Authors Note: This is our first story so please be patient with any mistakes we made. Sorry, it took a lot longer with this chapter than we promised. "Real" jobs and life in general seem to intrude at the worst of times. Kit and David, Miguel, Chad, John and Billy: Thanks for the encouragement
Derek, we love ya Dude.
and Tyler's Odyssey
Part One: In the Beginning...continued
We had a wonderfully romantic dinner tonight. It was our 8th Anniversary. Tyler and I mark our anniversary as the date that we first confessed our love for each other in his old bedroom, in the home we now call our own. The meal was wonderful, but my companion was stellar. I don't know how I managed to eat anything at all because I couldn't keep my eyes off Tyler. He simply glowed with an inner beauty that still takes my breath away.
The appetizer of apple-smoked trout was followed by prime rib so tender, each bite just melted in my mouth. Bananas Foster for dessert and large brandy's afterwards just complimented the adoration I felt for my lover, my partner, my soul mate, sitting across the table from me. The vintage wine, candlelight glinting off our rings, the softly spoken words of love we exchanged, combined to make the evening perfect.
Jean Devereaux, the chef and owner of our favorite restaurant had stopped by our table with her husband Brian and chatted briefly before they both kissed us in the European style of their restaurant, leaving us to bask in the afterglow. It had been a truly wonderful anniversary dinner prepared and served with love. They are old and dear friends.
As we lay together in our bed after consummating our love for each other again and again and yet again, Ty had fallen asleep with his head nestled comfortably on my chest, his gentle breaths making the hair on my chest tingle, my own arm wrapped around him, lightly rubbing his nipple with my finger. I loved holding Ty like this more than anything else in the afterglow of our lovemaking. My Babe sighed deeply and snuggled closer to my body.
We had reread the old blue journal together this evening too, each of us reviewing those words we had written so long ago, sharing our remembrances of that special time in our lives and of the events that surrounded us that first year we were together. As I began to drift off to sleep, those memories returned again and I started to dream of Tyler - of our first night...
Tyler snuggled up against to me before we both fell asleep last night. We had held each other closely for hours, whispering our hopes, fears and dreams to each other, crying at times, laughing at others, our tears mingling their salty fluids before we eventually got undressed, then we kissed and caressed, touched and explored each other's bodies for the first time.
Those few hours were the most intense of my entire 16 years of life. I felt myself bonding with Tyler as we lay together - as he was bonding to me. I could feel it, a real physical sensation, like I was growing inside. I had never shared myself at such a basic level before either. Never. Even my most secret places: I shared everything with Ty last night. Yet I knew that Ty had hesitated. There was more to say later. The accident.
Loving Tyler was miraculous. I could feel walls tumbling in my head as I gave myself to my lover.
Our first climax together came fast and explosively within seconds of each other. My cock was sliding up alongside Ty's throbbing penis, glans against glans, slipping and sliding between our bellies, the copious amounts of pre-cum lubricating our skin wonderfully. My body was electric!
My lovers hands were on both sides of my head, our lips pressed together, gripped in passions I had never felt before. I could feel his moans vibrate through my head and down my spine right into my balls and cock as I spewed squirt after squirt of my seed onto my lover and me. My hands were filled with Ty's ass, a cheek in each palm, fingers clutching and pulling Ty into my thrusting hips. Ty broke our lip lock, inhaled deeply and went rigid when he exploded with long ropes of his sperm mixing with mine in a hot squishy mess between our panting bodies.
It felt so good, so right - now, with Tyler Anderson in my arms - I understood what had been missing from my life. Tyler had been the missing part, but not anymore.
We fell asleep like that, sticky with cum, Ty's head nestled into my neck, his soft warm breaths tickling the sparse hair of my chest.
I didn't sleep that long though. My mind was buzzing with the events of the past week, different scenes from the last 24 hours playing over and over. The nervous aftershocks of our lovemaking still made my muscles twitch every few minutes. While I lay in Ty's bed holding him close to me, I remembered what we had said and done after I told Ty that I wanted...needed... to stay with him.
