WARNING: This story depicts a gay lifestyle between consenting partners. If this type of story offends you, just go away and don't read it. If you live in a place that restricts your freedom of thought or speech by draconian regulations, just go away and don't read this story.

   This is our first story.  Please excuse any silly mistakes that seem to appear even after careful checking and re-reading.  This fictional tale takes place entirely in the realm of the imaginary.

   The characters are described engaging in unprotected sexual activity. This story is fantasy.  Reality dictates that using a condom may save your life.  Please pay attention to that last part: using a condom may save your life and that of those you care about!  None of us wants to go to another wake!

   Notes: There is one thing we need to correct from Ch05's Notes. John W., a friend and reader in North Carolina - not William - was responsible for our gentle reminder as mentioned in Ch05.  We apologize for the error, pleading tired eyes and sleep deprived thinking.

   This chapter is dedicated to our Angel in Amarillo and all young men struggling to find their way and that special someone to make their lives complete.

Will and Tyler's Odyssey

Part One: In the Beginning

   Yesterday was absolutely magnificent for a late December day: mid 50's and clear skies.  Then it snowed again last night and it looked like we'd have more before too long; the gray clouds had gotten heavier and thicker while the temperature continues to fall and the winds pick-up. The ache in my bones told me the weather prediction even better. Left knee, three inches; right knee, six inches;
both knees; a foot or more. Right now, both knees were aching.  Maybe we would have a white Christmas this year too.

   Ty and I had played wheelchair handball at the Athletic Center last night.  I still have to find time some day to go and practice handling the wheelchair.  I was so-so, but Ty is a killer, cutthroat player, who blatantly cheats.  So do I, but I have to admit that Ty is brilliant at his game.  His tactical handling of the wheelchair always leaves me breathless - we tied one game - but my Babe kicked my ass the last three...while I got his later on!

   The last day of finals was over. My secretary was processing the answer sheets from my last class through the scoring machine: first year Anthropology is really an overview and I hate putting the students off the subject area with essay exams and other stuff.  I teach five sections each semester and with dropouts that usually means that by the end of the term I'll have around 250 students in my classes.  I had already graded over 200 projects and returned them too.  I do work hard and so does Ty.

   All I really want to do is peak my students interest in the subject. 100 questions on the final, all multiple guess, but without study, even the easy ones become harder.  All 225 tests would be graded and ready for posting when I got back into my office. The only failing grades would most likely be the no-shows, who'd missed more than the University allows and those who hadn't turned in their semester project.

   Now I was going to meet my favorite Associate Professor for lunch.  Ty and I both had a long 2-hour break scheduled on Thursdays so the faculty dining room could be skipped in favor of a double order of fried calamari and spicy tomato sauce at Antonio's.  We might even have a glass of wine too.

   Christmas falls on a Sunday this year and I actually got all the things on my list last weekend. I didn't have to go into a mall once!  Ty on the other hand finished two weeks ago!  He has always been the keeper of the lists in our household and every year, my list keeps getting longer and longer especially when Tyler presents me with a page of "last minute" things to get.  Well I suppose if I were making the
lists of things to get and do, I'd take liberties too.  Besides, I can't deny the guy I love so much.  He'd make me pay for it somehow if I did!

   Tyler has been relatively pain and spasm free since we started this new exercise schedule a while ago. That was very good for Ty and really "terrific" for both of us.  Our bedtime fun has never been better.  It's over a month without any serious twinges in Ty's back.  We have taken full advantage of the absence of any discomfort too.  Ty had a new, single handle support bar installed above our bed.
It's silent machinery rides, hidden within the ceiling, on twin rails. This is the latest "high-tech" model with a remote control no less!  Ty uses it for exercising, and lifting himself off the bed.  Last night he found another, more pleasurable use for the bar.  He really did a lot of pull-ups until neither of us could stand it any longer.  There was cum everywhere - what an explosion!   We're both a little sore "down there" today.  No, you can just imagine how it's done...I'll never tell!

   With the University closing for a little over two weeks, the pool wouldn't be available and that will cut into our workout schedule, but we wouldn't get much exercise in for the next week or so anyway because the "Hotel Tyler William's" is about to open for the last time this holiday season on Wednesday the 21st.  There is always a full house: there had been for years now, really ever since our first Christmas together - with Ty, me, Barney, Mom and Derrick and all the other folks who showed-up that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - sharing a cup of cheer and a kind word between all of us- we've been cooking and baking for a week too.

   Tonight we have the house to just ourselves so after a tasty Grilled Salmon with a Dill Hollandaise Sauce, French Onion Soup and a salad of Field Greens with Grapes, Blue Cheese, Raspberry Vinaigrette and pan roasted Pecans (a garnish in the salad), we settled-in for the evening.  A cool white wine and candlelight on the glassed-in summer porch, it was a romantic evening for sure.  Ty ate his Key Lime Pie dessert sitting in my lap.  He fed me little bites too followed by - short feather
like kisses. God, I love this guy so much!

   I had our second journal from eight years ago with us on the porch so we moved to the big overstuffed wingback chair that has found a home amongst the all the wicker on the porch.  The warm peachy tone of the hidden lighting reflected off the thin covering of snow on the glass of the ceiling skylights.  That glow was matched by our own inner contentment when I opened our journal at the other special bookmark in this volume; a thin sliver of white plastic and began to read aloud..."Barney was the most..."

Chapter Six

   Barney was the most affected by the holiday activity around him, for the first time he could remember, everything going on in the house around him seemed right, familiar and almost normal. The time between the memory of his last Christmas when his Mom was still alive and things were  good between Barney and his Father, and this reality he was living now, seemed like a "dark cloud" in his life.  It was a place of terror for him; one that Barney entered very reluctantly and only with others physically reassuring him of his safety.  We all knew that the therapy would be long and hard.

   Dad told Barney how proud we all were of him one afternoon.  Barney burst into tears, sobbing hard, but managing to tell Dad that he hadn't heard the words "proud of you" from anyone in years.  Yes, he is that fragile yet, small things, a word or a gesture, could bring on very emotional responses.  Thus began a very long and difficult week for Barney, full of tears, anger and new abuses revealed.  Mom or Dr. Suzie occasionally had to give him some medication to "just cut the edge off a little," then would hold him like a small child while he cried, which in many ways our friend still was.

   But Barney was trying hard to regain full control of his life. "The Plan" had worked so far.

   The first weeks Barney was with us, one of the "family" was with him all the time. Todd and Barney's renewed friendship was strengthened after a tearfully emotional confession from Barney told us a lot: Fighting with us all the time - at the urging of his SOB father - had been so traumatic that Barney had frequently thought of suicide - twelve and thinking of suicide!  It made Ty and me physically sick.

