This contains male-on-male love and sexual acts. If such material offends you, or you are not of age in your region for this type of material then please leave. Of course, I don't always know who is reading, so I can't force you to leave. So that means more readers for me! Any names, places, or names of places that are same or similar to your experiences could be coincidental. There may be mentions of celebrities (while characters are watching movies, television, magazines, etc.) but this should not infer as to their sexual orientations in real life.

You may not post this on any other website or any other means of publication without my explicit permission to do so.

Any questions, comments, and critiques are welcome, whether good or bad, and can be sent to Tyler Christoper, not_allgrownup@hotmail.com

Note to Readers: Though there are scenes of sexual activity and/or mentions of said activities, this is mainly a story of love, family, friendship and trying times.

I'm so sorry to say this, but I will not be sending anybody any other chapters after this one for quite a while. Not even to Nifty. The reason for this is because I have fallen way behind in chapter writing. I will one day resume chapter submission when I've gotten at least chapter 27 written. That could a month or two. Again, I apologize sincerely and I'll be beating myself for not being as committed to my writing as much as I should have for a long time.

'With Arms Outstretched' - Chapter 17

"I'm guessing you have a plan and that's why you're calling me?" my mom asked when she answered her phone.

"Yes, I'm at grandma's."

"Which grandma?"

I didn't answer that question. She knows how I feel about my other grandparents.

"Right," she said when realization hit her. "I'll call your father and tell him to meet us there."


"Ty, I love--"

I hung up before my mother could speak anything else.

"Is your mother coming?" my cousin Judith's boyfriend Alejo asked.

Alejo is latino and very sexy. His grandparents moved from Mexico and Alejo doesn't speak Spanish but he is taking French is high school. Though, he says he's barely passing it.

"Yes, she's also calling my father to come," I answered.

"Don't you worry about them," my aunt Violet told me. "We'll be right beside you if they step out of line."

"I just can't believe one my siblings has turned to homophobia!" my uncle Gary seethed.

Avant que nous décidions n'importe quoi, nous devrions discuter ceci," my grandma admonished. (Before we decide anything, we should discuss this.)

Just past a half hour later, my parents came through grandma and grandpa's front door and into the dining room. They both still looked bad. Their eyes were swollen and red, they were still wearing sloppy clothes, my mom was still not wearing make-up. They just didn't look neat, like they normally do. As soon as mom saw me, she looked relieved. Tears formed in her eyes and she briskly walked to my chair with her arms wide open. Before she reached me, however, I stepped out of my chair and held my arms out in defense. Can you blame me, I was still angry with her and dad.

"I guess we should talk," my mom said in a hurt tone of voice.

"I want to talk here," I told her firmly.

"But shouldn't we talk in private," my dad suggested.

I shook my head no.

"Christine, Adam, just sit down," my uncle Gary commanded, looking very pissed at my parents.

"You've turn my family against me?" my mom asked in shock as fresh tears formed.

She and dad looked at everyone at the table and studied their expressionless faces. Uncle Peter had a smug look when my dad reached his gaze.

"How's the eye?" Uncle Peter asked evilly. All my dad could do was nod slightly. His eye did look sore.

"We heard his side of the story and it sounds horrible," Aunt Mary informed my mom. "The family would like to hear your side now."

"So... he's told you?" my mom asked as she looked at everyone at the dinner table.

"Your son has told us about his sexuality, yes," Uncle Eddie replied as he patted my back. "Why don't you guys sit down?"

"Christine, to us it sounds like you don't... support... or accept your son," Aunt Violet put in her thoughts. "But that's my opinion. Care to tell us what happened?"

"A few days ago, I'd called you all over to a dinner party that I was throwing in a week, right?" my mom asked of everyone. Everyone nodded. It was news to me. "I was throwing that party for the benefit of my baby. I was giving him the opportunity to tell you all of his sexuality, like this right now."

I didn't know if I should have believed that. I was leaning more to believe it than not believe it. But I was still skeptical about a couple things.

"Then why the different attitude towards me yesterday?" I asked.

"I don't think either of us were any different toward you at all, my boy," my dad answered my question.

"That little nod you and mom shared yesterday at dinner!" I huffed.

"Ty," my mom said softly, "that nod was us communicating that we love you just as much as before. Nothing has changed. We do support and accept who you are. The dinner we were throwing was all for you."

