Michael fell to the ground screaming and crying. His world was falling to pieces. He passed out.

When he came to, he was in the back of an ambulance, being revived by a paramedic. As they waved the ammonia under his nose several times, Michael coughed and blinked his eyes repeatedly trying to avoid the offensive. Finally he attempted to sit up, but the paramedic wouldn't allow him to. He was told to lie down and try to remain as calm as possible, assuring Michael that they would be at the hospital within a few minutes.

"Where's Trent? Where's the guy that was on the other moped? They have to be taking him to the same hospital. Where is he? Please tell me, is he still alive? Please tell me. I saw him. He looked like he was... Michael couldn't bring himself to say the words. It was too much for him to bear.

There was no way he could be. Not Trent, it just couldn't be. But he had seen him and the thought made him lie back down sobbing. The ambulance backed up to the entrance of the emergency room. Michael was immediately taken into a bay and examined. He caught a brief glimpse of Trent and heard a flurry of activity as they attempted to revive him. Michael wanted to be near him, to know what was going on, but this was as close as he was going to get. He was whisked off to an x-ray department and was there for almost an hour and a half before returning to the emergency room. By then Michael had lost track of Trent.

His checkup was done and he was fine. Nothing was broken, which Michael already knew, but since they found him unconscious and on the ground they wanted to make sure. They released him from the emergency room. It wasn't until that time that he found out that Trent was still alive but in bad shape. He attempted several times to find out what was going on, telling them that he was his brother but no one was saying anything. Just that Trent was in rough shape and that he was still being examined, trying to determine the extent of his injuries. They were able to tell Michael that Trent would survive, but that his injuries were extensive. He was told that both legs were severely broken in multiple places; his left arm was also broken, mostly at the elbow which had been shattered. The rest wasn't clear. All he knew at that point was that he had to call Mom and Dad and let them know what was going on.. Now he was in a panic and needed them both. He didn't know what to do, or what to say. This was a phone call Michael didn't want to make. Mustering his courage and sense of responsibility Michael headed for the pay phones on the wall.

"Operator, I need to make a person-to-person call to Claymore Sanders at 617-555-0000. Yes mam. I'm Michael Evans. Thank you." He heard the phone clicking a few times, and then he heard Clay's voice on the other end and the operator asking him if he would accept charges for a collect call from a Michael Evans. Clay accepted the charges and was connected.

"Hey pal, how's the weather in sunny Jamaica? Getting some sun and sand time in?" Clay had no idea what was coming and Michael hesitated in telling him the news. He knew this was going to break his heart. Michael was sure that Trent was Clay's favorite child. Even though he told everyone he had no favorites, Michael didn't believe him in any shape or form.

"Dad, This isn't a fun call I afraid I have some bad news."

"What's the matter?" Michael could almost see the color drain from his Clay's face, waiting to hear what Michael had to tell him.

"Trent was in an... accident today. He was hit by a taxi... while riding a moped. Both of his legs are... broken in several... places and his... arm is broken, I should say his elbow is shattered. He hasn't woken up since the accident. They aren't telling me much. I don't think they believe that I'm his brother when I tell them I am. You know that game. You should call them and get him out of here, Dad. He needs to be in Boston. Can you do that? We have to get him home somehow..." Michael broke down sobbing, trying to compose himself.

"Calm down Michael, calm down. Take a deep breath. I'll get on it right away, you can count on it. I'll call you back on your cell phone, is that working right now or not?"

"No, sorry, I had to use a hospital phone. That's why I called you person to person, collect. My cell phone wouldn't reach you. When do you think you can get down here at the latest?"

"Depends. Maybe seven to eight hours maybe a little less. I'll call the hospital and try to find you. It will be a few hours before I attempt to call you back, like when we are in the air. Right now I'm going to tell your mother what's going on and then get a medical plane and a crew to bring Trent home. Hang in there, buddy. He's a fighter and he'll make it. So that's a good thing, right?"

"Yea, you're right, it is." Michael felt the tears falling down his cheeks unsure just how Trent would survive after what he had looked like on the ground all twisted.

"Hang in there and stay put. I'll call the hospital as soon as I can and as soon as I have a plane and a medical crew to man it. I'll call City Hospital to see what I can scrape together for a team. They usually have a medical staff that's on call for out of state emergencies, I think this qualifies as out of state. If not I'll pay for it out of my own pocket. But I will get this done Michael don't worry that I won't."

"All right, Dad. I'm in the ER and I'll stay here until I hear from you. Thanks for helping me stay calm and reassuring me. You always know when and how."

"Remember, Michael, that's what Dads are for. Someday you'll have your own kids and you'll see. Just remember what I'm telling you now, okay?"

"Okay, thanks." Michael was blown away from Clays comment. Did he really just say that about having kids and did he really mean it? Was he implying that he thought he and Trent would have children in the future? Or was he merely hoping that they would. Either way, he loved the prospect of the thought. Trent just had to survive and be in one piece for that to happen.

Michael didn't know how long it was actually going to take Sarah and Clay to gather a medical staff who would be willing to fly to Jamaica and take care of Trent, considering the condition he was in. The time dragged for him, each minute seemed like an hour and he was alone. Whether he was his brother or not, Michael was denied access to Trent in the back. Frustrating more and more each time he tried to ask questions.

Michael was relieved when he saw a familiar face when Ricky showed up. He came up to Michael and gave him a heartfelt hug and immediately the two sat down.

"No one has talked to me, Ricky. They have totally ignored me to this point, and I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing right now. I talked to Trent's father and he and his mother are hiring a private plane and a medical team to take Trent back to Boston to get him medical treatment, because I want him back in Boston to get help. Wait, how did you know that I was here and that Trent got hurt in the first place?"