   But then seeing Todd, Kelly, Jamal, Warren and Barney's real reconciliation left all of us with hope. This was not going to be easy, but Barney was responding to all the love and support so well, that we knew his recovery would continue.  Dr. Suzie had told us this was the most dangerous time for Barney.  She came by each weekday morning at 10:00am and she worked with Barney for 90 minutes before he had a break.  We don't know what they discussed, but Barney was usually upbeat about his sessions.

   Kelly. Jamal and Warren also had their turn with Barney too. "Dr. S" as Barney had began to call Dr. Suzanne Daniels, his psychiatrist and our friend, was present at all these "friendship rebuilding" sessions, where relationships had the opportunity to become re-established: So far so good.  Surprisingly, Warren was most affected by the renewal of his friendship with Barney.  It was very touching seeing them both crying in each others arms.  I can feel my own eyes filling just remembering what had happened in that session.  Much the same thing happened when I had a session with Barney and Suzie too.  Ty sat in as well, observing quietly and responding when he was asked to.

   As it was, Ty and I took our finals and maintained our 3.4 averages with no school until January 7th! We get a very long break because so many kids are children of WSU faculty and staff.  University High basically follows the same schedule as WSU's.

   Barney would start classes again on the 7th; his gradual return to school would begin with half days and a home tutor.  But he was terrified of the reception he'd get...the entire state knew about what had happened, but we both promised Barney that we'd stand together with him, he's our "brother" after all and so did Todd, Jamal, Kelly and Warren.  We will face everyone together!  Besides, only the extended "family" knew that Barney was here with us at this point and I know that no one would breech that confidence.  Are they gonna be surprised at University High when we walk in with Barney beside us!

   Christmas Eve stands as a watershed in Barney's recovery and our own role in that event started on December 15th a Wednesday as I recall.  It began much like the last week had, a huge breakfast of eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hot chocolate and coffee for those like me who can't make it until we have that one cup, that completes the "wake-up" ritual for us.

   "Derrick, can I talk with you after breakfast is over," Barney asked.

   "Sure son, what is it?"

   "Could we wait and talk in the den please?"

   Ty and I finished clearing-up and then got ready to leave for some shopping - we had decided what we were going to get Barney after looking for quite a while, but before we went anywhere, we had to help Barney change his dressings. He was still in with Dad in his den-office and the door was shut. Ty knocked lightly.

   "Come in Ty," I heard Derrick say before Ty opened the door.

   Barney was sitting in one of the big leather chairs in front of Derrick's desk, Ty's Dad was occupying the other.  Barney was very quiet and didn't look-up at us.

   "We're leaving now Dad."

   "OK Ty. You two be careful and I'll help...Barney...with his dressings."

   "Bye Barney, Bye Dad," we both said then we were out of the den, Ty quietly pulling the door closed.

   "I wonder what that was all about," I asked Ty after we'd gotten into "The Beast" and pulled onto Route 87 into town.

   "Not sure Will, but did you hear Dad's tone when he said Barney's name?" Ty asked me.

   "Yes, like he was hesitating or something."

   We got to the jewelry store just before Noon. Our purchases were ready and the engraving had been done. When we saw the results, both of us were very pleased. The engraver had produced exactly what we wanted. Ty and I paid and left, thanking the old man who'd actually done the work on the jewelry we'd selected. Ty held the package in his hand after we got into the car.

   "Do you think he'll like it Will?  Maybe we went too far with getting this, maybe it's too soon?"

   "No Ty. Barney will love it...maybe more than we both know." I turned to look at Ty and he scooted himself over next to me.

   "Ty, I think I'm beginning to really see what's going on inside Barney right now.  Beneath the tears and all the emotions, he's lost.  He only has us now.  He doesn't own anything except the clothes on his back; he has no home, no family, nothing, absolutely nothing.  I know we talked all this out before Ty, before we told Mom, Derr...Dad...and the rest about our "plan."  I thought then how good it would be to help Barney, and focus all our anger at doing something positive and I think we have helped him.  Imagine Barney still stuck in the hospital or with people who don't care about him like we do, like all of us do.  But I'm not too sure where to go from here.

   "What are you telling me Will? Ty asked.

   I had to think for a moment before I realized myself, just what I was trying to tell my partner.

   "There is more for us to do Ty," I told my lover and best friend.

   "We call Barney our "brother" don't we Ty?" I asked him.

   "Yes we do. We've told Barney that we're...Will, what are you trying to say here?"

   "Ty, it's time to deal with our "brother's" real need.  He needs a real family.  People he can depend on no matter what, who love him for...for just being Barney.  What do you think about having a real brother?"  I asked Ty, looking deeply into those eyes, truly windows into his very soul.

   I could almost see the wheels turning, mulling over the words I had just spoken and the reality of what I had said began to make some sense.

   "You mean that...how could that happen Will?  You're talking about adoption aren't you?  Not Dad fostering Barney, but adopting him"

   "Yes," I replied. Ty's eyes got really big for a second or two before he put his hand behind my head, Ty pulled me closer to him and kissed me passionately, disregarding where we were, in a mall parking lot at high noon, kissing each other in public!

   "Do you really mean that Will?" Ty asked me.

   "Yes I do Ty."

   "I had a dream the other night that Barney was our brother.  We were all kids, seven or eight years old playing in the woods behind our house - my old house in Timberland - we were run...running and playing Cowboys and Indians.  I tripped and fell hard.  Barney helped me up off the ground and you were brushing all the pine needles off me.  Mom...Mom called us in for lunch and we were all talking about the party for Barneys birthday coming up.  We were brothers, not just friends, but really brothers.  Odd thing though, Barney had a different name.  I can't remember what it was now, but it wasn't Barney."

   "Wow! That must have been a strange dream Ty."

   "It was, but not too strange.  I often dream of...of still having the use of my legs and about...Mom still being alive."

   I brushed the hair out off Ty's forehead and kissed him on both cheeks and his lips - our kiss - and looked into those wonderful eyes.

   "Does this mean that you're OK with approaching my Mom and Derrick...Dad...about looking into the whole adoption thing? I mean, either of them could do it, but Dad already has temporary guardianship, so it might be easier." Ty looked deep in thought at that moment.

   "Will? What...how do we ask Barney if he wants to become part of the family?  He may not understand what we're asking him or maybe he doesn't feel the same way about us." Ty wondered.

   "There's only one way to find out Ty.  We have to ask him. But first, lets talk to our "attorney" and see what he thinks.  Then we need to ask how Dr. Suzie thinks this might effect Barney.  Maybe after that we can talk with him.  I don't think it's a good idea to just out and ask Barney before we know whether it can be done."

   "Will that's really a good idea.  Let's go slow right now and see what options there are."

