Hunter walked down the street, with his hands in his coat pockets, thunder booming, lightning flashing, the wind howling like a wolf howls at the moon. It was a dark night, no moon to light up the streets of the city. As the fat raindrops splashed on his raincoat, and the road is a blur with water, he noticed a boy sitting on the curb under a flickering streetlamp, his head resting on his knees. He felt bad for the boy, so he went over to him. The boy lifted his head and looked at him, with his face full of emptiness. His black hoodie was drenched with precipitation. The boy had light grey eyes, and from what hunter could tell, brown hair. "are you ok?" Hunter asked as rain continued to drench the two boys. The boy kept looking at Hunter, never braking his gaze. "I'm Hunter." he said to the boy. The boy reached under the collar of his hoodie and pulled out a set of dog tags, similar to what marines would wear. Hunter took them and it read "Billy." he gave the dog tags back to Billy, and looked in his eyes. "let's get out of the rain." Hunter said as he held out his hand offering him a place to sleep tonight. Billy looked at Hunter, then at the hand and decided to reach out for the hand. He grabbed it and he noticed how warm Hunter's hand is. He stood up and followed Hunter back to his apartment. They both climbed the stairs to apartment 3A on the 2nd floor of an apartment building. He lives directly above a pizza parlor, how predictable, but it's considered home. They stepped into the small studio-style apartment and settled down. Hunter went to get some clothes for Billy to change into. Billy stripped right then and there, revealing his slender, yet toned body. He changed into the clothes that he was given and Hunter brought him into the living room. still, billy has not said a word to hunter at all. Hunter set up the pull-out couch, gave him a blanket and pillow, and showed him how the TV remote worked. Hunter locked the front door, and went back into the living room to say goodnight to Billy. Billy reached out and grabbed Hunter's arm, wanting him to stay. He pulled Hunter onto the pull out couch and wrapped his arm across his own chest. Hunter understood what was going on and hugged the boy from behind. He wanted to comfort Billy, he wanted to let Billy know that whatever happened to him, it will be ok. They both laid there silently until Billy fell asleep. Hunter slowly climbed off of the bed and walked back to his own room. Thunder was still crackling and booming extremely loudly, and it was going to be hard to get some sleep. He closed his eyes and listened to the rumbling thunder until he drifted off to sleep. 

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The next morning, he woke up and headed into the living room to find the couch bed empty. He looked in the spare room, the bathroom, He headed into the kitchen to find Billy hunched over the table wolfing down the food he had on a plate. Hunter came in and sat down across from him. He looked like he hasn't eaten in days. He noticed Hunter sitting at the table and looked at him. He swallowed the amount of food he had in his mouth and just stared at Hunter. "good morning, Billy." hunter said looking at the boys grey eyes. His face was completely emotionless, and he just kept staring at Hunter. "you don't say much. You don't have to hide anything Billy, your safe." he just kept glaring at hunter, face still emotionless. He looked back at the plate and continued eating. A few weeks passed, and when Billy got more comfortable with Hunter, he got his own key to the apartment. He still hasn't said a word to Hunter, only because he is keeping his secret safe from anyone. He liked Hunter, and he doesn't know how to tell him because he fears getting thrown back on the street. Billy lived on the street for 8 months. He had been through snowstorms, thunderstorms, the bitter cold and sweltering heat. He finally had a home, and as long as he doesn't speak, he will be ok. He heard the front door open and hunter stepped in. "Billy! I have dinner!" billy climbed off of his bed I'm his room and walked back into the kitchen. They sat down at the table and Billy smiled, "I love you Hunter."

 

Josh Volland

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