting so we knew our time alone in the pool was over for tonight.

   "Will you help me out Bro?" I asked Terry.

   "Of course Dean. Want to save the rest of that joint for later?"

   "Yeah...I suppose so, otherwise I don't think I can hold anything down tonight. I'm so nervous about contacting that attorney tomorrow and you know what the meds have done to my appetite. I don't want to piss them off again by not eating tonight," I told him.

   "Okay, ready to get out?"

   "Yea, we better go. Say, who was that on the phone?"

   "Oh, that was Todd Anderson. He was wondering if you were going to be able to come out to the picnic next Saturday."

   "What did you tell him?"

   "I said you'd call back tomorrow and let him know."

   "Thanks Terry. I don't think I want to go and be the object of stares and all that false sympathy. I wonder why he'd invite me anyway. He has to know how...how I feel with all the burn scars," I told my brother.

   I could feel Terry's eyes look at me in the darkness and I knew he wanted to say something else.

   "What is it bud?" I asked him.

   "Oh, nothing but..."

   "But what little Bro?"

   "Dale...please don't get angry at me but I think...I think you should go and have some fun for once, or at least try to."

   I was so shocked at his suggestion that I couldn't say anything. How could my brother, my best friend - my only friend I should add, be telling me to go to the picnic? He knew how I felt about going out in public, with the burn scars visible on the side of my face, much less on my back, chest and
legs: it was too much to ask and we'd been over this question many, many times before. How could
he ask me that?

   "I know how you feel Dale. I know that you're...you're afraid, but Todd and Sandi are such good people and you know everyone who'll be there. You played baseball last year with Kelly, Jamal and Warren. You ran cross-country with Todd and Will Johnston too. It's just a small picnic at Todd's
cousin Tyler's place on Old Bridge Road," Terry paused and there was silence between us; I knew he really wanted me to go and I did want to see my friends and classmates, but I just couldn't stand being stared-at.

   "Look, I'll go with you too and if you don't like the picnic...we'll both leave when you say the word. Please Dale, please say yes?" I could hear the pleading in his voice - my brother really wanted this, wanted me to try to get out of the house, to stop my self-imposed isolation and try to start living

   It was very hard to tell him no, because he was right: I am scared, terrified of the stares, hushed and whispered comments and the rejection that eventually follows.

   "Second and third degree burns on 30 percent of your body and the scaring...second and third degree...30 percent...scaring," the words of the doctor still echo in my mind.

   "I'll think about it Bro. Just give me some space, huh? I promise I'll really think it though and Terry...thanks. I know you're just looking out for me. I love you Bro."

   "I love you too Dale. You always have looked-out for me...ever since we were little kids. It's just my turn to look after you for a while." I squeezed his hand in mine rather than say anything else because of the sudden tightness in my throat: I love my brother a lot and I know he loves me too.

   We swam to the edge of the pool where Terry got out then helped me up to sit on the edge, my painfully scarred legs dangling in the water still. I could feel the tightness of the healing burn scars on my back and the right side of my chest when I used my arms to push myself back and fully out of the pool while my brother brought the wheelchair over, then wrapped his strong arms around me and lifted me up.

   Terry pulled a large beach towel around my body to cover my nudity and wrapped one about his waist too before releasing the chair brakes to push me up the temporary wooden ramp into the house.

   "It's about time you came in. Your dinner is in the bag on the table but first I want you both dressed and cleaned-up," our grandfather said as Terry and I came into the kitchen.

"Sure Gramps," Terry replied, saying something before I could tell him we'd eat first and change later.

   I bit my tongue to stop my sarcastic reply before I made the old man angry again and Terry pushed me down the hall to our bedroom.

   'Sure Grumps - you son-of-a-bitch,' I thought to myself.

"Sorry Dale, but I just don't want you to argue with him tonight. We're both too tired to fight with the old bastard and I'm hungry, aren't you?" Terry whispered in my ear on as we passed by our parent's former bedroom.

   "Yes. I guess I could eat a burger and some fries; the "j" gave me an appetite and I think I can hold it down now."

   I tried to turn my head to look at my brother and smile at him but the scaring on my neck made it too painful when I did. He put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed gently. I knew that he understood.
Grandma was in our Mom and Dad's room on her knees praying again for our "redemption" instead of her own and her husband's when we passed-by. After the accident they'd moved-in like they owned the place and their reign of righteous indignation began: God how I hated them both. They
were one of the reasons we'd all moved to Fairview in the first place - Mom couldn't abide their
meddling in her marriage and our family's life.

