Michael Evans hated starting in a new school, but it was something that seem to happen about every other year, whether he was ok with it or not. It was the life of the military brat. The only saving grace was that this would be the last year of having to make the change again. Except for the change of going to college. At least he knew going there he would be able to stay there for the four years that it would take to finish. But right now that seemed so far away. He still had his senior year to go and in a strange school that he didn't know a soul. And that was the part he hated most, going into a school that he didn't know anyone. At least this time he would be starting the first day of school and not somewhere in the middle. It was worse when school was already underway and he had to come into a new school.

His second problem was no one knew he was gay, a secret kept to himself, he never had a boyfriend or anyone that shared the feelings he had, seventeen and a virgin, how pathetic was that? And how he was ever going to find someone like him, it's not like there were other guys out there advertising themselves being gay like him, just like him they hid. Except for those that wore it on their sleeves like a badge of honor so flamboyant they attracted attention, mostly unwanted and bad. How would he ever find someone in his life? Maybe, just maybe the new school would present new opportunities to him, at least he was hoping. But he had hoped every time that he had started somewhere new that the opportunities would present themselves and they never did, who was he fucking trying to kid anyway?

His sister knew but she was the only one in the family that did. He knew his father would go off the deep end if he knew he had known. What a disgrace he would be to the Major. How would he hide it until he was gone from the house for good? What would happen once his father did find out? At times he didn't care what he thought, and yet his heart was broken everyday he got up to face the world such as it is. A lonely place for a guy in his position. The loneliness sometimes was deafening inside his heart and soul. Each day was another day of sadness and emptiness. He didn't know how much longer he could go on like this, living this way alone inside himself. Just as always the tears began falling down his face. They had been coming more lately yet he tried desperately telling himself that it was almost over, it was just one more school year. His mother yelled from the bottom of the stairs.

"Michael, are you up yet?" Without sounding like he was crying, he tried to answer his mother the best he could "Yea Mom, be down in a few, have to jump in the shower." He hated himself sometimes for being what he considered weak and unacceptable. He knew it would give him time to compose himself and get ready to head out the door. He jumped into the shower and made the water as hot as he could, thinking that slitting his wrists would be the way out, but with thoughts of his sister knowing what he had done he couldn't bring himself to go through with it. He knew he would leave her heartbroken and hating the Major for what he made her brother feel like he had. Michael stood beneath the shower and let the tears flow as he had so many times before. Not so much for his loneliness for himself but the endless feeling that no one would ever love him the way he wanted to be loved or as much as he wanted to share his life with another guy like him.

As far as Michael was concerned it just wasn't ever going to happen for him, he wasn't six feet tall with washboard abs, nor did he look like a model out of GQ magazine, why would anyone have anything to do with someone like him? Short at five foot six inches tall, no washboard stomach, just a slight pouch hanging over his belt, maybe not by much, but still there nonetheless. His eyes were as equally brown as his hair. He just didn't have the confidence he felt he needed to meet someone in school. If he could just get through high school and into College maybe things would change. Self-doubt racked his brain more and more the older he got. He wondered sometimes if that image he had of himself would ever change? His sister Mandy yelled at him from the bottom of the stairs.

"Come on Michael I'll give you a ride if you're down here in the next five minutes, otherwise you'll be taking the bus." The one thing she knew he hated, especially the first day in a new school. Michael came bounding down the stairs. She thought he looked cute no matter what he thought of himself, but Mandy knew how insecure Michael felt about himself and why. She wished so hard that there was something she could do for him to help him change that image of himself.

Michael jumped into Mandy's car, he was saving his money for college he thought that a car would cost to much to take care of right now, and college was much more important to him, it was his ticket out of here and away from the Major. Within three weeks of the Evans family moving into Watertown Massachusetts Michael had found himself a part time job working at a small market within walking distance of the house.

"Michael, I know you and why you won't buy that car, you want out and I guess I can't blame you. I know it's been hard on you trying to live up to live up to Dad's expectations, but sooner or later he's going to find out, what are you doing to do then?"

"Hopefully I won't be living at home anymore when that happens. Not as long as I can help it Mandy. If he found out now he would throw me out and hate me and wouldn't help me get into any school at all. Except a school that might try and convince me I'm not gay so he wouldn't look bad to his peers."

"I'm not going to totally disagree with you, but what if he didn't? What if he did support you and decide to help you?" Michael looked at Mandy like her brain just melted and drained out of her ears.

"Yea right Mandy, when pigs fucking fly he'll help me. The only help he'll give me is the footprint of his boot on my ass as he's throwing me out the door and telling me to not come back and that I'm not wanted in his house. And mother will go right along with him, you know it as well as I do, don't pretend otherwise, it isn't going to happen." Mandy grew silent knowing that Michael was probably right, their parents would certainly react the way he was saying no matter what Mandy said to them in her brothers defense. Her mother was the perfect Stepford Wife for a military career man. They pulled into the parking lot of the new school and Mandy shut off the car.

"Are you going to be all right Michael?" She could see the terror in his eyes and felt her heart being ripped out of her chest. Michael and Mandy were fraternal twins. Mandy had darker hair than Michael but they were the same height and their body shapes were close. Mandy was the extravert and Michael the introvert. They had been inseparable since birth one always protecting the other. Each one knowing the other's deepest secrets having been raised in the military and being twins led to being each other's confidante and advisor.

"Aren't I always? I just have learned to keep my mouth shut and go about my business and stay away from anyone that tries getting to know me, it's simple, really."

"What happens when you finally meet one that doesn't let go just because he wants to be a friend and I don't mean a boyfriend Michael, just a friend is what I'm saying." Michael felt the knot in his stomach growing, knowing what Mandy had meant. It was his worst fear that someone would want to be close to him perhaps finding out what his secret was and letting it out to the world he lived in. He prayed more than anything that it wouldn't happen.

"I'll see you after classes are over Mandy, will you wait for me? I don't want to ride the bus home today, maybe in a few days I will but not today."

"Yea Mikey, I'll wait, don't I always wait for you?" Michael took comfort knowing that she would and always had ever since she had her license. Michael had his license just no car of his own to drive.

They walked in to the school together and made their way into the office they had to get their schedules to see if any changes had been made since they had first registered. A secretary came up to help them when they walked up to the desk.

"How can I help you two?" Her nametag stated that she was Miriam Underhill, the Assistant Dean of the school. Mandy being the extrovert took charge and as usual Michael let her.

"I'm Amanda Evans and this is my brother Michael Evans. We're here to make sure there weren't any changes made in our schedule since our mother registered us two weeks ago."

"You two wait here and I'll get your schedule's I know there were some changes but nothing major really." Miriam left the two and walked back to a table filled with schedules waiting to be picked up regarding new students and for students whose schedules were changed at the last minute

"Here's your schedule Amanda and this one is yours Michael." They did make a few changes on yours Michael, your first class will be History and then Math and third will be gym, after that you'll have a study hall, English, French and your last class will be Public Speaking."

"But I didn't sign up for Public Speaking, it's not something I wanted to do, I've already taken it. I had signed up for an Art Class."

"I'm sorry but the Art class for that time slot was over filled so they moved you to a class that had room, I know you had this last year from reading your transcripts, but this one is more advanced than what you had before. Perhaps you could talk to you Guidance Counselor and see if there is something else you could transfer that you might like. You have another week to make any changes in the meantime this is the best we can do for you. Your first class starts in about six minutes and is in the East Wing in room 316, your teachers name is Mr. Worthen, report to him as soon as you get there, he's expecting you."

With that Michael looked at Mandy shrugged his shoulders and made for the hallway waving to her as he left. Looking for directions as to which way the East Wing was. Someone bumped into him and immediately Michael turned and felt this giant looking down on him. There stood before him a god with dirty blond hair hazel eyes and the beginnings of a mustache, with a partial five o'clock shadow in the early stages of development. Michael's mouth went dry and he felt like the air had been sucked from his lungs. He couldn't move or speak. The giant before him spoke first and broke the vacuum Michael felt he was in.

"I'm sorry, I was paying attention to my schedule and wasn't watching where I was going. I'm Trent Sanders, glad to meet you, what's your name I haven't seen you before have I, are you new here?" The questions came in rapid succession like bullets from a gun and Michael was still stuck on the first one and trying to remember what it was. It stuck in his throat for a second, until Trent reached over and grabbed his hand and starting shaking it.

"Um... my name is Michael Evans and yea I'm new here so no you wouldn't have seen me before, I just moved to Watertown this summer." It was all that he could say nothing else could come out. He just got lost in a color of blue that happens with people who have hazel eyes. Some days they could be ice blue and the next emerald green it was something that always had fascinated Michael since he learned that people could have eyes that changed color.

"What's your first class Michael, maybe we're headed the same way?"

"Umm, ah, History with," Michael looked at his schedule, "With Mr. Worthen in the East Wing they said in room 316."

"Come on Mike, I'll take you there, I'm in the room next to yours, I have history to, just not with Mr. Worthen, I have Mr. DeVaney. I'd rather have Worthen he's a much better teacher as far as I'm concerned. We both have the same teachers for second and third, that will be awesome, just wait outside your door when class is over, I'll come and get you if you want to wait after you get out of class we both have gym third period and I can direct you to that one to, you going to wait? Michael was mixed with emotions; Trent was being friendly and just trying to help him, what could be the harm in that? Michael knew the harm and it scared him to death.

"Yea, sure I'll just wait outside the door and thanks for being helpful, I don't know where anything is, you're the first person I've met."

" I didn't think I had seen you before, not to worry tag along with me and I'll show you the ropes and where everything is, we have a few classes together so that will help. And I'll introduce you to some of the guys, at least the ones that you need to know, the others I'll keep you away from, the assholes of the class, which I'm sure you know, every school has their share." Trent laughed as he looked at Michael and tried to read his face to the comment he had just made. Trent had the impression that Michael was all too aware of the assholes that bothered new kids and his heart went out to him. He got a vibe off Michael that told Trent they had more in common then he first thought.

