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:  Our humble apologies for taking almost two months to get Chapter Seven out to our readers.  The move East, changing job, saying "so long Friend" to so many...we guess there were several weeks when Will and Tyler wasn't just on the back burner, but the gas had been cut-off too. Our lives are finally getting back to normal.  For our readers of the "Houseboat on the Bay" series (Beginnings) Darren and Blake get our full attention this weekend.  Thanks for all the encouraging emails too.  It's been a pleasure to write for you.  M&A

Since it's been so long - from last time:

   After we got into our bedroom, we helped Jason undress down to his boxers, removing his soaked t-shirt so we were all bare chested too.  Then we helped Jason ease into our bed with our brother resting on his back between us. Ty and I changed his dressings too and gave Jason his medications.  His injuries were almost healed.

   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 spilling tears and I felt my own 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 bad stuff that Barney did.  Thank you both...my dear sweet 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...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."

Will and Tyler's Odyssey

Part One: In the Beginning

   New Years Day found Ty and me only a little hung-over from the festivities of the night before.  As we had been doing for years, we were at our neighbors home until almost 3:00am, but since our house was only a quarter mike away, we managed to make it into our own bed after walking home under the clear, still and frigid -10F degree night sky.  The stars were so bright it seemed that if you reached up you could pluck one out of the heavens.

   Ty woke me up around seven when he moaned in pain.  The walk in the cold and our "dancing" at the party had resulted in spasms in his back. They weren't too bad this year, but I can clearly remember January firsts in the past when that wasn't the case.  Since I'd already prepared for it, the herb infused oil that helped to make the knots and spasms dissipate was sitting in the little warmer tray and readily available at hand.

   I never get tired of giving my Babe massages.  I love running my hands and fingers over his smooth skin, tracing the tiny almost invisible scars on his body, teasing the knots out, manipulating  spasm stiff muscles into relaxation and feeling the warmth of the oil on my palms.  The scent of rosemary, cinnamon and sweet cloves permeate the air in our bedroom for hours afterwards. We slept again until 10, and then showered in our own special way before getting ready for company to arrive.

   Before we got out of bed, I held Ty close to me stroking his hair gently, thinking once more about how truly lucky I am to have found Tyler that day in the halls at University High.  Even after eight years, I still love Ty like no other.

   'God, I love this guy,' the thought brought a tear into my eyes.  I have been truly blessed for another year.

   Today we always have a small brunch for our group of closest friends, guys I've known since childhood; Ty's friends since the beginning of our lives together here in Fairview.  Today's menu was almost ready. Since this is the first time we've seen a couple of them in almost two years, we pulled out all the stops.  Todd and Sandi, Jay, Kelly, Chris, Mason, Colby and Angel.  Toshi and Jon, Blake,  Evan,  Scott and Jeffrey: all would be here soon.  Our brothers Jason and Warren were arriving shortly from their long stay in Guatamala.  Scott and Jeffrey were back from the jungles of Peru too.

   Some of the others we'd invited included a few students and colleagues from the University and friends from the neighborhood too.  We counted twenty-five but prepared for fifty; there were always extra guests dropping by.  There were never any leftovers: if there were, both of us and our houseguest's would finish them later as a "midnight snack."

   I know some of those names are unfamiliar now, but as I continue to battle my insomnia by writing this memoir, you'll get to know just who is who in time and how each of our friends have touched our lives in some special way.

   Today's menu included Grilled  Medallions of Venison Tenderloin with a red wine reduction, Apple Smoked Rainbow Trout, Eggs Benedict with Caviar, Cajun Spicy Steamed Jumbo Shrimp  (such a curious oxymoron), Oysters Bienville, Grilled Scallops wrapped in Wild Boar Proscuitto, a wide variety of pasta salads and an enormous antipasto platter. Tiramisu and other Italian sweets from Antonio's round out the meal choices.  Champagne, Lagers, Red and White wines and our own homebrewed Scotch Ale compliment the table.  All in all, a very fine spread for our annual New Year's Day Brunch.  The smells in our home were almost intoxicating.

   The best part of the day came after assaulting the buffet when we all sat around the wide screen TV and watched the Tampa Bay Buck's demolish Tennessee's Titan's for a playoff berth.  Mom and Dan lived near Tampa Bay and she called the game from their seats at Buccaneer Stadium: she was on the speakerphone for almost the entire third quarter - until Mom's voice finally gave out!.  The Buck's won 24 to 21 in OT.  I'd collect on my bet with Ty later tonight!

   Derrick called from LA and spoke to all of us. The case he was working on might keep a young man from the death penalty, so he, Uncle Andrew and Eduardo had stayed there to keep working over the holidays. Since their firm specialized in capitol cases and major felonies, both men felt obligated to remain close to the action and their client.  Dad thought they might actually be able to pull off an acquittal so we understood completely.

   The client, a boy really, was innocent anyway, a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, questionable police behavior and of overzealous prosecution in a high profile case with very little evidence.  But when the victim was a famous star...notorious for picking up underaged boys and for "rough sex" often leaving the boy in question, bleeding and brutalized, well there was the making of a sensational trial...only the boy wasn't there that night.  He had been assaulted and raped by another "trick" and left near the actors home.  Dad was a terror in these cases...terror for the prosecution. We'd be seeing the three men in two weeks when we go to the coast for an academic conference.

   Everyone helped to take the all the decorations off the tree too, packing the antique bubble lamps and all the glass bulbs away for another year. It was a long process, because Chris and Mason have always insisted on a retelling of the stories behind many of the special ornaments that decorate our tree.  Especially the story of the crystal star that adorns the top of our tree.  But thats a tale for another time.

   Our landscapers would come by next week to remove the silver spruce to the backyard.  There was a younger tree to replace it already growing outside. The remaining gifts were put in the den for the recipients to get later on.

   Life was beginning to return to normal on Old Bridge Road.

   I was watching Ty packing a very special holiday decoration into a small red velvet lined wooden box when he looked up at me.  We locked eyes as he wheeled himself over to where I was sitting in front of the fireplace on the Indian motif rug that had replaced the oriental carpet that once had rested in it's place.  Ty slid out of his chair into my arms and we held each other tightly for several minutes, neither of us saying anything.  Ty had laid the box on the rug next to us and I reached out and
opened the top.  There nestled inside was the crystal star that had topped our trees from the time of our second Christmas together over seven years earlier: Jason's crystal star, but like I said before, a story for another time.

   Tonight we would read the last entry in our second journal; the last one that would complete our annual ritual.  This last long entry always leaves us so full of joy and hope, but the words that both of us wrote so long ago also will take us through many emotional changes along the way.  The entries in this section of our journal have been annotated many times over the years, particularly by Jason.  He had our permission to do so too:  most of the second journal is about him anyway and over the years, he'd added a lot, corrected some things and clairified others.  It is about who we would become as brothers...about who were then and who we are today, our values, hopes, dreams and those of our closest friends too.

   After our late supper of brunch leftovers, and our guests had turned in for the night or left for their own homes, we settled again in front of the fireplace with a bottle of blackberry brandy; the radiating heat from the brandy and the fire warming our bodies, the words we began to read warming our hearts; the words bringing it all back to life in a flood of memories, bringing alive days of strange dreams and at least one miracle on Christmas Day eight years ago. The beginning of  the passages we were going to reread once more was marked by a neatly folded letter.  I sipped my brandy, savoring the fruity favor, before I began to read aloud.

"The phone ringing insistently woke me from my dream..."

Chapter Seven

   The phone ringing insistently woke me from my dream about my friends Barney, Warren, Jamal, Kelly, Ty and me, all of us skinny-dipping down by the old bridge.  We were all about 12 or 13 and I knew it was during summer vacation. It was hot!  Barney's Mom had packed us all sandwiches and sodas.  It was a picnic adventure for sure!  Ty would  run and leap off the old bridge foundations screaming all the way down into the clear cool waters.  We held hands sometimes and jumped together.

   Funny how dreams work though...Mary Lynne Coleman had died when we were 11 or so and she'd never made us a picnic lunch; Ty only came into my life just over 4 months ago, but in any case, it was a very sweet dream.

   I hated phones at that moment, but I groggily managed to slip out of bed, disentangling myself from Barn...Jason's and Ty's arms and legs and leaving the coveted warm spot to another cool morning.  It must be 20 below outside.  I stubbed my toe on the bedpost, then cursing under my breath, I hopped over to our desk to answer the inslstently ringing telephone.

   "Hello? Anderson residence," I said, somewhat tersely.  My toe was beginning to throb too.

   "Will? This is Todd."

   "Oh, Hi Todd.  Merry Christmas!"  I managed to croak our, my voice still thick with sleep.  I looked at the clock on the bed stand and saw that it was only 7:30!  I hoped he heard the scarcasm in my greeting.

   "Merry Christmas sleepyhead!  Get up!  It's a beautiful day Will Johnston!"

   I felt the curses that I had planned for the caller die unspoken on my lips when I finally registered what Todd had just said.  I walked over to the window and pulled the drapes back just a bit to look outside.  In the early morning light, the snow glittered like diamonds under the cloudless blue sky. It was beautiful, but....

   'How could anyone be this damned cheerful this early and with no school today?'  In my groggy thoughts I wondered if Todd was putting me on...he's worse than me in the morning!

   "Look Will, Christopher and Mason got me up at 5:00 by jumping up and down on me in bed until I grabbed 'em both and made 'em go back to sleep with me.  But the little shits had me awake and I couldn't get back to sleep by then.  I figure since I'm up, you, Ty and Barn...Jason need to be up too.  We are family ya know," Todd rambled on.

    I figure he must have finished a whole pot of coffee by himself!  I could imagine his rude awakening when the 11-year-old twins pounced on him.  He hated it and at the same time, I knew that Todd loved it.  For Todd and his father -Ty's Uncle Andrew - the twins are very special.  Todd's mother died giving birth to them.  Precious gems and yet a royal pain in the ass every year.

   "Oh god, Todd!  We didn't get to sleep till almost three this morning...you can't be serious!"

   "Yep, I sure am.  You can take a nap for a while but remember Will, everybody is due here at Noon, so there's plenty of time to catch a few winks Bud."

   "Ok Todd, We'll see you at noon then. Bye...and Merry Christmas too."

    Limping back to bed, I pulled the covers up and climbed back in next to Ty and spooned in against his back. He was so warm against me that I was almost instantly drowsy again.

   "I brought this with me to bed last night Will," Ty whispered to me as he twisted around to guide me onto his chest.

   My head rested between his two quarter size nipples so I could also feel the slow rise and fall of his chest with each breath.  I felt and heard the powerful beats of my lovers heart but as I looked into his light blue eyes my mind seemed to merge with his; for I saw and felt the loving bond between us grow and strengthen even more than before.  I understood Ty's message...and he knows that I
understand: my eyes that communicated volumes to my beloved Tyler as his did to me: I love you!

   He also held the wrapped box from the jewelry store above his head...Ty's hand reaching over the headboard to replace the brightly wrapped package on the small hidden shelf behind it.

   I mouthed the words: "...when he wakes up...I love you Tyler," to my Babe, then closed my eyes again.  I wrapped an arm around Ty and pulled myself closer to him after he rolled back to spoon into Jason's back again, before my other arm draped across the bodies of my two friends.  I felt Jason take my hand and Ty's in his and press them tightly to his chest.  I was soon asleep again, but dreamlessly this time.


   The young man once known as Bernard David Coleman heard the phone ring three times before he felt Will move out of bed and a second later, his toe hitting the bedpost.  Will's quiet but creative choice of curses left him ready to burst out in giggles.  From the movement of Ty's naked chest against the skin of his back, he knew that Ty was barely holding back too.

   'Poor Will!  <<<Chuckle>>>  Poor somofabitch on the other end!'  Jason thought to himself, taking a deep breath and relaxing once more into Ty's embrace.
   'Jason Aaron Anderson, even the words still sound too unreal.  It hasn't actually sunk in yet, has it?  You aren't Barney any longer.  God is giving you a second chance so don't fuck it up boy!'
   The heat I felt radiating from inside my chest was like a warm glow when I thought of Will and Tyler.
   'My very own brothers. True brothers...not by blood...or was that true, because Derrick had told me they were all covered in my blood that night; the night I was free - finally free.'
   The image of the demon I knew as Seth briefly fought with me but it only took a small effort to banish that memory away deep to be dealt with another day.
   Today is MY birthday. Born last night and already almost 18!
   I heard Will complain to Todd that it was too early to be up. The clock read 7:30.
  'Chris and Mase got to him again.'  I remembered Todd saying when they were very small, he used to lock his door until his little brothers figured out to hide in his closet that one Christmas Eve..
   Todd and his Dad were frantic when they couldn't be found...until Todd opened his closet door and found both his brothers cuddled together asleep on a pile of clothes.  Todd and his Dad carried them to Todd's bed and then everybody went back to sleep, Todd cuddling Chris and Mase.  After that Christmas Eve, he never locked his door again.  I felt tears running down my face remembering Todd telling me that story last week.
   'I'll never have memories like that.'
   I have to make new memories now, thats what Suzie told me at our last session.  Since Mom died...there haven't been any good memories.  I suppose that I should be thankful, most of that time after her death and until just before this Thanksgiving seemed to have been wiped clear in my mind:  Just a black place I don't have to go into again until after the New Year in January and my next session with Suzie.
   Every day I spend here, that black place gets further and further away; easier and easier to control.  Here in my new home, with my new father and two wonderful new brothers; I'll start making those memories with last night and the "ceremony" Derrick...my new Pops...held with all the greater "family" around us.
   The warmth in my chest threatened to become a fire right then and tears continued to fall from my closed eyes.
   Actually there is one faint memory before that one I'll keep close: Of a bitterly cold blizzard and of a single light in the darkness.  Of Will Johnston's face swimming into focus lit by a beautiful warm fire.  Of being wet from my neck to my toes and of strong arms holding me closely, gently and with such care.  Whispers of reassurance and safety, of love and family, of promises made that have been kept.
   But that memory was like remembering a nightmare filled with terror yet ending in beauty and peace, it was there all right, but hazy and indistinct.  Yet this snippet of remembrance also filled my chest with gentle warm caresses.
   'I have not felt this alive in years.  I can actually breathe without all that weight pressing my soul to the ground and rubbing my nose in.....'
   I felt Will climbing back into bed next to Ty.  I'd slept most of the night spooned into Will's back, my arm and Ty's draped over his chest, Will's own hand holding both of ours close to his heart. Now, I held both of their hands in mine, close to my soul.  As I fell asleep again, it seemed like I started to dream at once too.