"But..." I still couldn't believe them. But that was just me. When I thought about it, it did make sense. I just read too much into it in the first place.

"Tyler Christopher Bernison, we love you," my dad said with a slight smile.

I couldn't take it anymore. I got out of my seat and my parents did the same. I collapsed into my mother's arms and the tears fell silently. I felt my dad's arms wrap around us both.

"Your middle name is Christipher?" Little Alec asked in hid toddler pronunciation. "Mom, what's my middle name again?"

"Alec Preston Elnam," Aunt Lillian answered her baby.

"Oh yeah!" Alec chimed in remembrance. "Hey, mom, can I visit Tyler? Oooh, can I sleep at Tyler's again?"

"It's not me you should be asking, Alec," Aunt Lillian replied.

"Tyler, can I sleep at your house, PLEASE!" Alec begged, causing everyone to giggle because he should've asked my parents instead of me.

"En français." grandma instructed of Alec.

"Grandma!" Alec whined. "Est-ce que-- que je peux... dormir votre maison?" he finally asked, with difficulty. But he was so cute. (Can I sleep at your house?)

"How old are you?" my mom began her tirade of buggersome questions at little Alec.


"When is your birthday?"

"I don't know."

"Who are your parents?"

"Them." everyone giggled, then quickly suppressed them.

"What are their names?"

"... Something. Mom and dad." it was more difficult to suppress our laughter. "Can I sleep at your house?" he asked growing impatient.

Mom and aunt Lillian looked at each other, silently asking for each other's confirmation. They both agreed, much to the delight of little Alec. Uncle Phil asked if my parents were still holding that dinner party they'd planned. Since we hadn't had the family over in such a long time, they said they were still gonna have them over.

As soon as I stepped out of my mom's car outside of our house, Lenny came running out of his house and hugged me. I so wanted to kiss him right there, but his parents came out of their home as well. Mags hugged me first, then Nate. Both admonished my running away. We all walked into our respective homes. I had the need for Lenny to come to mine, but I understood why he didn't.

"Ty, I hope you know that we love you and cherish you and support you and accept you," mom said as she grabbed my face and held it gently.

"I love you, too, mom. And I'm sorry. I guess I got a little hasty."

"Can I sleep on the couch?" Alec asked in his cute voice.

"No, you'll be sleeping with me and uncle tonight, buddy," my mom replied.

"But Auntie..." Alec whined.

"Maybe you can ask your mom if you can sleep on the couch at home," my dad admonished.

"So, was it hard telling the family?" my mom asked after my dad chased Alec into the living room laughing.

"No, because you told me that they don't treat Pierre-Louis and Elise-Marie any different."

"Aww, my baby's home!" my mom cooed as she grabbed me into another hug. "Where'd you sleep anyways?"

"Uncle Peter's," I reluctantly answered.

"But we looked--"

"I hid on the ledge of the building. And holy fuck was that scary!"

"Eh! Watch your tongue!" she scolded.

At ten-thirty that night, Lenny came into my room through the window.

"Hey," he greeted shyly.

"Good evening, sir," I joked, which caused him to nearly lose control of his laughter.

Lenny stood right in front of my open window. I stood at my desk on the other side of the room. We both were blushing badly. But I couldn't stand it anymore, I quickly made my way to him and wrapped my arms around him. He did the same immediately. I was in peace as we held each other. He eventually started running his fingers through my long hair.

"You okay?" he asked in a soft whisper.

"Yeah. I'm great."

"How did you work things out with your parents?"

"Turns out they were planning a big family dinner where I'd be able to come out to them. That little signal they shared was about that planned dinner. They were trying to help me."

We didn't converse any further, we just stayed standing in our embrace.

"You smell good," Lenny confessed as if it just a new discovery.


"You smell good."

"What are you talking about?"

"You smell good."

"Yeah, I know what you said. But why do you think so?"

"Because you smell good."

I giggled quite a bit, causing Lenny to take offense to it. He let go of me and stepped out of the embrace. He looked hurt.

"Lenny, I'm sorry," I said full of regret and anguish for being so foolish like that.

"It's fine," Lenny said quietly but the anger was evident. "I'll see you at school," he finished as he opened the window.

