Skip - Part 21


Skip – Part 21

I screamed in the dark, in terrible agony, ablaze in pain.


I fell into the darkness.

"I love you, Aaron. You've been gone for over two weeks. Come back to us."

No, let me go.

"I will not."

I go back to the darkness.

Go away. I don't love you.

"You do."

I did not believe him. I fought him like a marlin on a fishing line fights being reeled in.


Just let me die!

"No. I can't and won't do that."

Damn you, Skip.

"Curse me if you want, love. Come back to me. We'll talk about it."

No. Let me go. I want only to die.

"Pain is not a reason to die. Pain is a reason to fight and live. The thing that is hardest to do is never to be done alone. Fight with us!"

No. Let me go!

"No, I will not. Ever."

He talks to me about what we had done, and what we will do.

"We'll sit in the park with Billy, like before, and kiss secretly. Maybe we'll be caught, but I don't care. I love you. I don't care who knows it, of they hate. We'll kiss in broad daylight and let everyone stare at us in awe. We'll make love in your bedroom, and then in mine. We'll light romantic candles in the bath and hold each other. And then in Billy's bed, with Billy. And Sam and David, our beautiful boys. You can't love just one, even just me. You can love us all."

No. I can't. Not anymore.

He reminds me that it will hurt a lot of young men, and Jillian, Andrew, Claire, Michael, and future survivors if I give in. I did not have to die.

"Wanting to die is selfish, and you are not selfish."

I'm so tired. Too much ... pain. I ... just let me go.

"No. I can't. I love you. Billy loves you so much. What about my parents? They love you as if you are their boy. They know we fuck, and they don't care about that, because it's love," he said.

He is crying.

"Andrew is working so hard, love, so hard. Don't make it all for nothing. Claire is helping me. I ache for you. You can't leave me.

The tears flowed freely. I feel them. I do not want to go back.

"Aaron and Kate love you for loving their boy. Look what you and David built—not just a garage, but love. Sam needs you. WE need you. I hurt so much, and I won't let you go."

You have to. I can't take this anymore.

He cried for a while. The sobs are soft. No one will hear him crying in the dark. Except me.

Time passes. I am not a part of it. I care only about dying.

"Sam loves you because you give him life. David wants to hold you so badly. He wants to give you The Beast, to be inside of you so you can be inside of his heart. Jake and Jeremy; they thought they killed you. Jeremy is a wreck. If you die, you hurt him so bad. Can you do that? That's not like you."

He pulled me out, a little more, from the dark. I dove back into it, deeply.

I don't care what anyone wants. I can't ...

"You can. Fight you FUCKER! Fight. I will hate you for the rest of my life if you die beside me. You're all about the fight, and pure love. Love me, please, bro, I need you."

No. I can't.

"I need to be inside of you. Let me in, love. Open your heart to me. You do care."

I do not.

"I love you, Aaron, no matter what. Even if you die."

He cried again.

"Don't die. It's not your time."

He holds me. Sometimes I am all alone, the way I like it. I will die alone, before he comes back.

"Not on my watch," he said. "You are not alone. You never will be."

I'm alone because I don't care. I care about dying.

"You care about me. You promised me you would always love me. I promised I would love you, forever.

Then give me forever.

"I know only how to love you. The only forever I know is you and me."



"I hate you."

Those are my first words in a long while. I do not know how long.

"You don't know how to hate."

"I do. I'll hurt you so badly that you will let me go. You told me you would hate me if I died. That will make you let me go."

"I will never let you go."

"Fuck you."

"Say what you will. It's not my Aaron talking. Push back the pain."

"I embrace the pain. The pain will kill me. Then I can rest."

"I love you, Aaron."

I'm dying. You can't love a dead man.

"I can love a memory. You do, and so can I."


"Yes Aaron?"

"Fuck you. I'm dead."

"I love you, too. It's okay to be scared."

"I can't lose you," he said.

He looked into my eyes, and wiped tears from my cheeks. I do not know how long it's been since I've seen his eyes.

You can. You will, if I have my way.

"Some day. But not today. You belong to me, and I belong to you. I committed to you, and you to me."