"Okay Mike, by the way is it okay if I call you Mike? I like calling people by the name they like going by. Here's your class and I'll see you in about forty-five minutes." Michael waved to Trent and entered his new classroom. He gave the teacher his schedule and was instructed to find an empty seat right after the teacher gave him his history book. He sat quickly and quietly not wanting to draw attention to himself. Mr. Worthen blew that theory all to hell. Michael hated being pointed out as the new student. It was as if kids didn't know when someone new joined an existing group of people.

"Class, we have a new student joining us today, his name is Michael Evans, I want all of you to make him feel welcome here and give him any help he needs in figuring out our school and the way things run around here." Michael wanted to crawl under the desk and become invisible, such was not the case as a classroom full of strangers looked at him and waved and mocked their hellos at him. He wanted nothing more than the class to get underway and let him be forgotten. Thankfully class did get underway and Michael remained silent the entire time, watching the clock move slowly to the end, knowing his next class was the one he enjoyed the most. He wanted to go into finance and he had good mathematical skills. Gym was his worse fear he hated playing sports, he felt he lacked the coordination to play well. That and of course now he had to have gym with this god he met this morning. And by his friendliness he just knew he would take the locker right next to his and he'd have knots in his stomach having to undress in front of his new friend. The bell rang and broke his thoughts he lingered just a little to let most of the kids leave while he waited to be last one.

Trent was there as promised, waiting for Michael to come out from his room.

"The shy type I take eh Mike?" Michael just looked at Trent and shook his head in the affirmative.

"Don't worry I was to once, but I've slowly gotten past it, perhaps I can help you do the same, everyone needs a friend Mike, I don't have tons, but the ones I have our the best ones I could have. And don't worry they'll take you under wing and help you just like they helped me." Trent lightly punched Michael in the arm to help him feel better. And Michael did begin to feel better right away Trent had successfully put him at ease with just those few sentences and the light punch in the arm. Michael felt that each word from Trent was sincere and honest.

"Okay let's make our next class Michael it will be great we have a good teacher his name is Mr. Navarro. I had him last year and I suck at Math but I liked him and since I have to take another math this year I signed up for his class. And I did actually learn something from him to. How about you how are you at Math?" Michael laughed as Trent confessed his dislike for math Michael was the complete opposite and loved it.

"I love math I want to be a Financial Analyst when I get into college I'm hoping I'm good enough to get a few scholarships to help pay the bill. My dream school would be MIT but I'm not getting my hopes up yet. So if you need any help with Math just let me know I'll be more than happy to help you." Michael couldn't believe he made an offer to help this kid he had just met him and he's now offering to tutor him. Now he thought he was sounding desperate this kid was going to see right through him and soon enough he's going to realize Michael was gay and would hate him right away thinking Michael was coming on to him. Michael was in the bad habit of projecting events in his future. If he would have really looked back on them he would have realized how bad he was at predicting his own future and could possibly learn to trust his own instincts."

"I might need to have you tutor me Mikey I'm not even sure I'm going to pass this class but I'm taking it to fill in credits to graduate. That's awesome that you offered to help me learn this thanks a lot I appreciate that." Michael couldn't believe his ears Trent was happy that he offered him to help him learn Math and Michael could tell that he was being honest. At least he felt like he was. They entered their class and Trent literally pulled Michael along with him towards the back and sat down and told Michael to sit next to him. Someone went to sit down in front of Trent but he told her that the seat was taken already. A tall guy that looked like he played on the football team walked in the door and Trent waved him over. He sat down in front of Trent and turned around.

"What's up my man long time no see Stretch!" Michael looked over at Trent and watched his face break out in a grin that went from ear to ear. He was in love with the platen look of sheer joy on Trent's face.

"I love you to Tiny." It was obvious to Michael that these two had a history and wondered how long they had known each other. It was one thing that being a military brat you missed the most. Was having friendships that spanned any length of time. With moving all the time it was hard to make friends knowing that in another year or two, if you were really lucky, after you met someone new they or you would be moving again. You never got the chance to make any real connections like the one that Trent and this guy Tiny seem to share. Even in this modern age of keeping in touch in social networking, physical connections and friendships in the early years of life were hard to hold onto for long for military brats.

"Mark I'd like you to meet the new guy, this is Michael Evans he just moved into town a few weeks ago I think he said a few weeks. Anyway he doesn't know anyone in town and I told him not to worry that we'd have his back. And Mikey this is Mark Delmont I'm the only one that can call him Tiny and get away with it, anyone else looks like a small bug afterwards." Michael could see why, Mark was huge, Trent was tall but Mark looked like a football player.

"Nice to meet you Mikey or should I call you Mike or Michael or should we give him a nickname Stretch?" Mark and Trent passed a look between them which Michael caught but wasn't sure what it meant.

"You can call me Mike or Michael either one is good." His sister was the only one that called him Mikey but he like it when Trent called him that he wasn't sure about Mark yet.

"And here I am calling you Mikey every time. I'm sorry Mike."

"Don't mind him Mike he just doesn't have the social graces like I got." The three of them laughed and Michael actually couldn't believe that this was his first day of school.

Mandy was never going to believe this she was going to be calling him a liar the minute he got in the car and he started telling her every thing that had happened.

Mr. Navarro came into the room and everyone quieted down immediately. Mark leaned over towards Michael.

"I hope you like Math if you catch me falling asleep kick me, I have to pass this class or I'll get kicked off the team, worse yet the Coach will make me run laps and get a tutor, I really am dumb as a post when it comes to Math I just don't get it."

"Don't worry Mark I already told Trent I'd help him with his Math, I'll help you to." Mark gave Michael a thumbs up and said, "Call me Tiny." Michael thought he had died and gone to heaven it was either that or he was going to wake up and realize this was just a dream.

"Is Michael Evans here?" Michael froze in his seat, Mr. Navarro looked up and looked around the room. Michael stuck his hand up wondering why he was asking. He just knew this wasn't going to make a good impression on the kids around him who were now totally focused on him.

"I'm going to do the worst thing I can possibly do to a new student I'll apologize to you before I say anything else Michael. " Michael groaned and tried to slide down in his seat. Trent kicked his seat and Michael found himself sitting up a little taller at his desk.

"As I said Michael is new here coming from Munich Germany last year and no he's not German but I do know that Mr. Evans is working at getting into MIT next year I suggest for those of you who need help get to be his new best friend and beg his help outside of class. Thank you Michael again I'm sorry." Michael nodded and hid his head in his hands he wanted to crawl under a rock. Trent reached over and pulled Michael's hands from his face and shook his head and frowned at him letting him know not to hide his face. He made a face and lifted his head up like it's what Michael should be doing so he did. Class was over in a flash for Michael who had hung on every word listening to Mr. Navarro. The bell rang and just as everyone got up Mr. Navarro yelled for Michael to come see him.

"We'll wait Mikey we all have gym next class anyway and it's right around the corner." Michael nodded and went to see the teacher as he approached him Mr. Navarro saw the two others hanging back. He waved his hand for the two of them to join them. He heard Tiny tell Trent not to call him Mikey and he saw Trent make a face but he turned just then and Michael couldn't quite tell what kind of face he made. He would have to tell Trent that it was all right for the two of them to call him Mikey. He had friends the first day of school, hell they could call him shit puppy if they wanted to he didn't care he was on cloud nine at the moment.

"Funny you two are waiting for this one. But since you're here this makes it really easy for me. You two are now Mr. Evans new best friends since you both play on sports and both have my Math classes. Mark and Michael have me again for sixth period. Whatever it takes for you two to get him to help you learn the work you know the grades you need to pull to stay on the teams. And thank you Michael I do hate to point out someone new like that but I don't get many students in your caliber in my classes, thanks gentlemen and I would suggest moving you have class again in a few minutes."

"I'm sorry I called you Mikey, Tiny here already corrected me, so I'm sorry."

"You two can, my twin sister is the only other one that calls me that." Mark spun around and looked at Michael.

"You have a sister and she's your twin does she look like you to? Does she have a boyfriend?" Trent laughed.

"Don't mind him sometimes he doesn't know how to act in public places." Mark was a few feet ahead of Trent and Michael and walking as fast as he was he was soon quite a bit ahead of them.

"Trent I gotta tell you I suck at gym, it's an area that has caused me the most grief in my life, always being the brunt of jokes and ridicule. I'm just not good at sports. I'm just trying to get through this year and get onto college and past the childish behavior that goes on in high school." Michael felt like he had said more than he wanted to. He never said this much to someone he knew for less than ten minutes. It usually it took him weeks to start talking to kids in a new school. He was thankful that Trent had been so friendly maybe he had made a few friends after all. Mandy was not going to believe that he would come home on his first day and tell her that he met someone that he liked and was nice to him and not just him but someone who looked to him like the quarterback of the football team. He could tease her for a change saying he found someone he could introduce her to. That would make her laugh her ass off.

"Don't sweat it, the guys aren't that bad in this class, there might be one or two but the Coach doesn't put up with putting people down or making fun of anyone that just doesn't have that athletic ability born into him. Don't worry, it's going to be fine besides with Mark being your friend no one will bother you." Michael found this explanation rather lame considering what the rest of his life had been like ever since he started in Junior High and was the constant brunt of jokes and ridicule from people that he actually knew. The knot in his stomach was growing larger and the urge to throw up was slowing rising in the back of his throat. He took a deep breath and entered the gym changing room.

"Come with me Mike and I'll get you your uniform from Coach." Michael followed him worrying about the questions he knew would be coming.