"Lenny..." I grabbed his shirt sleeve and yanked him into me. I wrapped my arms around his and rested my head on his shoulder. But Lenny did not hold me, he just stood in my hold. "Nobody but my mom has told me that I smelled good. But even that was when I was a tot. It's nice to be heard."

Lenny finally did return to hugging me as well and kissed my cheek. "Will you hold me?" he asked in a soft, mock-innocent voice.

I grabbed his hand and led him to my bed. I half sat and half laid on the pillows with my legs wide open for Lenny. He took the hint and rested his back up against my front as I wrapped my arms around his chest.



"You're my best friend, and you're my boyfriend, right?"

I nuzzled my cheek against the side of his head and replied, "You, my Lenny, are my bestest friend and an amazing boyfriend."

"We've only been together a few days, how do you know I'm an amazing boyfriend?"

"I just know these things," I answered as I kissed his head.

After a while of just holding him in complete silence, Lenny fell asleep. I thought about waking him so that we don't get caught, but I told myself that he's well worth the punishment. So I fell asleep right along with him.

I found myself in a field of nothing. Nothing. There was not a thing around. Just white nothingness. The panic was setting in. I wondered where I was. I looked everywhere, turning around many times as I took everything, but nothing in. I was about to scream for help when I found a lone figure standing about thirty feet away from where I stood. It was Lenny. I ran up to him in haste. But he looked different. His skin was a pale white, very unhealthy. His eyes were blank, with tears and the darkest bags under them. His face was staring at me, but his eyes were looking beyond.

"Tyler?" he asked in a somber tone. I could tell it wasn't good for he called me by the proper name.


"Tell my mama that I love her."

"What? Why? What's this all about?" I asked with panic as tears started to dew in my eyes.

"Goodbye, Tyler."

I grabbed Lenny into a tight hug. Well, I tried to, but he vanished in thin air.

"Lenny!" I called in fear and panic as tears flowed. "Lenny!"

I searched all around again.


"Lenny! LENNY!"

I saw him. He was fifty feet away. But something was really wrong because he was sinking into the ground. He was not fighting it. He was just standing there looking at nothing as his legs were totally immersed into the ground. I ran like hell, sobbing all the while. I tried to grab Lenny's wrist and hand, but he again vanished into thin air.


I searched and searched. The panic in me turned to pure chaos. I ran in whatever direction, then I ran some more.

I finally found him again. But he was sinking down in the ground. By then he was up to his neck and sinking further. With all my strength, I ran like hell to save my Lenny. But he was sinking faster than my legs could move. Just when I thought I had a shred of hope, Lenny was completely submerged in the white marble ground. I cried and pounded on the marble, trying feebly to break it.


I woke with a jolt. Of course I knew it was a dream. But it was scary nonetheless. I looked around my dark room. The first thing I noticed was Lenny was not resting on my anymore. I looked again, to find Lenny standing in front of my open bedroom window. He was staring at me with worry.

"You okay?" he asked softly as he walked back to bed.

"Yeah, just a nightmare."

"Want me stay? I don't care if we get caught."

"Thanks, but I want to be with you with no limits whenever I can. So, get out."

Lenny giggled as he gave one last kiss for the night. He climbed out the window, and as he did so I tied my hair back in the usual messy fashion and removed my clothes.

I woke in the middle of the night from the sounds of somebody undressing beside my bed. I also sniffling. Whoever it was that came in was crying. I tugged on the lamp cord to illuminate the room. It was Nick. He looked so distressed. Then I noticed a big bruise on his side. It was dark, really dark. It was rare for Nick to be abused physically at home, but I knew what to do if he came 'damaged'. I ran out of my room and downstairs. I grabbed our digital camera from the living room. After taking photos of Nick and his injuries, and making sure they had date stamps, I snuggled back into bed. Nick joined in. He scooted right in front of me and laid his head on my arm. I knew it was bad at home if he did this, if he wanted to be held. I kissed cheek and held the kiss long.

"I love you, Nick," I told him confidently and comfortably. This caused Nick to sob quietly. I let the tears fall from my own eyes as well as I held my friend.