"I love you," I said. More real words, after another long while.

"I love you more," he conceded, finally.

"I don't hate you. But ..." I said.

I cannot die with `I hate you' on my lips, even if the words mean little.

"I know. I love you. You are my every breath, my every heartbeat, and my soul."

I go back into the darkness. The pain eases for a short while. I imagine meds flowing through me. Maybe they will make my heart stop, and I can rest—finally. I am tired. Too much shit for one life. Katie, my child, a kidney lost, tumor after bloody tumor, my second kidney practically dead. Enough. More than enough. Loving Skip is not enough to save me.

"Yes, but you have so much to give. You know I don't lie."

"I have nothing. I'm empty."

"You have me. And I have you, forever."

I will die one way or another. But not today. Skip holds on and loves me profoundly. He willed me back to life. I came back, grudgingly. The pain hurt so badly. I cried a lot, but he holds me, tightly and lovingly. One hour at a time, with every ounce of his being, he pulls me back into his heart.

"You are only a little empty, bro. We will fill you up. All of us. There are sixteen boys in the room, breaking every rule the hospital has. Even Ellie can't get in. You are surrounded by our love for you."

"I'm here for you, bro," said Billy.

"The future," said Jake and Jeremy.

"Isn't where," said Vincent and Ste.

"My life is," said Henry and Matt.

"It's in the moments I'm in," they all say, every voice, including Skip's, as one. It is as profound as the best chorus on Earth is.

One by one, sixteen boys kiss me on my lips meaningfully, looking me in my eyes, and kissing me again, deeply. Each guy put his hand on my bare chest, his hand over my heart. One by one, sixteen boys said `I love you' in his own way, just as meaningfully. Each boy left the room, so the next boy could come to me. I could picture them holding on to each other in the hallway.

"I thought I killed you," said Jeremy.

"No, love, you saved me. I was bleeding internally. If we had not decided on playtime, I could have bled out, or my heart could have given out. We would not have known I was bleeding."

"I can't get the image of you shooting blood out of my head. It keeps playing itself ..." Jeremy broke down and sobbed.

I take him in my arms as best as I could. I bring him down to me and kiss him deeply. "I love you, Jeremy. Thank you for saving my life. You're my bro."

He nods. Skip stands behind him, and then pulls Jeremy into his arms. He holds him around his chest and belly. Skip kisses Jeremy on his neck. Billy holds Jake the same way. Billy also kisses Jake. Each twin holds my hand. They each think about for a moment and then kiss me.

"You don't have to think about it, either of you. When you want to kiss me, you should do so. Okay?"

They each smile and kiss me again, nice and lovingly.

"Thanks, Aaron," said Jake. "I like to kiss you. Feels good."

"To me too. Thank you both."

"I want to be a living kidney donor for you," Billy told me. "I already talked to Andrew, more than once."

We are at my place one Friday night in late April. I have been home from the hospital only two days, after a seven-week stay. This alone makes me happy that I'm a ward of the Federal government. Andrew had been right about giving my soul to the government. At least I won't be in financial ruin.

"But ..." I said.

"I knew you would say just that. No buts. All the blood tests show I'm a 72% match. Probably all that cum I've donated to you over the past three years. I wonder ..."

"Stop wondering and keep donating. You won't hear me complain."

"I knew I love you for a reason."

"A couple of hundred reasons. Assuming I say yes, when?"

"A few weeks."

"Shit ..."

"Yeah, yeah, I know. However, you need a kidney, soon. I got two. They're both totally awesome, no unlike me.

"But ..."

"I know. I'm excited too."

Sigh. I raise my eyebrow at him. He hugs me.

"That's what I thought. So?"


"Rah! I love you, Aaron. It does make sense. A seventy-two percent match is good for a non-family member. I've been reading. It's scary as hell, but if you trust me ..."

"I love that you will do this for me. Slam-dunk, bro. I'm blessed by you, time and again."

"And you, love," I said to Skip, kissing him. "I can't believe you spent seven weeks with me."