I spun around as Ty wheeled himself back into his room. He was simply the most handsome boy I had ever seen in my life. And I knew that he loved me. I felt my heart skip once as I took in the beauty of him rolling across the carpeted floor of his bedroom, stopping in front of me. He reached out for my hand, took my fingers and kissed each one separately.
"I love you Will," he told me, his eyes filling once again. "You make me so happy."
I knelt down and took his hand in mine again, repeating his gesture on each delicate finger, then I laid my head in his lap while Ty ran his fingers through my hair.
"Dad said it was fine for you to stay over tonight," Ty told me. I had left a message with Mom's service. There would be no problem.
"I think that he knows how we feel about each other Will. He was smiling when I asked him, but he still wants to talk to both of us in the morning."
I looked up at Tyler and he must have seen the look of uneasiness in my eyes, before he placed a finger on my lips.
"Ssshhh. Its OK Will," he said barely above a whisper. Dad is cool with us, besides...he knows I'm gay and that I've been so lonely for so long. I think he's happy that I found you...that we have found each other," Tyler told me, grinning gently, the edges of his soft red lips just turned up at the edges of his mouth.
He looked so cute when he grinned like that, but it was the look in his eyes that told me everything would be all right.
'I wonder if he knows how just much he communicates through his eyes?' I marveled.
His Dad knows that his son is gay! I knew at that moment he also knows that I am too. For the first time in my life, somebody other than Mom knows about me, but I wasn't afraid any longer. I wanted to go outside and shout it to the world.
"Will, Todd knows too, about me anyway. I told him this summer after we moved here.
The logical and objective part of my brain sans emotions was still alert and functioning. But I didn't pay it any attention at all. I was with the guy I loved and nothing else mattered right then.
"Is that everyone Ty?" I asked him quietly. He must have seen the smirk on my face and I'm sure that the look I gave him said that I wasn't upset. He broke into one of those big smiles he me gives when he's happy.
"Yep, that's all Will, just Dad, Todd and now you too. You aren't mad at me are you? I mean...I know...being gay can be hard, even dangerous when others know about it, but I trust Dad and Todd with my life. I know they won't say anything to anyone."
"I'm not angry Ty. I don't think I could ever be angry with you. I love you too much. Besides, my Mom knows too!"
The look he gave me was so amazing that I put my head back and laughed out loud. Ty's own shock that somebody outside his family knew about us showed briefly before he joined me in my fit of laughter too.
Tyler pulled me into his chest and hugged me tightly. We were both shaking with the hilarity of our situation. I looked up at Ty and took his head in my hands then pressed our lips together in a deeply passionate kiss, our tongues wrestling together while we swapped the tastes of each other's mouth.
We broke apart, breathless and panting.
"WOW!" Tyler exclaimed.
"Wow indeed. You kiss great Ty!"
Tyler looked at me in the eyes again, searching my soul once more, as I did his too. We both were beginning to water up again, so overwhelmed by our emotions once more.
"Lets go to bed Will. I...I want to hold you close to me," Ty whispered, his voice choked with emotion.
I recalled being flooded with intense feelings too, unable to speak at all because the lump of emotion in my throat betrayed my voice once more. I nodded my head then picked up Ty out of his chair and walked towards his bed holding his body close to me. He wrapped his arms around my neck as I lifted him up and Ty held me tightly to him, like his very life depended on me. Before we crossed the distance to his bed, Tyler had begun to nibble on my earlobe.
With that review of this evening - the revelations, fear, joy, tears - I finally drifted off again while Ty snuggled up even closer.
'I love you Will Johnston,' I thought while watching him sleep in my arms.
Sure, we were stuck together, but I loved the feeling. I kept thinking about everything Will had told me last night as we held each other. All his fears about getting involved with someone, about being outted in school, about "knowing" I was the "one" for him. The one guy he could be completely open with, the one boy he could trust and love without reservation.