   "Hey Will...let's go man....it's our turn to jump from the bridge first!"

   "Yeahh, you're right Barn...Jase...Barney.  Let's go before Ty and Todd beat us there.  Hey!  Look!  Ty's already running for the path...lets go!"

   We are running through the brush covered path, cut through the center to two ancient plantings of hedge, it's like running through a tunnel of living green. I could feel Ty's hot breath on my back as we ran flat out for river.

   "Heeyyy!  We're here first,"  I told Ty when he came to a stop next to us, breathing hard from his sprint up the trail to the abandoned railroad bed and the top of the old bridge foundations.

   Will stepped over to Ty and kissed him on both cheeks and on his lips, then told his boyfriend that he was going to jump with me, "...because fair's fair, and besides you ran first."

   "That's OK, we'll go second anyway," Todd said as he joined us.

   "I want to see Ty do that forward two-and-a-half  he keeps telling me about." Todd reached over and tickled Ty on the ribs and he doubled over in laughter.

   The laughter sounded so good to me.  For some reason knew that I hadn't heard a peal of genuine laughter in a long time and I felt brief sadness over that fact.  But that feeling was banished immediately - because I was with my good friends...the best of friends...at my most favorite place in the entire world!

   "Come on Barn...Jase...Barney lets jump!" Will called to me and I walked over to him and looked down.

  The waters of the river were crystal clear today.  The blue pool forty feet below us is covered with white sand on the bottom.  It's thirty feet deep right here.  You can see the trout swimming in the water today.  Were they gonna be surprised right now!

   Will grabbed my hand and we both ran and jumped off the old stone foundations far out in the air before we started to very slowly fall towards the clear cool waters below. Our desent towards the pool seemed to stop for a moment, hanging in mid-air, suspended above the dreamscape.

   I turned my head and looked at Will.  His eyes were blazing white and gold and looked right into my soul.  I felt all my secrets, all the hidden places scourged and turned into ash.  It was like lightening was coursing through my veins.  I could feel the smallest, tiniest capillary being checked, each nerve fiber prodded, every neuron examined for the filth of my old life and cleansed: I was made whole once again.

   I looked down at the pool below and felt the smile and scream begin on my lips and in my throat.  We always screamed until just before we hit the water, then tried to get the biggest breath we could before our feet broke the surface.  The trick was not accidentally swallowing half the river too!

   Will's eyes seemed to be shining at me now, the smile on his face meant just for me: nobody else but Jason Aaron Anderson would ever see this one particular smile.  I felt warmed by it's glow.

   "Barn...Jase...Barney where are Jason and Aaron?  They don't want to play with us anymore.

   "I know Will.  They got hurt really bad and had to move away.  I want to remember them like they are right now down on the beach."  I saw Jason and Aaron in their swim suits, their skinny little ten-year old bodies blue from the cool river waters.  They were waving to us.

   We dropped again then we hit the water and my world became one of cool wetness and a feeling of electric shock from my groin into my head.  My boy dick was hard and throbbing!  I broke surface and swam to catch-up with Will.  He was sitting on a big rock in the center of the river looking up to watch Ty do the forward two-and-a-half.  I turned too and was watching when Ty leapt out over the pool, neatly tucked and twisted all the way down, finally going vertical to enter the water with almost no ripple.

   "Come on Will, lets jump again!" I asked my old friend.

   "Go ahead Barn...Jase...Barney.  Todd's waiting for you to jump with him,"  Will said to me, pointing skyward at Todd waving and gesturing from atop the old bridge foundations.  Will dove into the water and began to swim towards Ty.  Jason and Aaron were no where to be seen.

   I ran up the living tunnel of green part of the way, then slowed and stopped.  The sounds and smells of summer were in the air.  Bossoms exuding their sweet spicy scent, that odor of sun warmed soil and the calls of birds filled the air around me.  I continued to walk slowly, but after only what seemed like seconds, I reemerged into the bright sun on top of the bridge.

   When I reached Todd his back was facing me, but when he turned around it was Warren!

   "Where's Todd?" I asked him.

   "He said it was my turn Barn...Jason...Barney."  Warren smiled at me with such warmth and understanding he took my breath away.  I could feel my heart pounding.  I had to tell him, I had to!

   "Warren...I....I'm in love with you," I told the young man I had cherished for so long.

   I loved them all. Todd, Jamal, Kelly, Will, Jason, Aaron and Warren.  But especially Warren, he was always trying to help.  Pleading with me to let him help me. Pleading with me to let him be my friend.

   Pleading with me not to hit him anymore.

  'No!...part of that black place.  Doesn't belong here.'

   "I love you too Jason, only I'm so scared to tell you anything.  I loved Barney even though it was so hard at times.  But I know why now; I know the secret.  Will and Tyler told me."

  "You were protecting us from...him.  You drove us away because you loved us too much.  I know what he - your father - did to you...fucked you and beat you.  You did it: fought with us and hurt us because you loved us, had to protect us from...his evil.  It was the only way you could figure out to keep us away."

  "I love you Jason...for who you are, the man you are now, only I'm so afraid to I let go and become the man I want to be...with...with you and only with you.  I DO love you Jason...with all my heart I LOVE YOU!"  The echos of his last three words reverberated off the canyon walls for a moment, but when I turned to look at Warren he was gone...and I was suddenly very sad.

    I looked down at the water to see Will and Ty racing across the river and back.  I could see Ty trailing his useless legs behind him, but his powerful upper body strength kept him head-to-head all the way across and halfway back before I felt an arm about my shoulders.  It was Todd.

   "Warren is in deep shit Jason.  He needs your strength and your love so much but he can't reach out first - you have to do that for him."

   "His parents haven't changed at all, only now Warren is drinking too.  Trying to escape the reality of his life with a bottle and pills.  Warren is in deep shit Jason and you have to do something," Todd whispered into my ear before he pushed me off the bridge and into the cold water below.


   Feeling Will cuddle up and spoon in behind me, his warm, almost hard piece of flesh pressed between my cheeks, his arm draping across my body to join my hand in Jason's grasp, filled me with warm contentment.  Laying between two guys I loved, one as a brother and the other as my soul mate, was amazing.  I must have fallen asleep almost at once because I can remember wanting to go back into my dream again right where I left off.

   'Damn it's so cold today,' I thought while my body seemed to hover above the ground drifting in the icy breeze that coursed through the canyon where the river flowed towards its destiny far away in the Gulf.

   There was ice and snow covering the earth and the river, the trees leafless and bare, but the sky was bright and the sun shown down through a misty haze of suspended ice crystals high above.  I had never seen this place, or so I thought, but as I drifted in the wind, I began to recognize familiar places - the old mill foundations, washed away in the great Timberland flood of '24; the bridge trestle which stretched out across the river, a narrow ribbon of wood and steel rails that still carried the daily trains to the capitol.  The Timber River in winter.

   I could feel myself being pulled away from this place until I realized that I was now hovering above the old bridge ruins just down the road from my warm bed in Fairview.

   There was a dark haired figure in a heavy red, white and blue ski jacket sitting in the snow by the embankment looking across the gorge.  I floated closer and closer until I recognized it was Warren!

  "Hi Warren.  What are you doing sitting in the snow bud?  Don't you know that you'll catch a cold just sitting there?" I laughed lightly.

  Warren lifted his head up and looked at me.  His eyes attracted my attention immediately. They were red and puffy...like he'd been crying and terrifying too, as his gaze was lifeless...without emotion or recognition.

  "Warren whats wrong?"  Warren?  Warren!!  WARREN!!!!"

   He didn't answer me, but got to his feet, turned and staggered up the trail to the top of the hill and the road to the county park.  I could see a bottle of whiskey in his coat pocket and he was leaving a trail of green colored pills behind him as he truged through the heavy wet snow.  Everywhere the pills fell into the snow, steam arose and soon the bare earth was exposed looking dead and black.

   I felt an awful unease grip at my heart as I watched Warren reach his Camero then open the car door.  I could see him open the pill bottle and spill out a lot of them before he threw all of the green things into his mouth, then took a deep pull on the bottle.  He banged the dashboard several times with his fists and I sensed he was crying again, bitter tears full of rage and...hopelessness.

   Soon I was floating up behind Warren and drifting along in the wake of his speeding car, skidding side to side several times on the icy, snow covered Park Road until he stopped near the closed pool facility.  During the summer it was filled with kids and families all day and evening too.  I remember Todd bringing me to swim there last summer.

   He used a key to get inside the pool house but before he entered, Warren turned to look out over the empty pool and around the park.  Then he went in and closed the door.  I felt myself being pulled away back to Old Bridge Road but while passing through the sunlit sky, I wondered what Warren was doing in the pool house and what the green pills were.  Some kind of breath mint I supposed...he most likely didn't want to smell of whiskey.

   I awoke between Will and Barn...Jason.

   'Damn, I have to watch that. There is no Barney any more. Just my brother Jason now.  Just Jason,' I thought to myself as I lay there.

   I had to piss really bad so I rolled Will over and as gently as i could I slipped out of bed into my chair.  When I returned, Jason had rolled over to face Will in the middle of our bed.  I was still half asleep when I transferred myself into bed alongside Jason and snuggled up against the warm skin of his back.  I put my arm over Jason and Will, before I drifted back to sleep.  Of my dream, I could recall nothing, just a vague sense of unease and worry.  The clock had read 9:00am.


   I woke up to a very still and quiet room.  Will had moved around in front of me again while I'd slept...if that's what I could call that dream.  But I felt invigorated, well rested and surprisingly no aches or pains anywhere.  Will opened his eyes and caught mine in his hazel and gold flecked orbs.  Something about his eyes and my dream...I couldn't recall...then Will kissed me on the cheeks and lips.
"Don't look so surprised Jason.  It's the way Ty and I greet each other every morning." Will said softly, all the time holding his eyes locked on mine.
   "It'll be the way we greet you every morning too, Brother." Ty said to me from behind my shoulder.  He turned my head gently and kissed me the same as Will had too.
   "We have something for you Jason," Will said as he reached behind the headboard to retrieve a brightly wrapped little box.
   "Go ahead Brother. Open it." Ty whispered to me.
   I adjusted myself better, using my legs to push myself up against the headboard.  Will and Ty rested their heads on my chest as I pulled on the ribbon; they both had the biggest smiles on their faces.  I saw the clock read 9:45.
   The wrapping fell away in my shaking hands.  I carefully pried open the lid and looked.  There in the box were three heavily carved wide gold bands, covered with Celtic knots and symbols.  They were magnificent.
  "I....I...don't know....what to say."  I stuttered in absolute shock.
   "May I," Ty asked me.  All I could see were washed out images of my brothers heads. My eyes were filled with unshead tears of happiness.
   Ty lifted the middle ring out of its gray velvet bed and Will reached out to take it too.  They slipped it onto my right little finger.
   "Merry Christmas Jason Aaron Anderson,"  Will said, as both my brothers kissed me again.
   "Inside there's an inscription. It says "Family Always."  Each ring is identical in style and inscription. Yours was sized for your right ring finger as is ours. When the swelling in your hands goes down you can wear it there too.  When Ty and me get married we'll wear them on the other hand."
   "When you find the right...guy...and you will Jason, then you will too,"  my brother Will told me this while I wiped the tears out of my eyes.

   It struck me like a bolt out of a blue sky what Will had just said to me.

   "How...how did you know that I...I'm...gay?  I've never told anyone...kept my feelings locked away...nobody could know...they'd have made it worse for me." I asked Will, feeling the foundations of my new life begin to crumble.

   I could only whisper because my throat was suddenly desert dry.  The shock on my face must have been quite a sight, for I was truly taken unaware.

   "Don't worry Brother mine...we know because we are who we are...and because we know you too.  Nobody else will ever find out from our lips...not Dad...or Warren...not anyone.  We could never do anything like that to you or anybody...that just isn't what Ty and Will are about, ya know?"

   Their eyes said more than everything.  Trust, I could trust them with everything...Will and Ty will never let me fall, never let me get hurt like before.  I just broke down and sobbed.  Damn these emotons, but I felt so good.  I'd never been loved like this in my life.

   I believed them and more importantly, I trusted them with my life...as I had done since Thanksgiving.

   "We've known since the other day when Warren ate lunch with us, maybe before then too; we both kinda suspected you are like us Jason, but when we watched you and Warren together...I was sure anyway." Ty said, looked at me and smiled.