"My cousin owns the moped place you rented from and I stopped by and when I saw the wrecked moped come back in, I stopped and asked what happened. When he told me that one got hurt I knew it was one of you. I came right to the hospital to see which one it was. I'm sorry it was either one of you. So many people get hurt on those damn things. But they are fun to ride. I've done it several times. I just can't believe he got hit by a damn taxi driver of all things, mon. Some of them are pretty bad and drive too fast and shouldn't have their driver's license to begin with. But what you gonna do, mon?" Ricky shook his head and dropped it in mocked disbelief, commiserating with Michael.

"Oh, Ricky, the guy came out of nowhere, going way too fast to begin with and just hit Trent broadside. His legs were just all wrong when I looked at him lying on the ground."

Michael began to sob. Ricky wasn't sure what to do, so he just took Michael in his arms and held him while he cried and cried. Ricky tried to reassure him that everything was going to be all right and that Trent was going to get better.

"Oh, Ricky, you didn't see him. I don't know if he's even going to walk again. His legs were so mangled. I don't know if he'll be able to build houses like he wants to. He wants to build houses, Ricky. How is he going to do that with his legs all mangled, Ricky, tell me that. How is he going to do that? I'm going to make sure that I sue that guy. He won't have anything left when I'm done. He'll wish he was dead by the time I'm with him. I swear to god I'll make his life a living hell."

"Michael you can deal with this later. Now is not the time; your emotions are running high right now and not your brain. Just give yourself time before you make any real decisions. For the time being just concentrate on Trent and getting better. You have plenty of time to decide on what you're going to do with the guy that hit Trent, and whether or not you're going to sue him. Right now put Trent at the top of your list. That's what you have to worry about and only that."

"You're right, Ricky. I just need to think about him right now. I just wish they would come out and tell me something, or at least let me go back there and let me see him so I know how he is doing. I want to see him with my own eyes. Do you know what I mean?"

"Yes I do, Michael. If it was my wife I would be pulling my hair out, trying to get in back there, but that's the way they do things here, like it or not. You have to just wait until they come and get you, or until they tell you something."

"Well it fucking sucks if you ask me." Ricky chuckled slightly not wanting to upset Michael any more than he was.

"I've never heard it said quite like that, but I have to agree with you, Mon."

The two men stayed silent for a while and time slowly ticked away. Michael avoided looking at the clock as much as he possibly could. However, as much as he tried, it still seemed that every five minutes he was still looking at the damn thing. Seconds seemed liked hours and hours seemed like days.

Indeed, the hours did pass and as Michael and Ricky paced the floor, Michael turned and another familiar face appeared before him: Clay and Sarah came around the corner. Clay and Michael rushed at each other and Michael collapsed in Clay's arms, sobbing. Sarah stood by Michael's side, rubbing his back, trying to reassure him telling him that Trent would be okay, unsure herself of his outcome.

Michael explained that he hadn't heard anything up to this point and Clay became furious that he hadn't. He figured that Michael should have been told something by now: whether Trent was in surgery, how he was he progressing, if he was out, what his status was, something, anything. Clay was going to find out, and now.

"Dad, before you go anywhere I'd like you both to meet Ricky. He's been our driver since we got off the plane on Sunday. Ricky, this is Sarah and Clay Sanders. You could call them my parents." Ricky gave Michael a quizzical look. "They aren't really my parents, but they've treated me more like a son than my own parents ever did. They've shown more love and support in two years than mine did in seventeen." They both stood a little taller as Michael finished his introduction.

"I wish we were meeting under happier circumstances, Mr. and Mrs. Sanders"

"Please, Clay and Sarah, Ricky"

"And now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go and raise hell and make arrangements to get my son on a plane and back to Boston. I have a medical crew waiting on a plane. Michael, I suggest you and Sarah have Ricky take you to the hotel and collect your things and Trent's, and meet us at the airport. Your mother knows where the plane is, they're waiting for us to get back. There's a medically equipped 727 plane getting gassed up and rechecked and filing a flight plan as we get Trent ready to travel. Now you three go and get everything together."

"Dad, I haven't seen Trent since he got here. Dad, I've got to see him" Clay took Michael in his arms and spoke quietly to him.

"Michael, I know it's hard right now, but I need you to do this, and go and get your things and Trent's. You'll see him on the plane, I promise you that. But time is important and we have to keep moving, okay? So please, go with your mother and do this." Clay stretched out his hand and took hold of Michael's chin, and had him look him in the eye. Michael had tears, but he shook his head yes. Sarah reached her hand out and Michael took it.

"Come on, Ricky, you need to take us to the hotel to get everything and then get us to the airport. Guess we won't be going to Montego Bay on Saturday after all."

"You'll come back next year, and I'll be your taxi driver again. I'll still be driving taxi you can count on it. I've been driving for five years now. I'll give you my number and a few days before you come, you call me and I'll be at the airport to meet you and Trent, how's that sound?"

"That sounds good, Ricky."

"Then let's get moving, mon."

The three of them left the hospital and made their way to the Rock Cliff's Hotel. Sarah loved the hotel. As far as she was concerned it was the perfect spot for young lovers to spend their time in. Perhaps not just for young lovers. She had thoughts of her and Clay coming here once the kids were gone from the nest and they could spend time on their own. They walked into the room and clothes were scattered everywhere.

"I can tell my boys are used to being taken care of all the time." Ricky laughed. He wasn't aware of the wealth that Trent and Michael were accustomed to. "What did you do? Pay the staff here to stay out of this room, Michael Wayne?" Michael got a sheepish look on his face before speaking to his mother and Ricky had to laugh some more seeing Michael behave like a child, caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

"Well, not to stay out, but not to come in until later on in the afternoon, just in case we slept in and didn't get up until the late in the day, just in case."