Eventually, Nick stopped sobbing, but his tears had yet to cease. They fled his eyes and onto my shoulder as he fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke alone in bed. Nick was standing in front of my full-length mirror in nothing but his briefs. He was staring into his blue eyes with a blank look. The redness and puffiness of his eyes told me that he'd been crying. I walked up to him and wrapped my arms around his thin, fragile body. I pressed my ear against his back and listened to his unsteady heart. As I held him from behind and listened to his heart, he found a non-sexual comfort from it because his heart rate was steadying.

"Ty, you're the best," Nick said in a dull monotone, but I knew he meant it.

My alarm clock rang, but we both ignored it. A few minutes later my bedroom door opened with my mom immediately noticing Nick. They looked at each other. My head still pressed on Nick's back allowed me to hear his heart become unsteady again as the next onslaught of tears formed. My mom came over to us and grabbed us both into her arms. Nick sobbed violently, causing my heart to break for him and I cried with him.

"I hate it!" Nick shouted in his tears. "I h-h-hate it! I hate them! I'm b-b-barely surviving! My heart is dying! I-I-I-I'm barely alive!"

I ate breakfast with my family while Nick showered.

"I want you guys to adopt Nick," I announced.

My parents looks to each other.

"It's a possibility," my dad stated.

"He's so miserable. But it could be good for him here, he has you. We're not rich but our businesses are bringing in a lot of money," my mom chimed in.

"We'll see what we can do," my dad said. "I'll call Francois, see what needs to be done."

"Wow, I expected some objection," I said in wonder.

"Don't tell Nick anything until I've heard something from Francois," my dad commanded.

At school, my friends, and some who were not really my friends, asked me question upon question about the fact that I ran away, why I ran away, where I ran to, so on and so forth. It got a bit annoying, but I bit my tongue.

Noah, however, was different. As soon as he saw me, he walked up to me looking all pissed. I expected a hit, or at least some yelling from him. Instead, I was treated to a hug. A nice, tight, warm hug.

"You okay?" he asked, still holding me tightly.

"Yup, thanks. You're so awesome. You know I think of you as a brother, right?"

"Thanks. My mom calls you my brother too."

When Noah and I released our embrace on one another, our friends were evidently observing but quickly averted their gazes. They were also trying to wipe their smiles off their faces. The smiles that said 'That's so sweet'.

We all headed to our classes when the bell rang.

Everybody had been ragging on me again, asking question after question about my running away for the night. Some were even asking why I had picked up Lenny the day I ran away.

"Just please stop asking about that stuff!" I called in frustration from my seat at the lunch table.

Exasperated, I got out of my seat and left without taking my half-eaten food to the trash. Half way to the exit, I heard someone chasing after me. I knew it was Lenny. Well, I wanted it to be my Lenny.

"Hey," Nick grabbed my shoulder, "you okay?" he asked.

I merely nodded as we walked outside. I sat down at the tree and rested against it. Nick sat beside me, like, leaning against me and the tree. I found a comfort in that gesture.

"Lenny got up to come, but I told him I'd be with you," Nick informed me.

I looked up from the ground and my eyes met Nick's green eyes.

"Nick, I love you," I told him without a second thought. "You're a good friend."

"I love you too, for being a good friend and all that you and your family do for me."

"My dad is calling his lawyer Francois about you today." I couldn't help it, I had to tell him.

"What? Have I been too much trouble?" Nick asked in a panic.

"Yes, you're so much trouble my parents want to adopt you."

Nick's panicked expression froze at my last words. After a few seconds, it softened. Then tears formed in his eyes.

"Stop teasing," Nick said with a sad expression.

"I'm not," I whispered as I laid a hand on his wrist. "I asked my parents while you were in the shower this morning."


"My dad said he was gonna call his lawyer Francois this morning. Dad even took all the photos we took of any injuries you showed up with."

The dam burst. Nick's tears came flooding out as he laughed in pure joy. It was an amazing sight; Nick as happy as he was at the moment.

"I want you to stay for dinner, okay? Dad will more than likely have something to tell us about the adoption."

Nick and I stood and looked at each other. Nick had tears of happiness and the biggest grin I'd seen. He laughed heartily and throatily and pulled my into his chest. We laughed and cried happy tears and swayed in each other's arms.

"But listen," I cautioned as I stepped out of the hug. "My dad said there was no guarantees, so I shouldn't tell you anything until he's heard something from his lawyer."