   But since they were our only living relatives, we'd either have to live with them or go into foster care. We took the least of the two evils and they jumped at the chance to move out of their shabby apartment in North Beckwith to come to Fairview and occupy our spacious home. To hear them tell it, only with great personal sacrifice. We both despised them and there was something else going on too.

   I had tried to talk with both of them about Mom and Dad's estate, insurance money and the will I knew our parents had made some time ago before we moved away from them. But I was told to mind my own business - that they were "in charge here" and it was none of my concern. That's why I had
resolved to contact a lawyer behind their back to try and find out what was really going on.


   Part of my mind was trying to wake me up, telling me not to let the nightmare take me again, but I knew I was powerless to stop it from happening once again. Dad was laughing at some off-color joke Mom had heard at the bank the day before. For a prim looking Senior V.P., Mom could turn the air blue with her little stories and Dad was just as bad. He was demonstrating that with his own jokes he'd picked-up at WSU from one of his colleagues in the Computer Science Department where he had an Assistant Professorship.

   We were on our way to have Christmas Dinner at the Dean's Residence, a tradition for new Professors at WSU, when we were hit head-on by a van full of people, a family on their way home from their own Christmas dinner. The driver, the father and husband in the family had too much to eat and drink. He apparently fell asleep behind the wheel. They were all asleep when he crossed
the centerline and smashed into us.

   Our car skidded off the road and rolled twice. Terry recovered first and after unbuckling his seat belt, he crawled out of the wreckage with just cuts and bruises. That's all I had suffered too...until the car caught fire. Terry somehow managed to get the door open and with the help of passers-by who'd stopped, they were able to pull me from the burning wreckage, my clothes on fire. Then the car exploded. Mom and Dad didn't make it. Neither did the driver of the van, but his family had survived with serious injuries.

   Sometimes I can feel the flames licking at my flesh and at other times, I can only watch as my brother lifts his hands away from me, my burned skin hanging in shreds on his palms, while our parents...well you get the idea. What usually wakes me up are my screams - screams in my dream and Terry shaking me, holding me close and crying with me too.

   That is my nightmare, repeating itself every time I go to sleep.

   The horrid dream tonight was no different except for the young man I see looking on at the accident. Somehow he seems familiar to me but the dark smoke hides his face. When it clears, he is gone


   When we moved to Fairview eighteen months ago from Beckwith Air Force Base after Dad retired from the service, Terry and I thought we'd come to the Promised Land for sure. We all loved it here; the valley, the river, the mountains less than an hour away, but the best part was Fairview itself. Even with a population approaching 150,000; the city maintained a friendly small town atmosphere unlike any other place it's size we'd ever lived in and there had been a lot of them too, all over the world.

   I'd just turned 16 when we moved and Terry, who is exactly a year and one day younger than me was 15. Much of the time people who didn't know us mistook Terry and me as twins; we both have the same strawberry blonde hair, our eyes are the same shade of green - an inherited trait that all the
males on Dad's side of the family had courtesy of his Irish forbearers - and our thin but strong bodies were almost the same height - I'm 5' 11" and my brother is 5' 9." One difference not immediately apparent was the patches of hair around our six inch cut cocks and under our arms. Mine are redder and Terry's are more blonde. Now there was no mistaking who is who. The burn scars made sure of

   Maybe I should tell you here that I know I'm gay. I have been for as long as I can remember. I've always preferred the company of other boys when I was younger and although I had several girlfriends over the years and tried straight sex a couple of times, I could only get off by fantasizing I was doing it with another guy.  Using the girls, yes I believe I was using them to maintain my secret,
always left me physically ill for days afterwards. It was the guilt I suppose, but now, I'll never have to worry about that again. The chances of me ever having a relationship with anyone went out the window - or should I say up in flames - with the accident on Christmas Day.

   Terry is the only one who knows about my orientation and he accepted it completely when I told him; I was 14 then. We have even fooled around some, still he's basically a straight guy - it's a brother thing I guess because we've always been really close, even more so since the accident.


   Grandpa and Grandma had already left for the day when I awakened; It was past 9:30 and they always left to go do what they do every weekday - whatever that was, since neither of us had any idea. This was the way we always woke up since the accident and I came home from the hospital, with Terry holding me in his arms and them gone for the day.

   I was able to roll out from under my brother's embrace and not wake him. I had to piss really bad so I managed to stand up on my weakened legs, muscles screaming in protest, but despite the pain I hobbled into our bathroom and relieved myself.