"Mark save us lockers next to yours." Trent had yelled his orders to Mark and now Michael would probably be sandwiched in between the two of them. He might like them both but he felt like he had just been dealt a cruel joke by being in between the two of these two new friends.

"Coach Johnson, this is Michael Evans, new to the school and needs a uniform for class." Coach Johnson gave Michael the once over and saw a small kid that probably wouldn't fit into any sport here except maybe baseball, or perhaps the soccer team, better yet perhaps he was fast and could fit into the track team.

"Play any sports before Mr. Evans? Like maybe baseball or soccer?"

"No sir, not interested to be honest with you. I'm only here because the state requires it, otherwise I wouldn't be here, I won't lie to you. I don't like it, I'm just not that coordinated enough to play sports, so I try and stay out of them. I'm just trying to be honest with you so you don't get any ideas that I would want to join any teams here. I'll participate in class and won't give you a hard time I promise." Coach Johnson wasn't going to give up that easily; there was more to the story than he was admitting to. Coach had a pretty good idea what it was and his heart went out to him, knowing how it felt to be an outcast. He hadn't been coaching all these years and not learn to read kids and their defenses. This one had some very strong ones that was very evident to Coach Johnson.

"What about track" You ever try out for track, that doesn't take coordination, that just takes the ability to run, can you do that?" No one had ever asked Michael that question and he wasn't sure how to answer. His silence gave the Coach the opening he was looking for. "Tell you what, how about today instead of taking gym with the rest of the class I try you out with some running and see how you do? Fair enough?" Michael wanted to say no right off, but at least he would try for the sake of the new Coach and if he failed at least he had tried and the Coach would leave him alone. Which is what he wanted in the first place, he didn't want to stand out in gym, in the long run he knew what that meant and he didn't want to be a part of that, it scared him to death to have to undress and shower with the guys. It was just something he could never get comfortable with considering his own self image. The trick was to be as fast as he could going in at the end of class and being even quicker getting washed and dressed and out of there. And truth be told Michael had nothing to be ashamed of about his body it was his own outlook that was his worst enemy.

"I'll try but it's not something I really want to do Coach, I'll be honest, I'm not that athletically coordinated and basically I just suck at sports."

"Wow... slow down Michael, give yourself a shot, you're quitting before you've even begun. Around here with me I give you more credit before you show me what you think you can't do, why don't you let me be the judge of what you can do? Will you at least do that for me?"

" Yes sir, but I make no promises, I'm just not that interested in things like this."

"Trying is all I ask, you stick with me until I get the class underway and then we'll see what you're like on the track, deal?" Coach Johnson saw a struggling young man with low self-esteem and looking for any cop out he could find to avoid playing in any sport.

"I'll run, but it's not a deal." Coach knew he was dealing with a kid that had a deep-seated problem and wondered where it came from. He seemed nice enough and not afraid to speak his mind. Coach Johnson was going to have to watch this one; he was guarded and wasn't letting anyone get to close. Had he been hurt, or was he hiding something he didn't want anyone to know? This was a kid that was screaming for help in the worse way. He'd seen it too many times before in his teaching career. He needed a friend and since he came with Trent to class he was going to have to talk to Trent about this one. He wanted to get through to Michael Evans somehow. He felt almost compelled to help him. He had heard Trent yell at Mark Delmont to save them both lockers so Michael was in with two of his good players. Maybe he could use them to help get through to this guy.

"Okay Mike, I want you to run the track for me, not break neck speed, just a lap around the track, I just want to see how you handle yourself and pace yourself for me, just a leisurely run, okay?"

"Sure Coach" In the worse way Michael wanted to screw this up, he did not want to end up with the Coach hounding him to join the track team, he just didn't want to be any part of it. He started running, kind of haphazardly, slowing one minute and running a little faster then next mixing the two and finally walking the remainder.

"That was the worse show I've ever seen Mike, not only did you purposely screw it up, you just plain out didn't give a shit. Let's sit down here for a minute." The moment Michael dreaded, he was being called on the carpet for his intentional fuck up. Now what was going to happen? In all probability he was going to be forced to try it again or the Coach was going to make him try something else, either way he just wanted to bolt out of the class at that moment.

"So why the screw up Mike, you hate gym that much or is it being close to people that scares you the most?" Michael could feel the tears in his eyes and it was the last thing he wanted the Coach to see. He got up from the bench and without looking back at him he began to walk away.

"Why can't you just leave me alone? Just let me try and get through this year of gym without putting any pressure on me to do things I don't want to do and that I hate doing? Is that so hard to understand? Excuse me now, I have to go to the bathroom or I'm going be sick." Without waiting for an answer Michael took off for the gym at almost a full throttle. Coach Johnson sat there bewildered by the outpouring of his emotions from someone he had just met and was only trying to help him fit in somehow with his classmates. This was going to be a challenge for him; he had never seen any boy be so directly confrontational especially on their first meeting.

"Trent Sanders front and center! Johnson yelled at him, he needed his help and Trent was the type to do what he would ask of him." Trent came running over to where the Coach was standing.

"What's up Coach?"

"A little bit of your friendliness to the new kid Michael Evans. I'm not sure what the story is but he is definitely protecting himself from getting to close to anyone, which is unusual for someone his age and from the personality I'm picking up something just isn't right. Would you make a new friend and see if you can find out how we might be able to help him, I think he needs some. I'm not sure what the problem is, so tread lightly and don't push him to hard, okay?"

"Sure thing Coach, where is he now?

"He took off to the showers claiming he was going to be sick, I don't buy it, but I didn't want to chase him, why don't you take a handful of the cones in like your just bringing them in and see what you can find out?"

"You got it Coach." Trent picked up some of the cones and made his way to the locker room to try and find Michael. He walked in and didn't hear anything at first but then as he entered more into the room he heard Michael crying softly in one of the stalls. He made noise to let Michael know he was there without drawing attention to himself. The crying stopped and Trent used that time to make conversation.

"Hey Mikey you okay, Coach thought you might be sick, if you are I'm supposed to take you down to the nurses station. You okay? Or do you need my help?" Michael immediately pulled himself together he didn't want Trent hearing him like this.

"No, I'm okay, just lost some of my breakfast, my stomach was just a little upset I'll be all right in a few minutes. You can go back to class I don't need you to stay."

"Coach doesn't want me to leave you alone just in case you pass out or something like that. You feel good enough to get into the shower and clean yourself up? I can just sit by my locker and wait until you're done, just to make sure you don't pass out or get sick. I can let you be while you wash up." It was either do it while just one guy was here or a whole class.

"Yea, I'll be right out and I'll get washed up, thanks Trent I appreciate this I really do."

"Hey what else are friends for Mikey? But to stand up for each other and make sure they have your back, just like I have yours bud" It made Michael feel good to hear those words, he just wondered how much Trent really meant and did he even understand what they meant to Michael as he spoke them. Michael came out of the stall and headed for his locker and quickly undressed himself, threw his towel around his waist and headed for the shower. Trent sat there looking the other way, knowing that turning around would somehow spook Michael and make him want to withdrawal and Trent didn't want that he was trying to be a friend whatever that meant to Michael.

He got the felling that Michael might be gay and that's what he was hiding. It wouldn't bother Trent he was gay, he was hoping Michael was to. He was but he had learned to accept it thanks to his family and a few close friends. Is that what he should tell the Coach, even though he wasn't exactly sure of that? But his behavior in gym was the only thing that made sense; he was totally uncomfortable being around the guys and even in front of Trent.

Michael finished his shower in record time Trent though and was out and dressed before he knew it.

"Thanks for waiting for me to finish and watching my back in case someone came in."

"Mike, can I ask you a personal question?" Michael could see it in his eyes and knew the question before it came out.

"I wish you wouldn't Trent, just let it go okay? I just want to be left alone right now." It answered Trent's question without even asking it, he knew Michael's secret and he felt bad knowing that he was afraid of any mention of it, now his dilemma was what would he tell the Coach knowing what he thought to be the truth. And now he had to find the right time to tell Michael that he was without sounding dumb or it coming out wrong. Trent liked Michael. He couldn't help but smile thinking of dating this cute guy who was probably seven or eight inches shorter than he was. And although he didn't see everything he thought he had a nice build he wasn't fat by any means. He just had to take his time with Mikey, he laughed at himself because he kept thinking of him as Mikey.

The two of them just sat and talked for a little bit nothing serious. They were just telling each other about growing up in one place compared to moving all over the place. Each envying the other for exactly what they hated. Michael wanted to live in one place for a long time and Trent wanted to travel and see the world. Not that he hadn't traveled but he never traveled to different places and stayed there it was always for vacations they both laughed at each other's view point.

The noise of the class was beginning to get louder and Michael left the room before anyone could come in leaving Trent to deal with his classmates, those he had known for who knows how many years before Michael had come along. It was the Coach that brought Trent out of his thoughts.

"Trent I want to talk to you after you're ready, okay?" Trent knew what he wanted he just didn't know what he was going to say it without giving away what could be Michael's secret, he could be wrong, so saying that to the Coach could be the wrong thing to say but he doubted it, he doubted very much indeed. "Yes sir" Was all that he could say.

He dragged his feet getting ready for his next class, which was just study hall anyway. And he knew that Michael would be there to, he didn't want to leave him that long with out him being there to help him get introduced to some of the guys. Before anyone started busting on the new guy. But Coach would make sure he wasn't right out the door. Shit. He'd tell Mark to make sure he found Mike right away in study hall and keep him busy until he could get there.

"What's the deal Trent what did you find out?" Couch Johnson looked directly into Trent's eyes and asked him point blank what the problem was with Michael. And Trent just knew that Coach would pick up on him lying. He would just try to play dumb and hopefully that would work.