   Ty leaned over and kissed me again.  It was all I could do to stop myself from ripping his clothes off right there at the mall lot, parked in The Beast.  As his hand slipped under my shirt I knew that my Babe felt the same way.

   "Lets go home Will."


   When we got back to the house Warren's car was in the driveway.  He'd been spending a lot of time with Barney since he'd come to live with us.  Warren was a good guy: as our swim team Captain, he led by example, always putting out 110% for the team.  He helped the younger divers a lot and always was the first to greet all our opponents individually and welcome them to University High.  He went out with a lot of girls, but didn't have a steady date and he was always laughing about "playing the field."  In the locker room, Warren took a lot of ribbing because he never ever talked about his dates and what they did together.  Warren was good looking too.  A 6' 2" blue-eyed blonde, with long hair; unusual for a diver in our school to be that tall.  He also had a heavy tan from his summer lifeguard job.  That tan almost lasted through the winter too, he was so dark by the end of the summer season.  He looked a lot like a Norse god out of the fairy tales we read in 4th grade, except for the freckles across his face, a gift from his O'Casey forebearers.

   Will went to find Dad and I followed him into the kitchen after making a fast bathroom stop.  It was a good thing too because after relieving myself, I could wipe all the sticky juices off of my cock.  Will had me leaking pre-cum all over while we were making out in the parking lot.  When I rolled into the kitchen, Will was just coming out of the small half-bath near the summer room.  He flashed me that big bright smile that I knew so well and his eyes told me everything.  He had to wipe himself off too!
We both hate feeling all gooey and sticky down there all day!

   Dad was making a huge antipasto tray for lunch with five or six different meats, pickled vegetables, cheeses and of course a half-dozen different style olives.  One thing about us Andersons, we love our olives.  Dad also placed whole heads of slow roasted garlic and super extra virgin olive oil (I know there isn't such a thing, but this stuff is extraordinary!), two big loaves of peasant style bread for spreading the soft garlic on and dipping into the oil (yummy!) were added to the spread and
brought to the table.

   "It's almost ready Ty. Can you call Barney and Warren to come to the table?"

   "Sure Dad, but first can Will and I ask you something?"

   "What's up my two sons?"

   Will and I looked at each other first then turned to face Dad.

   "Wait a minute. I know that look. What are you two up too now?"

   "Its about Barney, Dad."

   "OK, come on into my office, I have something to ask you two as well."

   Will sat on the sofa in Dad's den,  then he helped me up to sit with him, while Dad pulled one of the leather covered chairs from in front of his desk to sit facing us both.

   "There isn't any easy way to ask you this, so I'll just tell you what ...Barney...told me this morning."

   'There it was again, that hesitation saying Barney's name,' I thought to myself. I looked at Will and he'd noticed too.

   "What is it Dad? What's going on with Barney?"

   "Well part of it is "Barney." He has come to look on his experience over the last three weeks as a kind of rebirth - if you think about what has happened to him, the way we found him, the hospital and now living with us - he feels very strongly about his name being a reminder of who the "old Barney" was.  He wants to change his name, not just his first name, his whole name."

   "Is that why there is a hesitation when you say his name Dad?" I asked my father. "We noticed twice now."

   Dad looked at us with surprise, then smiled a little.

   "You two don't miss much do you?"

   "There's more, isn't there Derrick?" Will asked him.

   "Yes. I've been giving this a lot of thought for the past week or so.  I have come to care a lot about...Barney; what his future will be like, how he's dealing with all the unspeakable things that have been done to him for so long and the fact that we're all he has as far as a family goes now.  I guess what I'm trying to say is I love him much as I love you two."  Dad's eyes were beginning to fill with water as he spoke quietly to us about what he was thinking and feeling.

   "You remember that night, when we were trying to save Barn...our friends life?  I know that you both saw and felt as bad for him as I did.  I think that was when I started to...well, bond with him, for lack of a better term.  I knew in my heart that the kid lying there needed us for far more than just the help we offered him that night." The tears were rolling down my Dad's face now as they were ours too.  The memories of those dark Thanksgiving Day hours are etched in our minds like they'd happened just last night.

   "So what I'd like to do is...."

   "Adopt him, Dad." I said to my father.

   "Will and I were going to ask you the same thing.  We...well we came to the same conclusion you have Dad."  I looked at Will as he put his arm around my shoulder and through the connection of our eye's, I knew he was very pleased.  No we really don't miss too much.

   "Derrick, this afternoon while we were at the mall, Ty and me went over everything you just told us...well not everything; I kind of suspected that you had strong feelings about Barney too. I watched you while you worked on him and while we were waiting for the ambulance, you never let go of his hand until they took Barney out.  You are a good man Derrick.  Nobody would make a...a better father than you...Dad."

   My father came out of his chair and pulled both of us into a hug, while he knelt on the floor in front of the sofa.

   "I love you two so much," Dad whispered to us.

   "Make room for one more Dad, you love the three of us, and we love you," Ty told his Father.

   There was more that Dad wanted to tell us but as he was going to speak, my stomach made a loud growl that made the three of us laugh.

   "OK, I guess that means the rest will wait on my starving son's stomach, but  not a word to Barney about what we just talked about, understand?  Ty?  Will?

   "Right. Not a word," I said for both of us.

   "Ty, can you call Barney and Warren to come eat, while Will and I get all the drinks out and ready?"

   "Sure Dad," I told him and slipping back into my chair, I wheeled out of the den and down the hall towards Barney's bedroom.

   'I wonder what Barney wants to change his name to?' I thought while making my way across the living room.

   There was a new rug sitting in front of the fireplace, a bright cheerful rug of American Indian design that I suspected Carley Johnston was responsible for.  Although we don't spend a lot of time at Will's home because he has to carry me around - stairs and all that - Will's Mom is often here and I think that some of the small changes that Dad has been making around the house reflects her suggestions.  We no longer live in a completely wood, leather and wrought iron masculine environment. They are changes for the better.

   When I got to Barney's room I knocked lightly and waited for him to ask me to come in.  We were all very careful of our "brother's" privacy.  For so long, he was allowed none, the only locks on his doors were designed to keep him in.

   Warren was sitting on Barney's bed across from him, both cross-legged, playing cards.  I told them that today's later than usual lunch was finally ready.  Both guys looked at me and burst out laughing.

   "Ty I know that you're horny all the time, but you really should remember to have Will zip you up after you guys are done," Warren said to me. Sure enough, my zipper was open and my cock head was clearly visible through the opening in my boxers.

   Whenever I wear boxers, my dick has this habit of popping out at just the wrong moment, but Will just loved me in them.  Every morning my piss hardon was poking out and frequently, Will took advantage of my "distress" to relieve me of another kind of fluid.

   "I didn't...we didn't...aww fuck!" I said and then started to laugh too.  I gotta remember to check twice after hitting the bathroom.