   I heard Terry ask if I was okay from our bedroom - I was except for the intense aching in my legs and back, then I started the shower. Our double size walk-in shower had a special head that basically misted the water gently at first, before my brother joined me too. He used the special soaps to
clean my still raw skin when I bathed or showered. After he smeared the wounds with salve and we dressed, Terry brought in my wheelchair and we went to make breakfast.

   The phone rang around noon. It was Todd - I hadn't called him back. Terry handed me the phone with a look I hadn't seen on his face very often. The plea was plainly there - say yes!

   "Hi Todd," I answered.

   I looked at Terry once again and our eyes locked - say YES!

   "Okay, thanks Todd. Terry and I will be there Saturday. Is there something we can bring?" Terry's eyes never left mine but there was a huge smile on his face now.

   "Okay, see ya then and thanks for asking us Todd. Bye." I handed him the phone back but not before he leaned in and kissed the top of my head.

   "You won't be sorry Dale. I have a good feeling about this picnic at Tyler's." he said still smiling at me.

   "We'll see, won't we?"

   "Dale, you can't possibly have a good time if you're going to have such a negative attitude to begin with, now can you?"

   I looked closely at him as I sipped my coffee thinking about the coming weekend picnic.

   "We've been over this before Terry. You know how I hate the stares; all the phony words, and all the whispers behind my back." I told him. He did know too.

   Terry was the one who picked me up off the floor when I had cried for hours after my first week back at school. I had known that coming back to University High would be hard, but I had no idea how really bad it was going to be for me emotionally. The picnic would be a big step out of my self imposed isolation that seemed to be the safest course for me this past spring and summer.

   Terry came over and knelt next to my chair, reaching out to take both my hands in his.

   "You are my brother and my best friend Dale. I hate to see you cooped-up like this because of how you see others treating you," he told me looking at me squarely in the eye.

   "Yes, your physical scars are noticeable, especially the one on the side of your face, but it's the invisible wounds that worry me the most Dale. Please trust me about this. It's not as bad as you think. We've both seen others with worse burns than yours and they're getting on with their lives. But it's not all the whispers and false kindness that you're afraid of is it?"

   "You're really afraid that no guy will ever want to have anything to do with you. But you're wrong Dale. I know deep in my heart that you'll find that special guy who wants you in his life as much as you want to be in his, but that will never happen if you stay in the house and never go out." I saw
Terry had tears in his eyes now as mine were flowing too: he did know my deepest fears.

   "Please Dale, please trust me about this and give Saturday a chance?"

   I reached out and wiped the tears off his cheeks.

   "Okay Bro, and I promise to have a "good attitude" too. Now, how about lunch? Before or after we go to "PT," a code for the attorneys that we'd found in the phone book and who we had an appointment with this afternoon.

   'I wonder if Anderson and Anderson are related to Todd in some way?' I thought to myself.

   "One more thing though: when did you get so wise little Bro?" I asked Terry.

   "From watching my big Bro, where else? Gramps?"  We both broke up in laughter as we hugged.

   So began another day in the lives of Dale and Terry Reagan.


   "Ohhhh, Ty...keep doing that lover...ooohhhhhh...yes, Yes, YES!"

   Will moaned loudly when he felt my throbbing cock swell deep inside him, sliding over his prostate again and again sending waves of pleasure throughout his body as I rocked my hips back and forth moving my hard meat inside of my soul mate.

   "My god you are so tight lover...so hot...so fine...aaahhhhhgggggg!" I screamed as my climax began to overload my senses with pleasure.

   I felt the first throb of my dick exploding, splashing Will's guts with liquid fire while he lifted his hips to impale himself deeply on my spasming. iron hard member again and yet again, thrusting me deeply into his velvet lined hole...and then he froze, rigid with his own orgasm that caused both of us to scream out loud again, before collapsing together, our mouths locked in a deeply passionate kiss and spreading Will's copious amounts of cum across our heaving chests.

   Our bed was soaked with sweat and the fluids of our lovemaking but neither of us cared; our lust drove us on to make love again, and yet again, this last time with me laying on my back, while my lover rode my cock hard, his tight ass bringing us both slowly to explosive climax one last time...then we slept; only aware of each other's love which covered us like a warm
blanket on a cool mid spring night.

   It was just before 2:00am when we pulled the blanket over us. We had an early morning and a full day planned too and I just hoped that we could wake-up on time without the alarm clock. It didn't work too well any more - I turned it off with too much force last week - so far, we'd both neglected
to get another one. It was still summer break for  two more weeks and we wouldn't need it until
school started again after Labor Day. Warren or Jason would get us up if we slept too late, I was sure; at least I thought they would.