I felt the hot drops of my tears rolling down my cheeks as I looked at the sleeping wonderful young man I held in my arms. I was in love. I knew that I loved Will as much as he does me, even if that love could cause us grief later on, I knew that I would never love anyone as much as I loved Will Johnston at that moment.
'I love you Will Johnston.'
'Why did he want me though?' The nagging thought kept resurfacing at the worst of times.
Will hadn't asked me the one question I had expected to come. He never asked about the "accident." Not once.
'He's waiting for me to tell him when I'm ready to.' That realization made me hug the sleeping body of my "lover" closer to me. My "lover?" YES! My LOVER!
'You're holding your lover Tyler!' I knew then I had to tell Will everything about how I lost the use of my legs.
Is he my 'mate?' My soul-mate and my friend. Will has the right to know everything about me. Everything. But my MATE? Already I couldn't see my future without Will Johnston beside me. What is happening to us? Is this what love is all about? I hadn't been in love before so I couldn't tell.
By trusting Will completely, all my doubts and anxiety would be laid open, the nagging questions answered by my sharing. That's the other half that's missing. Could I share myself like Will had shared himself with me last night? Completely open and honest even into places he'd never shared with anyone else before?
"Yes." I whispered out loud.
Will muttered something unintelligible then opened his eyes slowly. In the morning light, his hazel and gold gems gleam and sparkle. How couldn't they? They belonged to Will Johnston.
God, Todd was right...I do have it bad!
"Mornin' Will, sleep alright?"
"Ummmm...yes, I dreamed a lot too; dreams about you Tyler.
"I love you Will."
"I love you Ty."
"I have to pee Will."
"Me too Ty, but we seem to be stuck together.
We laughed hard and screamed once or twice as we each lost hair separating ourselves. Might feel great slipping and sliding in it fresh and warm, but cum sets hard!
I got into my chair and wheeled into the bathroom to relieve myself. I could hear Will groaning as he sat up in my...our bed? I needed a shower after last night really badly but when I turned to see Will standing behind me with a funny smirk on his face, looking at my half hard cum crusted dick. I could only smile widely. Seeing Will here in my bathroom, naked, crusty with dried cum and smelling funky, I finally had the realization that this was for real and...the man I'd love forever stood before me.
"Will? Why haven't you asked me about the accident? I asked him as he closed the commode lid and flushed.
"You let me slide without telling you...the most important...about the accident. About what happened to me. I wanted too, but...it was so intense last night...I just didn't want to spoil the mood." I looked away from Wills face at the tile floor when I felt Will's fingers lightly touch my jaw, and then lift my head up.
I saw love in his eyes. I was beginning to understand how much Will "talked" with his eyes.
"I was thinking that maybe you and me...we could...well kinda be together for now, you know best friends, ahh...boyfriends if you want. But you don't have to tell me anything because it's too painful Ty. When you're ready to, you will.
I could only nod at Will. My heart was in my throat and I thought I'd cry. Will understood perfectly what I was feeling last night and he accepts my need as his. And he asked me to be his boyfriend!
'Will accepts my need's as his. He willingly accepts my need's as his own.'
"Shower time Ty?" Will asked smiling devilishly. He was standing there half hard and rising, cracked and dried semen crusted on his chest and pubes. The look of expectation in his smile - who am I to stand in the way of my lovers desires.
"Yes! I would love to be your boyfriend Will!" I said and smiled at my new best friend.
Will bent over and kissed me gently on both sides of my face and on my lips. "You're on...'Boyfriend'...," Will chuckled before he reached in to turn on the shower and began to warm the water while I slipped into my shower chair.
"Yes "Boyfriend." I chuckled too. "Time to clean up. I crunch when I move."
"Ahh...Will I...I'm not sure how...."
"Ssshhhh Tyler. Just let me do this for us, please?"
I nodded once while I looked into those eyes again. I trusted Will with my life and with my heart.
We entered the large open shower area and got soaked by the warm water. It felt so good in the warm streams of high-pressure water. I opened my eyes and saw Will kneeling in front of me.
