All rights belong to the author of this story. If you're not 18 you know that you don't belong here. Grow up and come back when you can! I hope you enjoy this story I have enjoyed writing it, it's been fun (except for the virus part) now that I have the new computer for you guys that know what's going on...I'm back in business. Much is yet to happen to Michael and Trent I've received lots of mail as to what people would like to see happen to Kevin, and Michael and Trent and a few others in the story but I can't get into to much you know that I can't give anything away, but the roller coaster isn't over yet, the next hill is about to happen..along with a corkscrew ending, that I promise!

Chapter Five

Michael and Trent resumed their school schedule and their relationship blossomed even more as time went by. Michael convinced Trent to show his father the drawings that he had done and his father was impressed and encouraged Trent to think about going to school for drafting and building houses. His father was impressed and had no idea that Trent was so interested and talented in doing that kind of thing, but was happy to see that he was heading in some kind of direction in his life and it included school. What made Clay the happiest was the fact that Michael had gotten Trent to think about and accept the idea of wanting to go.

With a lot of coercing and talking Clay finally talked Michael into letting him buy him a car so that he could go back and forth to school and he decided to finally let Clay and Sarah help him get into MIT, which he was ecstatic about. It had been his dream but never thought he would actually get in to that school.

Christmas was coming up fast and, for the first time in his life, Michael was like a kid in a candy store. His parents had celebrated Christmas every year, but not with the lust, enthusiasm and passion that the Sanders obviously did. His Christmas' were almost a regimented display of modest decorations with a small window of time in which to enjoy them. The Sanders however embraced Christmas, beginning the weekend of Thanksgiving. As soon as dinner was done on that Thursday, the work began Friday morning. It was the first holiday where Michael got to meet every one of the Sanders and those extra's that were almost like Michael, except Michael by now had become a member of the family. The ones left at home had embraced Michael since his arrival at the beginning of the school year. Sitting down at dinner, yesterday had been surreal for Michael, especially when Trent made a toast, welcoming him to the beginning of a tradition of the Sanders, one which he would always be welcome to. Members that lived too far away and were meeting Michael for the first time were all telling Trent how much they liked him. Michael had tried several times to count how many were actually sitting down at the table but he lost count each time because someone was either getting up or sitting down and then up. Finally, he gave up and was convinced of it being eighteen or nineteen people. No matter what it was, it blew him away when he started thinking of it in numbers and cost and what the Sanders must have spent over the years taking everything into consideration. The numbers were mind numbing to him.

The dreams had stopped a few weeks after Michael's attack. Kevin had been sent away to do time at Walpole State Prison. He was sentenced to a year. Michael went through the trial, which had been small and went by quickly. Kevin had pleaded out in the end, which is what got him less jail time. One of the guys he met this weekend was studying law and he explained to Michael how Kevin ended up with such a small amount of time. Michael thought he was kidding when he was told everything regarding how the law was at work. More like he was appalled by it. The one thing he did know for sure was that he had never been hugged so many times in his life. Stephen and Michael ended up sharing Stephen's old room.

Friday morning was a day that started early. A few days before the guys, who work in the stable, had put up the tree in the living room so it was ready to decorate. It was massive and even made Trent looked not so tall anymore. It seemed like a repeat of dinner with everyone in the living room, this time taking turns putting on lights and Christmas bulbs. There was one box that Sarah was seeking the most. Trent told Michael ahead of time that if he found that particular box, he was to make sure Mom got it. In the end Peter found it and he handed it to his mother with much fan fair. Michael was getting more curious by the minute and noticed that everyone got a little quiet as she held the box and just waited. Soon the only sound was from the little ones in the background. She held out two Christmas bulbs and gave them to Clay.

"These are for us, Clay. " And she handed him those to put up. She began pulling two more out and calling out the names on each bulb. As she was reading the names she was also naming their birthday. In the case of those who were not family, the approximate date they arrived in the Sander household was mentioned. All were handed out and Michaels' name hadn't been called and he knew instantly that this was going to get him emotional. He was standing there and Trent came up behind him and handed him a box. Michael was reluctant to open it. He kicked Trent in the shin but not too hard. Trent was talking quietly in Michael's ear which, of course, everyone could hear since no one was talking.

"This, my love, is for you, bringing you into the Sanders Clan officially. Because of your special place in my heart, your birthday is on yours and not the date of your arrival. There will come a day that you will be part of this family, but I won't bring that up right now" He kissed Michael on the neck. Michael wanted to kill him for it.

"Go put that on the tree, Baby Cakes." There wasn't a big enough rock for Michael to find to crawl under. Everyone started yelling and clapping. Stephen was the one that started a chant "I gotta kiss him back". By now Michael was by the tree and trying to find a hook to put his bulb on the tree. The he almost ran back to Trent and quickly kissed him, just to shut everyone up. He wanted to die. He was so red. He just leaned against Trent and hid his head. Stephen came up behind him and patted him on the back.


He thought this was funny. He walked away looking at Michael right when Michael looked over Trent's shoulder. Michael grabbed Trent's hand and pulled him towards the kitchen. Looking for a place he could possibly hide for a few minutes he was mortified. He had never up to this point actually kissed Trent in front of that many people. It wasn't something Michael was comfortable with and at that moment he wanted to cry. It was the first time since Michael had been in the house that he was upset over something. Unsure why Stephen had done it, Michael wasn't sure if he had done it to be mean or he just didn't realize how it affected him. Finding an empty and quiet corner Michael curled into Trent's chest and cried.

"Hey, come on Buddy what's the matter?"

"Why did Stephen do that to me, Trent? I was so embarrassed, you know how I am. Why did you let him do that to me?" Michael wasn't sure if he should be mad at Trent or not. He almost felt like he had been betrayed.

"Come on, Trent, why did you let him do it and why didn't you try and stop him?" Trent was now wondering what the problem was. He had been kissing Michael in front of the family almost from day one. And it dawned on him that it had always been just a few, never more than just a couple, at the most six or seven people at one time. This time it had been closer to twenty.

"I'm sorry, Michael, I didn't even think about it. You aren't used to this many people all at once. Usually we are in a small group of people. This is the biggest one because he isn't out at school. I'm sorry, Babe. Forgive?" Trent looked at Michael and he knew he couldn't blame him. It wasn't his fault and Stephen probably thought that because Trent is so open about it here at the house. But at school he is really very private. So far no one has said anything about Michael and Trent being together all the time. They got treated as best friends and that's it.

"Forgiven? Now we should probably get back out there before we are missed and Stephen makes it worse for me." They were going to go back in the rest but Trent stopped Michael, grabbing him and wrapping him in his arms.

"Hey, I have a question for you."

"Is this a good or bad question?"

"Definitely good."

"Okay then, in that case you may ask, but no bad questions are allowed today. I'm just saying, that's all."

"Have you given it any thought about what you want to do for spring vacation?"

"Study my ass off for finals, because those are not that long after spring break. Why? What do you think we should be doing?" Michael looked suspiciously at his friend and lover, pondering the possibilities, and was afraid of what he might have in mind.