"Believe it, bro. I love you. It was a no-brainer. But there are exceptions. I was there only at night, and every weekend. I go to work during my normal hours. I know you'd have a cow if you know I was fired or quit. I like the job a lot. My boss did tell me to take off every Friday though, so I worked only four days a week, ten-hour days. He said that was not necessary. It was. I want to make sure Sam is okay for money in September."

"I didn't get the chance to tell you, because of this crap. I have an automatic transfer set up from my money market account to Sam's account. The bank transfers $1,500 a month, on the first business day. If tuition goes up, I'll increase it to $2,000."

"I'll do the same thing then. I can transfer $1,000 a month, maybe a bit more. He should know he has spending money too. Aaron and Kate will give him anything he needs, but a kid likes to be independent. I'll call him to tell him about all that."

"You don't have to, bro, I heard," said Sam walking in to my room. "I am just coming in to say good night. We're going back to school. Thank you for that, both of you. It will mean nothing without you, Aaron. I don't want your money. I want you. I love you very much."

"I love you, too, Sam. I really do. My money is for you; I have no one better to spend it on. My needs are so few. I want you, soon, to come and make love to me. Will you?"

"I dunno. It might hurt you."

"You wouldn't hurt me. You never could."

"Tell that to Jeremy. He doesn't sleep well. He's so sad."

"Is he still here?" I asked.


"Go home, bro, and make love to your David. I'll see if Jeremy will spend the night with me. Skip is going home with Billy for the night."

I look at the boys, having made the plan for them. They know it is a good plan. Jeremy needs some healing time, too.

Jeremy comes in and stands at the foot of my bed.

"Will you stay with me tonight, bro?"

"Umm, yeah. I'd like that."

Skip takes him, removes his polo shirt and t-shirt, sits him down, and takes off his boots and socks. He massages Jeremy's feet, smiles up at him, loving him gently. He reaches up and undoes Jeremy's belt, taking it off his jeans. He then unbuttons and unzips Jeremy's jeans, pulls them down, leaving just Jeremy's boxers on. He pulls Jeremy to him and kisses him lovingly. He gropes Jeremy's ass, and then smiles. Jeremy smiles back and grabs Skip's crotch.

"I can take it if you can," he said to Skip.

Jeremy gives Skip another kiss. Skip pulls back my blanket and sheet, gently encouraging Jeremy to get into bed with me. He looks at me. I nod of course.

Jeremy lies down next to me and takes me into his arms. He kisses me deeply. Skip covers us up, pushes Jeremy's hair out of his eyes, kisses him on his lips, and leaves with Billy. He will explain Jeremy to Ellie. She will tell him that it did not matter who slept with me, as long as someone who loves me does.

"Thank you, for this," Jeremy said. "I do need to be with you, after ... you know."

"No worries, bro. It must have been terrible for you. I'm okay. Are you?"

"Yeah. I'm tired of the nightmare. Will it go away?"

"It will. You just need good memory to replace the bad one. Are you, uh, hmmm, I guess you are," I said, touching him. "Can I take care of you?"

"You don't have to. It would be good enough just to hold you like this. Uh, but you can. I'd like that too."

I wrap my hand around his cock. He is my size, about 7 ½ inches, though a little thicker.


"Yeah. Very okay," he says as he kisses me. "You know how to treat me well."

"Love first. It has to be that way. Otherwise, anyone can do this to you, and I know you don't want that."

"No, I don't. I love you, and Jake. Jake does this to me, you know."

"I do know. You're fun when he carries you off to your room."

"He's not shy. We do more than jack off."

"I'm pleased you two love each other, like Skip and Billy. It's okay to do what you want to with Jake. I know you love him."

"I know his every thought, and he knows mine. He and I just know we like to suck each other, but I could not do that to anyone else. We don't fuck."

He got embarrassed suddenly.

"Sorry. I guess that's too much information."

"No it's not. I'm a guy, so I understand. Why not close your eyes and think about him while I jack you off?"

"I'd rather think about you, Aaron. The nightmare needs to go away, so it's you to make that happen."

"Just don't waste your cum, bro. I want it."