"Stand with me Ty, like yesterday at the pool while I wash you clean."
'I trust Will with my heart and soul.' That's what I feel now. I will focus on being here within myself and with this boy I love. Those few words would become part of our love prayer. 'I trust my lover with my heart and soul.' I nodded my head "yes."
I put my arms around Will's neck and our mouths met in a deeply passionate kiss as Will lifted me up to stand against him.
"Lock your knees," he whispered. I did and stood, eye to eye with Will. The thrill of standing next to the boy I loved overwhelmed me with emotion. I pulled Will back into the kiss we'd just abandoned.
I felt the wash cloth begin to clean my back, Will's long slow strokes with the sudsy cloth felt wonderful; repeatedly, again and again, up and down - the muscles of my back twitching with delightful stimulation, yet relaxed and without tension. It felt sooo good!
I thrilled to Will's hands cleaning each cheek, down into my cleft and slowly, gently traced across my virgin rosebud, while our straining cocks brushed against the other sending shocks to my brain and waves of pleasure into my chest and groin. I knew that I wouldn't be able to hold back long.
My instinct to reach down and take both our cocks in my hand was so strong that I had Will's straining cock and mine wrapped together in my fist before I realized that I had let go of Will to take our throbber's into my hand. The jacking motion started by itself...reflex I suppose.
'He will never let me fall,' I remember thinking before my climax took away my senses and I collapsed into Wills arms. 'He will never let me fall.'
Will sat down in the shower chair, so now I rested in his lap, still spewing cum over both of us as Will's cock was too. His member thrust up between my legs squirting thick ropes of his seed onto us both. I remember moaning and trying to breathe again while the jolts of energy still shocked me and my massive release shook me. I surrendered to the joys of my orgasm with Will holding me closely, the warm water washing away the production of our climaxes.
'He will never let me fall.' With that thought I knew the time had come.
"We were driving home from the mall when Mom lost control," I remember saying. The rest is a blur of tears, pain and Will holding and rocking me on the floor of the bathroom.
Tyler lay asleep before me, wrapped in the big white beach towels I found in the bathroom closet. He was exhausted by our late night and the early morning lovemaking in the shower. The emotional retelling about the accident that claimed his Mother and his legs, left Ty weak and trembling. After I carried my best friend into his room, while I gently rubbed Ty's body dry, he told me more about the aftermath; his long recovery, of the guilt, pain and depression that followed the accident.
I left Ty asleep cocooned in the towels while I sat in his wheel chair and just watched him sleep while I tried to process everything my boyfriend had just told me.
"He is a good looking kid isn't he Will?" I heard Ty's Dad say softly behind me before he gently placed his hand on my shoulder. I hadn't heard the bedroom door open and started a bit when I heard his voice.
"Sorry to sneak-up on you Will, but you were so intent and focused on Tyler I could have driven a snowmobile in here and you would have never heard it either," he said chuckling lightly.
"Come on Will, the coffee is on and we can get to know each other better now since I think you're going to be spending a bit of time here, huh?" I felt the fire burning my cheeks when I came to full blush under his smirking gaze.
I think he was actually giggling as I followed Derrick down the hall and into the kitchen. I had a big towel around me and one draped over my shoulders. I guess things were pretty informal between Ty and his Dad so I didn't feel uncomfortable at all. Mr. Anderson...Derrick, had on the loudest pair of Hawaiian print swim shorts I'd ever seen and his beach robe.
"Hummm, likes bright colors and is going swimming too?" Is that what you're thinking Will? Or is something, someone else in your thoughts right now? I was startled a bit by his voice asking me a question.
"You know the answer to that Mr...ahh...Derrick. Ty is on my mind. I...ahh...I love Tyler, sir."
"I kind of figured that out Will. The looks you two gave each other at dinner - and I have to confess - that I did listen in on you two last night. I heard Ty yell when the spasms hit him. I apologize for intruding, but I make no apology for why I did listen in." Derrick was looking at me, seemingly assessing, while I wondered what I'd say.