"I was kind of thinking, and I got this idea in my head, and since it's been cold I was thinking about someplace warm, maybe like Jamaica?" Michael's eyes flew open.

"Are you crazy? Are you smoking banana leaves or what? Wait, did you have too much food yesterday and somehow it's affected your brain? Is that it? Cuz something has turned your brain too much."

"I'm serious, Michael, I want to go to Jamaica for spring vacation, to get away, just you and me. And then, while we are in college, every year for Spring break we'll go back there, just the two of us, and spend a week getting our batteries recharged and just paying attention to us." Michael realized how serious Trent was at the moment from the tone of his voice.

"Obviously, you've given this more than just a little thought. You've given this enough thought to get us all the way through college. And not only that; you don't want anyone to go with us. These vacations are just for us. Your parents are not going to let us go to Jamaica, Trent, not this year. Maybe next year they will, and only if everything works out. What about just going to Florida, it'll be warm down there?"

"Only if my parents say no to Jamaica. Is that a deal maker?"

"You think you're slick, don't you?" Michael couldn't help but smile because he knew that Trent had actually given this a whole lot of thought, especially since he really thought this through for the next five years. He was planning ahead for them, not just for himself, but it involved the both of them. He acted just like it wasn't even a question. To Trent it was just what he expected. Another reason that Jason was falling in love with Trent even more. Stephen came into the dining room and snuck up the two of them, which made Trent jump more than Michael. He put a hand on each one of their shoulders.

"I think perhaps I owe you an apology." Michael didn't say anything but Trent did.

"Stephen, you have to understand that Michael isn't used to this many people all at once, it's like an overload for him, even though he won't tell you that. He'll just pretend that everything is just okay and that there wasn't any problem."

"I didn't mean anything, Michael, I really didn't. I really meant it as being for fun for the whole family, which you seem to becoming a part of. I've noticed that since I've been home. You fit in my room pretty well." Michael smiled shyly. It was a little awkward having to sleep with Stephen, but Trent had to sleep with Peter. His mother made sure of the sleeping arrangements and told both brothers she'd be checking to make sure no switching went on, much to Trent's consternation.

"Listen, I'll be fine, really, I will."

"Maybe you will, Michael, but I feel like an ass. I never meant for us to get off on the wrong foot. I don't want you hating me. How about you and I take off tomorrow and do some shopping. It's what's on the schedule anyway. You and I can go and Peter can go with your lover boy here. How's that sound?" Michael was feeling better about the whole thing and thought shopping would be a good way for him and Stephen to get to know each other.

That weekend flew by and everyone left, promising to return for Christmas. Trent and Michael returned to school and their studies. Trent got his acceptance into school and Clay was never more proud. Trent was overjoyed with the opportunity and waited impatiently at home for Michael to come home from work to tell him. His patience ran out and Trent ran to Michael's job to tell him. It was the first time Trent had ever gone inside of the store that Michael worked in. He felt it wasn't the right place for him to go, since it was Michael's job. He was delighted to see Michael's face light up like it did when he saw Trent standing next to him. Without Michael thinking he embraced Trent and gave him a kiss right in the aisle of the little store. By the look on both of their faces you couldn't tell who was more surprised. Michael's hand was covering his mouth and his eyes were the size of silver dollars.

"Oh my god, Trent, I don't believe I just did that." They both looked up and down the aisle and saw no one. Trent leaned forward putting his hand on Michael's shoulder and both laughed at each other.

"What are you doing here?"

"I have something to show you."

"It couldn't wait until I got home? I'm going to be there in a few hours."

"I'm standing in front of you. Does it look like I wanted to wait?"

"All right then, why did you come here and at this time? Tell me the exact reason. Stop playing around on me bonehead."

"This piece of paper says I'm not a bonehead." Trent was holding his letter of acceptance into University of Massachusetts. Michael tried to grab the paper but Trent snapped his hand up so that Michael couldn't reach it.

"That's not fair and you know it." Michael seized Trent's belt and pulled him downward. Trent's pants came down some but not too far. Michael reached his free hand and put it directly into Trent's armpit and wiggled his fingers. Trent dropped his arm and lost his grip on the paper, Michael saw him drop it and he snatched it up and moved down and away from Trent. Michael had the paper and looked up at Trent. He hadn't opened it yet. He was waiting for Trent to give him some kind of approval.

"All right, go ahead. I was going to let you read it anyway." It took Michael all of five seconds to get to what he needed to read. Trent watched Michael with pride as his face registered the acceptance of him going to school in Boston just across the Charles River from Michael and the school that he would be attending. Michael ran to Trent and wrapped his arms around him and Trent grabbed him and held onto him and he swirled him around.

"Put me down, put me down, Trent, hurry up"

"Oh, Babe, this is so good. I knew you'd get in. I never doubted it; Trent, your Mom and Dad must be dancing. And you're in Boston, that's so good. We won't be far from each other. We're still going to have to drive two cars. That sucks, since we're so close, but that's the way it goes."

"How much longer before you finish?"

"I won't be out of here for another two hours. Go home and I'll see you then, unless you go to sleep on me like you did last night when I came home."

"I can't help it that you were taking too long, I was tired."

"You wuss, next you're going to tell me that it was homework that made you pass out, I suppose?"

"Well, it was, really. I couldn't keep my eyes open any more. I was getting tired. Are you going to let me forget this little one time I feel asleep?"

"ONE TIME, this is not the first, Trent, my boy! Need I remind you about last month that one Sunday night? Oh, baby, I'll wait up, don't you worry, I want that fine uh, what was the word you used, oh yea, fine ass to get home. I get home and what do I find: not only in bed, but "not dressed" to go to bed. Michael put his hand on one hip and the other was he was tapping on his chin as he talked to Trent.

"Okay, all right, that one other time, but that's it."

"Really, Trent, do you really want to go down this road?" Michael tilted his head to one side with an expression of expectation on his face, waiting for Trent to contradict him.

"Yes, Trent, I'm waiting?" Trent sheepishly and slowly brought his head up to look at Michael.

"Al right, all right, so there were a few times. I can't help it when I get tired, Babe, and you know that. Why do I have to get a hard time over it?" Michael couldn't help but laugh at him. Sometimes Trent's ability to make Michael laugh broke through all of his barriers whether he was really mad at him or absolutely infuriated. But as usual Trent made him laugh.

"Come here, Short Stuff, and give me a hug and I promise to leave you alone. Well, maybe, I promise, but don't hold me to that, okay?" Michael walked up to Trent but not close enough to hug him.

"No more hugging or kissing here. To get what you want I guess someone will have to stay awake this time. If by chance you do fall asleep again, I'm guessing you won't be getting a kiss."

"That's playing dirty Michael Wayne and you know you!

"And now you have the audacity to call me using my middle name when you're the one that's in trouble. You got a lot of nerve, Trent Nicholas, a whole lot of nerve." In a snap Trent moved and took hold of Michael by both of his upper arms, kissed him and took off down the aisle, making sure to move fast enough to get away from Michael and avoid his grasp.