   "If what I saw in Warren's eye's is any indication, I think he's in love with you too Jason," Will added softly, barely above a whisper..

   "But all that wasn't...how did you know...I...I am in love with Warren.  I've always been in love with Warren...and...you too Will."  I felt both Ty and Will stiffen a little then relax again next to me, their heads still on my chest, one of my arms arm wrapped around each of my best friends.

  "I know Jason...I know you loved us all..and I know what lengths you went through to show us that you loved us too.  I always suspected that the fights...the act...at first was put on.  We all know now that you were trying to protect us."  Will told me in a quiet but very emotional voice.

   I was sobbing again...damn, I just can't control my emotions at all.  My friends...they had seen through my anger and hate into the real me, the boy that loved his friends so much that he...I...I drove them away.

   "But I also know that Warren loves only you - loves you for the man you have become," Will continued.

   "Only you Jason, and it's Jason he loves - not the old Barney, but who he's become.  You're a new person now: you've come through hell and survived. You are Jason Anderson now.  That's the man that Warren is in love with."  I just couldn't control the tears so I just let go...what relief, not ever having to hide my real feelings from my new family anymore.

   " You are in love with the Warren of today too.  Not the gangly kid of years ago - a friend from the past.  The Warren of today is a shy complex guy who has his own share of demons to fight, but his heart of pure gold has survived intact and it's yours for the asking Jason.  I don't know if being in love - even if it's another boy - makes us gay, but if that's what it means, then I'm gay and so is Tyler because we love each other that way.  Warren's love is yours for the asking too," Will told me before kissing my chest once.

   "I'm just getting used to...feeling things again and I sometimes get overwhelmed...I know what I'm feeling is good and truely I do love Warren, but...I still don't trust what I feel though...I've been numb for so long.  Does that make any sense to either of you?"

   Ty and Will both whispered "yes," to me.  Both my friends were on their elbows facing me now, their eyes full of wetness too.  They did understand!  This is what I'd wanted to say last night before I got so sleepy from the medications.

   "I know Warren loves me.  I know that both of you love me and Derrick...Pop... loves me too.  I'm just not used to being...wanted for who I am.  I honor two friends who were destroyed while I was able to get away, because they cared about me...yet my own concern was how I was going to survive...not how they were going to get out of hell too.  I was restored to life by the very men who would become my real family.  For weeks, I've been surrounded by love and acceptance...It just takes getting used to it is all.  I've been so alone for so long."

   "We're all here for you Jason; for the long haul my brother.  You'll never be alone again unless you want to be alone." Ty said to me before he kissed my cheek again.

   Will took another ring from the box and placed it on Ty's finger.  Ty slid Will's ring onto his boyfriend's right ring finger too, then leaned over my chest and kissed Will hard and passionately. When my friends heads parted I reached over and put my hand on top of theirs, our three rings gleaming in the beam of sunlight coming through the drapery.

   "You'll never be alone again Brother," Ty said to me as he reached up, wiping the tears from my eyes.

   As his hand fell from my face, it glanced across my nipple causing such a thrill of pleasure to wash through my body, I moaned out loud and the tears came even stronger.  I knew I wanted, needed, to be held and loved by these two guys who made my world so real for the first time in a long while.  Would they understand my need to be with them? How could I ask Will and Ty to...?

   "Did I hurt you Jason?" Ty asked me with a touch of fear in his voice and genuine concern in his eyes.

   "NO!  You would never hurt me...you couldn't hurt me...I know that...none of you could hurt me.  I just felt...felt so good...I...I...will you love me?  Will you make love with me please...please," I sobbed out my voice trembling.

   "I need to be loved by you both.  Can you understand?  I need to be loved...it's been so long."

  Ty looked at Will and I could sense some kind of communication between my two best friends, because simultaneously each started to suck and nibble on my nipples, laving the supersensitive tips of flesh with their tongues, their gentle bites sending electric shocks through my body.  My cock throbbed with each sensation that rushed through me and I could feel the gushes of precum soaking my boxers with every throb.  My back arched in pure pleasure, the sensations Will and Ty were creating...overwhelming.

   Will looked up at me.  I could see the love in his eyes.

   "Do you want this to happen Jason?  We can stop, it's just...we can feel your need to be with us and we want to be with you too...like brothers...like friends who love each other a lot."

   "Oh yes Will, Ty, I really do, I love you so much my brothers and it's been soooo long since I felt love...not sex...real love and real caring..."

   Will and Ty smiled at me then resumed teasing my nipples and running their hands along my body.  I felt Will trying to pull my boxers off so I lifted up allowing them to be slipped down then off entirely.  My six inches of thick cock was standing straight-up, it's arrow shaped head darkly engorged with blood, slick, shiny and dripping with need.

   Both my brothers started to buck their own swollen members against me when I felt two hands take hold of my cock and begin to slowly pump up and down while another hand lightly rubbed my glans.  The sucking on my nipples became more intense. Every second, the feelings I was experiencing got better and better - building to a mighty climax.  When I felt my balls being gently massaged and stroked I knew that I couldn't last another moment.

   The pleasure spasm came from deep inside my groin like a slowly building tickle that exploded when my prostate contracted violently sending stream after stream of thick white cum spurting out of my cock onto my head and in hair, splashing my face, chin and chest, finally pooling in my navel.  I'd never cum that much or harder in my life.  While I felt that first jet shoot from my body, Will and Tyler almost came together spraying my abdomen, balls and their own bodies with more hot creamy man stuff.

   I began to cry again, my release from the ministrations of two guy's I loved with all my heart made me shudder again and again, yet Will and Ty didn't stop, they kept pumping my cock, laving and nipping at my chest buds, manipulating my balls gently until I after a few minutes I felt myself build to another climax.

   Explosive orgasm doesn't do justice to what I felt.  There are no words I can use.  I felt the stream of cum pulse out of my cock even more intensely than the first time minutes before.  I screamed and passed out after seeing stars and flashes of brilliant colors before my eyes.

   I returned to consiousness being cradled between Will and Ty.  Their hands moved in unison, stroking my chest and back gently, Ty kissing my neck while Will whispered words of love and brotherhood into my ears.

   I was overwhelmed by the feelings I'd just experienced.  For the first time ever, I had sex with somebody who really loved me: didn't want me as just a cum recepticle.  Will and Ty had made love to me, with me.  I was so full of joy at that moment...well, I don't have the words to describe how I felt right then.  But whatever it was...I felt really good about being alive!

   Will and Ty understood though.  They both held me tightly and kissed my neck and face lightly many, many times while we lay there together.  I think it was at that moment that I finally realized that I was truly home and this was all very real.

   "I'll tell Warren how I feel this afternoon."  The clock read 10:30.


   "Warren Sean O'Casey get your god-damned ass in here!"  Warren could hear his father yelling at him from the living room.

   'Damn, did I forget to replace his bottle of gin?  Nope, I remember doing that yesterday.  What the hell does he want now?' Warren thought to himself.  'It's 10:00 on Christmas Day, can't he give me a break for one damned day?'

   "Why aren't you ready to go to Mass, boy?" Warren could see a half-finished scotch in his father's hands.

   "I'm not going to Mass. I told Mom two days ago I wasn't going today. Didn't she tell you?" Warren told his father.

   "Go upstairs and change now boy.  We've always made Christmas Day Mass as long as I can remember and today won't be an exception.  Father Gregory expects us there at 10:30!"

   "I guess this is gonna be the exception Dad, because I'm not going to listen to that hypocritical bigot stand up there in the pulpit and tell everyone how wonderful it is to be alive knowing all he's waiting for is to get out of town to Vegas so he can chase the bimbo's."

   The slap that Warrens father delivered to his face, hurt bad.  He could taste the blood in his mouth too, but he never broke eye contact with him.  Warren wanted his father to see the hate he had in his eyes and in his heart for the drunk abusive son-of-a-bitch he had once adored.  His father must have understood, because he dropped his drink as he backed away from Warren.

   "Another dead soldier, huh Daddy?" Warren said to his father, the raw hate and sarcasm obvious in the almost whispered words he said to his fthers retreating back.

   "We'll deal with this when your mother and I get back from church, so don't go running off to one of your so called friends houses.  Helen! Come on, Helen!  Right NOW goddamnit"  Those were the last words Warren heard from his father as he slammed the door to his bedroom.

   Warren heard their Lincoln start-up and pull away from the house before he sat down at his desk and reopened the file he'd been working on.  It was a letter to the guy he loved more than anyone or anything...but couldn't face anymore.  Warren started to reread what he'd taken all night to compose.

   Dear Barney or should I say Jason?

   Well Jason it is then!

   I know about your adoption my dear friend.  Todd called me after he got home last night and filled me in on what I missed.  Sorry, I wanted to be there with everyone, but especially to be with you on what turned out to be a very unique Christmas Eve.

   Congratulations Jason Aaron Anderson!  You surely deserve this new life and new name if anyone does.  I'm so proud of you too for choosing to remember Jason and Aaron this way.  Class act dude!

   The tears were beginning to fill Warren's eyes as he continued to read.

   There is a lot I wanted to say to you Jason, but it isn't to be.  I've been ordered not to see you or Ty and Will anymore.  My father thinks I spend too much time there, instead of being here where I can listen to my parents drunken arguments first hand.  I suppose I was lucky though, I didn't get pulled into the middle of their fights last night after all their clients left.

   I relished my role as servant boy though.  I got to spill a martini down the front of the most obscenely gross woman I've ever seen in my life.  It was so funny!  You should have seen the stricken look on my parents face's.  She is some kind of big investor in one of their real estate deals.  What fun!  Well enough of that.  Time to come to the point.

   What I wanted to really say is that I've fallen in love with you Jason.

   I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself.  I've always loved you, even when we were little kids before all the troubles started.  I know that you'll hate me now because I love you and that's queer.

   I only want you to know that there has never been another person I've ever loved Jason.  Only you.  Other guy's or even girls don't attract me at all.  Only you.  I suppose that makes me gay, well OK, I guess thats the way things are.  I'm gay and in love with you and you are straight - all that happened to you with other guys was against your will - besides I'm sure that you don't have the same feelings for me as I have for you.

   HAHAHA! Won't Dad be shocked to read this.  (I'm leaving this for them to find when the drunks I call my parents realize I'm not here anymore.  His All State Diver son is a fucking faggot!  I hope he has a stroke when he finds out.  He's hit me for the last time in any case.

   I can't deal with all this anymore Jason.  Every morning when I wake up lately has been with a hang over pounding in my head.  Yes, I've been drinking a lot too, but I'm only a "social drinker" who finds some comfort by drinking myself stupid every night.  Get it Jason?  A social drinker in the company of only himself...HAHA!

   Forget about your queer ex-friend Warren and move on with your life.  Me, I'm just moving on. Remember me in the Spring when you all go for the first swim in the river at our special place and when you swim at the pool, remember all the good times we had there.

   I love you Jason...I always will.

   Warren Sean O'Casey III - the late All State Queer.
   Attachment: notes-on-my-life.txt

   Warren was sobbing when he typed his name into the email he'd composed, then hit the send button.  He figured it would take a few minutes to get there, besides he knew that everyone would be at Todd's for the family's annual Christmas brunch, so that gave him some extra time if he needed it.   He printed a copy of the letter and left it in the printer tray.  Warren stared at his computer for a second before he called up the fdisk function and started the machine wiping it's own operating system and everything on the hard drive.  The last thing he did before he left his bedroom for the final time was to pick up a framed picture of the boy he loved and of him...arms around each others shoulders at the county pool when they were 11. He removed it from the silver frame, then placed it in his shirt pocket near his heart.

   He wondered briefly if Jason would understand.  Would Will and Ty and the rest of his few friends on the team?  Would Coach Roberts?  Would anyone?  His parents wouldn't that was for sure.  His father beat him, controlled him, hated him because he refused to comply with all his bastard father's demands.  Nothing was ever good enough.  Nothing Warren ever succeeded at was praised, just demands to do better in the future or else and his mother stood-by and let it all happen.

   'Fuck 'em,' he thought as he walked into his parents bathroom and grabbed the bottle of his mothers sleeping pills then went downstairs to the liquor cabinet and removed a full bottle of single malt Scotch - his fathers prized bottle.  Never opened and bought over twenty-five years ago.

   'Should be pretty smooth by now.  Aged fifteen years even before it was bottled.'  Warren remembered his Dad boasting to his clients the night before.

   "Fuck'em!"  Warren yelled repeatedly through the empty house as he picked up his keys and walked into the garage.  His car started at once - as usual - since he tuned the Camero himself at least once a month.  He carefully backed out of the driveway heading down Riverwalk Lane to Route 87 and his future. The clock in the dashboard read 11:15.

   Warren turned the Camero off onto the service road to County Park and drove through the snow and ice in the tracks he'd left last week...now just shallow depressions in the freshly fallen snow. Warren skidded a few times, fishtailing back and forth as the wide tires lost traction.  Stopping in the middle of the road almost half-way to the closed pool complex, Warren got out, walked to the verge and down a faint trail marked by many deer passing through since the last heavy snow.

   A few minutes later he stood looking over the edge of the old railroad bridge down into the clear ice fourty feet below.  The ice was clean of snow and transparent, like looking through thick glass.  Warren could see bubbles swirling around beneath the ice and noticed that the sandy bottom looked magnified now; in one part of his mind knew that the water was deep even though it appeared to be shallow enough to wade across.  He just wanted to look at the river for one last time.