   As I was leaving Barney's room, I happened to notice how Warren reached out to help Barney to his feet. The creams and PT had really helped his feet heal, allowing him to relearn to walk minus his two toes and he's pretty much stopped using the wheelchair the hospital had sent with him. There was a gentleness in Warren's attitude towards Barney that I'd never seen before.  I know Warren is a good person and is ready to help anybody, but somehow this was different.  Warren was another one of Barney's friends who he'd beat-up over and over when Barney had changed, so I just put it down to Warren's happiness in having his old friend back, like Todd, Kelly, Will and Jamal were too.

   We five hungry men quickly demolished the antipasto feast, then he'd surprised us with a Tiramisu for dessert.  It was so rich that Will could only eat a little.  I finished his portion too and I was so proud of him for not trying to feed it to me; I saw the look in his eyes; he was thinking about it!  Lately, Will and I had started to feed each other little bits of food, usually our desserts, followed by a gentle kiss with each bite.  We only did that when we were alone, because the first time we'd ended up with whipped cream all over various body parts that of course required our partner to "clean-up the mess" he'd made.  It became the second ritual of our lives together.  The first was "our" kiss.  Even with Will refraining from our "dessert" fun, just thinking about all that whipped cream had given me a raging hard-on!  From the bulge in Will's Levi's I figure he had the same thoughts.

   Warren had to leave, but he promised Barney he'd stop by in the morning.  Barney walked with Warren to the front door and I could hear the two of them laughing together.  It was very good to hear Barney laughing.  I looked at Dad and Will and I could see their smiles too.  Barney was getting better in more ways than the physical.  I think that we all had a warm glow for the rest of the afternoon, and I
don't mean from the pickled hot cherry peppers in the antipasto either.

   We were both beat from the mall treck and after cleaning up in the kitchen, we decided to take a short nap before wrapping the things we'd purchased over the past two weeks and making supper.  It was our turn and Will had promised to show me the secret to making good fish and chips batter using a bottle of beer.

   When we got into bed, we were wearing only our boxers and after telling Will what Warren had said to me earlier in Barney's room, he laughed as long as they had.  I started to tickle his ribs in revenge
(one of Will's few "tickle zones"), and before long he too was poking his 7 inches out of his boxers too.  It didn't take long before the tickles had stopped and serious making out ensued, picking-up where we left off in the parking lot.

Will slowly kissed around my face stopping to gently tongue each ear.  His kisses, then soft sucking on my neck had me so hot that I was leaking precum like a faucet.  My lover worked his way down my chest to each nipple, teasing with gentle cat like laps, then sucking hard and nipping each, making me moan and thrash about from the sensations that had began to race through my body directly into my groin.

Will licked down my abs stopping to lave my navel that had me squirming under his ministrations, before he was the kitty cat again, lapping up the pool of my juices that had leaked from my straining cock.  My man slipped the boxers down my hips and lifted my butt off the bed to remove then fully.  When he did this, my swollen penis almost touched my balls then flipped-up tossing a stream of my natural lubrication high into the air, landing on the end of his nose.  Even as hot as I was, I burst out laughing.

"Oh, laughing at me huh" Well I'll show you sweetie," Will said with an evil grin.

   His tongue reached out and snagged the rope of liquid, and then he bent over between my legs and took the swollen head of my cock between his lips.  I felt like I had levitated off the bed when he did that, his tongue swirling around the sensitive arrow of flesh.

   Will amazed me then by taking my entire penis deep into his throat, swallowing several times to help bring me deeper into him.  He brought his hand up to my nut sack and started to play around with my balls while continuing bobbing up and down, stopping every now and then to take hold of my dick in his other hand and play around with it while still sucking lightly on my glans.

   Will's tongue and sucking mouth worked hard he began to bob up and down, taking me deep then pulling almost off, leaving only the tip of my leaking cock in his mouth.  Over and over he did this until at last I felt my prostate spasm sending spurt after spurt of my essesce into his hungry mouth.  His lips remained clamped on me until my lover had drained every last drop.  Finally becoming too sensitive to stand it any longer, I pulled Will on top of me and locked my lips with his in a deep kiss, tasting my own fluids too.  Will and I fell asleep that way,  his own cum pooling between us and spreading out, coating our skin after he exploded onto me when I came in his sweet mouth.

   "Tonight my sweet lover, its my turn," I whispered to him before we slept the exhausted sleep of two satisfied lovers.

   The last thought in my drowsy brain, played over and over again as I thought about my lover.

   'He will always make room in his heart for others.  Will Johnston always makes room in his heart for others who need him.'  That's one of the reasons I love him so much.


   High in the mountains, nestled in a deep valley surrounded by high cliffs there were many tiny trails of steam rising into the air before being caught in the icy wind and dispersed. From an opening in a rock wall the stench of human waste and decomposing flesh issued forth mixed with the heavy sulfur odors emanating from the hot springs.  Deep inside the steamy cave a scrawny bearded man
huddled over a small smokeless fire.  Wrapped in torn and shredded clothes and a stained filthy blanket, he slowly turned a gutted rabbit on a stick. He didn't notice the smells produced by the rotting innards of many small animals, or the remains of the young man he'd picked-up hitch hiking, then made to carry his cache supplies into the cave.  The homeless teen had provided many nights and days of pleasure before he bled to death.  Seth Bannister didn't understand the growing weakness in his body, his strength sapped by unrelenting diarrhea and fever, because after all, he was God's chosen leader of the truly righteous.  There was only one thing on his mind now; an all consuming hatred and an overpowering need for revenge.  He was muttering one word over and over as he stared at the flames of his small fire. "Barney...Barney...Barney."


   Warren Casey sat in his car for several minutes trying to stop crying.  He'd pulled off the highway into an isolated parking lot before be broke down in sobs.  Warren knew he couldn't deny his feelings any longer.  He didn't want to be gay, but it was no use denying it any longer.  He was in love with Barney Coleman.  Warren had loved Barney since they were kids.  He knew that if he didn't confront himself and his overpowering feelings soon...he'd crack.  For the past three weeks he'd seen Barney every day, the two of them understanding that what was in the past, the fights and bitterness, was in the past and would remain there.  The young man he had come to love again was the friend of his childhood, returned to him after years of inexpressible terror and abuse.  Warren just didn't know what to do...the pain of realization that he is indeed gay and the fact that his parents were both homophobic bigots, left him in a very bad place.  But he'd been there before.

   Two years earlier when he was a sophomore, he'd had a brief but very intense affair with a student from WSU.  Warren had craved the attention the young man had given him - the kissing, sucking and jerking was just some fun, besides that didn't make him gay.