He nods. We kiss while I stroke his cock. I take my time with him. I show him how to edge so he can show Jake. I don't let him come until I'm ready—because I like him beside me. My boys truly are one reason I came back to life, as Skip reminded me when I wanted to die.

"I can't hold it ..." he says, squirming in my arms. "Unhhhh, ohhhh yeah, coming!"

I lean in and take Jeremy's cock in my mouth. I suck him for a moment. He gives me a mighty mouthful of his sweet cum. I swallow most of it, but give him some in a kiss.

"Mmmm, I hope that tastes as good to you as it does to me," he says.

"It's awesome, bro, because it's yours."

"I want to try yours, you know, when you're better."

"You may have it, love."

"As good as that was, I still like having you, and you having me, even more. Same with Jake and me. Jacking off is just kinda something we need to do."

"I know the need, bro. I hate blue balls as much as the next guy. I like cock, easy as that."

We spend the evening talking about anything we can talk about. I hold him close.

"No nightmare tonight, my bro. You and I are safe, and I love you very much. Sleep, okay?"

"I love you very much, Aaron. One of my dreams ... to spend the night in your arms."

I kiss him as he tucks into my neck. He sleeps quite soundly. I do not, yet. Ellie comes in to check on me. She always works a double shift when I am in the house.

"You sleep now, young man. You need your rest. Your young friend is okay?"

"He is, Ellie. As am I. Go home to your family, huh?"

She smiles and kisses me on my forehead.

After almost two months, I am indeed well enough, at least to go home. I will be released in the morning.

"We need to go out to see the boys. Semi-comatose when I saw them last time doesn't count for much. School will be done in a few weeks. I don't want to wait until mid-July to see them. Can we go tomorrow morning?"

"Yeah. Let's go to Jillian's for breakfast first."

"Alright. What do we do until then?"

"Hold me."

"Your command is my wish."

We lay together in the oversized chair. I reach into his jeans to fondle his cock.

"Hmmm, something's about to happen. I need you inside of me, love. Be gentle, though."

"Mmmm, I like that idea, about being gentle. I'm not sure, though."

"No blood in my urine for the past several days. I'm fine love, really. I hope you and Billy made love while I, you know."

"Nope. When I wasn't working, I was with you only."

"You haven't had sex in two months? Billy could have taken care of you. Heck, any boy at school would have loved to."

"I needed you more than I needed sex."

"You need both. Come on, bro; fuck me good. Please?"

"No, but I'll make sweet love to you."

Skip carries me to my bed. He lays me down and gets me hard. He lies behind me, his back up against the headboard, me against his chest. He jacks my cock, kissing me from behind. I know he wants to make sure I am okay. My cum will tell the story. I did not pee blood a while ago, when we came home. He wants to be sure, and I have no problem with that. He plays with my balls and probes my hole. He whispers into my ear, making me smile. We have nowhere to go tonight, so he takes his time. I am not just a science experiment in the moment. I am Skip's boy-toy, and lover, and more. I close my eyes and think about each boy at school. I remember every one of them kissing me just as Skip and Billy, and Sam and David kiss me. They love me uniquely, and I love them all. My thoughts of them are what makes me come very hard, as Skip wants me to. It is creamy and thick, bright white. He licks it tentatively.

"So?" I asked.

He answers by moving down to my belly and licks every drop of cum off my skin. He swallows it all.

"Yum. As good as ever. How do your insides feel?"

"Empty, and missing you."

Skip enters me and takes away the emptiness. He slides in and out in a deep but slow rhythm. He gets up on the balls of his feet and pumps into me deep for a couple of minutes. He withdraws all the way and looks at his cock.

"How's your dipstick?"

He re-enters me, pleased. "How *is* my dipstick?"

"Just dandy. Do you like my ass?"

"I love your sweet ass, and possibly even you."

"Wow, you possibly love me? I get your dick in my ass and your love?"

"Possibly my love."

"Okay, I'll work on that."

"Are you done thinking about all the boys at school to get your rocks off?"

"I was thinking about Henry when you made me shoot. But, I'm thinking only about you, love. You already know that."

"I do. I come hard when I think about the boys too. I want to come so bad. My balls are about as blue as can be."

"I'm sorry."