Nick's grin faded, but he didn't look sad. He cocked a half smile.

"It's the thought that counts," he said as he playfully punched my shoulder.

On an impulse, I punched Nick's shoulder harder than he hit me. I immediately took off running as Nick cursed in pain. I could hear his feet on the blades of grass as he chased after me. Being the more athletic of the two of us, he was catching up no problem. I ran and I ran like all hell broke loose, laughing frantically all the while. While running, my cap flew off my head, but I ignored it. I ran to a tree and ran around it as Nick had very nearly caught me. Nick and I ran around and around, and to and fro, teasing each other around the tree. Before I knew what happened, I fell backwards onto the grassy ground, pulled down by Nick's arm around my waist. Nick straddled my waist with all his weight holding me down. He laughed breathlessly as he delivered punch after punch to my stomach and chest. Mind you he was not punching to harm, but playing in a rough-housing manner. I laughed and laughed as I also tried to defend myself with my hands and arms.

"Ow! Get off me, you bitch!" I cried in laughter as Nick slapped my face.

As Nick climbed off me laughing his ass off, I rolled around on the ground having a laughing fit of my own. I'm sure whatever students were eating their lunches outdoors were eying the pair of us thinking whatever they wanted to think. My abs were beginning to burn as the laughing fit continued, making it harder to breathe. I didn't mind it at all, but I wanted my energy back. Nick and I calmed a bit, but still giggled here and there. As we sat on the grass, I drove my fingers up my forehead and through my long brown hair, combing it out of my face. I rolled the elastic band off my wrist and tied my hair back in my usual messy style to my crown.

"What's going on with you two?" Nick asked he, Lenny and I walked home.

"Whaddya mean?" Lenny asked nonchalantly.

"We haven't seen much of you guys this past week," Nick explained. "It's weird."

"Oh, we've just been busy," Lenny lied, like what he was saying was nothing.

Nick nodded his head dismissively and we continued on our way.

"How have you been?" Lenny asked of Nick.

"Oh, just... you know... bad," Nick answered on the verge of tears.

Nick picked his walking pace up a bit, walking ahead of us. Lenny looked at me with a sympathetic look. I scowled at him for even asking what he asked Nick, because Lenny knows how Nick's life is at home and he doesn't like to talk about it. Lenny shrugged his shoulders at me, I shook my head at him in return.

I ran to catch up to Nick, Lenny followed suit.

"Hey, Lenny, did I tell you my parents are trying to adopt Nick?" I asked in a chipper tone. That got Nick's attention, as he immediately smiled that crinkly-eyed smile. Lenny looked surprised as ever because this was the first he was hearing of the adoption.

"Really?" Lenny asked in shock as a grin formed on his face. "Man, that's so awesome!"

Lenny jumped up and wrapped one of his arms around Nick's neck and pulled him to bend as he roughed Nick's hair in a playful manner.

When the three of us arrived at my house, we grabbed ourselves glasses of apple juice or orange juice. We settled ourselves at the island, Nick on one side, and Lenny and I on the other. I removed my baseball cap and set it down. I took my elastic band off my wrist and, that's right, I tied my hair back messily to the crown of my head. My knee bumped Lenny, a happy accident. We glanced at each other, mostly out of the corner of our eyes, and smiled. Neither of us made a move to separate our touching knees.

About fifteen minutes into our homework, Nick said he needed to use the bathroom and departed the kitchen. Nick was in the bathroom about a minute and a half, most of which, Lenny and I spent with our lips connected. It felt so good to kiss him, as I hadn't kissed him all day.

One hour later, Lenny went to his home after helping me with my chores. Nick and I played video games on my PlayStation while waiting for my parents to get home and get dinner done.

"You told him, didn't you?" my dad asked in a non-harsh tone at the dinner table.r "No..." I cautiously denied. "Okay, I told him! But I couldn't not tell him!"

"Did your lawyer say anything?" Nick asked nervously.

To Be Continued...

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE CHAPTERS EARLIER THAN I WOULD SUMBIT TO NIFTY, SEND ME AN EMAIL! (Please remember that if you are new to me, put the title of this story in the subject box so that I know it's not junk.)

Questions, comments, and critiques are welcome, whether good or bad, and can be sent to not_allgrownup@hotmail.com

Tyler Christopher