Derrick went right to the point of things with no bullshit in between, no posturing, just openly frank. I had to shift mental gears before I spoke again to this man.
"We were both kind of confused right then Derrick. Ty had thought I was rejecting him, and I thought...well I don't know what I thought...I was just scared suddenly." I told Ty's Dad.
"I also heard what you said to Ty, Will. Are you gay?" He was looking at me directly in the eye then. I took a deep breath of air before I spoke again.
"Yes I am Derrick. I really knew for sure when I was twelve. I was confused for a while but I knew then. Mom knows too. She has allowed me to grow on my own and has been supportive. Yes Derrick, I am gay. Ty said that you know about him too."
This has all been kind of unreal for me. I only met Ty last Wednesday and here I am having coffee with his Dad who knows that I slept with his son and maybe what we did last night!
"WOW!" I laughed out loud at the absurd nature of the serendipity that brought us together and to this point in less than a week..
Derrick seemed to understand the bizarreness of the past week too and laughed along with me. The mood had lightened considerably.
"I told Ty what I felt. I love him. His friendship has filled an empty place in my life," I said to Derrick; it was only the truth.
"I don't feel sorry for him either Derrick. I love Ty for who he is, not because he was hurt so badly. Ty's injury comes as part of the whole package. That is the Tyler I want to be with, the whole guy, not little parts of him, the parts that work."
Derrick looked away then walked over to the oven, pulling trays of scrambled eggs, link sausage and biscuits with a huge bowl of sausage gravy out and onto the center island..
"Come on Will, get it while its hot. Sleeping Beauty can have what's left," he laughed lightly.
"Thanks Will." Derrick had pulled me into a hug when I walked over. It felt good, being held by this man. Derrick kissed me on the top of my head before releasing me.
"Lets eat Will. More coffee?"
We ate slowly, chatting amicably about school, Mom and her practice, the swimming team too. I realized later that I had lain out my life story to this man I'd only met last night. Ty had told me his Dad was a lawyer, but he seemed to know what to ask and had directed our conversation very skillfully. When he'd finished asking me about the incident in the hallway last Wednesday, I hoped I'd never be on the other side and face this man in court!
"Ty told you about the accident didn't he?" Derrick asked me, once more looking me straight in the eye..
"Yes. It must have been awful for both of you. I know losing your wife must have been a terrible blow for you Derrick. Having Ty left so gravely hurt, well I can't imagine what you went through." I had a large lump in my throat after I had said that to Derrick, but I felt good being able to say that directly to Ty's Dad much as I had to Tyler a couple of hours before.
Truly, I couldn't imagine what that must have been like for each of them. When Derrick began to speak in an emotionally laden voice, I paid close attention.
"The paramedics hit the same patch of ice and ended up in the very same drainage ditch a couple of hundred yards from the accident. They ran the rest of the way, even the driver who had fractured his arm in their wreck. But it was too late for Meghan, that's Ty's Mother. She had died instantly.
Ty was just sitting there in a daze or so it seemed. His seat had twisted around so it faced the passangers door. Tyler was just sitting there still belted in with his legs dangling out of the open door. The van came to rest upright against the embankment. There was no way to tell how many times it rolled before stopping." Derrick took a big breath before he continued. His eyes had a far-away look in them and they were filled with moisture as were mine.
"Ty was in a lot of pain, but the doctors wouldn't give him anything right away. With the pain and shock, his brain just shut down. My boy was in a coma for six days.
At the hospital I finally found out how bad he really was. The forces of the crash had twisted his spine severely below his waist. He couldn't move his legs, but had some feeling. That was encouraging. He had also torn or ruptured almost every muscle, tendon and ligament in this back. There was a lot of surgery, microscopic mostly. There are only a few small scars on this back now, but he still needs more surgery. The cramps and the pain that are a result of Ty's injuries will always be with him. He has good days and bad days, but don't we all?" Derrick paused and went to the coffee pot, bringing it back to the table.