   They did indeed: at 6:45am the stereo began to play The Beetles "Here Comes the Sun" pretty loudly. When I opened my eyes, there was Jason and Warren standing in the doorway in their boxers smiling at me.

   Before I could say anything, Will had tossed off the covers and leapt out of bed chasing our two brothers down the hallway. A few moments later I could hear Warren's voice - begging Will to stop. Then I heard Warren's laughter, the kind of laugh he has when he's being tickled unmercifully. Will got him in the living room.

   Jason returned a moment later chuckling and smiling broadly.

   "Come-on Ty, let me help you," he said.

   "No funny business, I promise.  It's too early for me to get tickled," Jase added.

   "We have a lot to do yet and everyone helping with the set-up will be here at eight o'clock. Coffee's on and brewing," he told me. I could only chuckle myself when we both heard Warren begging Will to stop tickling him again.

   The picnic was to be the day after tomorrow and by the look of the weather report on the news last night, we would have a fine late summer day for it too. There wasn't really a lot left to do for the picnic, getting the hamburgers out of the freezer; icing down the sodas, setting-up the barbecue and bringing out the the food (lots of hot and spicy goodies) that Will had prepared during the week plus all the other dishes that were being dropped-off tomorrow night. The biggest thing was setting-up the 50' by 50' party tent we'd rented and making sure the portable toilets were placed well away from the eating area!

   The lights had been strung in the trees yesterday and even without anything else being ready, the back yard looked very festive already. Despite the scent of burning herbs in the air. no one fell off the ladders

   Dad was out of town on a case so Carley, Doug and Uncle Andy were drafted for the obligatory adult supervisors needed at an end of the summer party for the teenagers who'd be coming over this Saturday afternoon and evening. Dad had really wanted to be here too, but when the call came from an old school friend in Timberland, he packed his bags and went. The four of us had promised to repair any damages to the property and he insisted that no alcohol be served - anyone arriving with beer or other things would be asked to leave.

Warren was at best, very nervous about the alcohol. He was still attending AA several times a week - sober since Christmas Day - but he also knew how easy it would be for drinking to occur at any party where teens were at, after all he is an expert on the subject. So Warren and Jason were our official alcohol monitors.

Me? I was chief associate and assistant to the Chef, my best friend and partner Will, and with Todd, the official host of the gathering of our friends from all over Fairview and the Valley. Will, Jason, Warren and me had saved all summer from our house painting jobs to do this. Todd and his fiancée Sherri, kicked-in the additional money that was needed for the supplies, so this was truly a family
affair. This was gonna be a great picnic. We expected at least 150 to attend.


   Chief Inspector Randy Tibedeaux picked me up at the Capitol Regional Airport after my flight from Fairview landed. I hated to lie to the boy's but when Randy told me it concerned Seth Bannister, I told them I was going to Timberland on a case, instead I was flown on a State Police aircraft to the capitol city.

   I have known Randy since our freshman year at Western State so when his call came in yesterday I knew that he really did need to see me as soon as possible. He didn't tell me all the reasons why

   "Your guys are sure about this Randy? I mean, there isn't any possibility of a mistake here is there?" I asked him while we drove up into the mountains.

   "Ninety-nine percent sure Derrick. After the burned-out car the Forest Service guy's found and the vehicle identification number was traced back to a front company of Bannister's group  We put a team in the area immediately.  After the trackers followed the trail of discarded ration packs and trash from the site, it lead to a small valley full of hot springs and mud pools at the base of Smoking Mountain on reservation land."

   There was a lot more junk lying around there so we're sure Bannister was in the valley over the winter," my old friend told me.

"This mention of caves here on page six says that there was a rockslide over the winter and they were covered by tons of rock. Do you think he was in there?" I asked him as I reread the report he'd handed me after I landed.

"No way to tell for sure Derrick, but the folks we used from the Tribal Police said there was no trail out and that as far as they were concerned Seth Bannister was dead. Most likely he was sealed inside one of those collapsed caves. One of the trackers told me that there aren't any exits from them and they went in maybe twenty yards at most. Frankly, I agree with their opinion: Bannister
is dead and good riddance to him."

   We drove along for several minutes in silence, following the twisting and turning highway deeper into the foothills before we reached the pass itself that would take us high into the mountainous region west of the capitol. My thoughts were still on the implications of Seth Bannister's time in the Fairview region - of the hell-on-earth he'd created with his hate and sexual deviancy - Jason's very survival had been a close thing and the aftermath of his abuse would be felt for years.