"I'm not sure Coach, he's really not saying much and he certainly didn't say anything when I followed him into the locker room, he just kind of shut me out."

"Trent I know you better than that and it's why I asked you to look after him when he came running into the locker room. Something is eating this kid and whatever it is, he's hiding it behind a shield of steel. Of all the kids I have had in my classes you know how to read them better than most. So I'm not buying what you're telling me."

"Coach it's not my place to say what I think may or may not be bothering him, yeah I have an idea, but I don't want to say something that I'm not one hundred percent sure about, can't we just leave it at that for now, don't push me into saying something that I could be totally wrong about."

"I won't push you Trent you know that, but I can't help him if I can't get through to him, if there's anything you can suggest right now, without telling me, maybe that will be a start, agreed?" Trent looked at the Coach and wondered if he was right or not.

"All I can say is don't push him Coach he needs time and he needs understanding, he feels alone right now. Michael has grown up in the military and has moved more times than most do in a lifetime. He's not use to making friends that last so it's hard for him to trust people I think. Anyone pushing him to hard could send him over the edge and that wouldn't be a good place for him to go, okay?"

The Coach nodded his consent to Trent and had the feeling he knew all too well what the problem that Michael was facing and it broke his heart knowing that he felt so alone. There had to be a way he could help him he just wasn't sure at the moment, but he had to think about it and figure out a way to reach out to him without him running off scared. If he was right he had been in Michael's shoes once and at that time he was alone and scared to death, but now he had Jason in his life and things were different perhaps Michael needed to see that better times were ahead for him. He would just have to wait until the next gym class when Michael came back and he had time to talk to him, he just questioned if he was doing the right thing. God, he hoped so.

Michael was in study hall was already sitting with Mark and Terry MacGaffrey when Trent caught up with them. He was glad that Mark had done as Trent had asked and made sure that Mikey was not alone. Mark was waving his hands adamantly and was deep in conversation with both of them. Mark was one of Trent's best friends and had been since grade school. He was also one of the few that knew that Trent was gay. He loved Trent and thought it was funny as hell that this competitive giant loved sucking another guy's dick. But they had never crossed that line but both loved and respected one another. There was a time that Mark stayed at Trent's house while his parents were going through a nasty and messy divorce. Mark would be forever grateful for Trent and his parents help during that time. When Trent asked Mark to do anything Mark never said no and never would. It was a running joke between them when it was just the two of them hanging out together each taunting the other with sexual innuendos.

"Hello Terry." Terry greeted Trent and Mark moved over to sit next to Terry so that Trent could sit to Mike. Michael picked up on the move immediately even though Mark claimed he was going to grab a bite from the snack bar but sat down and waited almost another half hour before actually getting up and buying something. He wondered what Trent had said to Mark earlier that got him to move like that and why did he move so that Trent could sit next to him? What was that all about he wondered.

"Never mind the introductions bro I already made the necessary intro while you diddled with yourself in the gym shower." Trent just laughed but caught the fact that Mikey turned about ten shades of red. Boy this was one shy guy Trent thought. He was positive by now that Michael was gay and just the thought of asking him out had Trent in a sweat. Michael took out his cell phone and sent a text to his sister telling her that he was in the study hall to come and find him during lunch. He didn't mention that he was sitting with the school quarterback and one of the schools star swimmers. He wasn't sure if Terry was into the sports yet but he was thinking he was from the way he was built. Or he was one of those lucky few that just had a good build. He concluded sports was the answer since the other two were into them. You know what they say, birds of a feather...

Sitting at the table Michael, Mark and Trent ate their lunch. Mandy came to the table and was prepared to ask her brother if he wanted to find a table to sit at when she realized that he was talking with everyone that was sitting with him. He saw her and a smile the size of which she had never seen on her brother lit up the room. She was happy to see him like this on the first day a school this was not the brother she left with from home with that morning. For once she was happy for him on his first day of school.

"Hey guys this is my sister Amanda, but we all call her Mandy at home. Mandy this is Trent Sanders, Mark Delmont and Terry MacGaffrey. All three of guys stood up and shook Mandy's hand. Mark was falling all over himself trying to get next to her, Trent and Michael both looked at each other and at Mark and they both just chuckled with each other as they watched him try and talk to her. While they were talking Terry left for something to eat and was headed outside to eat his lunch. Mark and Mandy sat down at the table and were talking. Trent figured this would be a good time to ask Michael to do something.

"What are you doing after school?" Michael looked at Trent and felt like he was back in the vacuum; the question had caught him completely by surprise. No one ever asked him what he was doing after school. Well that wasn't entirely true but it didn't usually happen until he had been in school for two or three months before he got asked to do anything with people mostly due to his shyness. As shy as he still was Michael was far worse when he was younger and still in grade school. Trent pushed a little further with him this time.

"Want to hang out maybe, my house or your house whatever you feel more comfortable with Mike?" He thought it over for a moment and wasn't sure why the interest since they had just met. It's not that he didn't trust Trent he was just leery having it been the first day of school and knowing that Coach had sent Trent in to check on him, he wondered if this was more of the same. Maybe he was just reading into it too much and was being over sensitive this time. He figured he'd feel safer at his house.

"How about my house, my sister will give us a ride after our last class and we won't have to take the bus, that okay with you Trent?"

"No need for your sister, I have my truck here and I'll drive us and if you haven't seen some of the hot spots in town we'll just take a detour and end up at your house." Michael hesitated at first but gave into his willingness to find a new friend hopefully.

"Sounds good Trent, we can hang out and get to know each other a little more. You can tell me more about you and your family." For some reason Michael felt better and perhaps a little safer now that they were going to his house, the idea made him feel safer anyway. He felt like he could trust Trent but he liked being at home better. Besides Michael had just met Trent he didn't want to seem too forward and he didn't want Trent to get the wrong idea about him. Worse he didn't want Trent to find out that he was gay.

"Excuse me Mandy... Trent is going to take me home after school. He's going to show me some of the spots in town and then we'll be home after that we won't be too long so don't worry. I'll be fine besides I have to be Trent and Marks new tutor for Math class so they have to make sure I'm kept safe or the Math teacher and Coach will kill the both of them I guess. Both of the guys started picking on Michael trying to tell Mandy that it was teacher's order and Coach's so they wouldn't have any problems staying on the team. Mandy just laughed and told Michael to take his time.

"Take your time Mikey, Mark and I are going outside for some air you guys want to come along?"

"No thanks Michael and I are going to sit here and finish eating and talk some more before next class." Michael just nodded his head in consent with Trent's wishes. He liked that Trent just took charge for him and didn't have to say anything. Mark and Mandy left and the two of them sat in silence for a minute. Michael was still unsure of how to handle this instant friendship, something like this had never happened to him before.

"You okay Mikey?" Trent looked into his eyes and Michael just looked back lost in two of the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen.

"Um... yea... sorry I kind of spaced out there guess I'm just more tired than I thought I was today. I've been working extra hours at the store I work at. This past week I put in sixty two hours but after that I'm only going to be working a few days a week. I have to focus on school.

"Okay so today after school we'll take that ride and you can relax a little and I'll show you the nice places in town. Have you been to the park down town?"

"No I've seen it but I haven't gone there."

"Then that's where we'll go after school especially since the weather is still so nice, before you know it the damn cold will start again and it will feel like five million degrees below zero and you'll be freezing your fucking balls off." Trent realized what he had just said and for the first time felt really self-conscious talking the way he just had. He didn't want to be that way in front of Michael for some reason. Michael just looked at Trent wide eyed.

"I'm really sorry Michael I didn't mean that to come out like that. I don't know why I said that. I'm sorry I really am."

"It's all right Trent my father is in the military I've heard a whole lot worse than that before."

"But it was rude and I shouldn't have I don't want you to get the wrong impression of me. I just want you to li... oh never mind. I'm sorry." Michael just looked at Trent and wondered what he was going to say. He thought he was going to say like me but then he just stopped and he wasn't sure what to do now.

"Come on Mike and we'll get to English class a few minutes early without having to run since it's on the other side of the building. I hate having to hurry when my stomach is full. And I want to stop at my locker if you don't mind?"

"I don't mind. I saw your schedule do you really have public speaking last period?"

"Yes I didn't want to take it but I couldn't get into Art Class like I wanted it was already full."

"No way, I wanted to take Art last period to but they told me the same thing."

"Shit I wish we would have had that instead I hate public speaking, how about you?"

"I took it already but they're telling me that it's more advanced than what I had before. If nothing else I guess it will help me get over being so damn shy all the time." Trent looked at Michael and thought he saw his eyes get a little teary. He decided to try and make light of it instead.

"You? Shy? NO way I'm completely surprised by that piece of news I never would have thunk it!" Trent smiled at Mike and shoved him a little and it got him to at least laugh a little.

"Okay so I'm shy... shoot me."

"I'd never hurt you." Michael picked up on how serious Trent sounded all of a sudden and he turned to look at him. Trent just looked at Michael like he was horrified that Michael would even say such a thing.

"I was only kidding Big Boy." It was out of his mouth before he even realized what he had said and it was Trent's turn to look at Michael. Both of them just looked at each other for another second and then started walking towards class without saying anything. Just as they were about to enter the classroom Trent hip checked Michael and almost knocked him over. In the process he knocked all of his books out of Michael's hands and they went flying across the hall.

"Oh shit Mikey I'm sorry." He hurriedly helped Michael pick up his books and papers. And the two of them both began laughing over the whole thing and how silly it was. The balance of their day flew by and before they knew it the day was done and they were headed to Trent's truck. Michael thought it was beautiful and it was new. He didn't know much about cars or trucks but he knew this wasn't an old model.