"You are so dead don't bother waiting up for me, Trent, you might as well go to sleep now because there will be no....." Trent put his fingers to his lips to tell Michael to be quiet. And he made a sweeping motion with his other hand, reminding Michael of where they were standing. Michael pointed his hand and fingers to where the exit was and gave Trent a stern look. Trent flashed his smile at Michael and blew him a kiss. Michael tried to give him a pissed off look but failed miserably. He just shook his head and motioned for Trent to go. Trent stood for a second longer and silently mouthed the words to Michael I love you. With that he was out the door and out of sight from Michael. Who stood there smiling? Wondering why he had been blessed with Trent. Would it really last or would the fairy tale relationship come crashing down at some point in time? Michael often wondered about the two of them and where they were actually headed soon. School for the both of them. but not at the same time like they had now. What was going to happen next year? When the both of them would be spending time traveling to Boston, getting home at who knows what time. And then studying on top of that. It was going to take a lot of work to make their schedules work and he was hoping that Trent had the patience to deal with it. It wasn't one of his greatest strengths. He loved him so much, but he knew how he was. Sometimes Trent lost his focus on things when it came to life that was in front of them. They were just beginning.

Christmas came fast after Thanksgiving weekend and before Michael had time to think the house was filling with family again, including two of those that had been in Michael's place one time. Staying with the Sanders and enjoying the privileges of being there and what that meant exactly. Michael still hadn't got used to it. He had only accepted the car if Clay would say that it was a Christmas present and that, come Christmas, there wouldn't be anything else. Clay he said that he would only agree because Michael was making him say it under duress. Michael knew at that point that it was pointless to argue with Clay. He always won their little arguments when it came to buying things for Michael and doing things for him.

It made Michael often wonder why his father couldn't be just a little bit like Clay. Just a small portion might have made a world of difference in their lives. And now he had to face the holidays without his mother and Mandy, his twin sister. Their relationship had suffered so much from Michael's departure from the house. They still talked almost every day, but Michael just didn't feel the closeness he once had with her. He was glad the business of the house was increasing. It gave him something else to think about. He didn't want to ruin anyone's Christmas, and especially not his and Trent's. This would be their first Christmas together. He had racked his brains out, trying to think of what to get his lover for Christmas. It wasn't much, but it was all he could afford. Clay had asked him if he needed money. He would give to him. But Michael wanted to use his own money to buy Trent's present. He had finally picked an ID bracelet. He picked a brushed gold and silver bracelet. On the front he had Trent's initials put on with the date they first met and on the back was a simple message: from the bottom of my heart. What do you get someone who can have anything? The only thing he knew was: it had to be something personal to give to Trent. The other present he got Trent was a five-year membership to Triple A. Going back and forth to Boston as much as they would be traveling he thought it was something that Trent could use, especially since it covered out of gas, wheel changes and battery jumps.

"I'm Brad Masters. I didn't get a chance to meet you and really talk at Thanksgiving. How are you?"

"I'm good and I know I wanted to say at Thanksgiving but everything got so crazy but I'm glad you introduced yourself to me. I should have done it sooner."

"No, don't worry about it; we're all here with family. I...ah kind of heard what happened at Thanksgiving with Stephen and I hope all is good now with you guys. He's been my best friend forever and I know how badly he felt. We talked about it after that weekend, we talk three to four times a week, keeping each other up to date and connected."

"Yea, I'm fine, he was very nice afterwards. I hope you can tell him that I thought he did just fine and he made me feel much better. I told him I felt like an idiot anyway. It's just that I wasn't prepared for that in front of so many people. I'm still rather shy about showing my affection for Trent in front of people. I've spent my whole life in the closet and now I come into a family that accepts me for who I am as well as the relationship I share with Trent. It's been a lot for me to take in. I'm still not comfortable with a lot of things. but I'm trying. Clay knows not to push me too hard when it comes to accepting things."

"Stephen told me about the car. I guess Clay had asked Stephen about getting one for you and what he thought." This came as a surprise to Michael. He figured Clay had just decided that it was what he was going to do. He didn't think Clay asked anyone. But it was his choice; he could do whatever he wanted to and ask whoever he wanted to ask.

"You're the first one to get a car when it comes to anyone staying here. I guess that has a lot to do with Trent being your boyfriend." Michael didn't like his tone of voice all of sudden or the direction this conversation was going. He wasn't sure why he would bring it up at all?

"Perhaps it was because Clay and I had a long talk about the car, a very long talk. I'm going to go to work for Clay for a number of years to show him my appreciation for helping me. My father chooses not to be part of my life or to want to help me. Clay has helped me very much in that respect. There is nothing I have asked for nor expected him to do. If you want you can ask him. Clay and Sarah have been a help to me in ways you can't imagine and that help has nothing to do with money." Michael stopped at that point and let the ball fall in Brad's court.

"Oh... I don't mean anything by it Michael... I was just wondering why, out of all the kids that have lived here off and on, you seem to be...what, the fair haired boy?" Michael stood up and leveled his eyes with Brad.

"I don't know exactly what your game is, Brad, but I don't play games with anyone, especially with the people who took me in off the street when I had nowhere to go. When I met Trent, I knew nothing of his background or his parent's background. If you don't believe me, ask Trent, or, better yet, ask the Sanders. I'm sure they'd love to answer your insinuations. As a matter of fact: why don't we just go and see them right now and get this cleared up. Do you really want to go down that road right now?" Michael's face was turning red. He was furious now, even though he was trying to keep himself in check.

"I don't know who in the fuck you think you are to come in here and accuse me..."

"Accuse my little brother of what?" Stephen was standing behind Brad, looking at Michael with a look of concern on his face. Michael stood there, not saying anything and just boring his eyes into Brad, waiting for him to say something.

"Someone talk to me, it's been quiet long enough."

"You talk to him, Stephen. He's your best friend, but keep him away from me before I get really pissed." Michael pushed his way past Stephen and just looked up at him. Michael muttered softly as he passed him by. "I'm sorry, I don't want any problems."

Before Stephen could stop him, he was around the corner and gone. He wanted to get to Trent. He urgently needed him. He felt like he had been kicked in the stomach by Brad's allegations. Never in a million years could he think like that. Why would he? By the time he got to his bedroom he hadn't seen Trent, and he couldn't go looking for him, not the way he was feeling. Michael sat down on his bed and put his head in his hands and cried. The worst part was: he wasn't sure why he was crying, what had upset so much. He just sat there and slowly composed himself. He wanted Trent, but he didn't want to use the intercom. Everyone in the house would hear him and that was the last thing he wanted. He lay down on his bed and just looked up at the ceiling, thinking whether or not a shower would make him feel any better. Someone knocked on his door. He didn't want to see anyone and Trent didn't knock. He didn't really want to see anyone.

"I'm getting into the shower, I'll be out soon." He knew how lame that sounded.

"Let me in, Michael, or I'll just come in." It was Stephen. What was he doing here? He got a sick feeling in his stomach, thinking of what may or may not have transpired after he left the two of them alone. Michael sat up on his bed.

"Come in."

"Decided against the shower after all?" Stephen stood there for a moment without saying anything.

"Was there a purpose for your visit, Stephen, I really do want to get into the shower."

"He's gone."

"What do you mean 'he's gone'?"