"Short-term problem. About to be ... unhhhh, unhhhh, unnnnhhhhhhhh ..."

"Resolved?" I asked.

"Oh yeah. Yeeaahhhh."

He continues to pump my ass, filling me with his hot cum.

"Sorry, love, but it was just so good to be in your hole. No way could I pull out."

"S'okay, bro. I love your cum in my hole. I'll take a rain check on a future deposit."

"I sorta have to say I'm sorry for fucking you so hard. I guess ..."

"Bro, I didn't object. Who's to complain about that? Two months, love, and knowing you, you didn't jack off much either."

"No, I didn't. I came a couple times when I lay beside you. I wasn't kidding about blue balls."

"I love you, Skip. I gave you a hard time. I didn't want to come back."

"You did want to, because you did come back. I love you. I gave you nothing of what you really wanted. You not in my life is no life. You wanted me to let you die. I could not. You cried out in pain, and you scared the piss out of me with one of those screams. I still couldn't let you go. I'm not sorry."

"I am, a little. If you can hang on through all that, then we do belong together. Do you know that every boy gave me a Skip-style kiss, twice each, the other day?"

"I do. I watched it and got hard. It was only the second time I came in my jeans, without ever touching my cock."

"When was the first?"

"When I first met you. You, Billy, and I were at lunch. I got into this fantasy-mode of us in a three-way. Billy saw the wet spot in my jeans and made it wetter later. We knew we wanted you, bad."

"You came in your jeans, at work, because of me?"

"It took me by surprise. I knew I had a hard-on, but when I actually came, hands-free, I almost choked on my lunch. You do things to me, love. Amazing things. The more your thoughts begged me to let you die, the more ..."

He choked up, and then broke down.

"I won't ask you to do that again, love. `If you love me, let me go' sucks. I dunno why I could do that to you."

He lays his head on my chest and cries it out. His eyes are red and moist when he is done. He puts his face into my neck. I hold on for dear life. What had I done to my Skip? I made a promise right then to never, ever, ask him for anything he could not freely give.

"I love you, so very much, Skip. I will love you with all my heart every second of every day."

"I will love you ..." he said into my neck, unable to finish.

I feel his shallow breaths against my neck. He loves me. That's all that ever needs to be said.

We arrive on campus early on Saturday morning. It is a little cruel, but I go into the rooms of the boys, who are still sleeping, and kiss each boy awake. I start with Billy and then Ste. We kiss a while. Skip takes over when I go into David and Matt's room. David wakes up to me kissing Matt. He smiles at me, so I go back to kissing Matt. I lean over him and kiss Patrick. Patrick wakes and smiles wide at me.

"Nice wake-up call, bro," he whispers. "Thank you." I kiss him again, touching his cheek.

I go over and kiss Sam deeply. He opens his eyes, reaches over for me, and pulls me onto the bed with him and David. They tickle me until I laugh, which is no large feat.

"I'll come back. I have to steal more kisses."

Henry is awake when I come in, but Jerry is not. I get down on one knee and kiss him until he wakes. I pull him up a little bit and give him a hug.

"Morning, love. Dr. Aaron is making rounds. I wish I could bring you breakfast in bed, but all I get is kisses."

"I'll take mine over easy then," Jerry said.

Henry greedily pulls me away from Jerry. Not to be deterred, Jerry gets out of bed and follows me. He wraps his arms around me and kisses my neck while I kiss Henry deeply.

"I'm going to get the rest of the crew awake. You two should feel free to carry on, however. Let's go to the diner. Skip's buying, not that he knows that yet."

"I do now, bro," he said, coming in to take over while I move on.

I next go to Kenny and Jake. They are awake, waiting for me.

"No fair. You're supposed to be sleeping, sweet princes."

They curl up on their sides, face the middle of the room, and promptly go to sleep, sort of. I kiss Jake `awake'.

"Rise and shine, love, we have a breakfast date."

"Whoo hoo, a date with Aaron. My dream come true."

I go to Kenny next. He pulls me on top of him and kisses me.

"Hey! You're the sweet prince, not me!" I tell him.

"Hell no I ain't. Shut up and kiss me some more."