Michael reached over and picked up the small paper Rick's Café had given Trent for jumping off the highest diving spot and he sat on the bed and broke down. Sarah came over and took the paper and read it.

"You let him do this?"

"No, he just did it, you know how he is. Once he gets an idea in his head about doing something, he gets a one track mind."

"Well, I can't argue over that point Michael." Sarah grinned and a tear fell down her cheek. Ricky could see a bond between the two, even though they weren't mother and son by birth.

"Come on you two, the ambulance will get to Montego Bay faster than we, so we need to get moving."

"He's right, Michael, we need to keep moving and get this done." As they were packing up Sarah took the time to look out their French doors and admire the view.

"Michael, I want to tell you this before you see him. He looks worse than he is, mostly because they have prepared him for movement on the plane as I have asked and they haven't performed surgery at this point except some minor stuff to stitch him up to stop the bleeding here and there. That's about it for now. They didn't want to send him off with him bleeding and have him die on the way. They didn't like doing this to begin with. He's not in the best shape to be traveling, Michael. So be prepared and understand that."

--------------------

Michael took a deep breath and turned the corner to see a plane that had been turned into a flying medical hospital. He was amazed by it. He wondered how many people actually used something like this and under what circumstances it was used for. Was it just used for people that had money? As he looked further down he could see a bed and he could see Trent's feet. At least they were in the right place, compared to where they were the last time he had seem them. He couldn't walk any faster. His legs just wouldn't move. They felt like they had cement in them. More and more of Trent's body was revealed. The closer he got, the sicker he felt in his stomach and then he got the full picture. Michael's knee's buckled and the room swirled and Clay caught him as he passed out. He came to a few minutes later as the nurse waved some smelling salts under his nose.

"You're okay, Michael. Just sit here for a few minutes. I've put you next to Trent so you don't have to get up, okay?" Michael nodded his head and looked up to see his lover, bandaged, bloodied and broken. Michael reached out to touch Trent's hand but feared hurting him in some way. The nurse spoke to reassure him.

"It's all right, Michael. You won't hurt him. We have him heavily sedated for the trip back to Boston. We need him ready for surgery as soon as we get him there. He's going to need a lot of surgeries. Both of his legs are badly broken with multiple fractures, his left elbow is shattered, there are three or four broken ribs. He's lucky his spine is intact, not to say that he's not going to need help with a back brace for a while, but at least his back isn't broken. His right hand will need some work with pins being inserted into the fingers until the bones mend. There are three fingers that are fractured in approximately seventeen places between the three. As far as we can tell there is no internal bleeding, so that's a good thing. It's the only reason that the doctor's in Jamaica would release him to us. It's why they took so long in talking to you. They wanted to make sure everything was okay before they released him for travel in a plane. We have to pay attention to air pressure especially. That's the best I can tell you for now. I wish I had better news for you right now, but I don't. I don't want to lie to you either, that's not my style, Michael."

"I appreciate that." Clay spoke up. Michael was trying to take in everything that she had said and thinking how this was going to affect Trent's school work. Michael knew that he was going to have to go back to school and keep on plugging away. Come the summer he'd be able to help Trent and give him three months of his full attention and a week on spring break. His heart was breaking, knowing that this was going to put Trent at least a year behind him.. He began to wonder if he should take a year off to help Trent get back on his feet. Maybe it was something they would have to discuss when he was awake and out of a semi-conscious state and could think more clearly. Perhaps he would discuss it with Clay and Sarah before he talked to Trent about it. That would probably be a better idea.

However, he had a feeling that Clay would never let him take a year off from school, not when he could hire professional people to help Trent more than Michael could. What was he thinking? He might as well forget that idea, and they would never go for that, not for a second. Michael had to resign himself to the idea that he was going to have to go to school and take care of Trent in between studying and vacations. It would definitely be a long time before they would go horseback riding again.

They plane began to move onto the tarmac and Michael grabbed Trent's bed to make sure it wasn't going to move on take-off. He looked at the feet of his chair to see how he was secured and saw that he was on rubber matting and his chair had rubber on the bottom of it. The nurse came over to Michael and asked him to move to another chair that was bolted to the floor telling him that he could come back once they had reached cruising altitude. Michael felt out of place without Trent sitting next to him on the way back to Boston. Clay sat next to him and Sarah next to Clay. It just felt all wrong to him. For the first time he didn't know what to say to Clay.

"It's going to be okay, Michael. Trent's a fighter, he always has been. You should know that by now. I think in your heart you already do."

Did he? He had never seen Trent in this kind of situation and he wasn't sure how he was going to respond. How would he deal with Michael being ahead of him in school? He was so competitive. This time and this situation would put him behind the eight ball and there was nothing he could do about it. Before this they were on equal ground, now what?

"How is he going to deal with us not being equal anymore, Dad? We've been partners up to this point. We've been together with everything we've done. We've graduated together, we're going to college together at the same time, and we wanted to graduate at the same time. There is so much that we have that is now in question because of this. He's going to be crushed by this set back, Dad, you have no idea yet."

"Is there something I need to know that you two haven't told us?" Michael wondered if he should say anything to them or wait until he had the chance to talk to Trent when he was awake. He decided he needed to wait; so many things were in the air right now. Clay looked at Michael and wondered what was going on inside of his head at this moment.