   'I'll never swim here again with Will, Todd and...and Jason.'  The thought that he'd never be able to tell his friend Barney...Jason...that he loved him, brought another flow of tears to his eyes.

   Sitting on a rock covered with snow, he pulled out the bottle in his pocket, twisted off the cork lined top and took a long swallow of the fiery liquor.  Although it burned and made his empty stomach lurch, he managed to keep it down.

   The dazzlingly bright sun reflected off the snow and hurt his eyes as he sat there, feeling the alcohol begin to course through his veins.  Warren felt like he was being watched, but the sense of someone else there in the cold clear morning sun disappeared quickly as he staggered to his feet, turned to look around a last time, then walked away back up the trail to the road.

   Warren sat in his beloved Camero for a few moments before he reached into his coat pocket, pulling out the bottle of pills he'd taken from the medicine cabinet.  The top had come off and there were only 14 left in the bottle, the rest had fallen out of his coat through a small tear in the pocket.  He took all of them and swallowed...knowing that there were enough.  He'd researched the medicine on the Internet and knew that he'd taken almost twice a fatal dose.  Warren drove the two miles further down the road to the county pool complex where he'd worked for the past four summers.  Reaching the pool house, he found that his little spot in the corner of the warm building hadn't beed disturbed.

    Warren slowly undressed and lay nude upon the thick nest of towels he'd created during an earlier visit.  He sat crosslegged on the towels and pulled on his foreskin a few times until he was hard.  Warrens long and thick penis began to leak his natural lubricant heavily.  He lay back and started to stroke his cock slowly savoring the feelings as he thought about his life long friend and love one last time.  He noticed the clock on the wall of the poolhouse read 2:45.


   The O'Casey's arrived at home at 3:30. Their luncheon engagement at Marie Aikens home after church was a success dispite the fact that their son wasn't there to apologize for spilling the drink down the front of the designer gown she'd worn to their house.  Marie was a huge investor in his real estate company and expected the O'Caseys to at least have the boy with them so she could look at his tight butt and the bulge in his crotch.

   Warren Sean "W.S." O'Casey Jr. knew that Aikens liked looking at his son. There was lust in her eyes too.  If he could have set the two of them up, he knew that his plans for expanding the real estate offices statewide would have already happened, but for now it would be enough to keep the old bitch's juices flowing with just a glimpse of Warren's tight swimmers body.  Not even his wife knew that he'd promised Aikens that Warren would "perform" for her soon.  That promise had been made the last time he'd been forced to bed the bitch himself to keep her happy.

   He'd sworn to himself that he'd beat the little bastard till he complied if it was the last thing he ever did.  W. S. knew the reason for the hatred of his son was bound to come out too, sooner rather than later.  Anyone could see it.  He surely could...were they all blind?  Warren Sean O'Casey III didn't look like either of them.  He wasn't even his own son.  He was sure that Warren was one of his wife's many lover's whelp.  Not his own blood.  Not born of his loins.  Even Helen had no idea who the father was...the slut.  That he had driven the woman he once loved into someone else's bed by his own behavior made no difference.  She'd pay too...in the end.

   Helen Warren truged up the steps to her bedroom to take another of her pills.  It would shortly work it's magic on her body and unconsiousness would come soon.  She could then sleep the rest of the day without a care.  Even though it was Christmas Day, there would be no meal to prepare; no family from out of town; no presents and happy singing, what was under the tree was all fake...like her life was.  The green pills were her refuge from it all...that and a couple of gin's too.

   But the pills were gone. The bottle missing from the half closed medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  Helen wondered if her son had taken them to spite her again.  It hadn't been the first time she'd found pills missing from the bottle.  Angry now, she felt the rising heat on her face as she went to the boys bedroom.

   Helen noticed that the door was open slightly...it was never open if Warren was in there.  He was indeed gone from his room, his bed neatly made, no clothes strewn about, everything in place.  Very unusual indeed.  There was a silver picture frame sitting on his bed, but the picture had been removed.  She picked it up and tried to remember who had been in the photograph of her son when he was 10 or 11.

   Just then she heard the printer, click loudly, cycle itself and shut down.  The sound had startled her, the quest for her pills forgotten as she stared at the machine.  Helen suddenly felt great dread when she saw the printed sheet sitting in the tray.

   W.S. heard his wife scream from upstairs.  He'd been nursing his anger with his "son" while he finished his fifth scotch of the day, not a small glass either...a tumbler full, but the screams he heard froze him in place.  He'd never heard a human voice so full of...of pain and fear before in his 44 years.  He felt an icy grip take hold of his mind and his soul when he heard the cries.

   Warrens father raced up the steps to find his wife on her knees sobbing in their son's room.

   "What is it Helen?  Where is Warren?  I told that boy we'd deal with his bullshit when we got back. Where is he? W.S. asked her.

   Helen lifted her head up when she heard her husbands voice and slowly stood up...the printed suicide note clutched in he hand.  She walked over to her husband ther reached back and slapped him so hard on the face that W.S. was knocked backwards into the wall, spilling the remains of the drink he held all over himself was he fell to the floor.

   "YOU BASTARD!"  She yelled, then threw the piece of paper in his face and ran from the room.

   W.S. picked up the paper from his chest and sitting up read what was written there.  The words faggot and queer jumped off the page at him as did the name of Barney or was it Jason?  He reread the note and it suddenly dawned on him just what the note really said.  The boy was going to kill himself.  He saw at the bottom of the page that there had been a very large file attached to the email too.  "Notes on My Life" was the name of the file.

   Warren's father went to the computer and turned it on, anxious to look at the file wondering if Warren had written about the beatings and of the pressure he'd been putting on the boy to consumate some sort of sexual relationship with Marie.  The icy grip he had helt earlier decended on his heart and soul.  He was suddenly very afraid of what the file held.

   The computer wouldn't boot.  The screen he saw before him had a prompt about no operating system.  He knew what that meant.  Six weeks earlier, he's accidently run fdisk on his computer too.  He'd been too drunk to see the warning properly and had wiped his hard disk.  This looked like the same thing.  But the file he so desperately needed to see had been sent to someone else.  How many others had it been sent to?  W.S. felt the bile beginning to rise in his throat before he turned to run into the bathoom.

   The clock next to Warren's empty bed read 3:45.


   "Well boys, I for one am very glad to be home again," Derrick told us as we entered the house.

   "I'm so full that I don't think I can look at a plate of food for a week," Ty groaned as he transferred himself onto the sofa next to me.

   "I'm with you Bro. I didn't know that my stomach had shrunk that much," Jason chuckled.

   "If I had another piece of pie offered to me I think I'd have lost it all over the rug." I moaned.

   "Gluttony on Christmas Day is a fine Anderson tradition all of you will just have to get used to," Derrick said as he pulled off his shoes and laid back into the recliner with a long contented sigh,

   "But I have to admit that my brother and the boys really pulled out all the stops on that buffet.  What were there, maybe sixty people and that table was groaning under the weight of all that food!" Derrick laughed.

   Ty was snuggled up against my side with his head on my shoulder and Jason was laying on the floor in front of the fireplace.  I felt my eyes close then they popped back open wide as I realized just where Jason was lying...exactly where he was lying.  I looked at Ty and noticed that his eyes were as big as saucers, as were Derricks too.

   Just then Jason sat right up and looked around with the beginnings of panic in his eyes.  Derrick was out of his chair in a second and kneeling next to the newest Anderson, wrapping Jason in his strong arms.

   "Oh Derrick...Pop...I just realized it was here, right here that I was...and you...all,"  Jason said very quietly.

   Derrick was whispering to his son and gently rocking them both back and forth.  Ty and I were also affected. The memories of that night just a month before were still so fresh in our minds, I had thought for a moment that I'd seen Barney laying there, frozen and bloody like he was early on Thanksgiving Day.  Ty nudged me gently in the ribs and nodded to the hallway and our bedroom.  I understood.  We'd leave Derrick and Jason alone.

   When we entered our bedroom, I noticed that the email icon on the PC was flashing.  With the DSL line, we rarely shut the computer down completely...its settings allowing for it to "wake-up" when there was an incoming message.  I opened the mailbox and began to read.

   "It's for Jason," I told Ty.

   "From Warren too. Well, well...maybe Warren is going to tell Jason how he feels first.  Think Jase would mind if we just took a little peek?"

   "Not after this morning.  He meant everything he said about trust and love Will.  Besides we know how Jason feels about Warren.  Too bad he wasn't at Todd's today. He wasn't here last night either and I kind of expected him to be...go ahead Will...Jason won't mind."

   I opened the email and smiled at first, but I felt my blood turn to ice as I read further.  By the time I had finished the email and saw the file attachments name, I must have been white as a ghost.  My hand was trembling as I guided the mouse to print the email and the attachment.

   "Whats wrong Will?  Are you all right?  You're suddenly pale as a sheet...did something happen to Warren?"

   I handed the printed page to Ty.  My voice had suddenly refused to work and I was beginning to shake all over, but I turned around and ran out of the bedroom and brought Derrick and Jason back with me.  When I entered our bedroom, I saw that Ty had tears rolling down his face.  He handed the printout to his Dad who quickly scanned it then handed it back to me before he ran from our bedroom and down the hallway.

  "Whats going on guys?  What is on that paper Ty?" Jason asked me.

   I think I swallowed hard trying to get some moisture in my mouth, but before I knew what he'd done, Jason had taken the paper from Ty and was reading it.  Everything in our room seemed to become part of a surrealistic painting in that moment  The late afternoon sunlight took on a hazy quality, colors seemed muted and blended together and I was listening to the sound of Ty gasping, holding back tears and Jason's quiet moans like I was in a deep tunnel...echos all.

   "NOOOOOO!   NOOOOOO!  This isn't fair.  This isn't fair at all!   WARRENNN!   NOOOOOOO," Jason wailed as he fell to the floor on his knees, screaming Warrens name.

   The alarm clock on our night stand read 4:00.


   At the pool house, Warren was lying nude in the warm coccon of towels, cum drying on his chest and abdomen.  He was clutching the precious photograph of himself and his best friend taken right outside the building he was slowly dying in.  Old bruises and the newer ones from his fathers beatings covered a lot of his body like blotches of odd coloring on his nearly flawless skin.

   Warrens head was laying to one side, the drool exiting his mouth was tinged pink from the still bleeding cut on his inside cheek.  The mostly empty bottle of scotch whiskey was tipped over on its side, dripping slowly and leaving a trail across the pool house floor towards the drain.


   "Helen?  Helen O'Casey?  This is Derrick Anderson.  Helen no beating around the bush here. Is Warren at home?"  I had followed Derrick into the den and watched him talking on the phone to Warren's mother.

    "Do you know where he is?

   "Look Helen, my son just received what appears to be a serious suicide....WHAT?"

   "And you have no idea where....?"

   "Have you called the police...?"

   "He did what?   When?   Was Warren hurt?

   "Helen we don't have the time for this...pull yourself together...we can talk about all that later. Right now we have to find Warren and stop him!"

   "Yes Helen, I think it's true.  Yes I think Jason loves Warren too...but all that has to wait until after we find Warren."

   Derrick waved me over and wrote on a yellow legal pad then showed me what he'd written.

   1. Get coats and boots.  2. Tell Ty to come in here.  3. Have Jason get ready too...need his help.  4. Get all our cell phones.  5. Start cars...yours & mine.  6. Call Uncle Andrew and Todd.  Tell them about Warren's note!  Helen O'Casey will meet them there.  7.  GO DO IT NOW!

   "Helen get out of the house and go to my brothers place...Yes Helen...go now!

   I ran out of the den back to the bedroom where Ty was holding Jason close. He was sobbing on the bed.

   "Ty!  Jason!  We have to go and try to find Warren.  Ty...Dad needs you in the den right NOW!
Jason...put on a coat and some shoes.  Here's the keys to my car.  Start it up and wait for me."

   I guess my sudden appearance and shouted orders broke through the gloomy thoughts my lover and Jase were having because before I ran out of our bedroom, Jason had leapt-up and was already pulling on his boots grimacing from the pain in his hands.  Ty was transferring himself into his chair and followed close on my heels down the hall.  I remember looking at the new watch Mom had given me last night.  It read 4:10.

   Uncle Andy met us outside their house along with the police and my Mom!  Derrick had called her from the den before we left and she had paged Dr. Suzie who was on her way.  Mrs. O'Casey's car was parked in the street and I saw Mom taking her arm and guiding her inside.  A lot of our extended family was there too, everyone bundled against the cold ready to do what had to be done to try and find Warren.  Jason was trembling with fear and anxiety as we got out of the Beast, but Todd rushed over with Chris and Mason right behind him, taking Jason into a big hug and whispering words of comfort and welcome to him.

   Jason looked scared but both Chris and Mase had one of his hands in theirs and were chatting away at him...those two little guys seemed to know just what my brother needed.  I looked at Todd and nodded my head in their direction as the boys guided Jason away from all the people gathered in the driveway and into the house.  Todd smiled and the look he had told me a lot.

   'They are gonna be just like Todd when they grow-up,' I thought to myself.


   The police had all their cars out looking and the volunteer fireman had been alerted.  I sat in Dad's office waiting for the phone to ring with some word on Warren or something!  My fears for Warren were only intensified when my dream came back into my thoughts.  I had seen Warren, followed him and saw him enter some building...a place that I knew, but just couldn't remember.  Just a dream anyway.

   A preminition?  Or just a dream?

   The phone rang.  I literally jumped a foot out of my chair with a startled reflex and I felt the pain shoot up my spine, but pain or not, I rolled over to Dad's desk and picked it up.