"Nice truck you got here Trent." Trent pressed the remote keylock to unlock the door and he opened the door for Michael to get in. As soon as he was in Trent shut the door and walked around to the driver's side and got in. Michael was instantly aware that Trent had opened and closed the door for him without asking or saying anything. He made him wonder why Trent would do such a thing, no other guy he ever knew had done something like that for him. It almost made him feel like there was something that Trent wasn't telling him. Guys don't open and shut doors for other guys unless...it was all he could think of before Trent interrupted his thought process.

"Buckle up Little Buddy and we are out of here until tomorrow anyway!" Michael put his seat belt on and Trent put the truck in drive and they took off. Michael felt like a king sitting in the cab of the truck as little as he felt the truck felt enormous to him.

"Do you mind if I ask how you can afford this Trent?"

"I got lucky with a rich old grandfather who likes me." Michael laughed at him.

"I'm saving for my schooling instead of having a car your lucky Trent." Sometimes he didn't feel so lucky but life was the way it was and there was no way of fighting it. They got to the park and took a quick walk around the pond that was there and were just chucking rocks into the water and shooting the shit with each other. They had been there about an hour when Michael told Trent they needed to head home he had to piss like racehorse. All Trent could do was laugh as they made their way from the park and back into the truck."

"How many potholes you want me to aim for Mikey?" Trent was laughing as Michael squirmed.

"Shut up Big Boy and just drive we're only a few minutes from my house or this pretty truck of yours will be wet inside." Trent couldn't help laughing. They pulled into the circular driveway and Michael instructed Trent to bring his book bag in as he fumbled for his keys that unlocked the front door and bolted for the bathroom.

Trent felt funny playing the game knowing he didn't have a rich grandfather. The house he lived in made this one look like a tool shed. But sooner or later Michael would see where he lived hopefully he would just have to cross that bridge when he came to it. For now he was just trying to get to know Michael better he liked him he was cute. He just had to get him out of his shell.

Trent was just standing in the entranceway waiting for Michael to come out from the bathroom. Having fun with Michael he stood as if he was in the White House.

"Oh, your Dad's in the military, and he's a General?"

"No, just a Major Trent" Michael informed him.

"Hope I can be a Major someday when and if I join the military."

"Is that what you want Trent? To join the military?"

"I'm not one hundred percent sure right now, but I can't say that I'm not giving it serious thought since I don't know exactly want I want to do, well I kind of do. I think I'd like to be a carpenter and build my own house some day, something on the small side, just big enough for a small family." Michael picked up on the word family and figured Trent probably wasn't gay his heart sank a little. He was hoping that he would find out some how that he was.

"Well come on Trent lets go up to my room and hang out for now, we can either listen to some music or we catch some TV, or if you want we can play on the computer and play some games. There's a tennis court in the backyard if you like to play tennis."

"Cool, lets go pal, I'm in for anything you want to do, I like doing any of those." The pair ran up the stairs two at a time and made a beeline into Michael's room.

"This is so cool in here Mike, I love the way your room is set up. I just bought an Xbox, they made me buy that with my own money, but I don't mind, when ever I want things like that they make me work for it myself which I can understand since I have five brothers and three sisters, so there is nine of us. So in my family, if you want something you've got to go out and earn it. They want us to make sure we understand the value of a dollar." And Trent began thinking to himself only because of the trust fund he'd get when he was thirty he thought how am I going to tell Michael that one? If he got lucky enough to have him as a friend or a boyfriend Trent hated telling people the truth about his families' financial status. His real friends respected his secrecy and never said anything about money or his house.

"You mean there is nine of you in your family Trent?" Michael was astounded to hearing someone have so many brothers and sisters. Trent just laughed at him.

"I get the same reaction from most people I tell, but yes Mike there are nine of us plus my parents make eleven. Three have already left home so we are actually down to eight living in the house. We help each other out and as you can guess there isn't many secrets in my house. Take my younger brother Randy, he's almost two years younger than me and is the gay one in the family, at least he's the first one to say so." Michael just looked at Trent not believing that he had just said it so matter of fact, like it was no big deal to him. None of that was true but it was Trent's way of testing the waters with Michael gauging his reactions and hoping he would find a way to say that he was gay.

"He's gay? What did your parents say, or do they know?"

"Oh yea, they were the first one he told, then he told the rest of us. It's cool. Mike there's nothing wrong with being gay. It's just another part of life. I hate seeing people getting hung up over it, or afraid they can't tell anyone. Why should they live their lives hiding? It's not like they made a choice, it's like my brother said, he was born that way, he never felt he had a choice to be gay, it was just a fact of life for him and he wasn't afraid or ashamed that he was born that way. He works with kids his own age now, especially with the ones that are afraid to tell their parents or their friends. He hopes he can give them the courage he had when he told my folks." Michael didn't know what to think of this no one had ever said anything like this to him. Maybe Trent was the one he could tell and not fear the rejection he feared. But not now, it wasn't time yet he needed time to think about it. The only truth that Trent didn't lie about was the fact that he did work with kids his own age who were gay. He was usually not afraid to just tell people he was gay but for some reason he was leery of telling Michael outright this time.

"What's up dude you look like your on another planet, what do you want to do right now? Play inside or outside, either one works for me." Michael thought outside would be safer at the moment, staying in might have him giving in and telling Trent his secret. And he wasn't sure if he was ready for that or not. The two took off downstairs with gloves and baseball in hand.

As soon as they were outside Trent shucked off his shirt revealing his six-pack and bulking arm muscles, Michael could hardly concentrate on the ball. He missed the first six or seven throws that Trent threw at him.

"Come on there Little Buddy, your missing the easy ones, what's on your mind that your not catching them? You want to talk about it?" For some reason that Michael couldn't understand he wanted to do just that. Trent would be the one that understood; at least he hoped he'd be the one.

"Can we talk a walk Trent, there is something I need to get off my chest and maybe you're the one I can talk to, at least I hope so." Michael's heart felt like it was going to pop out of his chest the minute he finished telling Trent that he had something he wanted to talk to him about. Destiny was set Michael was just going to have to take the plunge and hope that it wouldn't backfire.

"Come on buddy let's hit the walkway and tell me what's on your mind and I'll see if I can help you." The two started walking around the park on the pathway that ran completely around the ball field in back of Trent's house.

"This isn't easy for me Trent and I don't know where to begin I've only told one person this in my life, and that's my sister, she's the only one that knows

If any one else was to find out Trent I'd probably kill myself."

"Whoa, there pal, there is nothing worth killing yourself over, believe me there isn't Michael. And no matter what you tell me here, I will tell no one, do you understand, you have my word Michael that I will never breath this to anyone. I don't break any promise I make to my friends and you are my friend, it wouldn't last long and I would feel like an ass breaking that promise. Okay?" Michael looked at the ground still unsure and scared to death, he could feel his body shaking and Trent could see him physically shaking. He took Michael by the arms and held him at an arms length afraid that holding him too close right now might be the wrong thing to do.

"Look at me Michael, look into my eyes. Take a deep breath and stop shaking, I'm going to be here now and after you tell me, holding on to you the same as I am now. I will not leave you alone. You are my friend and I will not hurt you, but you have to trust me now. But I'll repeat myself and tell you that I am not going to leave your side no matter what you tell me that is bothering you Michael Evans. I will stand as your friend for the rest of my life." Michael looked into Trent's eyes and wanted to believe him and he did, he believed him enough to share his secret with him, one that he had only one other person in his life. A damn burst inside Michael.

The tears came and he couldn't stop them, he just wanted to say what he had to but the tears where in his way.

"Take a deep breath Mike, just take a deep couple of breaths and focus on my eyes just keep looking into my eyes and taking deep breaths." Slowly Michael gained enough composure for him to talk to Trent. I'm ...... I'm.... this is so hard for me Trent, it's like ripping a scab off my entire body and letting the world see me bleed."

"Trent put his fingers on Michael's lips to quiet him. I'm going to say something first and hopefully this will help you tell me but I think I know what you want to say. Do you want me to tell you what I think? Just shake your head yes or no." Michael shook his head." Then I'll say this for both of us and I'll go first. I'm gay and so are you is that what you wanted to tell me?" Michael almost collapsed but Trent held him up and just cradled him in his arms.

"It's okay Baby it's all right I know how hard it is to tell someone for the first time. I lied earlier it wasn't my brother I was talking about it was me. I was hoping that was what you wanted to say but I am honored to know that I'm the first one beside your sister that you've told." Michael was relieved by Trent's words of encouragement. He looked once more at Trent, and just held onto his shoulders.

"I am here to protect you I have your back Little Buddy. Don't think for a moment that you are alone you are not Michael. We have life ahead of us if it works out and I'll make sure that you stay protected, no one will hurt you if I can help it. Do you hear me Michael?" Michael had heard every word he had said and wasn't quite sure how to take them.

"Why would you protect me Trent? Why would you do that for me, it will bring you nothing but trouble in school when kids find out and then when they realize that you are hanging out with me or worse are willing to protect me you'll know what they think of you, they will think the same thing that you are just like me and the names will be there the same as they are for me, faggot, queer, cocksucker and everything else you can think of that sounds horrible to guys like me. You can't protect me Trent I won't bring you down with me. I have learned to live with it before, I will survive again, I only have eight more months to go and then I can move on again and they will forget about me. Why do you want to ruin your life for me? Why take that chance, they will not stop Trent they won't stop the name calling or anything else.

"Then let them say it, I don't care I'm going to take care of you Michael, I want you in my arms now and forever. My heart hasn't stopped pounding since I bumped into this morning" Michael stopped and looked into Trent's eyes. Searching for the truth in what he was saying to him. Was he being real, did he actually mean it?

"Do the kids at school know about you?"

"Yes, at least my closest friends, most don't, but the ones that matter to me do and so do all my brothers and sisters and they support me and have since the beginning when I first told them."