"The worst part was the guilt Ty felt after the accident. We still lived in Timberland then, Ty was doing well in school, he was on the junior swim club at the Y. Ty loved diving. But all that changed." Derrick poured me more coffee.
"Tyler thought if he hadn't been arguing with his Mom about going to some party she have seen the ice. She wouldn't have anyway. The paramedics and the cops all knew it was there, but everybody responding was off the road too. Black ice looks just like the roadway. It was an accident, pure and simple. Ty wouldn't accept it easily. He was so sure that he caused the wreck. That his injuries were a just punishment."
Ty had told me about that part too. He had been living in a waking nightmare that whole time. His therapist finally managed to get Ty to let it go - grieve with the realization he was not responsible. Ty was in painful physical rehabilitation daily, plus the school sent teachers to him during the week. He managed to keep up with most studies but excelled in his Creative Writing class. He was keeping a journal of his experience.
A year after the accident, Ty and his Dad moved here to Fairview, where his Dad had grown-up. Derrick wanted to move back to Fairview to be closer to family and to get away from all the memories left in Timberland. Besides, Meghan Anderson was buried here at All Saints Church, three bocks from the house she'd lived in when Derrick and Meghan had first met.
"He had a hard time Will, a very hard time. I won't let him get hurt again if I can." Once again he had focused his deep blue eyes on mine.
"Neither will I Derrick. I know what you are asking me, warning me about. I will never knowingly hurt Tyler. Ever. He is too precious and besides, I couldn't hurt the guy I love." I saw him startle suddenly.
"I understand what that means Derrick...what love means, and I won't let Ty down. I don't know what magic Ty used on me, but I'm his heart and soul. Warts, pimples and all! I'll be his legs when he needs them, and his best friend too. But if he ever calls himself a "crip" again, I'm gonna tickle him till he pees." I smiled at Derrick. He took a deep breath then started laughing out loud.
"You do and I'll help!" He roared.
"You'll help do what Daddy and why are you guys laughing so loud? It's only 9:30 and it's Sunday. I need my rest ya know?" Ty was smiling that smile at us. He had dressed in cargo shorts and t-shirt. I felt my heart thump twice hard as I looked at my friend. His eyebrows rose a little when he saw how I was attired. I flashed my towel open for his eyes only as I crossed the kitchen.
I down beside Ty, took his head in my hands and kissed him lightly on the lips. I momentarily saw panic in his eyes, then Ty relaxed into my kiss.
"Good morning lover," I whispered into his ear. I could smell his unique odor all around his body; herbs and spices. "He knows everything about us Ty. It's cool. He didn't run me off yet anyway."
Derrick just beamed too, when Tyler smiled at both of us. I helped Ty get a plate then sat next to him at the table.
"You're OK about us Dad? About Will and me...being boyfriends and...?
"And sex? As long, as you don't hurt each other and respect the word 'no' or 'stop' or some such phrase, OK. There are some things that I want you to know about too, like going slowly in bed. Learning about what each of you likes and dislikes. Taking care of each other emotionally too, you'll always be learning new things about each other, some good and some bad. Do I care about you two being boyfriends? Of course I do! This is a big step for each of you.
You are acknowledging your true sexuality and your feelings to yourselves, to each other and to some people around you. In time probably a lot more folks will know too or at the very least suspect. That can be wonderful, even beautiful telling your friends. But carefully select who you out yourselves too. Both of you know that you'd better prepare for being teased and harassed if your relationship becomes public knowledge. There are some real assholes out there and they will let themselves be known.
This house will always be a safe haven, a sanctuary for as long as you need it." He paused and looked at both of us.
"Does that answer your question? We both nodded.
"I just don't want to see naked asses bouncing up and down in the public parts of the house, OK?" He laughed. "The housekeeper would have a heart attack!"
"I'll support both of you of course, and I'm sure that Will's Mom would too, but just give it some thought, about going slowly, OK?