   "Hello, Anderson residence."

   "Ty? Its me Jason.  Sittin' here with Mason and Christopher and doing nothin' is making me crazy Ty.  Just talk to me, please Ty,  I'm so scared." Jason pleaded with me.

   There was an emotional tension in his voice that I hadn't heard before: resignation; anticipation of the worst outcome?

   "Me too Bro...me too.  I was just thinking of a dream I had last night that was so weird...Warren was in it and he was sitting on a rock in the snow...and he was at the county park pool house too...wait a minute...what was he doing?"

   "Ty you aren't making much sense...except...I had a dream with Warren in it and...and all of us too...at the river...ON THE OLD BRIDGE."  We both finished the sentence!

   "What was Warren doing Jase?"

   "He...he...told me he loved me.  But that was just plain wishful thinking creepin' into my dream."

   "But now you KNOW he does.  Isn't it just too strange that we both dreamt of the pool and the bridge.  By the way how's Mrs. O'Casey holding up?"

   "Okay I guess.  She was talking real crazy, shouting and stuff.  Will's Mom gave her a shot and she's resting now.  Do you have any idea what's been going on in his life at home?  That line in the note...about his Dad hittin' him...how long has that been goin' on Ty?"

   "No idea Bro.  This is the first time...no...wait...there was one time before the break began at swim practice.  He had bruises on his back and legs; Warren said he fell down some stairs.  You don't think his Dad...?"

   "I went through the same crap Ty.  I made excuses 'till...well 'till it didn't matter anymore because nobody cared anyway,"  Jason told me just above a whisper.  I could hear the emotion heavy in his voice.

   "So you believe his Dad was beating him?"


   "Oh god Jase, when is this crap going to stop?  There has to be something that can be done...tell kids to let somebody they trust know.  It just isn't fair...just isn't fair!"  I told Jason, the thoughts of just how many kids in our own town being abused by their parents was beginning to make my stomach heave.

   "Ty?  What did you say about the county pool just now?"

   "In my dream I followed...Warren...he was taking pills and...Oh my god...you don't think that dream was real?  How...wait in his note...where is it...here...yes it says something like: remember the good times when you swim at the pool...he means the county park pool!  Jason...he has a key to the pool house!"

   "You think he'd go there?"

   "The one time I was at Warren's with Will and Todd, there was a picture...of you two on his nightstand.  It was taken at the county pool!"

   "But the road is only cleared when the crews need to get to the water wells...he couldn't get down there...it's almost three miles from 87 to the pool."

   "But thats where I saw him...going into a concrete block building by a pool...an empty pool...in my dream though...only in a dream."

   "Ty! Thats where he is Ty!  At the pool!  Not the bridge pool...at the county pool.  Will, Todd and Derrick are going to the wrong place!  Ty, those weren't dreams...they were warnings!  In my dream Todd told me that Warren was in some kind of trouble.  It's all coming back now.  "Warren is in deep shit."  Ty he's at the pool house!"

   I heard the phone slam down and Jason yelling for Will's Mom.  I could hear Jason trying to tell her what was happening.  The next thing I heard was Carly asking me if I knew what Jason was talking about.   The clock on Dad's office wall read 4:35.


   Will's Mother almost hit a truck as she careened around the corner onto Route 87.  I felt the seat belt tighten across my shoulders and chest when the big Surburban fishtailed slightly then accelerated onto the highway.  Ty's face was white as were the knuckles of both is hands while we both held on tight.  We had stopped to pick-up Ty since the road to the park went by his house and he'd insisted.  Tyler was waiting at the street side for us and I swear that I'd never seen my brother transfer himself so fast. The Suburban was moving again even as I grabbed his chair and pulled it into the truck.

   Will's Mom also trusted gut instincts and her physician's sixth sense told to go with this "hunch" of ours.

   Ty grabbed my hand and squeezed hard, sending waves of pain up into my arm, but I welcomed it.  I was able to feel something other than fear in my mind.  But there was only one thought holding my attention:

   'Oh God...let us be in time...please God...don't let Warren die...please.'

   It was like a mantra to me...I knew for sure now...we'd find Warren there in...Ty was so sure that our dreams were more than that...not just dreams...premonitions...maybe, warnings...maybe - a godsend...yes!  I am sure now.  I can almost feel his presence getting stronger...am I going crazy?  But to me it's real.  I can actually feel Warren getting closer...but will we be in time?  Did we recall our dreams in time to help Warren?

   'Oh God...let us be in time...please God...don't let Warren die...please.'

   "THERE!  Turn in there Carley!"  I shouted to Will's Mom before we went past the unmarked pool road.  It was the service entrance and there were tire tracks...fresh tire tracks in the snow!

   "He went in here...the back road the employees use to get to the pool complex.  It's closer...and look at the tracks!  Somebody has been here and I just know it's Warren."  Ty was looking into my eyes right then and I felt him confirming my thought when he squeezed my hand again.  He is here!

   A few moments later, far down the fir tree lined back road, I saw Warren's Camero on the side of the road.  It was parked in front of the county pool.

   "Is that his car, Jason?" Carley asked me.

   "Yes, Yes!"

   "Ty call 911 and call your Dad too.  Tell them where we are and that we've found Warren's car!"

   Ty was dialing the cell phone even as Carley and I were jumping out of the Suburban and ran as fast as we could through the broken crust of ice and snow to the gate, following a rough path in the drifts. The gate hung slightly open, but took both of us to push it back against the built up ice to get it open all the way.  Then we stood before the closed door to the pool house and...hesitated.

   My lips were working, repeating the silent prayer I'd repeated all the way here: "Please God...don't let him die...Please God...protect Warren."

   Carley looked at me then took hold of the handle and turned the latch, the door swung inward slightly, the waining light of late afternoon flooding the room as we both took a step inside.

   I saw him first,,,lying on a pile of white towels, Warrens naked body lying there, blue with cold...or death.

  "Warren!"  I yelled and moaned one word. "Warrreeennnnn!"


   I heard Jason's faint yell from the pool house a hundred feet away.

   "Warrreeennnnn!"  I knew that Jason and Carley had found him.

   "They've found him.  Where is that ambulance?"  I yelled into the cell phone to the 911 dispatcher.

   "Five minutes away!  Is he breathing?"  The dispatcher, an older woman named Marge asked me, her very calmness, easing my own terrors.  Was he alive?

   "I don't know.  I'm in the parking lot.  I can't get down there to see whats happening!"  Right at that moment, I saw Jason emerge from behind the building with Warren's naked body thrown over his shoulder and Carley's arms stretched out supporting Jason as he passed through the gate.

   "They have him!  He's being carried to the road.  Warren looks unconsious!"

   "The ambulance is at the front entrance.  They can't get by the drifts.  How did you get in there?" Marge asked me.

  'Oh god...it'll take 20 minutes to get around to the back way here.' I thought to myself.

   "The service entrance!"  They should know that it was the only way into the park during winter!

  "Put the seats down Ty!  Put the seats down!"  I heard Jason yell to me as he made his way up the slight rise through the drifts of ice and snow.

   Carley was visibly straining to help push and balance Jason and his precious load through the hazardous landscape towards the Suburban.  The seats were down in the back when Jason flopped Warren into the rear of the UAV and scrambled in behind him.  All I could do is hold Warren's head steady while Carley started the Suburban and took off.  Jason stripped his coat off to cover Warren's cold but still living body.

   "The EMS went to the main entrance Carley."  I shouted at Will's mother over the sound of the racing engine.

   "Okay Ty...we'll go right in.  Hand me the cell phone please...son."  She asked.

   "Jason, do like I told you...turn Warren on his side in case he throws-up...and make sure he keeps breathing!" Dr. Johnston told Jason.

   Jason looked at me then.  He was holding Warren close, securing his body to the floor of the Suburban.  His face was wet from the tears falling from his eyes; my Jase's anguish clearly visible. But as we gently moved Warren together, determination and love replaced the look of pure angst and it appeared that Jason's face glowed faintly in the sunlight reflecting off his golden ring.

   Warren suddenly began to convulse, then in one mighty heave all three of us were covered with his vomit.  The smell of whiskey and bile instantly flooded the closed space and I felt my own stomach heave twice.

   "Sweep your finger around the inside of his mouth Warren!  Get it all out of his mouth so he won't choke," Carley told him.

   Warren seemed to be gasping for breath when he heaved again and we were again covered.  This time there was a slimy green and white mass too...the pills that came out, but was it in time?

   Carley had opened the windows to air out the eye-stinging fumes, the rushing of icy cold air across us made Jase and me gasp...but so did Warren, he took a great lungfull of air, then exhaled and stopped breathing!

   The EMS ambulance coming up Route 87 to meet us pulled off the side of the road next to the Suburban a couple of minutes later.  Carley was performing CPR on Warren when they took over smoothly, intubating him to maintain an airway and continuing the chest compressions.  I held Jason's shoulders close to my chest as we watched, overwhelmed by our shock at seeing Warren...dying or already dead.  The paramedics are working steadily with Carley helping and giving instructions for medications.

   Then they were moving in a sudden explosion of flashing lights and screaming sirens...the ambulance bearing Warren sped away to University Hospital leaving the three of us standing at the side of the highway.  Carley came over and hugged us both, her arms trembling with the effort after doing CPR on Warren.  

   "Come on boys...lets go. We'll be needed at the hospital."

   We followed behind slowly...all of us reeling from the impact of the past fifteen minutes.  I looked at my watch and saw that it was just 5:15.  Five fifteen on Christmas day!  I wanted to process what I was feeling - I knew that I had too, but I was on overload right then and I needed my lover to help me.  I was amazed that Carley could focus enough to drive...reflex made me hold onto Jason very tightly.  My brother was just staring into space.

   Our entrance to the emergency room was anticlimactic, but Carley rushed away to check on Warren after telling us to stay put.  There was activity everywhere. Noise, shouts, people all trying to talk at once, children crying...in the distance...screams from a remote room in the ER.

   Way out on the interstate an accident had injured a family of six and a number of others.  Gurneys with victims were being pushed back and forth, Doctors, nurses, and many others were running from one place to another: appearing like chaos, but what is in reality, a well coordinated Emergency Department.

   Jason and I were huddled together in the corner of the waiting area when Dad and Will came in.  I saw Will's head turn around before his searching eyes locked on mine.

   'Safe!...I love you Babe'.  The relief in his eyes reflected my own at seeing him here.

   "Are you both all right?" Will asked, kneeling down and coming close before taking my hand and grasping it in his, our fingers interlocking together.

   "I'm fine Will.  Jason needs us now.  Where did Dad go?  I'm sorry I made you worry...I had to go," the last words whispered for my boyfriend's ear only.

   Will blushed a little and looked away, but when he turned back our eyes locked again.  I understood what he was thinking.  He's always going to worry about me.  It's part of his job description and part of mine, to worry about Will too.

   Will moved around and took Jason into his arms.  Their embrace that of true brothers and friends give at a time of great need.


   When I saw Tyler sitting in his chair with his arm around Jason...the tension and worry I had been feeling all afternoon vanished...like a physical force leaving my body.  Our eyes locked briefly but i understood Ty's look.

   'I love you.  I'm okay'

   Moments later i was kneeling next to Ty, hia whispered words surprising me at first, then as understanding dawned on me, I could feel the redness growing in my cheeks.  He knew!  He knew that I'd worry -  when he is away from my side, Ty is always in my thoughts.  We are connected to each other by our love. Connected by love...sounds trite...well maybe, but it seems like I do know if he's tense or happy; scared or dreaming; lonely or bored and I seem to know even when we're apart.  Weird.

   I stood and faced a very grim sight.  There were people covered with bloody sheets being rushed to surgery surrounded by a small armies of doctors, nurses, and others running behind.  The look on Jason's face and the terror in his eyes, belied his denials of any memories - from his own recent visit to University's ER.  I just took him into my arms and hugged Jason.  Brother to brother, the feeling of his arms wrapping around my back and hugging back let me know he was okay too...for now.

   "They're taking care of Warren too, Bro.  Mom is with him - she'll take care of him and make sure he gets the only the best.  She did the same for you too."

   "Thanks for...for...everything Will.  I love you both very much...but Warren...I should have told him...I should have told him."  Jason whispered in my ear as he held me close.

   "Warren is a strong guy Jase.  He'll make it.  Then you tell him how you feel the first chance you get.  I think Warren will surprise everyone by how quick he bounces back.  This is not your fault either.  Just put that right out of your thick head Brother.  You didn't know how Warren felt about you and you know that you are not responsible for his decision.  There is a lot more than Warren being in love with you, going on in his life."  I told Jason, then stepped back to look into his eyes.

   His eye's met mine.  I saw he did understand.

   "His father beating him...drinking...his suicide...attempt...he's about as fucked up as I was."

   The light tone of Jason's last few words allowed me to relax.  He was trying to make a joke.  Another way to tell me 'I'm Okay.' We broke our embrace again and I held him at arms length, really taking a good look at our brother for the first time in the corner of the waiting room.  Jason's eye's were alive and sparkling yet he looked thoughtful too...kind of like when some revelation has made and you see new possibilities and futures.

   My Sensi once told me these happenings are like transfer points on life's path, a choice must be made, altering everything in the future.  I think Jason has just made such a choice, a defining choice of who Jason Aaron Anderson is to become.  His future is with Warren, body and soul.

   "Hey guys!" I heard Derrick call to us as he crossed the waiting room.