"My sister knows Trent but neither one of my parents know, if my father finds out he will throw me out of the house and I will have no way of going to college, I know he won't help me once he knows Trent. It's my greatest fear that he founds out."

"Then we just have to make sure that he doesn't find out, don't we Mikey?"

"I like it when you call me Mikey, you make me feel safe, I'm so little and you're so big, I feel like you are my protector Trent. Is that what you are?"

"Is that what you want me to be, your knight in shining armor Mikey?"

"More than anything else right now Trent, more than anything else, I've been hiding so long I can't stand it anymore, just letting you know makes me feel better. But I can't tell anyone else Trent, I'm too afraid to tell anyone. You won't tell anyone will you?

"If I bring you to my house can I tell my family? If I tell them not to say anything in school, they won't believe me, they never have unless I have told them it's okay to say it to one of their friends. They are very protective of me as are my close friends and I definitely want to tell them and I want them to know about you."

"There is one person you need to tell Mikey and believe him, he'll be okay and won't pick on you or make fun or you, if anything he'll be another person that will protect you if the need should arise. "

"Who Trent?" Trent could see the fear in Michael's eyes and hoped that he would be able to handle this one.

"Coach Johnson."

"NO WAY Trent, there is no way I'm telling him, he's the last person I want to know about this. Why on earth would I want to tell him that? Michael was in a complete panic and couldn't even begin to fathom whey Trent would want him to tell the Coach of all people.

"Mikey. Listen I wouldn't say anything but this is one person in the school that you can trust to have your back. He has a partner, although ninety-nine percent of the school doesn't know that and I only found out by accident."

"You're telling me the Coach is gay Trent?" Michael looked at him in disbelief.

"Yea, I found out at the end of the school year last year when his partner picked him up and I saw them kissing in the car although no one else saw it, at least not that I know of, at least none of the kids ever said anything, not even the homophobe football players. So one day I told him I was gay to see his reaction and by his response and the way he handled it I knew he was to. So just tell him and he'll be on your side Mikey, and don't forget I'll be there with you, I won't make you do it on your own."

They had been walking a ways on the path surrounding the park and had come to a secluded section of the walkway. Trent pulled Michael towards him and put his arms around him and gently took his face into his hands and kissed him, slowly and with passion. He pulled his face away in his hands and told Michael.

"If I could right now, I'd take all your clothes off and make love to you here and now. I've wanted to since I saw you in the hallway this morning. It was like you were gods gift to me and it took everything I had in me not to wrap my arms around you and kiss you all over from the top of your head and down on to your neck, rip your shirt off and devour your whole body. But we were in school and I had to behave. Michael pushed at Trent and laughed a little.

"Do you want to go to my house Trent, no one will be home for a few hours and we have some time to be together?"

"Are you sure this is what you want Mikey? I don't want to force you into something you don't want to do."

"Trent, I've waited my whole life for this moment, it's something I've never done, you promise you won't laugh at me? I'm a virgin you know?" Michael put his head down and rested it on Trent's chest, almost ashamed for admitting his innocence to Trent.

"Michael, if there's anything you don't want me to do all you have to do it tell me to stop and I will, I want you to enjoy this as much as I want you to, okay? Promise me you will tell me no if there's something you don't want to do? I mean it Mikey, promise me or we won't go any further right now."

"I promise Trent, just take me home and we'll just see how it goes, but it's what I want more than anything. I thought I would never have this day until I moved away and went to college. Come on and let's go to my house." The two walked to Michaels house making sure that no one was there when they arrived. Michael checked for messages and knew his father wouldn't be home for at least three hours; his mother was working and wouldn't be home for at least two. He called Mandy to find out where she was, and he found her at her girlfriends' house and would be staying for dinner. The boys had the house to themselves.

They went up the stairs and into Michael's bedroom and Michael stood there watching Trent afraid to move or to make the first move. Trent held his hand towards Michael and told him to come to him. Michael slowly walked his way to Trent and let Trent wrap his arms around him and just held him while rubbing his back and began kissing Michael's neck. Michael could only moan and melt into Trent's arms lost in his lust for the man that was holding onto to him with all his might.

Trent slowly backed up Michael to the bed and sat him down and began to unbutton his shirt and remove it from his body. Michael had never been so self-conscious as he was at that moment with Trent. He shivered in anticipation of what was to come. Trent kissed his forehead and rubbed his arms trying to get him to relax and not to worry that he wasn't going to rush him.

Michael stood up and lifted Trent's shirt up and began to take it off of him. Trent had to finish because of his height and Michael couldn't reach that high up to get his shirt off. Michael was still amazed at what he saw; Trent took Michael's hands and held them to his stomach for Michael to feel him. Michael was lost in his touch of Trent's body and felt like he could hardly breath as he touched him. Trent pulled him up to him and put his arms around Michael and Michael did the same and they looked into each other's eyes and began to kiss one another probing each other's mouth with their tongues, Michael had never been so hard in his life, his penis ached from the stain against the fabric of his pants. And he could feel the hardness of Trent's erection as well.

"Oh Trent, take me, take me please I want to give myself to you, I want you to have me. Please Trent take me for your own." Trent looked into his eyes and saw the need that Michael was expressing, how could he resist that desire, he wanted Michael as much as Michael wanted him to take him. Trent wondered if he was doing the right thing and going this fast with Michael. His desire for Michael made Trent reach down and pull his pants down exposing himself to Michael. Michael fell to his knees and without experience he sucked down Trent's' cock as swiftly as he could and gagged immediately. Trent held his head back and told him to slow down there was still time. But Michael wanted to soak his member to have easy access to his burning hole that he was praying that Trent would take before the day was out. He worked at his cock with a vengeance and slid up and down soaking it with his saliva and pulling at Trent's balls. He wanted Trent's cock deep inside him, no matter what.

"Take me Trent, do it to me, I want to feel you inside me, all the way in, please, Trent Please, don't stop, just do it. I want you to be inside me I want to feel what it feels like to be together like that, joined together. I've waited so long to be touched by another guy I want you to be the one that shows me."

"Michael, are you sure this is what you want buddy, I want to give it to you so much I just want to make sure it's what you want, without regret."

"There are no regrets Trent, I'm ready and want to experience this with you, not someone else who doesn't care about me like you do. Please, please take me." Trent couldn't fight it anymore he wanted Michael since he had laid eyes on him in the school, this morning and he couldn't resist the urge any longer.

He laid Michael on the back on the bed and held his legs up and spread them apart. He engulfed his cock and Michael moaned in delight and ecstasy. He had never felt like this before, ready to explode inside Trent's' mouth he just wanted to expel his seed within his throat. He urged him to stop before it was to late. Trent pulled off and let his tongue work its way down to his balls as he lapped at them and sucked them one at a time, Michael grabbed at the sheets pulling them towards him as he groaned and begged Trent to take him. Trent's tongue met Michael's hole and he worked it over and over again, jabbing his tongue inside of his ass, Michael begged with urgency for Trent to take his hole and shove his cock inside of him, he wanted his seed inside of him, it was what Michael was begging for and slowly Trent lowered his cock into Michael's tight hole. He screamed in pain and pleasure and as Trent slowly entered him inch by inch until Michael could feel Trent's pubic hairs resting against him.

"Don't stop Trent, please fuck me, fuck me Trent, hard, give it to me, feed me your seed, I need it inside me, please fuck me till you cum in me. I've got to have it, whatever it takes fuck me hard baby, please.

Trent began to slide in and out and in and out driving himself harder and harder giving Michael what he was begging for feeling almost guilty for driving himself so hard into his Michael's hole, Michael dug into Trent's back, dug deep and Trent could feel his nails digging into his back and Trent became insane with lust and began to bang away at Michael's hole banging harder and harder and Michael's ass muscles squeezed Trent's cock harder and harder and before long Trent could stand it no longer he could feel the cum driving from deep within his balls and as he felt the semen come through his shaft and empty himself inside Michael the more he came the more that seeped from out of Michael's spent ass, the one that Trent had just ravaged again and again. Trent leaned down and engulfed Michael's cock in his mouth and sucked him like he was a vacuum on fire and Michael felt the cum ramming it's way from his balls and firing out of his cock and Trent sucked him harder until Michael couldn't cum anymore and was to sensitive. Trent just held Michael's cock in his mouth as he settled down. Michael held him tight not letting him go, telling him again and again that he loved him for what he had done and that he had done as Michael had asked him to do. He told Trent that he would want it again; it wouldn't be the last time, that this was the beginning for them.

Trent fell exhausted next to Michael after their sexual interlude ended and Michael kissed him and thanked him for a wonderful love making session and that he never knew it would be like that. He wished that it had happened sooner in his life, but that he was glad he had waited until Trent came along and was the one that showed him what male love really was. He promised he wouldn't leave him, no matter what; Michael gave himself to Trent forever.

Michael got up and ran to the bathroom to get a facecloth warmed up to help clean the both of them up after their bout of sex. Michael wondered could this really last, and what would happen when college came and he left here as he knew that was his only way out without his father finding out. There was still a year of school to go and then another summer before Michael took off for college.

Trent sat on the edge of the bed and wondered what he had just done, he had given in to his sexual urges, he had done something he thought he would never do and yet somehow knew that this is exactly what he would do to someone that he knew he could take advantage of. The shame was building and he couldn't stay and look at Michael in the eyes. He grabbed his clothes and started getting dressed as quickly as he could. The guilt he felt was tearing him apart he had given into his sexual urge. It didn't even take twelve fucking hours and he had fucked Michael. He had promised himself this morning after meeting Michael that his cock wouldn't rule him this time. Just like a few other times he couldn't do it, his cock had been his master again and he hated himself for doing this to Michael, he felt as though he had just used him for his own sexual pleasure. And he wanted more with Michael than just being a piece of ass in his life.