I kiss him nicely and then get up. I give both boys a hug. Skip comes in to continue stirring things up.

I startle Paul a little when I kiss him awake. He gets over it by pulling me into bed with him and wrapping his arms around me, smothering me with kisses.

"I've missed you so much, bro. Thanks for the wake up kiss. More please."

I give him more and then wake up Jeremy. I take Paul's hand and hold it while I kneel beside Jeremy.

"Okay, joker, you're already awake. No fair, but I should have known, since your twin was also awake."

"What gave me away?"

"Your smirk, wise guy. I guess I have to kiss you anyway though. Pucker up lover. I've missed you too."

I grab Skip as he comes in. We stand there for a while, kissing and holding on tightly, showing the guys how lovers in love act. Not to be outdone, Paul climbs into bed with Jeremy. They match us kiss for intimate kiss, showing us that `straight' guys know how to kiss too.

We laugh and I move on to Greg and Brian's room. They are sleeping soundly. I carefully lie beside Brian and give him a warm kiss, waking him gently.

"Sshhhh, good morning, love. Did you sleep well?"

"Yeah, but I'm still dreaming," he whispers.

"Trust me, dreams aren't this good," I say as I kiss him some more, holding him close.

"Dr. Aaron, I get a boo-boo," I hear Greg say.

I also hold Brian's hand while I go over to finish waking up Greg, kissing his lips, not finding the boo-boo. Brian gets out of his bed and gets behind me, holding on some more.

"Is the fictitious boo-boo all better?" I asked.

"I dunno. It was fictitious. But you're real enough."

"I are. I get one more visit to make, next door. If you want to shower, better get going. Will you guys come to breakfast at the diner?"

"You bet."

They grab towels and head for the showers. They both attack Skip in the hallway, smothering him with kisses. Skip's boner was quite obvious.

"Better join us in the shower, big boy, so we can help you with that," said Greg.

Jessie is just waking when I go into his room. Vincent is sleeping like a baby. Jessie sits up and embraces me as I sit down and kiss him.

"Good morning, love. You okay?" I whisper to him.

"Yeah, but I've missed you. I might need another morning wake-up call tomorrow."

"I can arrange that."

Jessie grabs his towel, wraps it around my neck, and pulls me into another kiss. He holds on to me for a couple of minutes. He leaves and quietly closes the door behind him.

Skip did not come in behind me, so I guess that he is in the shower, taking care of that boner. I am tempted to go peek, but I got two cool boys to hang out with instead. I can see Skip's boner any time I want, though it is cool to think about it being `taken care of' by some of the boys.

I go over to Vince and lay quietly beside him. He does not wake up, so I start with very light kisses, increasing the passion until he finally wakes, smiling at me, and kissing me back sweetly.

"What an incredible way to wake up, love," he said. "Thanks for that. You already made my day, and boy have I missed you."

"I've missed you, too, Vincent. Wanna join us for breakfast at the diner?"

"Yeah, I do. Are all the guys awake?"

"They are now. I made sure. You're the last, sweet prince."

"Good. The shower will be busy for a while. Let me hold you."

I lay facing him and his boner.

"Morning wood?" I ask, grabbing it, and stroking it smoothly.

"Aaron wood."

"Oops. If it's my fault, I guess I better help you with that."

"You think?"

I wrap my fist around Vincent's cock and stroke him for a few minutes. I kiss him while I jack him off. I use my spit to lube him up.

"Mmmm, I like it. Are you really okay about this?"

"Sure, if you are. Nice dick, by the way."

He peeks into my jeans.

"Nope, this is your time. Relax and enjoy, bro."

I pay attention to only Vincent for the next several minutes. When he gets close, I move down. He gently slides his cock into my waiting mouth. He shoots five good creamy ribbons into my mouth. I swallow and then lick his cock clean. I give him some of his own cum in a kiss.

"Do you know that no one wastes a load around here? We all passed the word that cum isn't gross to swallow, so we all do."

"Great, my one accomplishment in life."