   It was a beautiful, sunny, late summer day, but I felt like there was a shadow hovering over the landscape too, before I returned to reading the report.

   "O'Casey and Aiken's are mixed up in all this right-wing terrorism and bigotry too?" I asked him.

   "Aiken's is for sure.  She set-up a number of dummy corporations as fronts for a lot of their "business" interests.   I doubt O'Casey had any idea he was being used to launder money for their "movement," but I doubt we'll ever get a chance to ask him face to face. Those assholes have a tendency to make potential witnesses disappear. The forensic accountants have been over all the books and records, but so far, O'Casey seems like he was just a pawn in their game."

   "Poor Warren," I mumbled under my breath, thinking of the younger O'Casey knowing that he deserved to hear about his father's presumed fate soon.

   "What was that Derrick?"

"Oh, sorry. I said "Poor Warren," now he's lost both his parents even though that son of a bitch of a father most likely deserved what he got."

   "Yes, I heard about that episode. How's the kid doing anyway?"

   "Quite well as a matter of fact. He's getting his life straightened out and he's found some happiness with my son Jason. Now that was a Christmas I don't ever want to repeat. That whole holiday season is one for the books."

   "Yes, I read the reports on Barney, err...Jason...is he doing okay too?"

   "Yes he is," I couldn't help smiling at the thought of the progress my newest son was making: Jason had become a sweet, loving and kind young man, with an incredible focus and energy once he'd finally put most of his "old" life of abuse behind him.

   "Jason has made-up almost two years of high school in the past six months and took his GED exam last week. When Warren goes to Mountain State this fall, Dean Hargrove has promised him a "provisional" admission too based on all the recommendations he's been given and his study habits. Jason is really a hell of a bright kid once all the crap was cleared away."

   "That's really good to hear Derrick. Both boys deserve something good in their lives after what each of them went through. Amazing how they actually loved each other for so long and it took this double tragedy to bring them together."

   "How did you know that Randy?" I asked my old friend, puzzled at the depth of his knowledge concerning the two boys and their relationship.

   "Now don't have a fit Derrick, but we've had your family under a loose observation ever since Barney...ahh...Jason came to live with you and we've had some "contact" with a few people who know the story. Before Inspector Cosgrove retired, he made sure that everyone was protected, the
boys and you too, even Drew's family and Carley Johnston. We just didn't want to take a chance..."

   "God dammit Randy! You used us as bait, didn't you?"

   Randy pulled the Suburban over into a vacant scenic overlook and stopped the truck, turning in his seat to look directly at me.

   "Come-on, lets stretch our legs for a minute," he said, opening his door and getting out. I was furious by now and Randy knew it; getting out of the truck was his idea of a timely strategic retreat, so I followed him to the edge of the cliff-face overlooking the foothills back to the east.

   "Before you throw me over the edge, let me explain Derrick."

   "Talk fast Randy because I am about to throw you over the edge and claim justifiable homicide. You and Cosgrove put my family at risk just to play cop games!"

   "None of you were ever at risk!" He yelled back at me.

   "There was an undercover agent on both ends of Old Bridge Road 24 hours a day and I'll let you talk to the sharpshooters who spent the winter in the freezing rain and snow watching your homes snd the boys at night for three months!  It wasn't you or Drew we were afraid they'd come after, it was the boys!"  Randy reached into his windbreaker and withdrew a small envelope, handing it to me.

   "This is why." He said, tears streaming down his face.

   I opened the envelope and took out the contents. Inside were photographs of young boys and teens being raped by men in combat camouflage. I recognized Bannister in some of the photographs. Other pictures showed several of the victim's dead corpses. I was crying too as I handed the photos back.

   "They're pretty hard to look at aren't they?  The first time Cosgrove showed them to me I threw-up for an hour.  I've been heartsick since then, trying to find out where all this happened, who the boys are and who the other men in the pictures are too," Randy said very softly, his voice trembling with great emotion.

   "It's one of the ways the state cell funded their activities - kidnapping, rape and murder; the worst kind of pornography. There are videotapes too. Some of them are worth tens of thousands of dollars to the kind of sick bastards who got off on this sort of violence." I could see the hardness in my friend's eyes while he was telling me about the pictures - even through the tears in his eyes, I knew that he's never stop until all those responsible were brought to justice - one way or another.

   "Cosgrove wasn't about to take the risk that Bannister's twisted way of thinking would drive him to come back and try for revenge on Barn...Jason and the rest of your family. As it was, he was going to be the star of Bannister's last production when he escaped."  Randy wiped the tears off his face and put the photographs back in his jacket.