"What are you doing Trent, where are you going, you can't leave right now, I want you to stay, I don't want this to be over yet."

"I have to go Michael, you don't understand, you don't want me or any part of me, I'm just a rotten son of a bitch that will only hurt you in the end. Please just forget me and let me get out of your life, don't think of me anymore." Michael was spinning emotionally unable to comprehend what Trent was talking about. It just wasn't sinking in at first and then the realization of what Trent meant began to sink in. And Michael began to shed his tears of hurt and shame of what he had just let transpire between the two of them.

"You bastard, you fucking asshole, you just used me to get a piece of ass, you didn't care about anything about me, that's all this was about, just to see how quickly you could get my clothes off and shove your cock up my ass?" Michael was in a rage, naked or not he began to reach for anything he could throw at Trent, what he couldn't throw he threw himself at him and began striking him wherever his fists could connect to. Trent held onto his hands trying to calm Michael down, but Michael's rage was not to be quieted. His violence was getting stronger and his hate for Trent was unyielding he wanted to hurt him as much as he was hurting inside right now. Michael grabbed his boot and swung it wildly connecting to the side of Trent's head, Trent stumbled and fell to the floor. Michael didn't stop and he began kicking Trent at any point he could connect to.

Trent came to and begged for him to stop, finally grabbing his foot and throwing him across the room, he grabbed the rest of his stuff and made a beeline for the door and down the stairs to his truck, he was glad that no one was home or could see him clinging to his clothes as he entered his truck and flooring the gas to escape being near Michael. He hadn't expected the reaction he had gotten from Michael. What had he done this time? What harm had he inflicted upon a guy that he had just met, someone he thought was a really nice guy. He just didn't plan on it going this way. He didn't want to use Michael, it wasn't like that this time, he had felt differently with Michael and it scared him this time. It was a feeling he had never had before. This time he felt something and the feeling scared him to death. He was terrified.

Michael slammed his door shut and crumbled to the floor in tears, hurt and feeling like he had been used for just a piece of ass. That's exactly what Trent had made him feel like. Just a piece of ass to be used when the spirit so moved Trent, call it what you will but Michael wallowed in his self pity. His cell phone rang and he saw that it was Trent calling there was no way that he was going to answer that fucking douche bag of an asshole.

Trent wanted to talk to him and try to explain to him what he was feeling. It wasn't what Michael thought but how was he going to explain that to him? Hell was going to freeze over before Michael let Trent talk to him again, he had been stupid enough to let it happen once, and he wasn't going to let it happen again. The problem would be school the next day when he knew he would have to face Michael again, whether he liked it or not.

He was finally able to get up and clean up his room and head in to take a hot steaming shower hoping that it would make him feel better in the long run. It didn't help him. He told his mother that he wasn't hungry for dinner and that he was just going to bed, he promised he'd feel better in the morning and wouldn't have a problem going to school. He promised her that much. Although by the sound in his voice she wasn't as sure as he was trying to make out. But she knew he'd come around and tell her what was bothering him sooner or later.

He dreamed that night of Trent's attack on his body and woke into a sweat more than on one occasion. But finally the morning sun came out and Michael felt somewhat better, still angry at Trent and not sure how he was going to handle going into school and seeing Trent and he was bound to see him in the classes that they shared. He was just going to avoid him as much as he could and if he had to he would outright just not talk to him and walk away from him, no words spoken.

As they pulled up into the parking lot he could hear the bell ringing signaling that the first bell warning he'd be late if he didn't get his ass in gear. Mandy got nothing out of him whatever happened was bad she had never seen her brother like this. She had to get to Trent and talk to him and see if he knew anything. He looked around trying to locate Trent and without seeing him he got out of the car and made for the school building. As he turned the corner he realized that his first class was not that far down the hall and Trent wasn't in it, thank god for small miracles, it would be his downfall, maybe he could think of someway to get out of it. Perhaps a trip to the nurse's office with a headache could get him out of gym. Providing the Coach let him slide out of it. Second period went just as well but his next one was leaving him in knots. He had to find the Coach and make an excuse to get to the nurse's office. As he asked to go the Coach replied that it seemed to be an epidemic since Trent was already down there. Michael immediately withdrew his request and asked to just sit out the class and perhaps he would be okay after all.

Trent showed up about twenty minutes into the class and Michael froze not sure of how he could handle it. He wanted to hate him, he wanted to lash out at him, but more than anything he wanted to bash the side of his head into a pulp, just knowing that any such actions would surely result in his dismissal from school. Trent could see the looks that Michael was giving him and knew that he deserved each and everyone one of them, he just wanted to fix things and make it right for the two of them, they way they were before Trent had run out on Michael. He just didn't know how to talk to him. He had to try and say something. He hadn't felt t his way before the new feeling was foreign to him and it scared him and at the same time he didn't want it to go away if Michael was the cause.

Slowly he walked up to Michael and stood silently for a few minutes before he tried to say anything to him. He stumbled at first but got the words out.

"I'm sorry Michael... I didn't mean it to come out the way that it did, I really do want you in my life more than you know, please can we talk after school." The anger flashed in Michael's eyes

"What for Trent, so you can just fuck me over again and use me like you did yesterday I was such a dope to think that you actually wanted me, how stupid was I? You must have laughed all the way home thinking how much of a dumb easy fuck I was for you." Michael got up and walked away but Trent went after him.

"Michael it wasn't like that, I was ashamed of what I had done to you, I didn't want it to go that way I had wanted it to be special for us, not hurried like we did yesterday, please give me another chance Michael, I want to prove to you that yesterday was not what I wanted for us, you have to believe me, please, I'm begging you Michael, I want so much more with you, please let me show you.

Michael looked into Trent's eyes and wasn't sure what to believe, not after the way things had started. Trent has been so afraid when it started, so fast.

"Let me put it this way and I'm sure you will understand it quite clearly, FUCK OFF and get out of my life, you used me and probably laughed all the way home and now you feel a little guilty. So that you can live with yourself you'll play like you're sorry and hand me some lame line of bullshit. Well it won't work Trent, you've reinforced why telling someone and trusting them was not a good idea. I'm sure by the end of the day you'll tell everyone what an easy fuck I was for throwing myself at you. I'll be the laughing stock and you'll be the high and mighty jock stud for succeeding. GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!" Michael yelled unintentionally and Coach Johnson caught the last sentence.

"Mr. Evans front and center if you would please." Michael got up and started his way towards the Coach.

"Let me go with you and I'll just tell him it was a stupid argument that I started it you did nothing wrong."

"I got this far in my life without you, I'm sure I'll manage to make it through the year and then I'll be gone and you won't have to look at me or think about me anymore Trent Sanders. Just go." Michael tried to calm himself down before he got to the Coach, he eased his pace and took some deep breaths and bit the inside of his lip to keep from crying.

"I think that last sentence I heard between the two of you deserves an explanation. I will deal with Mr. Sanders shortly, but at the moment I want your side of the story. And then I'm going to listen to his and hear how close they come between the two of you. Obviously something has happened between you two, I don't know what and it may be none of my business. But try and trust me Michael, I'm more of a friend than you know, it's your choice to trust me." Michael looked at the Coach and wondered if what Trent had said was true. But trusting had just cost him, as he feared it always would.

"He wouldn't leave me alone when I asked him the first time, I lost my temper because I just have a headache and wanted to be left alone but he persisted a second time, when he did that I just lost my cool. I'll take detention today after school or how ever many days you tell me." Michael only looked at the Coach once during his explanation. The Coach said nothing and the silence just got louder.

"May I go or is there something you want me to do? I'll sit out the rest of the class on the benches if you don't mind?" The Coach remained silent.

"I can only say that you can trust me Michael but I can not or will not force the issue it's up to you to trust me, trust is earned, not ordered to be done as told. I want to earn your trust and to do that you need time. Go and sit down for the rest of the class. Tomorrow I think perhaps you should check in with me and I will send you to study to keep you two apart for the time being." Michael turned and left, Coach Johnson watched him leave and watched him as he passed Trent, he looked at the ground as he passed him quickening his pace the closer he got.

"Mr. Sanders, front and center!

"I am asking you the same question that I asked Michael. I want your side of what just happened that caused him to speak to you like that." Trent froze inside unsure of what to say knowing that the Coach could read him like a book. He looked at the ground and tired to think of the best answer without lying directly, which he was going to do anyway.

"I made him mad on purpose, just to piss him off I wanted to see what he would do.

"You did it just to see what he what do? For what purpose? What did it prove?" Trent looked into the Coach's eyes and tried to think what to say and his youth and inexperience gave away his attempt at hiding the truth. Trent remained silent.

"You can have the next three days after school in detention. On Friday we will speak again. As I will to Michael also. But don't worry you won't see him in detention I don't think it would be a good idea for the two of you to be to close right now, would it? Trent looked up at the Coach and just nodded his head with tears brimming to begin.

"Hit the shower Trent you're done for the day, I will see you in class tomorrow." He turned quickly and walked or almost ran to the locker room hoping that Michael might still be in there and he could still try talking to him again. He picked up his pace but realized that Michael had already dressed and was gone as soon as he entered the locker room. He felt like hell and he had no one to blame but himself. And the worst part was he didn't know how to fix it or who to turn to for help. He thought about the Coach for a moment but that would be forcing the Coach to admit his sexuality as well, and because of the Coach's position he wasn't so sure if he'd be willing to stick his neck out to help Trent figure out his problem. He really thought that talking to Michael was the best thing but getting to him wasn't going to be that easy. Making him believe what he had to say was going to be even harder.