"And a fine one at that. One amongst dozens, love, truly. Me loving you is the best one. What I learned last year, about friendships, has changed all of my friendships forever. My hometown friends and I are better friends than ever. I have you to thank for that. I do love you, you know. That's your fault, or blessing."

"Awww, sweet prince, I love you too. It's a blessing to love anyone, and a huge blessing to love you and all our brothers. Let's get you a shower."

The boys showered, dressed, and then we all meet in the common room. They are all buzzing about wake up kisses.

"Who, me?"

"You, the love of us all," said Patrick. "You're incredible."

"Aw shucks. You're just saying that because I are."

Everybody laughed.

"Skip, you're no slouch either, bro. Can I please pay for half of the breakfast check? I want to do that, even if it's something minor, for my buds here. It's been an amazing school year."

"Sure, bro. It's why I do it. It makes me feel good, and the guys like a treat. Thanks."

"By the way," I said to Patrick, on the way to the T stop, "we are having our second annual summer weekend picnic, over a four-day weekend, in mid-July. Skip's dad has a small house at Lake Winnisquam. Could you come this year?"

"Four days with the guys, after a couple months apart, you bet! I live near Henry, and want to keep up with him over the summer. He mentioned the weekend, but didn't know the dates yet. I work for my brother, so I can take time off anytime."

"Excellent! We had a great time last year. The reason is as you said, to be together again after a couple months apart. I guess I hate to take part of the blame for you all are being so close, and then you all being funky about being apart for the summer."

"No fault of yours, though the friendships here are so intense. I belong to the group because of Sam, but Sam's a great reason to be so close to these guys. I have to control how far I look ahead in my life. Not being around all of these guys is what will feel funky. We're meant to be together."

"Agreed, on all counts. I think that we can stay together, even as diverse as all your majors are. Some of you guys fit perfectly into a Professional Association. I'm working on getting a small business off the ground, and need help there, too. I'll want a lot of talent across the board. Anyway, the moments we're in are more important, love, so let's work on those."

"Yeah. I'll stop worrying about what's ahead. My future is bright anyway. You've turned me into a 3.8 GPA student."

"I can't take full credit for that. You're very bright. One thing college taught me is discipline. I did not have anyone to teach me how to be so close to my dorm mates, and now we're virtually strangers. I'm sad about that, because they are good men. We are friends, but at a distance. I met you all and knew that you should be close, and stay close. Billy started out at Syracuse, but left there when I get very sick. He came here the next September instead, which is why he's a bit older than most of you. Our lives just get better, amazingly enough, when he get attacked."

"I found about that only recently, which makes Sam's shit even more meaningful to me."

"But Sam has no shit anymore. David's parents' adopting Sam is just purely brilliant."

"I met them briefly, after they brought Sam back from Christmas vacation. He needs them. I'm very happy he has a real family. His own parents are shits."

"And they lost him for that reason. Their loss and Aaron and Kate's gain. They're going to lose their other two sons, too, because they're on Sam's side. The father tried once to lessen the situation, and failed. He had no heart for Sam, so Sam told him where to get off."

"A boy thrown away. I can't imagine. If I'm ever blessed enough to have a child, I will love him or her completely, as my parents do to me. My folks are on the opposite end of the scale from Sam's."

"Excellent! That reason alone will make you a great dad."

We get off the T and walk to the diner. We are between the breakfast and lunch rush. We sit close together, and share our meals around as usual. Skip and Patrick pay the tab, but Billy and I tell them we will leave the tip. This is not a cheap deal, but it is a good one for us all. The boys ordered what they wanted, no what those who pay could afford. Money did not flow freely amongst any of the boys, but a treat is a treat. Food and friendship is such a great combination. $150 plus, and $40 in tip, is well worth the love we all get back.

After breakfast, we walk around the Back Bay. We do not spend money, drink, cause trouble, be overly rowdy, though we are rowdy, and generally have a great time hanging out together. The boys are about to get into study mode for finals, so we enjoy time away from campus. We go over to the banks of the Charles, sit down across the river from MIT, and hang close together, all of us holding each other.

"Okay guys, talk to me. The five senses," I said, quizzing the boys on what they see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.