"No sir, not right now. Anyway, not until I talk to Trent, sir." He had said too much and he knew it. Just by that little sentence he knew that Clay was aware of more than he was letting on, and Michael needed to shut up. He was hoping that they would reach cruising altitude soon so that he could sit next to Trent and talk to him even though Trent wouldn't be able to respond. For now Michael got lost in his thoughts and how things were going in his life.

He wondered how his real father was doing. Not that he really cared. He thought about it for a few minutes and felt in his heart that he no longer loved his father. He loved Clay more like a father and Sarah more like a mother. He didn't even realize when the separation had taken place, that he had replaced Trent's parents as his own parents. He wondered what would happen when they finally got to a trial if his father was the one that pulled the trigger that had killed his mother. Or was it Kevin? How would he feel if it was his father and how would he feel if it was Kevin? How would he feel about his father then? He wondered if it would change anything at all. Since he had already written his father off he didn't think it would make a difference but perhaps it would. It would be just the straw that broke the camel's back. And where did Mandy fit into all of this? He hadn't really talked to her like he used to when they were in school together all the time. He appreciated that they were getting older and they each had their own lives to live, but it had been weeks since they had talked to one another and that wasn't like them at all. Maybe if he talked to her she could shed some light on the whole issue at hand. She was always good at giving him advice when he was stuck at something. Perhaps she could help him this time to.

He thought about Jack Barrolls and how the investigation might be going at this point and what they might have for facts and hard evidence, as Jack liked to put it. The other ones from the Watertown Police Department were more focused on their theories then on hard evidence or as they called it circumstantial evidence. At least that's what Jack called it. If that was the case, then his father was guilty. When it came to hard evidence no one was guilty at the time he had left for Jamaica. So unless something had happened while he was gone, the case would still be the same and no one knew anything. But of course he wasn't privy to all the information from the prosecuting attorney either.

That was something else he was going to have to talk to Mandy about when he would have the chance to when he got back, but before he started school and it's routine again. He knew once he got back into the routine he would be too busy until spring break, and then he'd be busy with Trent and taking care of him. He knew that Trent would be in no shape to be running around and doing things on his own yet, no matter how much he might want to. Michael knew he just wouldn't be ready. God knows how many surgeries he would need. That was another thing they were going to have to talk about in his recovery: the number of surgeries he would be facing. Michael wasn't sure himself but he knew it would be several just on his legs alone.

The flight seemed to take forever. However, it was the same as it always was: a little over three hours. An ambulance was waiting at Logan Airport to transport Trent to City Hospital and to an operating room and surgeons who were waiting as were nurses and other medical staff needed to work on his broken body. Trent's first surgery lasted almost nine hours. To Michael it seemed like ninety. Several times he thought he was going to snap. He yelled at Peter and at Stephen, who hugged him until Michael calmed down and cried. Clay had cried more than once, feeling helpless as a parent. He had felt that way more than once and, no matter what, still hated it. The scene played over and over in Michael's head and the result was the same with Trent landing and his legs being by his head and Michael screaming and passing out.

It finally came to an end and Trent was in recovery with Michael by his side, waiting for him to come out of his induced coma. Michael drifted in and out of sleep, holding Trent's hand. The rest of the family held vigil in the waiting room. Michael wouldn't leave his side, and no one could persuade him otherwise. Even Yvonne couldn't get him to move. Michael decided that he'd better start talking to Trent, otherwise he would never wake up.

"You know, if you sleep long enough you'll be up for days, you big lug." He just watched him and looked at his eyes as they fluttered behind his eyelids, wondering what was going on behind them.

"If you think getting hit by a taxi is going to get you sympathy, well, you know where you can find sympathy, right between shit and syphilis in the dictionary, pal. I'm not kidding, you know. I'm mad at you for getting hit by that taxi. You should have known it was coming and stopped before it hit you. I know you; you'll try and tell me that you couldn't have known. Well, don't give that excuse, mister. It's lame number one."

Clay and Sarah came in giving Michael something to eat.

"Michael, you'll have to eat something now. You haven't eaten anything in hours. And if you don't eat soon, I'll have Clay make you eat."

"Don't drag me into this, I won't win."

"Thanks, Dad."

"Claymore Jackson Sanders."

"Sorry love, I'm staying out of this one."

"Michael Wayne Evans, you are going to eat and that's the end of this conversation." Sarah became the mother bear and Michael became the cub that was going to listen.

"Yes, mother, whatever you say. But I'm doing it under protest, just so you know."

"That's fine. Eat it under any circumstance you want to, as long as you eat it. I don't care." Michael begrudgingly began to eat the sandwich that Sarah had brought him. The time slowly passed and Trent's brothers and sisters came and went, checking in on him to make sure that he was okay and holding his own. He was still sleeping by the time the nurses were beginning to suspect that Trent would be waking up soon. Michael moved to his side of the bed again and took hold of his hand.

"Okay, time to wake up, buddy. You've been sleeping way to long. I'm tired of waiting for you to wake up, you know. So get your little scrawny ass up and say something, Stretch."

"Funny, you never called it scrawny when we're in bed together."

"Trent Nicholas Sanders"

"Oh...Sorry Mom, didn't see you in here."

Michael sat up in the chair, turning red, and laughed until tears formed. Clay tried not to laugh, but listening to Michael he couldn't help himself.

"The three of you, I'm going to get something to drink. Honestly you should be ashamed." Clay got up and left the room with Sarah, snickering as he left. The boys both laughed at him as they watched him leave.

"I won't ask how you feel, Trent. You must feel like shit about now. Is it okay if I kiss you?"

"Actually, I don't feel anything at the moment, and yea, you can kiss me with those hot lips."