   "We had no idea what was going on in that compound, half the men there were only run of the mill religious nut cases. Only his immediate associates knew the truth...and participated. None of then survived the raid, but these men in the pictures - none of them were there," Randy let the implications of that sink in for a moment before he continued.

   "Barn,,,Jason's father was one of the rapists but when he baulked at killing his own boy, Bannister poisoned him and cut him up. We got the whole story from papers we found and after you gave Cosgrove that file Warren had generated about his father and Marie Aiken's activities, all the pieces came together. After we had that, we just followed the money trail. This is where it led too; these photos and some videotapes in a storage locker near Sacramento, California.  It was rented by one of Aiken's dummy companies."

   "Dear God in heaven Randy, how many...?"

   "We don't know yet. The faces have been circulated around the country, Canada, Mexico. Our guess is they were street kids, throwaway's nobody wanted...there are so many homeless and on the streets."

   "And you waited until now to tell me Randy? You know me better than that. I would have..."

   "You would have loaded the boys up and beat it the hell out of Fairview and away from the security cordon we had around you and your boys, that's exactly what you would have done Derrick. Please trust me buddy, everyone was secure, even in school and shopping at the mall." I looked at my friend closely and I knew he was telling me the truth.

   "But using us as bait? You should have trusted me Randy,"

   "We needed a break Derrick.  You know that I'm no fan of this kind of tactic, but we've known each other for almost 30 years. Do you think I'd ever let something happen to your boys or you?"

   "No." I didn't even need to think about that question: Rick would have willingly given his own life to protect us without hesitation.

   When walked back to the truck slowly, I put my arms over his shoulders and pulled him into a tight hug.

   "Thanks Randy, but where were you during this surveillance? I could have seen you at anytime."

   "Nope, ya see I was one of those sharpshooters in the snow watching the house at night."

   We got back into the Suburban and continued up into the pass until we came to a small secondary
highway marked as Route 194; the Snow Ridge Highway. We were headed way back into the mountains if we turned off here.

   "Derrick, why didn't the two of us ever click together?" Randy asked me hesitantly.

   I looked at him quickly and I saw he was serious in asking the question. Our eyes met briefly and I realized he was genuinely curious. Randy and I had had a few good times together after Eduardo had gone overseas but before we got too deep into a relationship, I called it off. I was still in love with my childhood best friend and I had promised to wait for him to come home.

   "I was in love with Eduardo, Randy." I said to him quietly, almost in a whisper.

   "By the time he'd been killed in the war, you were gone into the service too. By the time tou came back, I'd met Meghan, and left for Tulane Law. You know the rest of it. But if you're asking whether we could have made it as a couple...I don't know Randy.  I think we could have, but Big Ernie had different plans for us both, didn't He?"

   "I guess so. He allowed me to meet and fall in love with Jacob. Did you know that next month is our 20th anniversary?" Randy asked me.

   "Has it really been 20 years already? You two have been together...I know it seems like forever to me, but 20 years! Congratulations to you both!" I was really smiling now at the thought of how little Jacob Williams, the campus genius, the skinny 125 pound elfin-like teenager and Randy Tibedeaux, 6'3, 235 pounds of steel hard muscle, the best linebacker WSU ever had, meeting in the university library and falling in love.

   "Jake is in England teaching a graduate mathematics course this past year. I've been over for a week or two every couple of months, but this case has kept me grounded here for the past six months. He'll be home and back at his usual teaching job at Mountain State next week so we plan to go to Mexico for our special celebration."

   "If I know you two, it'd take a natural disaster to get you out of bed!"

   We both laughed hard at that, finally breaking the tension between us.  I did trust Randy fully and believed him when he said we hadn't been in any real danger.

   "Look Randy, you've got to promise to come and stay a few days with us either before you go south or when you come back. I'd like the boys to meet you both and I know that Drew would love to see the two of you again. Come for a weekend and we'll fire up the grill and gave a barbecue like we used to. Okay?" I asked him with all sincerity.

   "Great idea Derrick. I'm sure Jake would love that too. I'll talk to him tonight and see when we can come down to Fairview." If he smiled any wider, I'm sure Randy's jaw was going to lock-up - he has the widest smile on any man I've ever met.

   "But we have other business to deal with - we're here now," Randy said as he steered the big 4x4 Suburban onto a gravel road that led through the pines and birch.