"I kicked him out and told him I would talk to him after the New Year, and that this family was not for anyone with attitude."

"I didn't want any trouble, Stephen. I'm sorry if I'm the cause of that."

"Brad can be an ass sometimes. We'll still be friends after this, but not like we once were. That was uncalled for and unnecessary. I made him tell me what he said to you. I'm sorry he put you through that, Michael, we don't do things like that in this family and he knew that and you know that. He crossed a line that he should have never crossed or questioned to anyone. I'm sorry for that. You and I are good right?"

"Yes, Stephen, you and I are good. Is this what big brothers are for? To protect us young and dumb ones? Michael tried to smirk at Stephen, but it didn't work. Stephen rubbed the top of Michael's head.

"Yep! That's what big brothers are for, Mikey! It sounded so different coming out of Stephen's mouth. "All right Mikey, are you going to Church with us tonight or are you staying home?" Stephen got up and was heading out the door waiting for Michael to answer.

"All right, I'll go; it will probably be better than staying home and thinking things. And don't bother saying anything or making any comments."

"You have much to learn about the big brother little brother, young Jedi." Stephen turned and bowed as he told Michael this, and bowed his way out of the bedroom.

Michael sat on his bed with mixed emotions, not sure whether he should be glad for what just happened or sad that Brad was asked to leave. It made him feel good that Stephen never even questioned him about the whole thing. So Brad must have been honest or he tried to tell Stephen something that he shouldn't have tried to tell him. The next thing he knew the door flew open and Trent bounced into the bedroom

"Mikey, Baby, what's happening, Short Stop?" Michael would have usually either laughed or at least made a comment.

"Hey... look at me." Michael didn't want him to see his face. He'd know that Michael had been crying and then he'd want to know why and Michael just wanted to forget about it now that Stephen had been in.

"Michael, is there something you're not telling me?"

"Nothing, Big Boy, all is good with the world. What are you wearing to church tonight? I don't want to go looking like twins. Michael thought that changing the subject would side track Trent, it usually did.

"Wearing the gray suit, why don't you wear the blue pin stripe, it looks good on you and we won't be looking like twins either." Michael stopped Trent and hugged him. And he didn't let go. Trent was positive now that something was up. Whenever Michael hugged him without saying anything, Trent knew he was waging war mentally on whatever the problem was.

"So there is a problem, and you know it's something we've been over time and again. It's like beating a dead horse. What's the point of saying anything anymore?"

"All right then. At least I know what the problem is, but what set it off this time? Dad hasn't done anything or brought you anything, at least not that I know of, so what set it off? And stop beating around the bush, Michael, it pisses me off. Just say what you have to say, I won't get mad."

"Stephen kicked Brad out of the house and told him he would talk to him after New Year's Day. Brad was insinuating that the reason I was here was for the goodies that I get from your Mom and Dad. It makes me wonder what other people think and if they aren't thinking the same thing, Trent. And don't try to tell me that it doesn't make people talk or at least think that it's exactly what I'm doing here. They think I'm just a gold digger, going after you for the money." Trent hated this conversation with Michael. He really thought by now Michael would have accepted the way things were in this house and that being his boyfriend and hopefully his husband someday would get him exactly what he is getting. He wondered how long Michael was going to keep this conversation going. Why couldn't he just let it go?

"I didn't know that Stephen did that. Did he talk to you after what he did?" Michael nodded. "Then I wouldn't worry about it. If he's going to still talk to Brad, then don't think about it. My brother and Brad go off and on and have done that over the years, sometimes it's Brad telling my brother to fuck off and sometimes it's my brother telling Brad to smarten up. It's not like he didn't get some of the things that you got, but he was taken care of just like you. He got clothes and a few other things, which I'm sure Brad didn't mention to you. He can be a fuck wad sometimes when he wants to be. So did he mention his list of stuff?"

"No, that prick failed to mention that he just was making me feel lousy about myself." Michael screwed up his face in anger and turned red. "I'll get even with him next time I see him Trent, don't you worry about that."

"Now that's my Mikey, much better with a happier face. And to be honest, Michael, the only thing you've gotten that no one else did, is the car. Everything else they got it all. So tell Brad next time to check his ledger and balance sheet. He's still in the arrears; he never went to work for my father like he told him he would. But my father didn't say anything to him. That's just the way my father is and you should know that." Trent hugged Michael and the pair just stood there in each other's arms not saying anything, just savoring the moment they were sharing.

Church made Michael feel better about a lot of things that he was internally waging war over in his heart. Clay and Sarah had flanked both Michael and Trent before the service began and both boys felt blessed that the couple surrounded them. Michael couldn't wait for Christmas morning. He was so excited to give Trent his present and was anxious to see the look on his face. And he had to admit: he was just as excited at the idea of receiving a gift from Trent. This was going to be their first Christmas together and Michael was hoping and praying that it was the first of many to come. The feeling he had, leaving Church with Trent, was blissful and he was sure that God had indeed answered his prayers by sending him Trent. However, the war still raged hard in his heart over his father and mother. He didn't know exactly why he hadn't contacted his mother yet. He would keep setting a date to call her and then at the last minute he would push it back another week or so. He felt bad and yet she hadn't sent any kind of message to him either. He wasn't really sure if she should have sent him anything at this point in time. He just knew that it was breaking his heart to some degree and was dampening his overall spirit for the holiday.

Last year had been so different than this. His last Christmas at home had been tense between Michael and his Father. Usually it was the only day of the year that Michael could count on to be stress and hassle free from the Major. But he had started again last year when Michael didn't get overly excited about some tickets to a sporting event that the Major thought would be fun to take Michael to. Actually, his father had purchased them with his own pleasure in mind, not Michael's. Obviously, when the Major had told his wife about the tickets she was displeased that the Major would think that Michael would like to attend something like that, when he would rather go to a museum with his father or an art gallery. But his father had convinced himself that Michael would be very happy to receive the tickets, Michael could not contain his disappointment when he saw what the tickets were for and the Major had turned his "ungratefulness" attitude into a lecture on Michael's inability to be happy with what he got. He heard how much his father had thought about purchasing the tickets before really buying them. He had agonized for a few days on whether or not he should get them for Michael and then decided with great glee that he would love them and probably jump up and down for them. It just proved to Michael how much his father really thought of him.

He walked down the steps of the Church, trying very hard on this special day not to be so critical of others. But he did say a pray for the Sanders and all the generosity and emotional support that they had given to him since he had moved in with them the second day of school. To Michael it seemed like only yesterday that everything had happened and had changed his life forever. His father wouldn't have approved but for once in his life Michael did. However, he was still feeling the guilt of not speaking to his mother, even though she hadn't given any message to Mandy to give to him.

Christmas morning was wonderful and more lively and festive than Michael had imagined. The house smelled wonderful, since Joshua and Andy had been cooking for days in preparation of the holiday. They had come in early today to make sure that their employers were taken care of and had everything to eat that they needed. In exchange for them working on Christmas Day so early in the morning, as soon as they had everything set up they would leave the Sanders to their festivities and have the rest of the day off. Usually they spent about two hours dealing with breakfast and then left the house. Trent and Michael exchanged their gifts and both were overjoyed at the others thoughtfulness. Michael was exceptionally pleased with his coupon book from Trent. It spoke about how much he cared for Michael and what some of the things were that he was willing to do to make Michael happy. From a back rub to a car washed and detailed to horseback riding and a night at the movies for a break from school.