"Never mind the hot lips comments, you aren't going to be doing anything for a while pal. I'm really sorry to say. I'm going to be using my right hand for the near future, and I'll be using my other hand to help you out. My poor baby is lucky he didn't get that broken to."

Michael leaned over and kissed Trent. With his right arm Trent reached up and held Michael by the neck keeping him in place. It didn't last long as Trent was still weak from the drugs they had given him during the surgery. He laid his head down, closed his eyes as sleep overtook him again. Michael lovingly watched him drift off, and then sitting back down until his friend would wake up again. Trent slept another 15 minutes before he woke again.

"Wow, you're a hot date!" Michael was sitting next to the bed, holding Trent's hand still.

"What does a guy have to do to get a drink around here?" The anesthesia had left Trent's throat and mouth feeling as if the Sahara Desert had moved in without invitation.

"You, Mr. Happy, may have a few ice chips, no water yet they said."

"I'll take whatever is wet in my mouth at this point. And don't you dare get perverted, asshole. Mikey, did they say how long I have to be in these casts? Don't you dare lie to me!"

"The doctor hasn't been in yet since you've been out of surgery. We have to wait and see what he says."

"What is going to happen to school? This is going to set me back and you and I won't end up graduating at the same time, like we planned."

"Let's just wait and see what the doctor says. Maybe if you only miss this semester, you can make it up by taking a few courses every summer. That way, by the time we graduate, it will be at the same time like we planned. And I can help you during the summer time to make sure you get the grades you need, okay?"

"You sound more convinced about this than I am, Michael."

"I'm sure you'll be out of these casts by the end of the school year and if I go with you and you take one or two courses over the summer you'll have enough credits so that we'll still be able to graduate at the same time, just like we originally planned in the first place."

The doctor that performed the surgery came into the room and Trent groaned fearing the worst. Michael squeezed Trent's good hand and looked him in the eyes, trying to convey a message for him not to worry.

"The nurses called and told me you were awake, Mr. Sanders. I'm glad to see you up and talking. I'd like to tell you what we found during the surgery and what took so long. Both legs are being held together with pins and screws, some of which will be removed at a later date and some will be with you for the rest of your life. Your left leg sustained the worst damage with four breaks. They missed one in Jamaica. They were correct about the right leg and that has pins and screws to hold it together also. They will be in for a while. The casts will be on for a minimum of ten weeks, perhaps longer. But we will move to inflatable casts after ten weeks, if we can. Your arm won't bend for a while. There are several pins and screws holding it together. There is no telling when the cast is going to come off of your arm and I'm sorry to tell you that. Since you're awake now we are going to move you to a room as soon as we can find one."

"I'll be going to the top floor, Dr. Jacobs. My father sits on the Board of Directors of the hospital. I don't mean to sound all high and mighty or snobby, I really don't. It's just the way it is. I'm just trying to save time and paper work, that's all."

"And you just saved me a lot of paperwork and aggravation, Trent, and I appreciate it, believe me. I thank you for being up front about you going to the top floor. I'll call the crew upstairs and have someone come and get you, and have everything be taken care of for you like it should, ok?"

Trent laughed a little at the way the doctor had responded to the whole thing about Trent going to the top floor. About half an hour went by and Steve stuck his head in the door.

"I thought I recognized that name, but I wasn't sure if it was really you or not. I couldn't believe it was you. Where's the boyfriend?"

"He ran out to get something to eat. You know how he has the bottomless pit."

"I heard that Trent Nicholas Sanders! I am not the one that has the bottomless pit, someone else I know does, though. And someone else I know is going to be in trouble, broken body or not!"

Michael laughed at himself and greeted Steve and Walter, having missed them as much as they missed seeing the two boys. They hugged Michael and asked how he was doing and he filled them in on school and how busy they had been on their first year of school.

Steve and Walter detached the tubes and IV's that Trent was attached to and began the short journey to the upstairs where Trent was going to be staying for the next undetermined amount of time. Steve and Walter had seen guys that had stayed for months in this condition but they weren't going to say anything to Trent about that right now. There was no point in upsetting him. This young boy had just come awake from a severe surgery and was in good spirits, optimistic about his future and how long it was going to take to actually get things accomplished in his recovery.

--------------------

The daily grind began for Trent and within a week he got tired of it and was ready to go home. Unfortunately for him, the doctors weren't ready to let him go. That made the reality settle in and Trent hated it. Michael was the person he was taking it out on. Michael understood his angst and was trying to be patient with him, but some days were harder than others. School was going to start soon for Michael and he had to be ready. He didn't know how Trent was going to handle him going back. He decided that bringing up the subject was the best thing to do tonight. There was no point in putting it off any longer.

"Trent, I have to get ready to go back to school. I won't be able to come up here as much as I have been. You know that don't you?"

Trent didn't answer Michael right away. He just laid there and looked out the window, saying nothing. Michael felt like crying. He felt like punching something. He wasn't sure what he felt like. Finally he decided to take a walk for a few minutes and maybe talk to Steve or Walter for a while. Maybe Steve could help shed some light on things. So he went over to the desk where Steve was sitting.

"Hi, Steve."

"What's the matter, kiddo, you're looking down."

"I just don't know what to do with him. I'm going to start school soon and he's not happy about it. In fact, he seems almost pissed about it and I understand why. But what I don't understand is why he's acting this way. He knew that I would have to go back to school."

"Michael, he just resents the fact that he's stuck here right now and the fact that you are going back to school is a reminder of that. And he hates it. You have to be extra patient right now and just let him work it out. He needs time, Michael, he just needs time."

"I hope I have the patience he needs to get through this."

"Knowing the two of you, I don't believe you don't have the patience!" Steve tapped Michael lightly on the shoulder teasing him in the process.