Ty nodded to me and I knew
that he wanted to stand up. When he did Derrick came over and pulled
us tightly into a three-way hug. It was a special moment that the three
of us shared.
I had called Mom and told her that I was spending the rest of the day here with Ty and his Dad. But I also wanted to be sure she'd be there when I brought Ty over to introduce him. We'd bring pizza with us to my house for dinner.
"So Will...is Tyler the one? The one you've been looking for?"
"I think so Mom. Ty told me that he feels the same way too. It was pretty intense for both of us. Oh! And his Dad is cool with us too, but I'll explain about that later.
"Alright son. I know that you feel strongly about Tyler but...please be sure first, before...before...."
"I know what you're telling me Mom. Please don't worry. I am in love with Ty. I know that for sure now, just like I know that Ty loves me too. I could never knowingly hurt him, just as he couldn't hurt me either. It'll be OK, we both will be OK now."
"I love you son." I could hear the emotion in her voice, which matched mine as I told her how I felt about Tyler.
"I love you too Mom. See ya this evening. Bye."
The bars on his windows were designed to keep burglars and others out of the house. In practice, they served the same purpose in reverse. Barney realized that he was trapped inside his dingy bedroom with no way out except past his father and the man he knew was Seth Bannister, a murderer wanted by the FBI and every law enforcement agency in the country. He had seen the wanted flier on the kitchen table.
Barney had awakened an hour before, feeling his groin being groped and pulled at by the tall thin man who was half undressed. He tried to push him away but stopped when Bannister hissed his warning to Barney.
"Move even a little bit and I'll cut your balls off you hell spawned bastard," he had whispered into Barney's face before he felt the rough tongue run across his eyes, nose and lips. The stench of Bannister's breath had almost made Barney puke.
The terror that had gripped his heart made the fear he had of his father's wrath pale in comparison. He felt the tip of the knife Bannister held prod between his legs. The tears flowing down his face were born of the total helplessness that he felt at that moment. Then Bannister leapt up off of Barneys chest and laughed hysterically before walking out of the room, closing and locking the door behind him.
Barney listened to his father talking to Bannister through the thin walls. They were all going to some place called the Camp, a long way back into the mountains. Jason and Aaron were being brought along too. They had become willing converts to Bannister's particular brand of religion: bigotry, hate and violence. If only he could get away he knew he would go to the cops. While Bannister had been in Barneys room groping him, something snapped inside Barneys head. His thoughts became clearer as he formed his own plans.
The meeting with Mom went well enough even with Ty being so nervous it was a challenge. Mom got Ty relaxed and laughing with some of the dirty jokes the doctors and nurses tell each other during long and tedious surgeries. Mom, Ty and me ate both pizzas and talked together for a long time that late fall afternoon.
It was funny watching Mom put Ty through the same kind of third degree I'd experienced with his Dad earlier. He apparently passed Mom's rigorous "son's boyfriend" examination. We all ended up laughing so hard, I had a hard time breathing.
I carried Ty upstairs to my room then brought his chair up too. Mostly we sat on my bed and played Madden NFL for a while between lazy passionate kisses and endless whispers of love. I couldn't keep my hands off Ty. I wanted to merge my body with his. Tyler's eyes told me the whole story: I want to love you too but you're right. Now isn't the time.
We lay together on my bed in the now silent room, the only light coming from the rapidly setting suns last feeble glow coming through the windows. I love just holding each other close. Ty's head was resting on my chest, his eyes focused on mine.
"This has been really fast...hasn't it Will?"
"Yes," I nodded. "Warp 10 fast. The way we met, ALL of yesterday, the fact I fell in love and came out on the same day...yea...this is fast!" I laughed lightly at the expression on Ty's face.
"That's it exactly Will. In a handful of hours our lives have dramatically changed. I realized how alone I was before I met you, now it seems like I've known you all my life...and in that handful of hours, my life has been filled with love and I'm lying in the arms of my boyfriend in his bedroom. My FATHER is not only OK with us, he WANTS us to be together!" Ty had that big grin on his face and a gleam in his eye that belied the serious side of his observation. Yes, it had been very fast. We both started laughing again.