Christmas flashed into the New Year and before long the two were back at school and work. Their next time together was coming fast and Michael was looking forward to going to Jamaica for their Spring Vacation. The kids in school called it Spring Break, a peak into the college life that loomed ahead of them. They left for Jamaica and were excited to be going. Trent had finally convinced Michael how much fun and leisure time they were going to have, something they hadn't had too much since getting into the school year. Swimming season was going to start soon and practice would keep him busy when they got back from Jamaica. Trent was hoping that Michael would understand the amount of attention consideration he would be getting once he actually started practice. For swimming classes he had to be at the school at five thirty in the morning. And three days a week after school was devoted to practice and time trials were always going on. He loved it, but he wasn't so sure that Michael was going to like it or understand how much time he spent at practice. And once the meets started he would be busy on Saturday's or at least most of them. If a meet happened after school he wouldn't get home until eight or nine o'clock. He would take his truck to go so he would get home sooner than the bus did. He was grateful that meets after school didn't happen that often.

Michael was astonished as he stepped off the plane and inhaled the tropical island smells. He was in love with it and was instantly happy that Trent had talked him into coming here. Michael still didn't believe that Trent's parents had agreed to letting them come here by themselves. They had to realize that the two of them would not be supervised and that they would be engaging in sex. Michael felt his face flush and turn red. But Clay and Sarah considered that the boys were now both eighteen and were legally responsible for themselves. They explained to the boys that this trip would be a test to them returning next year during spring break.

"A penny for your... oh no how about five bucks for your thoughts?"

"At least you've learned that inflation has gone up. I'm happy about that, but is that all I'm really worth to you? Five bucks? Damn, I thought for sure I was worth more than that, Big Boy." Michael laughed at the look of dismay on Trent's face.

"I can't win. If I say a million bucks for your thoughts you'd tell me that was wasteful or that I was spending too much money on you and that I didn't need to spend that much. I give up Michael just what should I offer for your thoughts?"

"Just a kiss sweetheart, just a kiss." Trent's face lit up and he leaned in to give Michael his kiss.

"For that I'll talk... I can't believe your parents let us come here for a whole week, Trent."

"My parents trust me, Mikey; they know I wouldn't do anything that they would be ashamed or embarrassed about, at least as far as they are concerned. Who knows about my behavior behind closed doors?" Trent looked at Michael with a look of lust and desire in his eyes. He blushed and looked down at the floor, feeling wanted and shy with Trent's yearning.

"Never mind that right now. We need to get to the hotel and checked in, then maybe, just maybe, if you're really good, I might just let you have your way with me." Michael looked at Trent seductively with the thought of raw sex in his mind. He wanted Trent to take him like he did the day they were together in Coach's shower. Anytime Michael found the need to jerk off he would relive that scene in his mind. It always brought him to an explosive orgasm. He smiled.

The ride to the hotel was wonderful. Everything was so foreign to Michael. He had never seen or been in the tropics. He was intrigued by some of the trees and the way they looked and the flowers they produced. The bright yellow color of the hibiscus flowers he thought was exquisite. One tree looked like upside down tulips were hanging there. As they drove through the market place the aromatic odors were changing constantly and he loved them all. The sweetness of the fruits hung heavily in the air and was contrasted by the pungent odors of the spices being used to make the natives food of jerk chicken.

They arrived in Negril by midafternoon and pulled up to the Rock Cliffs Hotel. A small bright white hotel with just a few rooms that was located right on the water. There was no beach because the hotel was basically built on rocks that edged the water. Trent got their suitcases and paid the driver, arranging to have the cabbie to be here the next day for them to go out and go exploring somewhere.

Opening the door to their room, Michael was taken in by the breeze that blew through. With the door open it felt marvelous on his skin and smelled heavenly. The water had a wonderful odor to it, clean and fresh and so blue. The distance between their room and the water was about twenty-five feet. They both stood at the sliding glass door and Trent stood behind Michael and held him in his arms. He kissed Michael in the neck and whispered in his ear how much he loved him. Both were content to stand where they were and just enjoyed the view before them. There was a knock on the door and Trent went to answer it.

"Can I help you?"

"I have for you a bottle of Champagne, a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Sanders, with a message to tell you to have a good time and enjoy your time together." Trent and Michael were both surprised by the bottle, but decided to do as instructed and enjoy it. The bellman opened the bottle and poured them a glass full. "Best wishes to both of you and enjoy the island while you stay here with us. If there's anything I can get for you or if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I am here to make sure your stay is pleasant and without regret. Just ask for Maurice and I will come to serve you." Michael was in love with the accent that Maurice had. It was hypnotic and had a wonderful lull to it. It was just another facet that added to the overall experience. Trent tipped the bellman and the man was gone two minutes later, making sure everything was in perfect shape before he left the room.

"A toast to you my man... I wish this week could last forever with just you and me together, alone and free to be who we chose to be. I love you now and I will love you tomorrow and the day after I love you, Michael, until my last breath on this earth. One day I'll make an honest man out of you, when the time is right for both of us. I owe you that for making me see the importance of being patient with us. I promise to try and always remember that, Michael. I love you." Trent was on the verge of tears but had managed to keep himself together. Michael wasn't as able as Trent and the tears were streaming down his face but still he was silent with his tears. Trent went to him and put down his glass and held him in his arms to comfort him.

"That was a beautiful, Trent, you never cease to amaze me, you know that? Just when I think I've got you figured out, you surprise me. I hope you never stop. I love that part of you."

"I can do that, but right now I want you naked." And with that Trent pulled up Michael's shirt and practically ripped off his shorts that he had changed into on the plane. Trent just stepped back and admired Michael's nudity. He thought Michael was perfect in every way. He took off his shirt and dropped his pants. Michael looked at him with admiration and lust. Trent's physical presence didn't daunt him at all. He marveled at the muscle definition that Trent had. The beginning of a true six pack was developing on Trent this year; his facial hair had gotten darker, making him even sexier than before as far as Michael was concerned. The muscles turned him on. He didn't like a muscle bound guy, but Trent was perfect when Michael looked at him. His stance in front of Michael made him weak in the knees and made him want Trent to take him like he had once before, roughly and with force. Trent had remembered Michael's desire to be taken roughly from their prior conversations and today he would oblige his lustful desires.

He slipped his hand behind Michael's neck and with a jerk he pulled Michael into a passionate tongue penetrating kiss. The force took Michael by surprise and his cock responded instantly, pulling the skin tight around his shaft. He reached for Trent's cock but was slapped away from his target. He moaned in Trent's mouth from the domination Trent was exerting against him.

"Please, Trent, just let me touch it and play with it."