   Continuing through the forest for a few minutes, the trees suddenly came to an end, opening into a large grassy meadow. Across this small field of tall grasses and wildflowers sat a big two-story log cabin: our destination it would seem, has been reached. Randy pulled the truck up in front and we got out. I stretched and took several big breaths. The smells of pines and the heat of the afternoon, the fresh sweet scent of the meadow, the hum of bees going about collecting nectar in the
bright sunshine; it is a beautiful setting for the log home we were now entering.

   Just inside the wide foyer, we set our bags down then entered the main room. Sitting around the fireplace were three men who got up when we approached them. One of them was a teenager with long curly dark brown hair who looked vaguely familiar to me.

Recognition hit me like a blow to the chest.

"Aaron! Aaron Alexander!"


   "Are you sure about this Dale? What if Gramps finds out we're here?" Terry whispered into my ear

   "It'll be all right Bro. We're supposed to be at PT now anyway and since I cancelled today, we have the time, besides, have they ever called to check on us there?"


   "Then relax, we'll talk to Mr. Anderson and see what he has to say."

   I noticed the young paralegal working at his desk look up at us and smile. The nameplate on his desk said "Jon Cyntron" on it.

   "Andrew will only be a minute or two more gentlemen. Can I get you a soda or some ice water while you wait?" He asked us.

   "Well no soda, but I could sure use some water right now," I smiled weakly at him; despite what I'd told Terry a moment before. I was very nervous and my throat was parched.

   "Sure, be right back," he said, getting up from his chair and walking through an open door.

   The young paralegal's hard butt was outlined in his slacks and when he had gotten-up, I couldn't help but notice his ample package too. I felt a thrill race through my own cock and the inevitable began to happen. I put the papers I'd brought along in my lap and tried to concentrate on the task at hand.

   We had decided to seek out someone who could advise us a few weeks ago. Since Mom and Dad's passing, no mention had been made by our grandparents about the will and the reading that had happened while I was still in the hospital getting another skin graft on my left leg, the one with the
worst burns. Terry had been in school that day too, so neither of us knew anything about the inheritance we knew existed and "they" refused to even talk about it.

   Jon Cyntron came back with two large bottles of ice-cold spring water. When he handed me the water, our fingers brushed lightly. I was looking at his face when that happened and he smiled at at me.

   "Don't worry Mr. Reagan, Andrew is an excellent attorney. He'll help you with whatever problem you have."

"Thanks and Mr. Cyntron...thanks for the water too."

   As he went back to his desk, there was a soft chiming heard in the office. The paralegal smiled broadly at both of us and gestured to the big set of wooden double doors.

   "Gentlemen, if you'll follow me please, Mr. Anderson can see you now.


   Pops called last late night wishing us good luck for the picnic tomorrow and to tell us all he'd be away for a few more days on the case he'd taken for his old friend. When Warren picked up the portable in the kitchen, he chatted for a few moments before handing me the phone. What Pop asked me made chills run-up my spine. I went into the bathroom off the kitchen, closed the door and sat on the edge of the sink before I was able to answer him.

   "Yes, there were other boys I'd seen from time to time with Bannister, but why are you asking me this Pop? I told the police all about that back while I was still in the hospital."

   "Son, I've been shown some very disturbing photographs that were recovered by the police,  far away from the compound you escaped from. The pictures show other boys and teens eing...abused. Had you ever heard your father or Bannister talking about other kids or maybe another house or compound?"

   "No...no wait a second Pop. There was a place...I don't know where it is, but sometimes my father and "him" would go away for a few days, and then come back with boxes of videotapes. I'd have to help them wrap the tapes up for shipping. There weren't any labels but I once saw packing slips with
the name of S&W Video Supply on it, at least I think it was S&W. I've tried really hard to put that stuff behind me, Pop so I'm not sure." As I told him that my stomach heaved once and I had broken out in a cold sweat.

   "But I also heard them both talking about visiting "Brookfleld" or maybe it was "Brookwood" after one of those trips. Does that help?"

   "I think it might Jason. I'm very sorry I had to ask you this over the phone instead of in person, but it's very important. You may have just helped some other boys by answering."

   'This isn't over yet...God when will it end?" I thought as I tried to keep my stomach from lurching again.

   "Pop, you aren't on a case are you?"

   "No, I'm not, at least not in the way you mean. Please don't let anyone know what I've asked you Jason. It's very important you don't tell anyone just yet," my Pops asked me; I could hear the emotion in his voice and realized that asking me about my natural father and Bannister's activities was tearing him up.

   "Is Warren there with you Jason?"

   "In the kitchen, Pop."

   "If you have to deal with anything...tell Warren. He's going to know something is up, but leave Ty and Will out of this for now. I'll be home on Sunday and we'll talk then."