   "Derrick...Daddy....Pop...," we all said more or less simultaneously.

   "Boys...I need to talk with Jason for a moment please and yes, Warren is stable for now.  Excuse us just a moment."  Derrick took Jason by the elbow leading him off towards the back of the ER, speaking quietly to his newest son, while Jason was nodding his head up and down.

   Moments later Derrick and my Mom reappeared from around the corner and came towards us. We met them halfway down the long ER hallway.

   "He's going to be out for a few days.  The neurologist gave him some medicine to put Warren into a deep coma-like sleep for a while.  He may need a dialysis treatment to clean his blood and there may be damage to his liver and kidneys.  We don't know yet.  Barn...Jason is going to be staying with him.  Suzie is here too when he wakes-up, but Suzie thinks this may be a very big breakthrough for Barn...Jason."  Mom looked reflective for just a moment before she continued.

   "He has so much to give...so much love looking for an outlet.  If what Jason just told me is true, I really think everything is going to work out."

   "What did he tell you Mom," I asked her, thinking I already knew the answer.  The look in Ty's eyes told me he was hoping it was the same.

   "Jason told us he had the same feelings for Warren too."  Derrick said to Ty and me.

   "And once more, you two know that he does.  Why didn't he tell Warren?"

   "He was scared Daddy.  Just plain scared to loose Warren if he was wrong.  Jase would rather have Warren as a friend than risk loosing him because of his love for the guy.  They've loved each other forever Daddy and neither could say a thing...even as it seems now that they were both being beaten at the same time. But now...now Jase has what he needs and I think Warren will have his needs met too." Ty giggled a little at his unintended pun, then looked around the ER before he continued.

   "Its Christmas Day, nearly 8:00 in the evening.  I'm covered in puke, my new brother is off taking care of his new boyfriend, who doesn't even know he has a boyfriend yet because he tried to kill himself...I have watched a friend of mine nearly die.  We're in a place full of bloody people facing another tragedy on this the most holy of days...Folks, I'm bushed...lets say we all go.  I know where there is a bottle of blackberry brandy with our names on it...and later on we can all come back and keep Jason company while he waits.  Okay?"

   The three of us looked at Tyler with astonishment, then broke out in loud laughter.

   "It has been the atypical Christmas that's for sure," Derrick chuckled

   "And it sure started out so nice too,"  I said, slightly blushing and locking my eyes with Ty's.

   "At least you didn't have to come here at three this morning.  I'm with you Ty.  Blackberry brandy sounds good right now and Dan has the call."  Mom added.

   "We need to make sure that Jason knows we'll be right back...Okay? Thats important."

   In a few minutes we were on the way home.   Jason knew we'd be back later.


   Over the next two days we spent a large portion of our time shuttling between University Medical Center and home.  Will or I would sit with Jason...allowing him to sleep, eat, clean-up and change, but he refused all attempts to get him to leave Warren's bedside for more than a few minutes.  Our brother's devotion to Warren allowed me to see a side of Will that I wasn't fully aware of too.  Like Warren would understand about Jason, I realized that this was the way Will must have been when I was hospitalized for my last surgery.

   The barely concealed anxiety, long quiet periods when the beep and chirp of monitors became a monotonous point and counterpoint during the waiting.  I would catch Will looking at me, his eyes unfocused, thinking deeply.  Later he'd tell me that he was indeed lost in the memory of my own body in a similar bed and how he realized that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me...god...I love this guy so much.

   On the third night of waiting for Warren to come around, I went to the snack bar for some coffee. When I returned to Warren's room, the lights were very dim but I could see Jason holding Warren's hand in his...

  "...and I know that I haven't prayed, really prayed in a long time Lord.  You know why I haven't...it's been so hard, for so long...the God of my Father is hard and cruel...yet it is to you, the Lord my Momma believed in that I ask to protect Warren.  Make him healthy again, let him live for he has so much to give, to experience the happiness I now feel...Lord this sweet dear man lying here did nothing but try to be a good son...like I did too...and like me...he has suffered badly at the hands of one he loved.  Warren doesn't deserve this Lord...he doesn't."  I could hear Jason crying softly too.

   "Lord...help me to be strong for Warren...you know what is in my heart...what I feel for Warren...I love him with all my being...all I want is to help him get well...even if he doesn't want me Lord, let me help him heal and become whole again.  Use me as your instrument for good Lord, I have already been used as a tool for bringing hurt and pain by evil hiding behind Your glory.  Let me help Warren get well."  Jason picked up Warrens hand in his and kissed it gently on each finger, before laying his head next to the boy he loved.

   I backed up and rolled my chair out of the room into the hall again, then turned to see Will coming up the hallway.

   "Whats up Babe?" Will asked me.

   "Just giving Jason some space to be with Warren." I replied, then related what I'd seen in the room.

   Will surprised me when his eyes flooded and he knelt next to me.

   "Yes, his words are very familiar to me Ty.  I said almost the same thing when you were at Memorial for your last surgery.  I do understand what Jason is experiencing and I'm glad he's expressing himself this way.  Makes what will come later a lot easier."  Will hugged me and kissed my cheeks and my lips...our kiss.

   "I'll make ya a bet Ty.  I bet I know what the first words Jason says to Warren are." Will asked me.

   "No bet Babe.  I know what he's going to say,"  then mouthed the words ..." I Love You."

   Will just smiled that great bright smile of his and I felt his love wash over me in waves.


   Dr. Suzie and I had our session in Warren's room on the 29th of December.  I'll always remember that day.  Just past lunch.  The monitors were in quiet mode now, the respirator removed from Warren's throat, no longer making the "whooof - swoosh" sounds that can drive a sane person mad.

   I held Warren's hand while Suzie and I talked guietly...almost in deference to the silence..

   "So this realization about your feelings for Warren are not based on that need to recover something lost to you long ago.  I know that sounds complicated Jason, but I think you are having more and more genuine feelings again - you know the difference too.  Your feelings for Warren are another expression of who you really are...who you are becoming."  she told me very quietly.

   "I think I understand Suzie.  Everything that's happened to me since Thanksgiving has been leading here...and my idea that God has had a hand in the direction of my life since then isn't crazy at all?  If thats what you mean...thanks...but the guilt stuff will take a little longer to deal with." I said.

   "Jason Dear, you will always feel some guilt...you know that the pain will lessen more as time goes on and you begin to make a new life...build new memories.  You are doing that now.  Memories of a new life that has started at a pretty fast pace...," Suzie chuckled and I had to smile.  She was right.

   "And...I'm glad that you understand Will and Ty's gesture on Christmas morning was meant as brotherly love...and nothing more.

   "I always knew that, Suzie.  My Bros made love with me.  It wasn't sex.  I needed to be loved right then and I was loved.  I feel really connected to both my brothers and to Derrick...Pop too.    It's...good."

   "Those two have a sense of what people aeound them are feeling...did you know that Ty is going to volunteer in the physical therapy department?" Susie added.

   "He and Will were talking to a young man just recovering from a spinal injury and the next thing we hear, they both are going to help the kid make the adjustment to life in a wheelchair.  They seemed to know just what the young man needed and they acted.  Just like you will too."

   "To me Jason...thats the real test.  You've been learning so much, in touch with who you really are now...the rest is really up to you.  Warren is going to need a lot of support...a lot of everything, especially patience.  You two have much in common...you'll know what to do Jason.  You're a lot like Will and Ty in that way.  Just go where your heart leads you."

   Suzie got up and kissed my cheek, rested her hand on Warrens forehead briefly, smiled and said
"Bye.  Your next appointment is on January 6th.  Have a good week and remember to take some time for yourself too."

   I went over and closed the door, turned all the lights off and sat down next to Warren again.  I put on his favorite Deep Banana Blackout CD on the player...low volume, yet the music seemed to fill the room.

   Last night I was ready to argue with an Intern named Schultz about the door and the lights and the music, when Dr. Carley Johnston...took the overbearing newbie doctor off for a chat.  The door stayed closed and the lights dim. Radiohead and Ulu gently lent music to the quiet.  The infrared monitor and the telemetry would allow proper care.  Besides, I remember my own experience waking up in a brightly lit room.  My eyes hurt for days.

   Feeling Warens hand in mine: the calluses from working out at the gym; strong sinews, tendons and yet his skin was warm, soft and pliable beneith my fingers.  I brought his hand to my lips and kissed each finger gently, uttering a short prayer with each kiss.

   I must have laid my head down.  The next thing I became conscious of was a hand stroking my hair gently.  When I opened my eyes I saw Warren's pale green orbs on mine in the early morning glow.  I mouthed the words "I love you," at Warren and was delighted that his eye's sparkled instantly in acknowledgement.  There were words forming on his lips when his eyelids fell and Warren was asleep once more.

   'He knows how I feel now.  No turning back ever again, so  I suppose I made the only choice I could.  Will said the rest was easy once the choice was made.  I'll be finding out soon because Warren knows now.


   "Of course I suspected Warren is gay...ever since that boy...a college student he...he was involved with hurt him somehow...hurt him having sex.  I wanted to tell him...to tell my son that I still loved him no matter what happens, but my husband...he threatened to throw Warren out if I said anything.  He was only 14.  I couldn't risk that...besides I think he wanted to get the boy and Marie Aikens involved even then...when he wasn't screwing her himself," Helen O'Casey told Derrick and Andrew Anderson, her new attorneys.

   "I have failed as a wife and a mother and almost killed my son.  I'm an alcoholic and a drug addict married to an abusive alcoholic child beater...spousal abuser.  All I'm asking you to do is make sure Warren is taken care of while I'm...I'm getting my own therapy.  You have the account numbers.  You have my statements.  Please take care of my boy for me."  Helen said very quietly, obviously on he verge of physical and emotional collapse.

   "Of course we will Helen.  You have our word on it.  Warren will recover and we'll take care of him personally until you're ready to resume your relationship.  Your only job now is to get well yourself.  This is your time now, get your life back together.  Andy or I will be in touch on a regular basis anyway."

   Derrick and Andrew stood, crossed the large and homelike hospital room to where Helen was sitting in a high backed chair.  Each man took one of her hands.

   "We promise to look out for Warren. You get well now Helen." Andrew told her, then turned and left the room.

   "I know what your concerns are Helen.  Warren will be protected completely...and so will you.  Now get on with it and good luck.  You'll be in our prayers."  Derrick nodded to Carley Johnston and Suzie before leaving the hospital room.

   "Carley, do you really think it'll be all right for Warren?  After all I am his Mother and he needs...."

   "Ssshhh now....your boy will be fine, he has lots of friends who really care about him, special friends who understand what he's going through and will accept Warren for who he is.  Very special friends.  Now is your time to get well.  Ready?  Okay then?  Lets go.  The car is waiting for us downstairs.  Suzie will be with you for the whole flight to the clinic and from there...." The elevator doors closed on the women.

   "I hope that you know what you're doing Rick," Andy asked his younger brother while walking to their cars.

   "I think so Drew.  I know what I've seen and experienced since November.  You of all people understand why I feel the way I do about helping these boys.  When Tyler and Will got together I was scared that Ty would get hurt.  I was wrong.  I took Barney in and now i have a son who is willing to do what it takes to make things right for those he may have hurt.  Warren is just another challange, but I think the right environment will help too.  If what Jason says is true...so much the better.  They won't have to go through what I did with Eduardo."

   Derrick stopped walking, turned and looked at his brother closely.

   "If you hadn't been there for me Drew...I...Drew...we've never finished that talk we started in the basement of Grandma's house...that day...so maybe it's time to tell you the rest.  Maybe that will let you see why I feel so strongly about the boys...taking Helen O'Casey on as a client...Warren and Jason...maybe then it'll all make sense."

   Derrick and Andrew faced each other briefly.  The brothers gripped each others forearm's in a gesture of friendship used since childood.

   "You don't have to drag up any old crap Rick...I saw the resemblence of Ty and Will's relationship to you and Eduardo's...the wheelchair...only his legs were broken from that fall from his grandfathers barn...all those things.  I'm not blind Rick."

   "I know Drew.  Sometimes, just lately, a lot has been coming back in my dreams again.  Not nightmares, just nice dreams about us as kids.  Maybe seeing my own son...going through very similar changes, has allowed the good memories to surface for once."

   "Come on Drew...its cold in this windy garage.  Buy you a cup of cheer at the house?"  Derrick smiled at his brother knowing that Andrew always accepted.  He kept a higher grade of brandy and cigars than his younger brother did, besides he had a few ideas about their grandparents old home outside of town he wanted to run by him.


   I felt the hand holding mine.  I knew who it was without opening my eyes.  I had memorized the feel of his presence next to me three days ago...at least I think it was three days ago.  I've been sleeping a lot so time becomes really meaningless.

   I saw his look then too...three days ago.  He knows.  He loves me.  Three days ago I saw the look in his eyes and the unspoken words on his lips.  He knows.  He loves me too.

  I squeezed the hand holding mine.  I wanted to open my eyes and see his face smiling at me.  I feel so warm inside when Jason does that.  Not Barney anymore...Jason...just Jason...my Jason.


  "He's waking-up again Dad"  Ty told his father who was waiting outside the door chatting with Carley Johnston and Suzannah Daniels.

   Ty had quietly wheeled out of the room when he noticed Warren start to wake-up and I followed, leaving Jason alone with an almost fully awake Warren O'Casey.  Jason had insisted that he be the one to tell Warren what he needed to know.  We both knew that Jason was strong enough to play this critical role...but Dr. Suzie would be nearby just in case.