"Oh, come on, you know him well enough to know how long his moods last, Michael. If you don't I'd be shocked." He blushed at Steve's innuendo and smiled at the same time. Michael knew that Steve was one hundred percent right.

Michael kept walking to clear his head and just give himself time to think. It was what he needed: time to think about Trent and what he was going through. He did feel bad. He just wasn't sure what to do for him, or how to reach out to him. Perhaps he should talk to Sarah. She would know what to do with him and how to get him out of the rut he was in. He got on his cell phone and called Sarah. Of course it would be something easy: just change the subject and get his mind off of what is bothering him, redirect his attention she will say. What was bothering him was being in the hospital and not being in school, yea, right, simple? How in the hell was he going to do that? It would have to be something outrageous. Something he wouldn't expect and something he could pull off in the hospital. Of course this would be easy for him. Yea, right, he thought. He was going to need help, maybe enlist the help of Steve and Walter somehow, something to get Trent out of these bad feelings.

"Hey, guys, I need your help to get Trent out of this rut he's in. Something outrageous, but something we can get away with in the hospital. What do you have for ideas? Anything at all would be helpful."

"Give us an hour, Mike, and we'll try working something out for you. But it has to be things you can do in the hospital."

"Okay, I'm going to grab something to eat and just waste some time and let him be for now. He's in no mood for me right now anyway. So I might as well eat."

"You know you can have the chef make you something up here and eat with us. You don't have to go down to the cafeteria."

"You know, that sounds good. They make some awesome French Toast."

"Why am I not surprised to hear you say that? Is that what you want?"

"Yes please, with..."

"I know with bacon, crisp, lots of butter and milk, really cold. I remember, Michael." Michael laughed and guessed his trademark breakfast had become his brand now, since people could remember it so well. He would have to tell Trent that Steve remembered his breakfast even after all this time, even the extra butter. Well, maybe he would leave the butter part out. Trent would yell at him about that part. Trent always told him that butter was just a heart attack waiting to happen later on in life, especially the way he ate it almost every day.

His meal was delivered as was Steve's and Walter's. They were having the same as Michael, who laughed seeing his favorite breakfast having caught on the two men. As they ate they all discussed what they might be able to do for Trent to get him out of his rut. They finally came up with an idea and Michael loved it and agreed to it. Now the thing was to pull it off without tipping off Trent. He hoped he could do this one without Trent catching on. It had happened often when Michael had tried to surprise him and somehow Trent would catch him at it before he could pull it off.

Three days later he was sitting in Trent's room. Mr. Glooms room as he was thinking of it lately. Clay and Sarah were there and he was hoping they would leave soon, as his surprise would be arriving shortly and he didn't want them here for that. He would die of embarrassment if they were. In about two minutes he would take Clay outside and explain the situation and have Clay take Sarah for a twenty minute walk if he had to. Time was up.

"Dad, come with me for a minute, I need to talk to you if you don't mind." Clay got up and left the room with Michael, acknowledging his approval.

"Dad, I've planned a little surprise for Trent and I don't think Mom would like to see it. It's a male stripper and he'll he here in a few minutes. Would you mind leaving for about twenty to thirty minutes?" Michael hung his head his face bright red from having told his father in law what was up. "At least let this guy put on his little show? And then you two can come back. I'll call you as soon as the coast is clear." Clay laughed, thinking about the idea and how good it was and how it would get Trent out of his current mood.

"I'll distract her Michael. Sarah said the same thing on the way in this evening that he needed something to get him out of this mood he's been in. So I'll take her for coffee downstairs and then in a little while we'll come back up."

"Thanks Dad, you're the best!"

"That's what you all say, but I think you're all blowing smoke up my ass." The two of them just stood there and laughed for a minute and then went back in the room.

"Sarah my love let's go downstairs and grab a coffee and leave these two love birds alone for a few minutes."

"I could use one, handsome." With those words spoken the two of them were of the door.

"What are you up to, mister?"

"Not me this time; it's your son. Michael has planned a little surprise for Trent and, being the gentleman he is, he didn't think you should be there. So he asked me to entertain you while his surprise showed up and entertained Trent."

"What kind of surprise would I have to leave for exactly?"

"Well, my love, to be honest with you, Michael got Trent a male stripper." Sarah's face got red and faked being embarrassed over the ordeal. But inside she loved the idea and hoped that it would help Trent get him out of his bad mood.

"Well I hope it works," was all Sarah said.

"So do I, pumpkin, so do I." They walked the rest of the way in peace and quiet and with pride thinking of Trent and Michael. The thought about what life had been like since Michael had come to live with them that first night. They talked for some time about all the things that transpired, both the good and the bad. Right now it was Trent's turn to experience the bad thing. No rhyme, no reason, it was just the way it was.

------------------

An orderly came into the room, pushing a cart, covered in a blue sterile material. He informed Trent that some tests had been ordered, and that he liked to listen to music while he did his work. Trent really didn't want to hear the music, but he figured the sooner the test was over the faster the kid would be out of here. Michael closed the door cause the music was a little on the loud side. Trent was surprised by the volume. However, he liked what he heard. He closed his eyes and tapped his hand on his cast to the music. The dancer was now dancing to the music and Michael poked Trent in the ribs and his eyes flew open. He finally noticed what was going on because the guy was taking his scrubs off. Now Trent really opened his eyes, the guy was built, really built.