"When I say so, Little Buddy, when I say so. On your knees and suck it." Trent forcefully pushed down on Michael's shoulders and took his head in his hands and rubbed Michael's face into his crotch. His hard on leaking pre cum now helped Trent's dick slide back and forth over Michael's face and he whimpered more. Michael engulfed Trent's cock with the warmth and wetness of his mouth. He puts his hands on the back of Trent's legs and began to massage them lightly as he worked them up to the globes of his ass. When he reached them, he squeezed them, tightly grazing Trent's hole, making him shudder from the touch.

"Eat my ass, Michael, DO it now, NOW." He crawled behind Trent and he pushed his back forward so that he was bent over, exposing his hole for Michael to run his tongue along ever so lightly, teasing Trent until he began to use force with his tongue trying to drive the tip inside of Trent's man cunt. Trent was moaning and encouraging Michael to do it harder. As he lapped at his, Michael tried again to reach for Trent's cock with the same result as the first attempt. He pulled Trent's ass apart further and drove himself into a frenzy chewing biting and licking on his hole. Trent was shaking from the excitement.

"Enough, Michael, stop and get in the shower, NOW, hurry." Trent pushed Michael from behind as they made their way into the shower. It was a small shower stall but adequate for what they had in mind. Michael turned on the water and stepped into the spray and gave Trent the soap. He took it and roughly rubbed it up and down Michael's crevice, using his middle finger to tease the hole he wanted to shove his cock into. He put the soap back in the soap tray and grabbed Michael and placed his hands high over his head with his free hand he lined his dick up with Michael's hole and pushed it in all the way, without being slow or gentle. Michael thought he would pass out from the intrusion and how good it felt.

"Oh yea, baby, you're so tight. I love my dick in your tight hole. Mmmm... your hot ass grabs my cock so tight inside so hard that I'm not going to last long. It's your fault bitch. You bitch; you make me so FUCKING horny. I should stop and pull out, make you beg, you cock sucking motherfucker. Michael loved it when Trent was like that during their sexual romps. He was shocked sometimes how much Trent could give him what he wanted and how he wanted it without holding back. Trent pulled back and left Michael empty. It's like Trent could read Michael's mind sexually. He groaned in disappointment. Trent pulled Michael's hands up a little higher and drove his dick back in with enough force to slam Michael up against the tiled wall. Trent used the wall to keep Michael in place, unable to avoid his assault on his ass. Trent fucked him mercilessly and Michael screamed for more.

"Yea, Trent, do it to me, fuck me raw, oh god, your cock is so hard and big. Oh god, don't stop. The words seared into Trent's brain, driving him to make each thrust into Michael's ass harder and more forceful. Trent could feel the boiling in his balls as the cum stood on the verge of letting him blow. Each thrust out and push back in brought him closer to his climax. His hands were on each side of Michael's neck now and his fingernails dug into Michael flesh.

"I'm going to bite your neck, baby, and when I bite it hard you're going to cum, do you hear me?'

"I'll try, Trent, oh god, I want to so badly for you."

"Then think about it now, and when I bite hard enough you'll just cum and cum until your balls hurt from being drained." Trent kept at his assault and leaned in and began kissing Michael's back and a little part of his shoulder and then the kisses turned into little light bite's and Michael moaned, every time feeling his balls tighten and pull up as the bites got harder. And Trent whispered in his ear "Now Michael" and he bit him hard on his shoulder and Michael could feel the cum as it rose in his shaft. Hot and forceful it spewed onto the wall, splashing back onto Michael's stomach and chest from its force of hitting the wall.

The muscles in his ass clamped down on Trent's cock and he moaned as they strangled his cock. He couldn't hold out any longer and his cum traveled through his cock, the hot cum seemed to burn as it coated the insides of Michael's ass walls. Both collapsed in sexual bliss as they rode out their sexual high. They stood below the spray and let the water rinse of any evidence of their play. Getting out, Trent took Michael and wrapped one towel around his shoulders and took another and began to dry his feet and then his legs. He then dried his hair and face, kissing his face and body anytime he could find a place to put his lips on. They cuddled with each other on the bed and feel asleep with the afternoon breeze cooling them as they lay in the bedroom. They awoke to see the sunset and decided they would order room service and stay in for the night and enjoy each other's time together. They had simple hamburgers and fries for dinner and watched movies until they went to bed.

Their week was filled with lovemaking and escaping from time to time to see one thing or another and then they would return home shortly after to crawl into bed naked with each other, just in case they felt like having sex again. Friday night they were leaving for Montego Bay. Trent wanted to take Michael to Julia's on Saturday night to show him how beautiful the place was and how romantic it could be. They would be leaving on Sunday morning to fly back to Boston.

They stayed at the Ritz Carlton on Friday night and stayed in for the night, making love and just being with each other since they knew it was their last night on the island. It had been a wonderful vacation, especially for Michael who had never seen such a place in all his travels with his family. It had been something he would never forget, the food, the smells and all the things that they had seen together. It was emblazed into Michael's mind. And especially the time he had spent with Trent. It was something that Michael wouldn't forget any time soon. They slept that night having been spent from the week they had shared physically and from running around doing sightseeing.

Several times they had asked their taxi driver to take them to a restaurant that the tourists don't always go to. The food was phenomenal but it surprised Michael to find that the floors were just dirt and that cats and chickens wondered through the small one room eating area. But he did agree that the food was some of the best he had ever eaten, even though there were chickens walking around while they ate. Trent assured him that Saturday night's dinner would make up for anything they had been through so far.

Saturday at five o'clock they were dressed and ready to go. Michael had felt like it was the most he had dressed up all week. A white van pulled up in front of the hotel with Julia's insigne on the side. The van was clean and well kept. Michael figured that if this was so good. Perhaps the restaurant would be the same, at least he was hoping for solid floors, not dirt and no cats or chickens. After driving about twenty minutes they turned unto a dirt road that began to ascend quickly. It certainly wasn't wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other at the same time and there was no guard rail on the outside of the van, making him feel like they would go over the side at any time. It kept feeling like his stomach was going to get lost on the way up the narrow roadway. They finally arrived to a paved circular driveway and the van driver opened the door to let them out.

Before them was this beautiful large old home that had been converted into this restaurant with the name Julia's written over the entranceway. The flowers surrounding the grounds and entrance way were in full bloom and their odor hung heavily in the air. Once you walked in, one whole wall was open for everyone to look out on. It made Michael feel like he was standing in a magical place. They were ushered into the foyer and were greeted by the hostess. Once she knew who they were she directed them to a table that had its own balcony sticking out from the main living room and it was a table strictly for two. The sun was in the process of making its disappearance over the horizon. The colors in the sky were candy cone pink and beautiful. According to old sayings the pink sky was foretelling a nice day for tomorrow. Michael wondered if they had bad days, every day since they had arrived had been beautiful, but he couldn't imagine what it was like during the summer months.

Trent was the one that explained everything to Michael about their date.

"This is table number seven and if you make the reservation for five thirty you'll be able to sit at this table and get to see the sun go down completely."

"This has been the best, Trent, I'm so glad you talked me into going with you. I really didn't think your parents would go along with this for a whole week and so far away."