   Half an hour later, Jason asked us all to join him and Warren.

   Warren looked shyly at each of us but was smiling from ear to ear.

   "Warren wants to say a few things but his throat is still sore from the respirator so for both of us...yes both of us...thank you each for what you did to help Warren."  Jason had Warren's hand in his and if nuckles are any indication, both were holding on tight.

   "Warren wants me to say something else too.  Yes, he is gay.  Yes, Warren is in love with me...and I'm in love with him.  We know there is a lot of shit to deal with...both of us, but Dr Suzie has agreed to see us together once a week.  Derrick...Pops?  Warren accepts your offer to live with us until he can manage on his own...if that will work for you?"

   Jason looked so cute...there was an almost worried frown forming in his eyebrows...he must know that Derrick would have never refused...Jason's own insecurities adding to the minor anxiety.

   "I'm very happy to have Warren stay with you son...this afternoon when you all get home, we'll sit around the fireplace and talk. Okay?"  Derrick grasped both boy's shoulders and then left with Dr, Suzie.

   "Well, I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get out of here," Warren said when the door closed, his voice sounding like ripping fabric, the grimace on his face confirming the painful exercise.

   "Quiet You!"  Jason said loudly.  Glaring at his new boyfriend, then softening to a slight smile.

  "You promised not to talk Warren!  Jason told him.

   Warren nodded his head up and down and looked at each of us for the first time.  His eyes were almost as expressive as Ty's are.  There was humor and plainly a desire to tell his boyfriend to 'eat shit' in that look, but also a great need too.

   Ty rolled over to Warren's bed and nodded to me.  I helped him stand then when his knees were locked, let go and backed slightly away.

   "Our little band of brothers...was it Henry V?  Our little band of brothers grows, and i welcome you dear Warren."  Ty leaned a bit, kissed him on each cheek and on the lips then stood tall again before I helped him to sit once more.

   "It's your turn to care about yourself Warren.  We care about you a lot Brother...Jason loves you.  There isn't anything the four of us can't do.  You will balance us...four is a magic number by the way."

   Ty looked at me and I saw fire in his eyes and remembered our promise to each other.  Warren was another victim of the evil that stalks gay kids...gay people everywhere.  I remembered our promise and the same fire in Ty's eyes then too.

   "I've known you too long to welcome you to anything dude...just get up out of you adoring boyfriend's arms and get dressed.  We can leave anytime!"

   Anytime took another day, there were additional tests to run. Warren didn't need dialysis after all and the other tests would wait a day or so too.  The wheelchair ride to the door of the car closed Warren's inhospital recovery.  His "at home" therapy started as soon as I drove the Beast out of the parking lot.

   Ty nodded to the rearview mirror where I saw Warren's lips locked to Jason's and Jase slowly sliding down onto the seat with a suddenly very vigorous Warren moving on top of him just as slowly.

   "Remember your throat now Warren...how raw and tender..." Ty said, unable to resist the needle.

   The new boyfriends burst out in laughter in the back seat...Warren's dry cackle obvious.  They sat-up blushing, but remained close to each other holding hands.  Therapy had begun!

   The rest of the ride back to the Hotel Anderson was spent in quiet chatter, explaining what we knew about his father and Mrs Aikens; a progress report from the clinic his mother was staying at; reaction around town, surprisingly positive: seemed no one liked his father, but Warren was highly regarded.  Mrs. O'Casey had a lot of sympathy and many prayers coming from the people she knew.

  We spoke of living together and of the road ahead as Jason and Warren deal with their own recoveries.  Chatting quietly, I drove around for almost an hour, ending up near the dam just outside town.  The snow covered lake, to dangerous for ice skating because of the numerous hot springs beneath the surface, reflected the noon time sun brilliantly.  Any "down" talk had disappeared while the sunlight seemed to push away all gloomy thoughts in the car and in our minds.

   For Warren and Jason, this day marked their new beginning together.  For Ty and me, today seemed to mark another milestone in our relationship...I've never felt closer or more in love as I was at that moment...and from the look in Ty's eye's, he felt the same.

   Just as I was about to say we needed to go, Ty's ever empty stomach rumbled loudly making the four of us break-up...we had all been thinking it was time to go home.  Leave it to Tyler to emphasize the point!

  Derrick was waiting for us with a full spread in the kitchen.  The man missed a calling when he left the kitchen to go to law school.  Lunch today included open-faced hot roast beef sandwiches with wonderful gravy, dilled red potato salad and rainbow coleslaw with a light oil and vinegar dressing.
The kitchen table talk was also very light, but the undercurrent of Warren's concerns about his Mother and the whereabouts of his father worried Derrick.

   "Did any of you read the text file I sent along with the email note yet?" Warren asked us out of the blue.

   "I did son," Derrick told him.

   "And so did Ty. Me too, Warren.  I'm sorry if that embarrasses you, but when you went missing...and after the note...."  I told the newest member of the Anderson household.

   "Warren, those of us who have read the file will never say anything to anyone without your permission regarding what's in that file.  As your attorney, I may need to ask you more details
about what you saw and heard...particularly about the money and the deals that your father and Mrs. Aikens were working on...and the pressure that you were placed under to...ahhh..."perform" for Aikens.

   "Thats fine Derrick...but when we do talk, I want Jason with me.  I have no secrets to keep from Jase and I want him to know what kind of crazy guy he's gotten hooked up to...if thats all right with you?"

   "No problem son, no problem at all." Derrick told him.

   "Now, how about some canole's and expresso?"


      After lunch on New Years Eve, the four of us were sitting around Warren's room.  He took the largest guest room...the only other bedroom available...and already it looked like a teenagers room.  Todd, Kelly and Jay went with Derrick and Andy to the O'Casey's house.  Most of Warrens clothes, his CD's a few books and an empty picture frame were gathered up and packed.

   The photo and Warrens clothes and car had been recovered from the pool house and park road.  Jase took the photo from Warren.  He put it back in the frame then handed it back to Warren.  No words were exchanged. None were needed.

   Once Warren's clothes were artfully scattered about, it began to feel like someone lived in this rarely used area of the house.

   We just helped Jason move his clothes into the room as well.  One neat freak, one slob, one Irishman, one Englishman...both madly in love with the other.  Their budding relationship was wonderful to observe, descretely of course!

   The clumsiness...long silences, shy looks...giggles, blushing and gentle touches. Serious talks degenerating into laughter after remembering a shared moment long ago.  Fart noises in Mrs Allgood's second grade class.  Forth grade: the dead rat taped under the cafeteria serving line.  They had sprayed for weeks trying to kill the odor.  No one bothered to look for where the smell was coming from.  As far as we know...the rat was still there!

   Yes I think Jason and Warren are truly in love.

   The last two days have been like watching two rare and thorny heritage roses bloom...so many pedals, each subtly different, staggered rows upon rows opening to reveal the most vulnerable tender bits...and to attract attention, receptive and needful after a hard dark winter.

   Both of our friends have admitted the truth to themselves and each other...the love was always there.

   Warren changes Jason's bandages and dressings;  makes him exercise with the rubber squeeze balls, when he's not squeezing Warren's balls.  Jason holds Warren when he needs it.  They talk for hours that way...in each others arms, speaking in low tones, occasionally a gentle kiss.  The room change for Jason is just a natural occurance.

   Dad laughes and tells us that we were the same way!

   Tonight would be a small party. Just us guys.  Dad got two huge bags of fireworks for all of us to celebrate with.  Dinner was fast and easy; grilled steaks, salad and roast corn.  We'd have neck bones and greens with spicy cornbread and black-eyed peas tomorrow.  Grandma's recipe, but I hated it.  It was the one family tradition I could do without.

   I kept eying Will too, the anticipation of the bedroom fun we'd planned for tonight had kept me hard all day.  Twice I had to go and wipe myself off.  Will went three times.  Each time we both blushed, but no one seemed to notice.  We slipped away, getting our jackets on to make our way out to the gazebo in the back yard.  Will kept the path clear because we feed the birds from there and sometimes, everyone needs a place of solitude.

   It must have been back to -10 that afternoon, but it was a gloriously bright day and with no wind, you could almost feel warm in the sunshine.  We held hands as Will pushed my chair along and as we sat in the gazebo.

   "We have to get another ring for Warren I think.  Looks like he's gonna be a keeper." Will said to me as we cuddled.

   "Yea, on Saturday.  Dad has taken care of everything.  He's gonna take Jason to pick it up; while Warren is at an AA meeting." Ty replied.

   "Do you think AA will help Warren?"

   "Don't know.  I think its up to Warren what he gets out of it, but he's motivated right now to stop drinking and he's got Jason too.  Maybe it'll be okay."  Ty sounded a bit down too when we was talking to me.

   "What's bothering you Babe?" I asked him.

   "It's not a "bothering" thing Will, just...well...why us?  Why did Barney come to the door when he wouldn't have lasted another minute in that blizzard.  How...why...our door?  And Warren too?  Now we're four gay high school students who are as close as brothers when less than six months ago, I didn't have one friend except for Todd...and now...I've got you...my love, and two new brothers?  It just seems so...so fast!  Sometimes my life feels like a rollercoaster.  It's not a bother you see...it's just been so fast."

   "Yeah, it does seem that way doesn't it."  Will told me before he kissed my ear.

   "The past few months have been kind of a whirlwind, but I wouldn't change anything at all.  We have had some very interesting moments, but through all this...well...this tragedy it's let us all grow-up a lot. I don't feel like just a high school swimmer any longer, not since I met you.  I've fallen in love, I've got a man in my life I can truly call Dad; one, no two, of my oldest friends have been saved from a life of unspeakable pain and agony and I'm sleeping with the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.  Yeah. this has been a fast few months all right.  So where to from here?"

   "What do you mean Will?"

   "School starts in six days...Jason will be here getting tutoring for the tests he has to take if he wants his GED; Warren will be going back with us to University and thats not gonna be easy...the paper had the story...his parents, the suicide attempt, plus what we've committed to do with Jason too.  When will there be time for us?  I start six day practices for the Winter meets, you are gonna be involved in Drama a lot this semester, classes, homework...I don't want to loose our own time together Ty and I'm afraid that might happen."

   "Maybe we will have to do some stuff apart Will...I want to be with you all the time too...but we have different areas of interests as well.  Besides...absence makes the heart grow..."

   Wills lips covered mine right then.  His tongue began to tenderly seek permission to enter my mouth, and with that, my own tongue began to snake around his, sliping easily together for the next few minutes.  Ever get a hard-on dressed in thermals, Levi's, warmups and a ski jacket?  No place to move...too much to endure for long.  We broke apart, looked into each others eyes then watched the chick-a-dee's feed on the grains and seeds we'd put out.  Just the two of us holding hands in the afternoon sun.

   'Will recognizes how many challanges we'll face, as individuals, as a couple, as brothers available to help our new family deal with their needs.' I thought as I watched the birds.

   "You know Ty, it's still out there, stalking, hurting others like us, like Jason and Warren.  All the hate and the evil preying on boys...and girls...everywhere.  Even in their homes from the parents who are supposed to love them, protect them."

   I turned to look at Will.  He seemed to be watching the birds too, but his eyes held a distant unfocused gaze.

   "It's not over.  There will be more for us to do...there are so many like Jason and Warren.  They need a safe place, a kind word and a hug, a place to breathe clean air without fear."  Will said in a low voice, barely audible.

   "Jason and Warren will help when they're able.  For now, we just observe, be available to talk to anyone.  Look out for the quiet one's, the kids who are afraid and bullied all the time.  Let them know that there are others who understand and will listen," I told Will.

   "Coach Roberts will help too.  He knows who's in trouble and he'd understand what we need to do...what we want to do.  He'd understand and support us quietly like he does in everything.  The Team too...and all those guys at the cafeteria table.  That's ten or fifteen more who can be told what to look for.  The ignorance will take longer, but at least at our school, kids will be safe.  If there was some way to keep them safe from all the rest...not vigilante like...but making an effort to get to know these kids...grade, age, size...smart or not, athlete or not...sexual orientation...none of that should make a difference."

   Will turned his body slowly towards me.  His eyes were bright and sparkling now, full of life.

   "I do ramble on sometimes...it's just...I suddenly had this very clear vision of what to do next. who to ask for help.  I thought...well you know what I think.  I love you Tyler.  I love you more every day."

   "You are my whole life Will.  Where ever you go, I'll have your back, my Pied Piper lover."


   I told Warren that Pops was a famous New Orleans chef who became a lawyer because his patrons kept keeling over and dropping dead in the dining room.  Food poisoning.  He'd already wolfed-down a two-inch thick t-bone steak and a bunch of corn brfore I told him that little lie.  Pops, not one to avoid a good tease, gave Warren a wicked lear too.  His face went white then burning red in a flash once he heard us all laughing loudly.

   The look on his face went from surprise to "got me" just as fast too.  Warren's sense of humor was intact.

   "Don't you believe him Warren...I decided to go to law school before I moved to New Orleans...right after they found me innocent on that poisoning charge..."

   This time Warren laughed the loudest and longest of any of us, I could feel him relaxing even more against my side.  I had my arm around his waist too.  Full and content, at least for the moment.

   Ty rolled around the table to get a bottle of apple cider from the counter plus a tray with five glasses.  We all took one.

   "Daddy, it's your turn to make the toast."