   The older boy had taken him very painfully late one spring night in the wilderness park on campus. He'd bled for two days afterward, but Warren had burned his underwear and clothes to hide the fact he'd been injured from his parents.  He never saw the boy again; he'd left WSU without finishing the semester.  Warren always wondered if it was fear that made him leave, or the guilt after raping him.  He always hoped it had been both.  His feelings for Barney were very different and very confusing.

   After Warren had stopped sobbing and wiped his eyes, he drove around the back of the small strip mall and pulled up to an unmarked door and after looking around for prying eyes, he got out of his car.  He knocked twice before the door opened a crack.  Warren passed the person inside a $20.00 bill and waited a moment.  When the door opened again, he was given a brown paper bag containing a liter of vodka, a bottle of cola and two plastic cups.  He planned to only use one of the cups.

   Warren drove through the icy countryside until he got to the county pool where he'd worked for the past two summers.  Although closed for the winter, he had a key and it was safe.  He often came here to drink.  Warren parked, climbed over the drifts then made his way to the pool house, where he knew the place was warm inside; the county heated it because of all the plumbing inside, besides the well that fed the pool also was part of Fairview's water system and they couldn't afford to let that freeze-up.

   After Warren was inside, he pulled bundles of towels off the racks and made himself a comfortable place to sit on the floor, then poured his first stiff drink.  He'd learned to deal with his problems using alcohol from his parents, both "social drinkers" they always claimed.  Warren saw it as a popular excuse term for an alcoholic.  He first started to drink after he stole liquor from his parent's bar when he was 12.  That was when Warren found that he could extinguish their screams and shouts at each other by drinking enough.  The loss of his friend Barney hadn't helped either.  At least when he had his best Bud to talk to, the pain and anguish his parents caused him was bearable.

   As the vodka began to affect him, he started to cry again.

   'This isn't the answer, this isn't the answer,' the thought kept running through his now impaired brain.

   "OH GOD...HELP ME!" Warren screamed. That was the last thing he remembered of the afternoon.


   I woke-up before Tyler for the first time this week and after making a trip to the bathroom, I moved around to our bed to sit in the overstuffed chair in the corner of our room to gaze at the wonderous sight before me and marvel at my good fortune.  I love watching my Babe sleep.  It's one of the great joys I get from our relationship.  I wondered to myself if Ty looked more handsome by the week, as I saw the sight of his slim but firm body in front me.  The comforter had fallen away from Ty's body as he slept, revealing the seeming fragility of his slender torso.  I looked to my lovers beautiful penis, lying limp upon his large testicles, that had  filled my mouth and throat with his gushing sweet white cum only a few hours ago.  I love the taste of him too - of honey, herbs and spices.

   My eyes followed the lines of Ty's form down to his slender long legs that stretched below the curve of his firm ass to disappear beneath the comforter.  Ty appears seemingly fragile, soft and delicate, yet he is capable of amazing feats of strength and endurance, although he pays a dear price afterward, measured in knotted muscles and agonizing pain.  I have reveled in Ty's tender and loving embrace and at his infinite patience in the face of such adversity.

   I think that morning watching Tyler sleep so peacefully, I first understood that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him beside me.  I had a pleasant vision of us growing old together after long and full lives.

   'God, I love him so much,' I thought to myself as he first began to stir in the dawn light of this Christmas Eve morning.

   "Morning Babe," I said as Ty's eyes fluttered open a bit, then closed once more while he reached out his hand for me to join him back in bed.

   I walked over to him and sat on the side of the bed, leaned over and gave him "our" kiss, then lay down beside him.

   "I love you Will Johnston.  I love you so much sometimes it feels like my heart is just gonna bust, I love you that much," Ty whispered to me as he pulled me close.

   "I love you too Tyler Anderson, more than I could possibly explain.  Maybe after we've lived together for 50 years or so I might have the words to explain, but for now "I love you" will have to do," I told my boyfriend, my partner, my soul brother.

   Ty opened his eyes to look deeply into mine.  He must have read the emotion in my eyes because he put his arms around me, pulled me close and gave me the most sensuous, passionate kiss I'd ever had in my life.  Ty reached down between my legs to grip my semi-erect member lightly in his hand, running his index finger gently around my glans.  I shuddered from the sheer pleasure of his touch.

   "Come take a hot shower with me Will.  I want to give you the same pleasure you gave me last night and I know how you love to do it with the water streaming down onto us as you cum."

   "Yes Babe, I'd love that and you know it only too well, besides we both kinda smell rank and I'd like to get you relaxed some before I give you a good massage when we're through in the shower.  It'll be a long day today and I don't want you to be hurting later tonight.  We have plans, remember?" I told my wonderful lover.

   We'd decided that New Years Eve we'd finally go "all the way" with each other and starting tonight, we'd begin to loosen each other up in preperation for the true surrender of our bodies to each other. That act would be a gift of love from one to the other.  I had also decided while I was watching Ty sleep minutes ago, that I wold ask him to become my life partner on New Years Day.


    By 5:00pm, the "Hotel Anderson" full of family and friends once more.  There were extra folding tables set-up that had lots of different foods arrayed on them.  All the planning, cooking and preperation had been well worth it from the smiles and congratulations we had received from all the visitors to the house.  Barney was just beaming too.  He had made the food arrangements into the tiers that allowed every dish to be not only accessable to our guests, but also very appetizing too.  He'd told us that "food tasts better when it's presented the right way."  During the afternoon and early evening, there must have been a hundred or so friends and relatives stop by with holiday greetings.  It was a great all day party!

   There were so many brightly colored packages under and around the base of the Christmas Tree
that it looked like the packages themselves were supporting the Scotch pine that we'd selected from the lot and decorated a week ago.  It was a good looking tree too.  There must be twenty strands of multicolored mini lights and hundreds of silver, gold and red glass bulb ornaments too.  It was a bright and cheerful tree, that represented new life and forgiveness for all of us who lived in the house.  As each visitor came into the house, they were asked to take an ornament and place it onto the tree.  It was very special indeed!

   Derrick, or more frequently now, "Dad" as I had started to call him, made this fantastic Southern Comfort eggnog and with everyone having at least a few classes of the rich and highly potent drink. We were well into the second big bowl by, when Barney got to his feet and cleared his throat to get all of our attention.

   "Ahhh, I haven't...well I've never...told any of you here tonight, what being with you now, in front of this Christmas tree, really means to me.  I think that Derrick knows how I feel.  I know that my friends...my brothers...know what all your kindnesses have meant...during my recovery." Barney paused a moment, swallowing hard a couple of times, before he continued.

   "All of you know what has...what had happened to me in the last several years before Derrick, Ty and Will saved my life.  I was lying right here on this very spot, bloody and half frozen when I asked them to help me live.  I had no right to ask them, because for years I'd hurt Will and a lot of others as often as I could.  But it was Derrick, Will and Tyler who helped me rediscover what real living could be." The tears were falling down Barneys face now as he looked around the assembled friends and family.