"My parents are not dumb, Buddy. They know that we're growing up. Instead of making us have a bunch of quickies, this way at least we've had time to really spend time together and get a change to connect on another level. I wish this night could last forever but we have to get up early and head to the airport. From the hotel it will take us approximately fifteen minutes to get to the airport. So let's head back and we'll sit on the patio and have a drink or two and just enjoy the last night of our vacation, I can bet none of the other kids went on vacation like we did, unless they went with their parents."

Michael had to agree with Trent because he hadn't heard of anyone going anywhere before they had left to come to Jamaica. He couldn't wait to tell Mandy all about it. They had talked so infrequently lately that he was beginning to miss their daily conversations and he was wondering why. Mandy called him every morning on the way to school before they left for vacation. He hadn't heard from here for more than a week and he had left several messages for her to call him.

As he reflected on the past couple of months it seemed that the two of them had separated to some level, something he had never experienced with his twin sister. No matter what was going on, they always talked to one another. Perhaps she was just getting to spend more time with the new guy she had found and was just busy with him. When they got back he would make it a point to get in touch with her and make sure everything was okay and that his parents weren't treating Mandy any differently since he had left home. He had to face the facts that he had been gone for over six months and soon it would be seven. And what made matters worse was that Mandy hadn't introduced Michael to the new boyfriend and that wasn't like Mandy at all. Michael was definitely the big brother when it came to protecting his sister. Michael had his moments when he could draw courage and strength, and every time it came down to protecting Mandy, no matter what he thought or even if he knew he might get beat up in the process. Mandy had loved him dearly growing up whenever he tried to protect his sister. Somehow he would find the strength.

Trent and Michael spent their last night in Jamaica walking around the hotel and having drinks by the pool. Michael expressed his desire to come back and enjoy themselves again. They talked seriously that night, exchanging their hopes and dreams and what they wanted to do with their lives. Trent told Michael that he wanted to build houses, the best ones that he could, and he wanted Michael to run his business as far as business went. That way they could work together. Michael could work at home and he wanted input about what the houses would look like. Trent had told his father and Clay told him he would help him get started and when the trust fund came in he could use that money to help repay the loan from his father. Michael and Trent decided they would spend a year looking for a place to use. And also get the work done that would have to be done on the inside.

Graduation was approaching fast and the Sanders were planning a big party for Trent and Michael. The Sanders had never had two graduates together, so this was an occasion that was very special for them, even if they weren't actual brothers. They were more than that: they really were soul mates as far as they were concerned. The house was crowded with people. The whole family and the numerous kids that had come and gone had shown up. There were mountains of food and stuff to drink. Joshua and Andy made sure there was enough to drink and eat for everyone.

Mandy and Michael's mother had shown up at the party that the Sanders threw for Trent and Michael, but Michael's father didn't feel invited. Mrs. Evans however had decided she wasn't going to miss her only sons' graduation from high school. It was too important to her and she desperately wanted to meet the people that had taken an interest in Michael and that Mandy had spoken so highly of. Mr. Evans felt that, since he wasn't invited to the party, he shouldn't be attending.

Mrs. Evans was trying to hold out for Michael's sake. She wanted the Major to accept Michael for the way he was. He was born this way, couldn't he see that? Couldn't he see that it wasn't a choice for him? If he had a choice, it certainly wouldn't be one that pissed off his father on purpose. Michael wanted nothing more than to please his father in any way that he could. Michael had suffered all these years hiding, seeking out the priest in trying to figure out an answer, trying to make his father happy. And he just never could, she felt as though she had denied him not only a childhood but a life of being unhappy with his immediate family, something that can never be replaced. You only grow up once and she had unknowingly forced him to grown up unhappily.

Michael's father knew she had gone to that party and had hated her for going. He had screamed at her not to go, to stay home and stop supporting that no good son of a bitch son they had. He had heard Mandy tell her mother that he had been attacked because he was gay, and had spent a few days in City Hospital. And just who was going to pay for that bill? The military would see to that and know that his son was gay. He just couldn't live with that. He just didn't know how he was going to deal with that, his scum sucking queer ass son was the whole problem. He would ruin his career.

The Major left the house about the same time that Kevin left his house. Both with the same thought in mind and that was to get rid of Michael once and for all. If Kevin couldn't have him, than no one would. And the Major was out to stop his wife from supporting that no good fucking queer son of hers. Kevin decided that killing his mother or father would be just as good. It would still destroy Michael in the end

After a while Mrs. Evans left the house but had trouble getting the car started. She called Triple A and waited for almost half an hour for them to arrive. She was damned if she was going to go back in the house and call her husband to help her.

The black clothing they wore kept them hidden from sight. It was the perfect setup: people coming and going, no one paying attention to anyone coming in or out of the driveway. It would be over and done with before anyone even noticed. Little did they realize that the other had the same idea running through their head? each having their own reasons for carrying this out. Each out to destroy Michael Evans in their own way. Knowing that killing him was not the answer, but killing those that meant something to him would slowly and surely kill him mentally.

There was no noise. A single bullet sliced the night air, unseen and unheard. The bullet struck it's mark and brain matter exploded onto the front door. Sarah heard a thud on the door thinking that someone else was there. She opened the door, looked down and fainted. Clay had seen his wife fall and ran to help her and saw the horror just as she had. He screamed loud enough to bring a silence to the entire house and his oldest son Randy came running with Peter on his heels, running as well to see why their father had reacted as he had.

Trent's father was the first to scream for someone to call the police. He stood up and scanned for Michael. He didn't realize that Stephen had picked him up and got him out of the room. He called for Trent and a stranger had told him that Stephen had carried Michael upstairs and Trent had followed him. Clay thought it best that he left the three alone in Michael's bedroom. It was probably the best spot for him right now. When the police arrived, it created enough havoc on Michael. At this point in time, as far as Clay was concerned, Michael was his son; his own father had abandoned him. Clay was now his protector and caretaker. Nothing and no one would hurt him or get near him, he was his minder.

"What is going on, Clay, what's the problem?" It was Joshua standing by him.

"Joshua, Sarah is fine, but on the other side of the front door is Michael's mother who has been shot in the head from what I saw. Get people out from using the front door and someone else to direct others to the back door to leave. Get Andy to call the police and tell them there has been a shooting resulting in a death. Do it as quickly and as quietly as you can. I screamed out for someone to call the police but I'm not sure they knew why. Hurry, Joshua."

Joshua took command in his kitchen the second he entered. "Listen up: this is to be carried out in a swift and calmly fashion. The house staff will handle people going out. No one goes out the front door. Jason, you go, direct them to this door in the back. Here, Stacey, you stay here to open the doors for people. The rest of you: keeping serving food and be as pleasant as possible. Send the Sanders regrets for the shortness of the party. I'll be with Clay if anyone needs me."

Michael woke in his bedroom, trying to piece together what had happened, but his mind wasn't taking it in. He needed to see the front door. He needed to see what he thought he had seen. He needed to know the truth. Was it his mother or was it was someone else? He got up in the bed and Stephen and Trent sat down next to him and both hugged him.