The saying built like a brick shithouse came to mind when thinking of a description as he reached out and took off his rubber gloves and stethoscope. Now he took off his mask and cap. Michael didn't know what Trent thought, but he himself thought that guy had the face of an angel. Michael began to think that this wasn't such a good idea, because Trent was practically falling out of the bed trying to watch this guy. And then he took of the pants. Both of them had a hard time containing themselves. He had a solid nine inches and the black satin underwear glistened in the light and there was definitely a wet spot at the end of his dick. Michael caught Trent licking his lips. He guessed he had taken his mind off of his current problem. Now he had another problem he would gladly take care of for Trent. The sheet showed Trent's problem quite prominently. He didn't seem to mind at the moment or at least he didn't seem to notice.

The stripper finished his routine and shut off the music and both guys were aroused to say the least. Michael paid the guy. He left as quietly as he had entered the room, blending into the hospital atmosphere in his scrubs. Trent was smiling and was in a much better mood. Michael had successfully altered his frame of mind with a simple striptease. Who would have thought it would be this easy? Michael was glad to see a smile on Trent's face again. Now he just had to jerk him off to complete the smile he was sporting.

Michael went over to the side of the bed and slid his hand under the sheet and slowly surrounded Trent's steel shaft. Trent shuttered, moaned and closed his eyes in absolute sexual pleasure, the first time in weeks.

"Oh, Mikey, it's been so long" Trent could barely speak. "This feels so good, you have no idea how good this feels. Make it last for me, please." The pleading broke Michael's heart. No wonder Trent had been in such a mood: he hadn't had a chance of any sexual release in a while. Michael slowly stroked Trent's cock up and down. It took mere seconds for him to produce precum. Michael used it to coat Trent's penis. He was producing so much that Michael's hand was even getting wet from it. But he remained slow and steady stroking Trent's cock, promising himself that he would give him a really first class hand job. Perhaps even edge a little, make him beg for it, although it probably wouldn't take much for him to make him beg.

He quickened his pace for about twenty seconds and slowed down for about the same amount of time. He repeated this for about five minutes, driving Trent mad with sexual urge. He was silently screaming inside, desperately in need of orgasmic bliss. Michael stopped completely and walked away from the bed, leaving Trent looking devastated. Michael closed the door and returned to a smiling Trent.

"I thought I'd make this a little more personal than just a hand job. That's just so cold for you and me." Having said that, Michael lifted the sheet and leaned down and engulfed Trent's cock with his mouth. Trent immediately lifted his ass off the bed, trying to insert as much of his cock into his lover's orifice as he could. Trent was in heaven and wanted this pleasure to last forever. Michael was giving him head for what seemed like the very first time. He just knew how to suck him off and bring him to the very edge of almost cumming and orgasmic bliss with the use of his tongue and lips, and the suction he was creating was mind bending.

Michael stopped long enough to come up and give Trent a kiss on the lips and Trent groaned in mock agony and part in truth from the torture that Michael was putting him through. Michael was swirling his tongue around in Trent's mouth and there was no doubt were his tongue had been. After a few minutes of kissing, Michael went back to sucking Trent's cock. This time he was determined to bring him to a climax. He cradled Trent's balls in his hands and lovingly rocked them in between his fingers, slowly stretching them and then lightly dragging along the skin with his fingernails. It was something that Trent loved, and Michael made it a habit of keeping his nails just the right length for Trent's sexual pleasure. It sent chills throughout his body during sex with Michael.

The tension was building up in his body and Michael could feel his balls draw closer up and get tighter. As his body signaled that his orgasm was getting closer, he decided to turn on the power and sucked harder and quickened his pace. He soaked Trent with his saliva and hummed as he took him further down his throat. Trent was grasping at the sheets as the orgasm racked his body. It finally took place and his body shook. Michael tried to take it all, but since he hadn't cum in some time the volume was just too much and some escaped from his mouth and coated Trent's cock. With his good hand Trent lovingly felt Michael's erection through his jeans. Michael leaned into him and without any trouble came. Trent leaned forward and kissed Michael as he lingered in the world of his orgasm. He was too spent to move.

"I love you, Michael Wayne Evans..."

Michael kissed his way up Trent's stomach up to his neck and Adam's apple. He kissed his ear and then kissed him on the mouth and left his sperm there for him to savor.

"I hope you liked your surprise. I know I sure did."

"Oh hell YEA, I loved my surprise" Trent was beaming from ear to ear. Michael cleaned everything up and sat back down. About five minutes passed and there was a knock on the door. Clay and Sarah had returned from their coffee.

"Hope we aren't interrupting anything you two?"

"No we're good. Come on in."

"I don't know what it is, but Trent, you're smiling."

"Michael had me laughing and it put me in a good mood."

"Whatever he did to make you laugh, I hope he keeps it up, because it's the happiest I've seen you in a few days, Trent."

"I know I haven't been exactly the most pleasant person in the world lately. What can I say? These casts, you try them on and see how you feel, honestly, you wouldn't feel much different than I do, trust me."

"You're probably right, Trent. I don't think I would like it any more than you do."

"It's all it is, Mom. I'm going through it for you, so don't worry about it."

"Thanks, but the next time you want to go through something for me, check with me first and we'll discuss it. How's that sound dear?"

"Sounds good to me!" Trent and his mother both laughed over their silly comment.

Days turned to week and before long Trent was out of his leg cast, but he was still wearing the cast on his arm. The doctors were telling him that it would be another three to six weeks before it would come off and that would turn into an air cast from then on. Trent groaned in exasperation. He truly was tired of living in the casts. Since January it had been fourteen weeks of dealing with casts and Trent was done with them, at least mentally. The next step was physical therapy and that was something he was not looking forward to either. He was trying to hold off until Michael was on summer break. He had registered for three classes for the summer session. The casts were bad enough. He couldn't imagine what they were going to do to him in physical therapy.