   Mom and Dr. Susie's eyes were brimming.  Doug was standing next to Mom too.  I noticed that his eyes were also full of unshead tears.  I hadn't noticed Douglas Denton, MD FACS, Moms partner in their surgical practice come in and was surprised that he'd be here tonight.  He was still married but I'd heard over the last couple of months that he'd moved out of his townhouse near the University.  I filed that away for a time when I could get Mom alone to ask her what was going on.

   "Ahhh...I want to thank everyone who has helped me become a real person again...because against all the odds...you have succeeded.  I know that I have a long way to go yet, physically, mentally and spiritually, but with the help of those closest to me now, and with God's help, I'm sure that I will make it.  Bless all of you and...thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Merry Christmas."

   "Merry Christmas," responses were heard around the room.  Barney looked around the living room at all of us standing there in amazement.  What had happened to the shy and withdrawn Barney?

   Derrick was the first to reach Barney and pulled him into a tight embrace. Both of them were sobbing into each other's shoulders when the rest of his old friends gathered around Derrick and Barney.  There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Ty looked at me and I knew that he wanted to stand up, so I knelt in front of him.  Ty gave me a light kiss when he wrapped his arms around my neck.

   Barney looked up and saw Ty and me standing next to the fireplace. He walked unsteadily across the room and looked at the two of us.

   "I owe you both most of all. I...I'm not sure how, but someday I hope that I can repay you two for all your kindness and love."  Barney then leaned in and kissed us both lightly on the side of our faces..  We reached out together and pulled Barney to us.

   "The only thing you owe us is your friendship brother, nothing more," I told Barney. The three of us stood there in a strong hard embrace each of us grinning widely, until Derrick cleared his throat.

   "Friends, we have never had a tradition in this family of exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve, preferring to wait until the next day.  Tonight I think it's time to start a new tradition in our family.  Barney can you come over here for a moment, because this new tradition must start with you."

   Barney looked shocked and apprehensive, but with Todd helping him, he did as Derrick asked and crossed the room to stand in front of him and the tree.  Derrick leaned in to whisper something into Barneys ear. He looked at Derrick and hesitantly shook his head up and down. Ty and I looked at each other.  I shrugged my shoulders to indicate I had no idea what was going on while Todd had brought Ty's chair over so he could sit again.  If he stood too long his back would be knotted painfully later on.

   We watched Derrick reach under the tree and pick-up a large flat package.  When he stood up, he put an arm around Barney's waist and pulled him next to him.

   "Almost two weeks ago, Barney came to me and told me he wanted to break completely with his past.  He told me he feels like he has a new life ahead of him and he wanted to insure that he could...get on with his recovery...with his new...family.  Barney when you told me that...and...and what you wanted to do, I was overwhelmed with pride and joy.  I think that this will help you get on with your life.

   "Ty, Will, Todd, Carley, Suzie? Please come over here too."

    We all approached Barney and Derrick.  I was still puzzled about what was going on, I know Ty was too.

   "Barney, this is for you," Derrick told him as he handed Barney the package he held.

   With trembling hands, Barney managed to open the wrapping without too much difficulty, when he looked at what the picture frame held, he almost fell down, but Derrick had a strong hold of Barney. Todd and I helped Barney over to one of the overstuffed chairs beside the fireplace.  Barney sat...really collapsed, into the chair and began to cry hard. Ty wheeled himself over beside Barney and reached out to take his hand.  Todd had held his other still heavily bandaged hand and I stood behind him gently kneading Barney's shoulders as he sobbed.

   "May I?" Derrick asked Barney gently.  He nodded at Dad who held the mysterious picture frame, the contents of which had affected Barney so dramatically and with his own eyes filled with tears and in a voice thick with emotion Derrick began to speak again.

   "Be it known that on this 23rd day of December 1993, the petitioner, Derrick James Anderson, Esquire of Fairview County is hereby granted full and permanent parental custody of Bernard David Coleman, a minor child, resident of Fairview County.  It is further ordered by this Court, in the County of Fairview, that the minor child known as Bernard David Coleman will henceforth be known as
Jason Aaron Anderson by his own choice.  This Adoption of the minor child previously known as Bernard David Coleman is effective as of 12:01AM December 25th, 1993.  Signed and Ordered this 23rd day of December, 1993. Signed Wilson R. Phillips, Senior Judge of the District Court in and for the County of Fairview," Derrick read to the assembled friends and relatives.

   "Jason, in this frame is the original Adoption Order.  Dad turned the framed documents around and showed the assembled friends and family the paper it held, complete with an official looking gold  stamp of the Great Seal of our State.

   "Jason, in this envelope are your new birth certificate that reflects these changes and some other papers for you to sign later."

   I could see that Barn...Jason was simply overwhelmed with happiness and I suppose shock too. So were Ty, Todd and me and judging from the look on their faces, very happy and proud that Derrick, Dad...had done this for the young man we all loved and cared about.  It was a very special moment in our lives.

   "Friends, may I introduce my newest son Jason Aaron Anderson."

   "YES!!!" Both Ty and I shouted at the same time.

   Everyone in the house began to applaud and gather around the tree; all were congratulating him, hugging him and smothering him with love and affection.  Immediately after Derrick...Dad ...had told us all about Barney...no...Jason's new start, his new live as a son, brother, nephew and cousin of the Anderson clan, Ty and I drifted to the edge of the crowd of well wishers and into the hallway.  I knelt before him and took his tear stained face between my hands kissing my boyfriend, my lover deeply.

   "I'm so happy Dad did this for Barn...Jason.  It's so right for him to have a new start in life, but Will, this is gonna be hard for Barney...for Jason to deal with I'm sure."

   "I know Babe, I know.  But we told him we'd be there and we will be too.  It's not just you and me anymore, it'll be all of us juxtaposed against all comers now, against the hate that hurt so many and I don't mean just gay kids like us.  This kind of hate is like a slow acting poison in peoples very soul's...my God Ty, look what it did to Barn...Jason, Aaron Alexander and Jason Davis.  What about Becky Willis and that Erickson kid.  How many others were there?  How many of the kids in Fairview have been corrupted and damaged by Bannister's hate filled religious crap?  How many are so scared to be who they are because of all the hate, bigotry and confusion spread by that bastard?"  I asked Ty quietly.

   "This isn't just about the three of us Ty, it's about the very struggle of good versus evil and right against wrong...as much as we hate it all, we're caught in the middle of this because we love each other.  Now Barn...Jason is with us too.  Beneath all that hurt and pain, he has an inner strength that is amazing.  Other kids would have killed themselves a long time ago I think.  Barn...Jason is very, very special and I think that what Derrick, what Dad did for him is just the first of the good things that'll be coming his way soon, except the road is gonna be hard and mostly uphill.  Are we ready for that Ty?"