"Do you think we should slow down Ty? Back off some...cool down like Derrick...like your Dad asked?"
"No," Ty said softly after he had lifted his head off my chest to kiss me lightly, brushing our lips together. "No, I don't want to. We're handling the changes, besides I just found you Will. I don't wanna let you go, ever. We can do whatever we're both ready for in bed. I just love being with YOU. Does that make sense Will?"
I kissed Ty back. "Yes. Perfect sense. I'll never let you go Ty. I love you too much. We stayed tightly embraced, slowly making out, until I realized it was almost time for me to bring my boyfriend home.
'My boyfriend; Tyler Anderson is my boyfriend.' I liked that thought a lot.
"You know Ty, you didn't have to arrange for Barney to rough you up in order to get to meet me. A simple "Hi" would have been enough." Ty looked closely at me and realized I was teasing.
"Yea, but then you wouldn't have rushed in to save me from the terrible bullies." Ty was fluttering his eyelids at me when in a perfect falsetto he finished: "Myyyaaahhh Heeerrrooo!" We were both breathless from laughter.
Ty looked at me and I could see the question forming behind his eyes.
"Why is he like that Will? >From what a lot of the class has told me he's a real jerk, but was he always like that? Why pick on me? 'Cause I'm a crip?"
I looked at the boy-man I held in my arms thinking about what I wanted to say to Tyler. Barney Coleman was a complicated story. I told Ty the short version.
"He wasn't always like that Ty. Something happened to him in the 5th grade and he changed. His Mom died and he seemed to be doing OK at first, but he started to get into fights and would stay out of school a lot. He was a normal kid, fun to be around at Recreation Period, but he just changed and became the cruel, angry and bigoted person you ran into last Wednesday. That doesn't excuse him though."
"I saw the way he looked at you. It was weird though. He holds grudges Will. I've got your back but I don't think we can be together at school that much outside of practice and lunch. You better be careful. Watch for Todd when Barney and the goon squad is around, huh?"
Ty's eyes communicating the seriousness of his words to me; he was truly frightened I would be hurt. That Ty'd "have my back" melted my heart when I recalled his words. 'He truly loves me and cares about my safety.' The thought flushed my chest with warmth.
"I'll be careful Ty. We wouldn't want anything "important" to get hurt now, would WE?" Ty giggled like a little boy and I knew that he was OK with my reply.
In fact I would keep an eye out for chance meetings with Barney, especially if Jason and Aaron are with him. No use-tempting fate. I knew that eventually things would come to a head, but I'd pick the time and place and have witnesses.
"One more thing though...about that "crip" remark you made?" I assumed my disappointed elder persona before proceeding. "Tyler I find that word to be offensive both to my ears and in my heart. When I hear you use such a biased word to describe yourself, I am saddened." Ty's eyes got very big while I said this. I could feel him tense-up.
"So to raise my spirits from the deep sadness I feel...." I lunged forward and trapped Ty's arm with one of mine, while the other was pressed up tightly between my chest and his. I had him!
"I'm gonna tickle you till you pee or solemnly swear to never use the word "crip" ever again. But just to be sure you understand just how badly I was hurt by that word...TAKE THIS!!!"
"NNOOOOO!!! Nnnoooo...WILL!!!!! Nnnoooo, Aaaaahhhhhhhhaaaaaaaahhhhhhh."
Nobody noticed Barney and his two hangers-on hadn't been in school until Wednesday's team meeting. The coach sent in his attendance sheet, the computer flagged Barney Coleman, Jason Davis and Aaron Alexander as no shows. A day later a secretary tried to call Mr. Coleman. The phone had been disconnected.
The following Monday a Deputy went out to the Coleman place on a school board truancy call and found it locked up tight. No one had been around the property for days. It was another three days before a detective connected Barney, Jason and Aaron together and the investigation took on new meaning.
End of Chapter Three
To be continued....
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