"A purely cloudless sky, my favorite shade of blue. A glint of sun off the edge of the MIT dome. Children playing, skateboarders, soft pretzels baking, every color of the rainbow, and a rainbow over at the dam," the guys reeled off.

I had missed the rainbow. "Wow, nice job, Paul!"

We keep it up for as long as there are things to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. The boys are quite impressive. They know I want them to look around and feel everything. Existing sucks. I will not let them exist when they can live every moment.

"And? " I asked

"And the sound of `I love you', said Sam, "Because Aaron is whispering it in my ear."

He giggles. I hold on to him from behind. I give him an affectionate squeeze. Jake and Jeremy hold me on either side. We have become closer, as hard as that is to imagine, since their trauma in my apartment. The haters are going to have to hate large today because we are all together. Fuck `em if they can't take a joke.

"I do love you, Sam, very much."

"Are you going to miss me until mid-July?"

"Yes, a lot. Or later, if I have my transplant. It could mess up the summer a bit. Billy's and mine. You might not see me until September. The weekend at the lake is still on whether or not we can be there."

"It won't be fun without you two," said David.

"It will be a ton of fun," I said. "All you boys together, after two months apart? You need each other, so four days in mid-summer is very necessary for your morale."

"What about your morale, bro?" said Jeremy.

"It's gonna suck. I won't lie. Billy and I are both in for a hard few weeks after surgery."

"You've already taken a hard hit, two months ago, and more before that. Three whole months without you is gonna bite," said Jeremy.

"Three months, maybe, down but a lifetime to love me. I are loveable."

"You is. I need more than a lifetime to love you," said Paul.

"Then let your beliefs make that happen."

I kiss him on his forehead.

"They do, bro. But it's not a slam-dunk that you're going to do well with a new kidney."

"It's Billy's kidney."

"Still a foreign body, Aaron," said David. "Sorry, Billy, no insult intended. You know."

"I do know," said Billy. "We'll say our prayers."

"Your body will reject the fuck out of it," said Henry, agreeing with David. They are our pre-med students.

"Meds will help ease rejection," I said. "Anyway, no worries, from any of you. It's a month to two months away. Understood?"

"Yeah," said the guys together.

"Really?" I pushed.

"Understood," said David. "No worries from us, love."

We call it an afternoon and head back to school. The boys and I have a decent dinner in the dining hall. They all settle into the common room to study. Those who are reading hold on to their mates. Two or three get together at tables to study and refine notes. I doze in front of the sofa and then fall into a deep sleep. I feel someone pick me up. I wake enough to find myself in Billy's arms. He kisses me deeply as he puts me down on his bed. He takes off my Nike's and socks, my shorts, and my t-shirt and polo shirt, leaving me in my boxer briefs. He also undresses and lies behind me, drawing my body tightly against his.

"Can I be inside you, love?" he whispers in my ear.

"Yeah. Nice and deep, bro."

He takes my boxer briefs off. He lubes my hole and his cock, slides his cock into me, wraps his hand around my cock and the other arm around my chest, kisses my neck, and fucks me until we come. Then we fall asleep. Some would say Billy is after a piece of ass for the night. They would be wrong. Billy loves me, and loves being such a part of me. I am more than a "piece of ass" to my lover and friend. He has more than earned his place inside of me.

Skip and I join the boys for breakfast. They are down to just over two weeks left, one week for classes, and one and a half weeks for finals. We leave them to study—hugging and kissing each one.

We will not see them again until the mid-July long weekend, two months from now. I remembered to invite Alex and Kirk as well. There is no sadness in parting because we will keep in touch by phone or email. Those close to Boston will come into the city on occasion. The boys all told Billy to hang tough when we have surgery.

Andrew calls Billy in New Hampshire while I am in his office at Mass General. Today is June 1.

"Aaron is approaching critical mass for the surgery. His kidneys are shutting down, so I have to set him up for dialysis. Your tests and psychological eval says you're ready for surgery. How do you feel about this?"

"Ready and willing, Andrew. When?"

"Wednesday morning."

The surgeon's scalpels make incisions. Billy bleeds. I bleed more—much more. Along the way, my heart stops.

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