   "Where you go I go, my love. Am I ready?  I don't know.  I don't believe that either of us really will know until the time comes.  If what you say is true and I think it is; we've been tested once in public at school when we came out and once here in this very house when Barney...Jason asked us to save his life.  Will we be tested again. Yes.  But am I ready to be at your's and Barney's... Jason's side...absolutely!  Just don't forget Babe, there are at least 7 of us now and I'm sure we can count on others too.  Thats a pretty formidable group ya know."  Ty told me with great emotion...then he kissed me back, hard!  His tongue slipping into my mouth and his lips pressed hard against mine.

   "Sealed with a kiss Babe, sealed with a kiss!" Ty said as we broke apart, turned, then hand in hand, returned to the living room and the festivities that were underway. 

   Ty and I had a new brother...yes, months ago Dad and Ty had in effect adopted me as well because I  think Derrick recognized Ty and I were gonna be lifer's together.  Strange though, how Derrick has seemed to know how strong our relationship had become and how deeply we loved each other.

   Mom and Dr. Suzie were among the last to congratulate Barn...Jason. They knelt next to him and spoke quietly to our brother for a while, before getting up and hugging Derrick.  It was after midnight before all the "Merry Christmases" had been said and everyone not staying over had left, before things finally got quiet.

   An hour later, after Suzie, Mom and Dan had helped change Jason's dressings, our new brother said goodnight to everyone, before Barn...Jason (Oh Hell, I'll get used to the name change in a doy or so),  Jason, looking exhausted but very happy, went to bed.  I kept forgetting he still has a long way to go before being physically healed from the ordeal he experienced.  The other stuff will take time.

   Ty and I were the last to head for bed.  We'd told Derrick how surprised we had been after the impromptu presentation earlier.

   "It helps that I clerked for Judge Phillips after law school, but more importantly, he considers Barn...Jason a special case, so he waived all the other requirements.  Will, your Mother and Suzanne wrote some letters that helped too.  On another point, lets allow Jason some room to adjust to all this newness.  It'll take him a while to feel his way with two new Brothers and a new Father, so help him out if he wants it or asks. OK?"  We both hugged and kissed Derrick.

   "Thank you Dad," Ty told him, "You've given us both the best Christmas present we could have asked for.  We love you Dad."

   On our way back through the tree lit and now quiet living room towards our own waiting bed, I heard Barn...Jason weeping in his room. I knocked lightly and almost immediately heard Jason ask us to come in by name.

   Ty and I crossed over to his bed.

   "Hold me please, please hold me," he sobbed.

   Ty slid himself up next to Jason and took him into his arms, while I crossed to the other side and took them both into my embrace.

   "What is it Jason?  Please tell us, we're your brothers now and you can tell us anything.  We love you Jason.  We love you no matter what name you have.  We love you brother." Ty told the newest addition to the Anderson family.

   "I...I was so alone, so desperate and now there is so much...now I belong to a real family and...I'm not sure how...how..." he sobbed into our chests.

   I was running my fingers through his hair and Ty was rubbing and kneading his neck gently while we both whispered soothing words to him...words of love and family and bright new futures that were there for him to grasp.  After half an hour our brother - Jason - finally began to calm down, but when we started to leave, he held onto us.

   "Please don't leave yet...I'm so happy but I'm so scared that...that I'll screw this up...like I did...before." He was still choking back more tears.

   "Barn...Jason, can I ask you why you chose Jason and Aaron for your new name?" Ty whispered to him.  It took several minutes before he was able to answer and when he did it was with renewed bitter tears and great anguish in his voice.

   "They both...both Jason and Aaron, their bodies...their minds were...they were the one's that were taken first, tortured, raped, drugged...sacrificed to satisfy Bannister's sick needs.  Their suffering...their pain gave me the time...time to get away," he said between sobs.

   Ty and I were stunned by what our friend just told us.

   "I saw and heard...what had been...done to them...I heard Aaron scream for hours...I still...hear him...hear his screams...when I sleep...the nightmares...I saw Jason...all bloody from...being raped...his eyes...his eyes were dead...no life left in them," he told us.

   "They...one man...told me I was next...that night I would be his...I was going to kill myself, but...
but I was able to get out...while they were left behind...with Bannister...I know that they were...were found alive...but that was their bodies alive...not them...Jason...Aaron...they are gone." Ty and I were sobbing with our brother too as this horrible secret was revealed to us.  My God, he'd been holding all this in...for so long!

   Although I knew some of the story, this disclosure threatened to make me physically ill.  Ty must have been feeling the same, because he was squeezing my hand so hard, I thought he would break my fingers, but I really didn't pay attention to that. The pain I felt coming from...Jason, the agony he had endured for so long was simply too overwhelming for one 17 year old kid to handle alone, and this crap had been happening to him for years!

   "I was going to use...use this before they came for me," he said before reaching very tentatively onto the windowsill above the headboard.

   In the dim glow reflecting off the Christmas tree lights coming through the slightly open door, I saw a small sliver of thin plastic. I took it from Bar...Jason's fingers and realized as I did, that the shard of white plastic was as sharp as a razor blade. Ty looked at me with barely concealed terror in his eyes. Barney...Jason...had felt so threatened that he'd kept his secret instrument of self destruction even after he'd come here to live with us!  I put the plastic splinter back onto the windowsill.  We would make sure that it disappeared later.

   "So you chose Jason Aaron as a kind of...what, a memorial, a repayment of sorts," Ty asked.

   "Kind of but its more than that.  I want to...I need to keep the memory of them...as they...as they were before Bannister got hold of us...poisoned our minds with hate.  They were really good people before that.  Bannister used our anger...at our parents...our lives...to change us.  I want to make...do good things...with my life...for them both...because I owe them at least that much but really , much more.  Do you understand now?

That's what I told Derrick last week...he...he understood why I needed to change my name.  I hate the Barney Coleman I had become.  I had to change my...I was so afraid that Barn...that my old name would follow me forever...I'm not that person anymore.  I have not been that person for a long time." Jason told us.

    "When Derrick...my new Father...gave me the adoption papers tonight...I had no idea he was going...going to do that...I...I..." Our brother Jason broke down again sobbing heavily as we held him in our arms.

   While we were huddled together embracing each other, a series of strong memories flashed through my mind.  I remembered how much fun Barney had been as a kid...and as my best friend.  How he had changed after his Mother's death; become withdrawn, angry and began to hurt each of us with sudden unprevoked attacks.  As time passed, how I'd come to hate him, to loathe seeing his twisted face, and the angry sneer when he saw any of us.  I remembered Todd and Kelly trying to talk to him, to tell him we wanted to help only to be assaulted for their trouble.  It had been a bad fight, with Todd's nose being broken.  I recalled all of that...saw the fights and experienced all those emotions in a brief second or two.  Then I believe I saw the truth of what it all meant.