   "Okay Pop. I understand."

   "I love you Jason. I think we're going to see the end of all this crap soon. I'm really sorry if I've spoiled your weekend, but it is very important."

   "I understand Pop. I'll do anything at all to keep anybody else from getting hurt, you know that, just come home soon, okay?"

   When I came out of the bathroom, Warren only had to look at the expression on my face to know something bad had happened. He dropped a plate into the sink then rushed over to me and took me into his arms at once, wrapping me in his loving embrace. I put my head on his shoulder and
began to cry. That black place I'd tried to bury so deep inside was threatening to overwhelm me right then and I needed Warren's love and understanding more now than ever before.

   I felt him sweep me off my feet and carry me to our bedroom, where my lover gently lowered me into our bed and lay down beside me, pulling me close against him as I cried.

   "I love you Jase," he whispered into my ear.

   "We'll face whatever it is together. You aren't alone any more and I'll never leave you...ever."

   After a few minutes of being held by my boyfriend, my best friend, I felt the blackness that was trying to envelop me slowly recede to be replaced by the loving caresses and whispered words of encouragement Warren was giving to me. I fell asleep in his arms a few minutes later. Warren hadn't
asked me what was wrong, but instead just knew instinctively what I needed. He also understood that I'd tell him about it soon too.

   I slept...and soon began to dream.


    I was back in my old house looking down from above the kitchen table as two men I knew and loathed to the core of their evil hearts laughed at the curled-up figure on the floor. It was my body there on the floor.  I was looking at myself four years ago!  I tried to turn away, I wanted to be far away from this place, as far as I could get and as fast as i could go, but something seemed to be holding me in place, gently, stroking my hair and whispering words into my ear that I couldn't understand. I knew then...this was necessary.

   I had to watch.

   I remembered that night...I had been forced to service both their cocks and when I threw-up on my father's boots. He'd kicked me in the stomach and punched me in the face, knocking me senseless...almost.

   I could hear them talking about something...videotapes...of their weekend activities; of the boys they'd raped; of the feeling they both had when ejaculating inside of virgin mouths and asses; of the beatings; and of one boy who'd been a "special" treat for the men they sold their filth to.

   "That last one was so tight, I had a hard time getting in..."

   I listened to them joke about the pain they'd caused; about the blood and the screams and...about the old sanitarium with the padded walls. Soundproof walls! This was the place that they'd done their evil, not once, but several times.

   Riverbend! Riverbend Youth Home!  The place was once Brookside Sanitarium, stuck away in the foothills a hundred miles north of Fairview, parents used to tell their kids they'd end up in Broodside if their behavior is too bad. I had been threatened by Brookside too...by Mom, over my refusal
to eat the broccoli on my plate. She was laughing and I knew she was joking.

   Suddenly, I could smell Mom's scent all around me; could feel her arms around me, comforting me, and letting the 9 year old Barney who is me then, cry on her shoulder after Dad had yelled at both of us and pushed us both around.  The hitting and other stuff would come along later.

   "You have to tell your new Poppa about the Home. The boys are in grave danger. The men that run the place are bad men, very bad men," the voice and presence of my Mom told me.

   "Bannister is dead. You don't have to fear him any longer. You must wake-up and tell your new father about Brookside my son ...you have to wake-up, wake-up."

   I felt her presence leave me and I began to yell in my dream:

   "Momma don't go...please Momma...don't go, I need you! I need you!


   "Wake up Jase. Wake up. You're having a nightmare Jason. I'm here Jase. I'm here."

    I felt Warren's strong harms holding me close and rocking me back and forth as he held me. His tears were falling on my bare chest as my lover held me close. It had been a nightmare, but one with a message I remembered!

   "I'm all right now babe," I told Warren through my own tears.

   "Thank God, Jase. You were screaming and thrashing around. I thought you were having a seizure, but when you started to yell for your mother, I knew it was a dream. You kept...I was scared Jase, scared you'd hurt yourself," Warren cried as he held me close.

   "I'm so sorry Warren, but it was a dream, just a dream," I said before I kissed him and pulled my sweet lover closer into me.

   At that second, Will burst through the door to our bedroom completely nude and holding a pistol in his hand. Ty was right behind him in his birthday suit too.

   "What the hell...are you both all right?" Ty asked us both, as Will scanned our darkened bedroom with his powerful flashlight looking for...intruders?

   "Get Dad on the phone right now Ty!  He has to know about this right now!  Right now!"

End of Part II Chapter One

To be continued...

Comments? Email the Authors at galacticflute@yahoo.com


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