----------------

Trent thought about Michael's mother for the first time in a long time and wondered what Michael was thinking and how he was dealing with it. They hadn't talked about it for some time now and he was concerned that Michael hadn't said anything. He hoped that Michael wasn't withdrawing inside himself over the whole thing; he knew that it could happen. He was going to have to talk to him about the situation. Trent knew he would be devastated by the loss of his mother, let alone by the hands of someone who had shot her. This had to be killing Michael inside. First chance he had when they were alone he would bring up the conversation and gage his reaction. That could be tricky. Sometimes it was hard to read Michael when it came to emotional things, and this was one of those hard times. So many times he had tried to break into the conversation and Michael would shoot him down before he even really got started.

Trent hated the hard times, mostly because he hated fucking up with Michael. He just wanted everything to be perfect with him. He knew that wasn't always going to happen, but he hoped he could work on that. He was going to try anyway. He heard Michael come into the house and his heart skipped a beat. He wondered why, after all this time, his heart still did that. Not that he minded, not at all; not one bit. When Michael came into his room, Trent was sporting a smile a mile wide.

"To what do I owe this extra big smile today?"

"I was just thinking how my heart still skips a beat every time you come into the house or when I hear your voice." Michael blushed and turned away from Trent."

"Stop it, Trent; you know how I get when you say things like that. I get all flustered, so stop it right now, and I mean it Trent. Not that I don't appreciate it, it's just that I don't know how to...oh just stop it."

"Come here, buddy, and sit next to me on the bed...give me a kiss. It's been lonely today."

"No funny business, mister."

"No, sir. Serious business today, Michael."

"Uh oh, that sounds bad. Can I go and come back later?"

"No, you may not Mr. Evans. Now sit here and be a grown up and listen to me for a few minutes. And then maybe, just maybe, if you're good, you can have milk and cookies."

"Wow, really? Milk and cookies? You mean like at the same time?" Michael began to wonder what Trent was up to.

"Keep it up, smartass, and you won't get anything, now I'm being serious."

"All right Trent, what's up?"

"Michael, you haven't mentioned your mother for some time or anything about the trial that will be up before long. What are you thinking about?"

"Being honest, Trent, I don't know what to think. I'm not sure who did it. If my father did it, then let him get what he deserves, lethal injection, the electric chair, whatever, blow his head off. I believe in an eye for an eye. Shoot him the same way he shot my mother. If Kevin did it, the same thing goes for him. The same punishment applies. Why would it be any different? I don't know anyone else who could have done it. I'm out of suspects after that. My mother was nice to anyone she met Trent. She went out of her way to help people. Two weeks after we moved into this town, she was helping people that were moving into town and she sounded like she knew this place like the back of her hand. I don't know how she did it and it was like that in every town we lived in."

"She knew how to make people feel at home, Michael. Some people are like that and just have that ability in them from the moment they are born. You have to admit that she made you feel safe and protected from the minute you moved in."

"You're right, she did do that."

"Your mother was like that, except she could do it on a larger scale, Michael. She did it so many times; she was just used to it. I just don't want to see you withdraw from me or anyone because of it. I want you to talk to me about this and keep talking, okay? Will you promise me that? I'm worried about you, you know that, don't you?"

"I think I do know Trent and I appreciate that fact. It also tells me how much you love me, Trent, Mr. Sex Machine."

"I heard that, you two". Sarah was walking down the hall passing the bedroom as she happened to hear their conversation and had decided to listen in on it. She knew she shouldn't have, but she was caught up in the concern in Trent's voice and her curiosity got the best of her. She wanted to hear what was said.

"Honestly, I didn't mean to intrude in your privacy, but when I heard what the subject was I grew concerned and wanted to hear what you were thinking, Michael. I'm glad to hear what you had to say and what you feel I think it is very admirable. If it gets to a point and you have any questions, please feel free to ask if Trent can't answer any of them, okay?"

"Yes, mam." With that being said Sarah left the room and went downstairs.

"Mr. Sex Machine. Smooth Michael, that was really smooth, I'm sure if she heard that, she heard the whole conversation. Not just part of it. Delicious, don't you think? I'll tell you one thing: I'm not looking forward to that damn physical therapy thing starting tomorrow, that's for sure. It has me worried, Mikey."

"Why, Trent? You can do this. Just look at it as going to the gym and doing exercises, that's all, and you'll get through it just fine. You want me to join you? How about if Tiny and I come and help you do it? I know Tiny has been asking about you a lot lately and how you're doing. He hasn't seen you since before Thanksgiving and he would at least like to see you again before the summer rolls around. Why don't you let him come and help you lift weights?"

"Michael, I told you I don't want people I know to see me like this. I'm not going to have this conversation again, got it? Or are we going to have a fight over this again?

"No, we aren't. I'm leaving the room and let you be alone. Just the way you want it. It's a shame, because people are just trying to help you get better and trying to make it so you're not struggling all by yourself. But Trent, you have your head so far up your ass you just can't see it. I have some homework that needs to be done and that's the way it goes, got it, Trent?"

Michael got up and walked out of the room, leaving Trent to stew for a while. He would have to deal with his own thoughts by himself. Michael was tired of Trent being selfish whenever it suited him. He spent the rest of the night working on his homework and went to bed not saying goodnight to Trent. He left early in the morning before Trent got up for Physical Therapy.

Trent got up and was afraid of what he was facing. He regretted the fight he had had with Michael the night before and wished he had gone to him last night and had said so. He hated going to sleep being mad at him. He had made a promise to himself a long time ago to not do that and here he was, doing just that again. He would beg for Michael's forgiveness tonight after dinner, although he felt as though he didn't deserve it.

 

Mikey

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