   Had he had been trying to protect us from knowing about his own horrors, being beaten and sexually abused by his father?  Had he been terrified that we'd become victims too?  It seemed to make sense.  Barn...Jason dealt with his fears for us the only way he could...he drove us away!  He made us go and kept us safe!  Oh dear God, is it possible that he did it for us?

   We cried along with him too, holding this guy who had survived such terror for so long; our tears mingling together as they soaked Jason's t-shirt.  But the tears I shed had a new meaning too.

   I would tell Ty and Dad what I thought tomorrow, but now this hurt young man I had once loathed filled my heart with love.  If I were right, Barney...Jason, had saved all his childhood friends from falling into the clutches of his father and Bannister.  How Jason and Aaron had become involved was still a mystery but one that I promised myself I'd find out about as soon as possible.

   "I can't believe it's really happening...I have a new name and...," Jason started to say then we heard Dad' voice.

   "Jason...Jason Aaron Anderson is a name that will someday make everyone who hears it glad to know who it belongs too," we heard Derrick say from the doorway.  He was standing there in his robe with tear trails marking his face too.

   Derrick crossed the room to sit at the bottom of the bed while he looked at the three of us. The love and pride we saw in his face and eyes were like a glowing beacon for us.

   "There is more you should know too Barn...forgive me, Jason my son." Derrick said to us in a very quiet and emotionally charged voice.

   "Ty and Will came to me on the same day you asked to change your name, son. They insisted that I look into adopting you too...but that is something I'd decided to try and accomplish already. That Will and Ty came to the same decision on their own...well that says a lot about how they feel about you too."

   "You...you did?  Both of you wanted to adopt me too?" Our brother asked us, his tear reddened eyes bright with wonderand and was it love I saw in his eyes too?

   "Yes we did, only Derrick...our Dad...surprised us all by the swiftness of the adoption happening. We're very happy that he did act on what we wanted Bro.  See, we do love you a lot.  We all want to be part of your life and...I hope that you feel the same way...about us too.  We love you Jason Aaron Anderson," I told him.

   "So you're both OK with me being adopted into...?" The hurting boy we both loved asked us.

   "Yes Bro. We do love you and want you to join our family.  You belong with us now.  We're you're...you are family, now and forever and don't you ever forget you are either." Ty quietly told Jason.

   "You may feel differently in a couple of weeks after you get to see how grumpy Will and I can be in the morning when school starts."

   Jason broke down again, but these were tears of joy and happiness...not of hurt, pain and anguish over terrible memories.  Derrick stood and came over to us, leaning over, he kissed the three of us on the forehead.

   "Try not to stay up too late guy's. We have company arriving at noon and it'll be a long day for us all. Good night and Merry Christmas," he said as he left the room.

   "Merry Christmas Dad," we all replied, our own emotionally charged voices barely able to speak.

   "Can...can you sleep with me tonight please, I don't want to be alone tonight of all nights, please?"
Jason asked us hesitantly.

   I looked at Ty and I could see the answer in his eyes.

   "Of course you can.  Anytime you need to, anytime at all.  You don't need a reason to ask." I told the boy I had once hated and reviled in his former life.  If what I suspected was true about the Barney of years ago, I owed him a debt that would be hard to repay.

   "This bed is a little too small for all three of us though.  Come on Bro.  Lets go into our room." Ty told him.

   Ty slid into his chair and I helped Jason to stand.  He was a little unsteady so I took his arm and put it around my shoulder.  Ty wheeled over, took Jason's hand and placed it on his own shoulder too.

   "You can always lean on us...Jason.  Always."

   After we got into our bedroom, we helped Jason undress down to his boxers, removing his soaked t-shirt so we were all bare chests too.  Then we all got into our bed with our brother resting on his back between us.

   I was lying propped up on my elbow and turned to look at Ty and Jason.  Even in the dim light of the half moon streaming into our room through the big windows, you could see the gratitude and...and yes it is love, in Jason's eyes as he looked at both Ty and me.  I leaned over Jason, took his head in my hands and kissed him gently on the cheeks and lips, and then Ty made the same gesture of love and acceptance.  At first I felt Jason stiffen a little, but just as quickly he relaxed again and heaved a big sigh.

   Jason's face was still wet with tears and I felt my own hot tears coursing down my cheeks; Ty's eyes, too were filled and overflowing.  We are brothers.

   Ty laid his head on our Jason's chest, and I lay mine on his shoulder next to his head.

   "Are you alright Bro?" I asked.

   "Oh yes, thanks to all of you. You've given me a chance...a chance to...undo some of the evil that Barney did.  Thank you both...my brothers.   I know I wouldn't have made it except for the love you have given me, despite all the hurt I've caused you both.

   "Jason...that is all in the past now. You have a new life before you, a new beginning.  You just have to reach out and take it and we'll always be here for you, for the rough spots; and there will be rough spots Bro, but all of us will be here for you.  Ty and me, Derrick...all of us...Mom, Suzie, Janet, Todd, Jamal, Kelly, Warren, all of us will do anything we can to help you become the man you want to become.

   "I love you both so much, I love all of you so much," he whispered as his eyes closed.

   Ty and I wrapped the newest Anderson in our arms; our fingers intertwined lying on top of Jason's bandaged hands as we all fell asleep.  Three brothers, together ready to face all the challenges that come before us.

   Just before I drifted off, in that twilight zone before true sleep comes, I thought I heard Derrick say, "Merry Christmas to all...and to all a good night.  Sweet dreams my angels."

End of Chapter Six

To be continued...

   We'd really like to hear from our readers about what you think of the Will and Tyler series so far.

Part One concludes with Chapter Seven, however we've planned for two more parts of Will and Tyler's Odyssey.  Your feedback is the only way too know if we're doing it right or not.  Comments, Observations or Criticisms? Galacticflute@yahoo.com

   We also have been recommending other stories that we find interesting and well written. Here are a few more: David and Tristan by D.Z. in High School,  "Changing Classes" by Dave (Dabeagle) in  Young Friends and the continuation of "Working it Out" by Don Hanratty in the College section.  "High Iron" and "No Greater Love"  by Stephen are located in the Historical section of the Archive.  "The Knife that Twists Within" by Stefan can be found in

  Chapter One of a new Mike and Alan story called "Houseboat on the Bay" should be ready for posting in the Beginnings section of the Archive in the next week or so.

   Derek-Dude, you are the man!

(c) 2001 Mike and Alan.  All rights reserved.