   "So it is, son.  Lets see.  A toast?  Not much comes to mind right off...except...the five of us sitting here in the kitchen with the New Year at hand in...four hours and six minutes...four boys that could have never imagined in their wildest fantasy...that they'd be sitting in this kitchen, in the arms of someone he loves and is loved by...holding a glass of apple cider in your hand, looking at my "feo cara," that's - ugly face, my fine young men."

   Pops looked around at each of us.

   "There is no adequate toast for this occasion.  Will, you said your Sensi spoke to you of decision points, that's what we have here, now."  Derrick once again looked at each of us, smiling gently.

   "Instead I would offer a simple blessing."

   "To all four of you. Love comes to us many ways via many roads.  I raise my glass to you all!  May the New Year bring joy and happiness to your love.  The hard part comes later."  We were all smiling at Pops when we took a drink of the newly made cider.

   Warren snuggled up even closer to me.  For the first time in my memory, I felt content...at peace...and filled with love.


   Ty and I didn't get to sleep until the sky was turning violet with the coming dawn. We had made love fully last night, sharing our most intimate places in the early hours of the New Year.  It was even better than I had imagined, the heat, the tightness, the overwhelming passion that took our minds and bodies...simply indescribable.

   When I first entered Ty, I was so hesitant...I could never hurt my Babe and I feared that I would.  But we had been opening each other with our fingers and copious qualtities of lube each night for the last week.  All the preparation had worked...the smooth, painless entry into Ty's most sacred place...ecstasy!  My anxious strokes, short and slow.  Gradually they grew longer and harder...until Ty was screaming for me to plunge "deeper and harder" and his nails dragged across my back.  I could feel the eruption begin deep inside my body...combined with the sounds, smells and feelings of our lovemaking...my cum burst out of me, through Ty's clenching anal ring to gush deep inside my lover and soul-mate.  Ty's own juices covered his chest and abs when I collapsed onto his body in the throws of pure passion, our kisses long and deep while my cock softened and slowly slid from my lover.

   We must have lay there for a half hour, each of us still tingling from our toe curling love making, cuddled together, necking and whispering "I love you" over and over.  Gradually sleep took us for a while, before we both awakened to renewed passion...and Ty's turn to discover just how good love making could really be.

   We made love several more times during the early hours of the New Year, when completely exhausted and drained, we finally fell asleep together, smelly, cum covered inside and out...together now like never before.


   'What will the boys think?  Will...Ty...I think I know how they will react.  Jason and Warren?  Jason I think...he'll grasp at the project...if I read him right.  Warren...too early to say.'  Those thoughts ran around my head for several hours before sleep finally claimed me.

   Drew and I may have finally seen a way we can turn Grandma's old house into something worthwhile as a fitting memory to the old gal.

   A home for abused children...those abandoned gay kids, beaten, raped, tossed aside...boy's mostly to start, then perhaps girls too, as the appropriate staff can be hired.  Suzie as Medical Director...with her connections...and mine...we can hire promising doctoral candidates as staff...the courts will welcome the opportunity to place hurting gay kids into such a place...a true home, for some the first they've ever known...long term placements...the non-adoptable kids, the one's the system itself neglects...the quiet ones with nothing going for them.  I'm more convinced than ever after hearing Warren's poor, sick, deeply disturbed mother tell everything to Drew, Suzie and me.  Before that, young Barney's living hell...if no one else will do anything...god dammit we will!  How did Barney slip by all those years?  And Warren?  Something to look at later on for sure.

   My brother is quite a guy...he never batted an eye when I told him I thought the initial costs would top a million or more.  He'll do the numbers, find the money.

   "The house sorely needs the renovation...gutting most likely...then all the rebuilding.  We'll need a good architect...maybe someone from the University...perhaps a student project?  Attach a small stipend for the winner...some scholarship money?"  Drew was writing furiously, taking notes.

  " Whatever we do, I'm sure Carley, Ted Devereaux and Larry Jackson will sign-on to the Board.  You remember what happened to Larry's son Toshi?  He was the student beaten a couple of years ago by those frat rats.  He and Ted's boy are a couple, so we can get additional expertise as fathers of two gay son's from them."

   And so it went.  Over two hours and seven pages of notes.  It may take a year or more to pull off, but we've got a handle on what to do next...or at least who to ask what to do next.  I know that at least...next is to tell all the boys...my three plus one...or will it be four after tonight?  The moans and noises coming from Warren and Jason's room...maybe it will be my four sons after all?

   My four sons!  Good god...is it only since late August that Ty and Will got together? It seems that I can't easily recall when Will's smiling face hasn't been around this house.  His smiling face and Ty's smiling face!  Was it really only five months ago I despaired about Ty's loneliness and depression?

   Their partnership is so strong already...almost as if they were lost lovers reunited.  The bond, the understanding...I swear they can just look at each other...and know what their partner is thinking  The rings too, almost like Eduardo and mine were, ours covered with Mayan designs.  So much of their relationship is like ours was almost 25 years ago.

   I quickly closed out that line of thinking.  The last time my thoughts wandered back to Eduardo and me, our time together, our love for each other...I was a mess for two days.  Even after being married...I did love my dear late wife...and raising our son - thoughts of Eduardo still just hurt too much .

   But there were times...like now...as I fell myself slipping into that hazy place before sleep at long last, Eduardo's smiling face was whispering soothing words of comfort and of love.


   "Ohhh god Warren, you feel so good...god Warren...go faster Warren..deeper...OHHHHHHH."

   "You're so hot inside Jase...Babe...you're so tight...I can't last long....JASON I LOVE YOU!!

   We lay together in the afterglow kissing tenderly...my cum covered both of us and I could feel Warren's spunk leaking out of me too.

   We talked about my fears that sex would bring back some really bad memories, but nothing like fear or pain ever happened while we were making love.  For the first time in my life sex wasn't an act of being painfully penetrated to become a sperm recepticle for my father.  I wasn't forced to take a smelly cock into my mouth and service one of "them" after being beaten unconsious because I refused. Those acts that drove me almost mad were behind me.  I was no longer that scared, angry little kid.  I had seen and experienced hell first hand, now I felt like I was in paradise.

   Warren snored lightly into my chest as I ran my healing fingers through his long thick hair.  My tears of joy had dried.  Our lovemaking had been so sweet, full of the new sensations we had both felt for the first time, that my thoughts of the last few hours had made me hard as a rock again.  My lover stirred and I felt his hand gently grasp my engorged cock, stroking me slowly a few times before I heard Warren whisper to me.

  "I want you inside me again Jase."


   High in the mountains, covered in many feet of snow, the sulpher-smelling valley with hundreds of steaming vents pumping out their noxious fumes shuddered briefly.  Rocks tumbled down from the high cliffs surrounding the place, making clattering sounds when they fell, bounced then shattered when they hit other rocks and boulders left by earlier tremors and rock slides through the centuries.

   In a cave, hard against one of the cliffs, Seth Bannister barely understood that the earth had moved under him.  Too weak to move, he lay in his own feces and urine crusted clothing; his mind, a muddle of delusions and hallucinations; Bannister's lips moved wordlessly in secret conversation with unseen companions.

   The earth shook again.  This time a loud cracking sound was heard by the small creatures who inhabited the valley, hidden in their burrows and nests, the vibrations shook them all awake...alert to the danger, many scrambled out of their warm safe places and fled the valley, but the only human occupant lay unaware within his cave hideout, lost in his insanity.

   Rumblings, falling rocks and boulders, steam venting explosively into the air, all failed to rouse Bannister to the imminent danger.  His time had run out anyway.

   One last time, the earth twisted and shook again.  Directly above the cave, a section of cliff 200 yards wide shifted a few millimeters.  In the split second that the rock face was no longer attached to bedrock, the massive slide didn't move.  Then it came down as one sheet of stone, crashing into the valley floor, crushing what lay underneath into dust, sealing the cave forever, blocking the erupting steam vent inside the cave.

   Bannister awoke from his hallucinations long enough to feel the superheated steam melt his flesh.  The pain was beyond belief for the few seconds he lived, but in those moments, lucidity returned -  he was able to understand what he had done and what was really waiting for him now.

   In the fullness of time, life returned to the valley healing the scar of the rockslide.  Firs, Dwarf Oak and Birch grew again, nurtured by the rich volcanic soil and the small woodland creatures found life good, few predators and abundant food.  But none approached the bare place where the rocks steamed with poisonous gasses, for here death held sway and any who ventured too close were never seen again.


   Ty, me and Warren returned to University High on the 5th.  Since we all started at the new pool house behind UHS very early five days a week, the three of us would all ride together.  At lunch time, we would make the short trip home.  Jason would usually have something hot and ready for us, then we'd split-up for the rest of the afternoon...Ty and I back to UHS, Jason and Warren to physical therapy and their treatment groups.  Suzie began to see our brothers once a week in a session together.  They were both making a lot of progress.

   We won our first swim meet against cross-town rivals Central High.  Warren's diving performance gave us the win.  The meet was Jason's first venture out more into public, but he had changed so much, no one seemed to notice him. Warren and Jason double dated with us...dinner, a movie and a quick trip to the "scenic overlook" on Route 87A for some steamy making out..until Ty noticed that the windows were iced over on the inside of the Beast too!

   The four of us also met with all of the guys and girls who stood with me and Ty when we were outted in November.  Jason and Warren were with us and so were Kelly and Jamal.  They had decided to come out.  Our team mates accepted that too, and a couple of "why did you wait so long" comments were heard to much laughter.  So much for their "secret."

   Dad spoke to the assembled athletes as did Coach Roberts.  Everyone agreed to keep their eyes and ears opened and to seek out those fellow students who seemed isolated and fearful.  We would also research how Central High's PFLAG chapter was being received after a couple of years in operation.  The Andersons and Johnstons would be attending the next meeting.

   The first breath of Spring had touched the hills and valleys around Fairview when Warren's mother returned to Fairview.  Their reunion was bittersweet - without Jason at his side Warren would have had a very hard time.

   Helen O'Casey was a broken woman, her need to begin a new life away from Fairview a necessity.  Warren chose to stay with Jason, he was 18 and able to decide for himself now anyway.  He understood his mothers illness, but that did not account for the many years she stood by and allowed her husband to abuse Warren.  He wanted...needed a clean break too. At least they parted with promises to keep in touch with each other.  Warren received the proceeds from the sale of his parents home.  Of his father and Marie Aikens, no word.  The police and others were still looking and a major investigation was underway.  There were rumors in the press that the two fugitives were also connected to underground extreme right-wing groups.

   The semester was almost over and Spring had fully arrived before it was warm enough for the "first swim" picnic of the season at the old bridge.  All the "gang" was finally reunited in our special place.  Ty drove his new super quiet four-wheeler down the trail hauling all our picnic supplies, blankets and coolers in the cart's small trailer.  The rest of us walked slowly through the woodlands to the old railway bed, laughing and playing tag along the way, like we had so many years before.

   We were all standing together at the top of the bridge foundation, when Jason looked around at each of us, there were tears streaming down his face.  Warren was holding Jason tightly against him, whispering in Jason's ear, before Jason smiled, turned and kissed Warren, then looked at the assembled old friends once again.

   "You know, I thought I'd never be standing with all of you here," Jason began to speak, so softly that we had to listen carefully to hear him.

   "Being here now, with the people I care about more than I can express, brings my life full circle I think.  Being here now, with Warren beside me, I feel more alive than I have ever felt before."  Jason smiled at us.

   "I just wanted to say thank you. All of you...thanks....and...LAST ONE IN DOES CLEANUP!"

   With that shout, he grabbed Warrens hand, ran towards the edge and both leaping far out into the sky, seemed to hang for a split second before dropping towards the river below, screaming all the way down.

   I turned to face Tyler.

   "Trust me Babe?"

   "Always, Will...always."

   "Then hang on...." I told my soul mate, before grabbing Ty up in my arms and ran for the precipace above the cool clear river below us.

   I jumped extending my leap as high and as far out over the river as I could get, before releasing Ty from my grasp, but keeping his hands in mine.  Like in slow motion we seemed to hang above the river for a moment.

   "I love you Tyler Anderson."

   "I love you Will Johnston."

   Then we fell...following our brothers into our future together.  The water was just right too.

End of Chapter Seven and Part One (In the Beginning) of Will and Tyler's Odyssey.

Chapter One of Part Two (Rainbow on the Lake) will forthcoming shortly.


   Notes:  Some readers have wondered what kind of music would Will and Tyler listen to.  By way of an answer we offer what the two of us often appreciate when writing and at other times:

Radiohead (there's a new album out this week), Deep Banana Blackout, Ulu, The Doors, Portishead, Little Feat, Godspeed, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead and Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Ludwig Von
Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahm's, Schuman and Moon Dog.  Hiroshima, Vertical Horizon, Sun Ra, Savage Garden, Ween and Six String Samuri.  West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard ...among others. ( Yes...we do like showtunes! )

   We envision the characters as having eclectic musical tastes.

   Once again we'd like to call your attention to some stories we like.  The series "Parental Instincts" by Nick Archer and the follow - on "Family Instincts" found in the College section has been a joy to read.  Nick's  "Pocket Full of Stars" is found in HS.

   Additionally, "Not Always Easy" by Kit - located in the High School section has a new chapter just added.  Driver Nine's continuing "Quarry" series also in HS (and at Dave's "DaBeagle's" Website) and another chapter of "No greater Love" has been posted by Stephen in the Historical arena.  John Water's incredible "Willow Bird" series has a new chapter too.  For those of us who appreciate American Indian stories: Check out John's latest offering!

   All that sound too hokey?  Comments, Criticisms?  EMAIL

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