"I need to get up, guys, I need to go downstairs and see what I thought I saw. Or you will you just tell me that I was wrong. Tell me I didn't see it Trent, just tell me I didn't see it. Why would someone do that to her? She hadn't done anything wrong, Trent. I need to see my mother, Trent. Take me to her, Trent. Stephen, come with me. I'm going to need the both of you." Michael broke down and this time his body shook from the tears he wept. He realized that his mother was gone and he hadn't spoken to her since he had left and now he never would be able to see her or talk to her. Trent held onto him and the tears just continued to flow from Michael and his regrets just made it worse for him, the guilt he felt was devastating for him.

"Michael, why not stay here with Trent and me for now, we can go downstairs later, buddy. I promise you that we'll all go downstairs in a little while. Please, Michael, do this for me. I just don't think it's a good idea right now, Michael. Hang tight with us and in a little bit I promise to take you down." Michael stood up and Stephen stood up immediately and grabbed Michael in a hug and just held on as Michael let the tears flow. Trent stood behind Michael and rubbed his shoulders and back as Stephen held on to Michael. He knew at the rate he was going and breathing that Michael was going to pass out again.

Seconds later Michael did collapse. Stephen had time to turn and get Michael on the bed. He had Trent pick his legs up and Stephen got him up further in the bed.

"You stay here, Trent, I need the paramedics to look at him. I don't know if he'll go into shock or not, and I just want to make sure he's not. If he stops breathing, scream on the intercom for me. I'll be back with paramedics or at least one." He left the room and Trent sat down next to Michael and took his hand. Trent cried for his friend and lover, unable to fathom the pain he was facing at the moment. Why was it that he had to see it? Why wasn't I in the room with him? How come I had left him? We had been side by side all night meeting and talking with everyone. Trent put his head on Michael's chest and sobbed over and over again that he was sorry for not being there to protect him from seeing it. He never heard Stephen come back into the room.

"Move over, bro, I got a paramedic to check him over, to make sure he's okay."

"He's going into shock, can you two carry him?" Both nodded their ability to do so. The two picked him up again and got him downstairs and outside to an ambulance that was there. They told Stephen they would be going to City Hospital.

"As you requested, sir, I will tell them you get top floor priority and if there are any questions the hospital can call and ask for Alex who works in the admitting office. He'll know what to do."

"Thanks. Please go and take his brother with him." Stephen pushed Trent into the ambulance. "He'll only be okay when he wakes up and Trent is there for him."

"I understand. I'll make sure everything goes smoothly."

Stephen closed the door and less than a minute later the ambulance took off. Stephen went to the front to see what was going on. The police were now at the scene, scrutinizing what had happened and where the shot possibly came from. Detective Ryan and detective McGuire were there, the same detectives that had been there when Michael had been attacked by Kevin Cranston. Neither one of them missed that fact. Both were asking if anyone had seen him. They asked for a list of guests from the Sanders, hoping it would help. Clay had told them that several people had come but he thought that most had signed the guest book as they came in and that might give them a better list to go on instead of the invitation list.

Clay had called his attorneys to let them know what was going on, and they both told him to say nothing else until they got there. In the meantime Captain Jack Barrolls arrived since he had left instructions with the two detectives to call him if anything happened with the Sanders again. They called mostly out of common courtesy to the Captain. By the time Jack had arrived, the crime scene unit had begun their work. The local police were busy questioning the few guests that were still there, hoping that someone had seen something.

The ambulance had arrived at City Hospital, and Michael was still unconscious. Trent was beginning to worry that something was wrong with him. Why was he still out? Perhaps the shock was too much for Michael and it would just take him some time to wake up. Could the shock keep him out for this long and could he still survive?

The ambulance backed up into the hospital's emergency room entrance and came to a stop. The doors were opened and Michael was moved from inside of the ambulance to inside the hospital. His room had been prepped and they immediately began to strip Michael's clothes from him and insert IV's and take samples of blood that were rushed off to be tested in the lab. The raw smell of ammonia was what made Michaels eyes fly open and his head twist away from the offensive odor. Trent was happy to see Michael respond as was expected from the ammonia. Their eyes locked and Michael's tears began to run down his face. The realization that he had just lost his mother took hold of him and rocked him to his core. The doctor stood back and before he could say anything Trent was holding Michael. The doctor tried to interfere but Trent wouldn't let go this time. Michael was in too much emotional pain. No one was going to touch him at that moment except Trent. He would protect his friend and lover above all else.

"Leave us alone, he needs to be left alone. There's nothing wrong except he knows that his mother has been murdered." The doctor stood still and watched the two interact and motioned the others to leave the room. He knew that Trent was right and that he needed human touch and time to grieve without being examined by anyone. Physically he would be fine but for now he just needed time to be alone with his friend and cry. All he could do was replay the scene in his head again and again. Time stood still for Michael and he could only hold Trent and empty his soul through his tear ducts.

Almost twenty minutes passed before Michael was able to get himself under some kind of mental control. Trent continued to hold on to him, remaining quiet, waiting for Michael to be the one that spoke first.

"How long do you think they will keep me before letting us leave?" It startled Trent, but he was glad that Michael was trying to focus on something else besides his mother's death.

"I don't know, Michael, but let me find the doctor and I'll see what he has to say. You going to be okay while I'm gone?" Michael looked at Trent and just nodded his head. "I'll be as quick as I can in getting an answer." Trent left the room in search of Michael's doctor. Ten minutes later he was back with the doctor and a nurse.

"Everything is clear, Michael, and I understand you want to leave the hospital. Are you sure you're ready to leave?"

"I need to leave here. Nothing you can do for me now is going to change the fact of what's happened. There's nothing physically wrong with me. I just went into lost my mother and now I'm fine. Can I leave here or not?" Michael was straight forward with the doctor, he was just tired of being where he was and wanted to be as far away from here as possible. However, he wasn't even sure that he could go back to what had become his home. His safe haven had been broken again. He hadn't even said anything to Trent about how he was feeling. He wasn't sure himself and didn't know what he was going to do once they left the building. The doctor relented, knowing that Michael was basically right about his status, and within an hour the two were leaving the building. Stephen had come to pick them up.

No one talked and Trent sat up front as Michael requested but he kept looking in the rear view mirror that was on the back of the visor. He couldn't read Michael at all and it bothered him this time, it wasn't a feeling he was used to and Trent didn't like it. He felt like Michael was cutting him out this time. It seemed they had shared every moment together all most from the first time they met. Trent just hoped that it was all due to his mother's death. If that was the case, Trent hoped it wouldn't take Michael too long to being himself again. It hurt him inside to see Michael like this. As much as he hurt, he couldn't even imagine the feelings Michael was going through. They got back to the house and the front yard was dark as was the front porch. As they exited the truck Michael walked towards the front yard. Trent caught up to him quickly.

And of course you know how to reach me at [email protected], I answer all emails, both good and bad, I want to thank all of you for being so patient in waiting for this chapter coming out, not only do we have to stay protected from sex, but keep those computer's protected or you'll get an infection of another kind and it SUCKED!!!

There's more ahead for Michael and Trent more chapters are in the works and I promise the next chapter has already been edited and will be out within the week, if not within two to three days. Thanks for all the letters of support guys I appreciated all of them!

Michael W McKinney



[email protected]


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