Michael went home directly after school. The math class that had together Michael sat across the room from Trent and Mark. He even took the bus to avoid Mandy questioning him about what his problem was. His phone rang several times on the way home, each time it was Trent. He would pick up so that it connected and then hang up instantly so that Trent couldn't leave a message either. Michael went immediately to his room and closed the door, making sure it was locked he wanted the world to go away. He wasn't sure how he was going to handle school tomorrow but he had all night to think about it.

He laid on his bed and cried himself to sleep. He woke up to the knocking on his door.

"Michael open the door, why is the door locked?" It was the Major he must have come home early.

"Hold on Dad, I fell asleep I must have accidentally locked it when I closed the door." He got up and walked over to unlock and open the door. As he did he turned to go back into his room knowing that his Dad was behind him. It was the last thing he needed today was listening to a lecture from his father he just wasn't in the mood.

"Why was the locked door Michael? There's no need to lock doors in this house. Are you hiding something?" Michael could feel the knot in his stomach and the fight for control of himself.

"No sir; just must have turned it enough to lock it I didn't realize I had." Michael was pulling books from his backpack as if to do his homework. The major continued his verbal battering.

"Michael, look at me." Michael turned up from looking at his backpack and looked at his father, knowing his father's request was really a command. The Major lived by the Army way of life both professionally and at home, he ran the household like a unit.

"Your eye's are all red and puffy you've been crying what is it about this time Michael, is that why the door was locked?"

"No sir, I just didn't realize I did it and then fell asleep that's all." Knowing Michael's past of being the smaller kid and being picked on the Major assumed it was the usual. He didn't fight back so he would end up at home in tears.

"You have to learn to protect yourself Michael, you're almost eighteen for Christ sakes, when are you going to learn to stand up and fight for yourself? His father was speaking rhetorically as usual. You didn't actually answer the question he wanted answered. He would answer them for you. Michael was holding on with all his might this time, after all he had been through in the past twenty-four hours he was reaching his limit. The Major began to get more abrasive and loud.

"What was it this time Michael, kids calling you names because you're the new kid? Michael you had better toughen up in life, this childish behavior has to come to an end before you go to college because they will continue to pick on you if you let them, you have got to learn to stand on your own two feet." Perhaps it was the tone of his voice, perhaps it was his mere presence whatever you want to attribute it to, Michael snapped. The switch flipped to the on position, harboring the hatred he had for Trent and the hurt he had caused him and now the verbal assault of the Major, Michael Wayne Evans was done and all outcomes or consequences evaporated instantaneously. He stood and faced his father, there was silence and the tears began to fall and the look on the Major's face pushed the launch button.

"GET THE FUCK OUT, JUST GET OUT, AND JUST GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE!

His father stood stunned at the verbal attack from his otherwise quiet son. He opened his mouth to begin where he had left off. But Michael had him beat to the punch this time.

"Don't say a word your time is up and don't worry, I'm leaving, you don't have to throw me out. I'm leaving and do you want to know why I'm leaving? Now he was being as rhetorical as his father usually was.

I'm leaving because I'm gay and I know you and how much you hate them, so I just made it real easy for you to want me to leave. You haven't looked at me in the past couple of years because I'm not a jock, I don't want to go into the service and be like you. I get it Dad I'm a big disappoint to you. Now you won't have to let your Army life be bothered by me you can just say I ran away for some reason. Now if you will leave this room and shut the fucking the door, I will pack enough clothes to live a week on and the rest you can keep I don't want them anymore than you want me. Michael turned from his father wanting to throw up not believing that he had just told his father to go fuck himself and that he was leaving, where in the hell did he think he was going?

"Michael you are not leaving this house..."

"I said get out I'm leaving here you don't want me here and I don't want to live and hide who I am anymore. Just go away I want to pack." Michael pulled out a duffel bag and began opening his draws and putting clothes into them. His father stood there not saying anything but watching and trying to comprehend everything that Michael had just said. And Michael continued to pack ignoring his father. Within short time Michael had the things wanted. He took his cell phone and charger after all he paid for it. The rest of his life he left there. He tightened the bag, put on a jacket and left pushing the Major aside as he did so.

"Michael don't you dare open that door, if you do, I will not let you come back. If you touch that door it will be over my dead body." Michael had reached the bottom of the steps and turned to face his father who by now was on his way down the stairs. Michael looked up at him.

"If that's the way it's going to be then that's what I'll do but you can't stop me and you won't because you fucking hate gays. Remember I'm gay? If you missed any of this then go fuck yourself your ignorant piece of shit." He turned opened the door looked back at his father and slammed it on his way out. The tears began to fall but he began to walk, he didn't even know where to go. When he finally stopped crying and got control of himself Michael suddenly realized he wasn't sure where he was. This was still a new town to him and he hadn't remembered seeing this spot he was currently at. He had been walking for hours and of course the night changed the appearance of every thing. His phone rang. It was Mandy.

"Hello"

"Michael, what in the hell happened? Are you okay?

"I'm not sure where I am at the moment and I think I'm okay. How is the Major doing at this point as much as I don't think I really care?

"Mom is furious with him, she won't even talk to him. Actually for as much as they usually stand together on things when it comes to you and I, she's not with him on this one. She's afraid to call you for fear that you won't answer the phone."

"When you get the chance just tell her I need some time but I will call her when I get things figured out. A lot has happened in the last twenty-four hours and I have a lot of thinking to do."

"Did Dad tell Mom that I told him I was gay?"

"Yes"

"What did he say about it?"

"I don't know yet I haven't heard them talk about the issue at all, she's too pissed to even talk to him right now Michael, seriously."

"Listen Mandy, I'll see you in school tomorrow, don't worry about me I know I have a place to stay, I just have to get the courage to call him and talk to him."

"Is it Trent?"

"Yes, but you don't know the whole story, the last time we saw each other I told him to go fuck himself and leave me alone, he might not want to talk to me."

"If you need me just call Mom will let me leave in a heartbeat if she thought I was helping you in anyway."

"Thanks sis, I'll talk to you in school tomorrow at lunch time, look for me in the lounge area."

"All right Mike, take care and if you need me, just call no matter what the hour."

"Bye Mandy."

"Bye Mikey." Michael knew he had to call Trent, he didn't know of anyone else to call and since he didn't know where he was exactly he needed help. But he had been so mad at him. Was he really sincere about what he said in gym and that he was sorry? The only way to find out was to call him. He dialed the phone and Trent picked up.

"Michael, hello, Michael, talk to me, say something please." He hung up the phone and felt like throwing up. The phone rang within seconds. Michael answered the phone.

"Hello."

"Michael talk to me, just say something, yell at me something just say anything."

"I need your..." Michael began to cry, as did Trent.

"I left home Trent... I have a bag... and my cell... don't know where to go... where I am. I have clothes for a week right... Shit I don't ... my books, I left them I'll get Mandy to..."

"Stop Michael, stop for a second. Do you see a street sign or a store or some kind of landmark?"

"Let me get to the next corner... I'll see what it says."

"Michael I'm so sorry I hurt you I want to explain everything to you as soon as I come and get you. I was such a stupid asshole, I felt like I had used you and I ran away feeling ashamed of myself. But we'll talk more. Have you seen a street sign or anything yet?" The words were flying out of Trent's mouth trying to get to Michael.

"Yes, hold on I can't quite make it out yet. It says I'm on the corner of Arlington Street and Walnut Avenue."

"I know where you are Mike, promise you'll wait for me and I'll be there in about fifteen to twenty minutes. I think I love you Michael Wayne Evans, just hold onto that. Let me get on the road and I'll call you back in a few minutes as soon as I get closer."

"All right Trent I'll wait here I have no place to go." Michael called Mandy back and told her that he would probably be at Trent's for the night and he'd be all right that Trent was on his way to pick him up. She assured him that Dad was knee deep in shit and that his mother was glad that he sent the message she said she'd worry a little less and will wait for you to call her. Michael sat on his duffel bag and watched the local traffic go by and no one seem to take notice of him. He was beginning to think about Trent and what he had said maybe he needed to give him the benefit of the doubt. About ten minutes had elapsed and Michael's cell phone rang.

"Trent where are you?"

"I'm about two to three miles away so stand up because it won't take me long, there's no more lights, just stop signs. I'll be there in a few seconds, I've been pushing to get you."

"Slow down Trent don't get hurt now coming to get me, please it's the last thing I need to deal with after all I've been through today."

"Okay you're the boss from here on out Michael. Whatever makes you happy is all I want for you. I'll do whatever you want to make sure you're happy. I love you Michael, I'm so sorry I hurt you but I'll explain it all in a few minutes." Michael looked up and saw the headlights of Trent's truck. He got up and started waving and entering onto the street a little so that Trent could see him. Trent slowed down and pulled closer to the curb, Michael threw his duffel bag into the back seat of the truck's cab and got into the front seat with Trent. Trent leaned over and pulled Michael to him and kissed him hard on the lips. Michael responded and hugged him at the same time.

"Thanks for coming to get me, I didn't know who else to call and I thought about what you said in gym the other day so I figured I had to at least give you the benefit of the doubt Trent. I'm sorry that I said some of the things I said."

"Don't be apologizing to me Michael, never apologize to me for the way I behaved that day. I was scared Michael, I didn't know what to do, I just wanted to run out feeling like I had done just what you said, that I had just used you to get a piece of ass and that wasn't true, I was just running scared, I knew I was falling in love with you and it was scaring me to death, can you please forgive me and let us start over and try again. But please I'm begging you Michael to let me ask for your forgiveness and let us keep talking to each other?" Michael couldn't say no, know matter how mad he was at Trent at that moment, he would at least listen to what Trent had to say, he would give him that much.

"Okay Trent I'll give you that much, but if at anytime I feel like your either lying to me or trying to snow me I'll split and there won't be another conversation between us, understand me?"

Trent wanted to cry but held it together while they rode around the city.

"I don't know what scared me Michael, every part of me wanted you and the other part of loving you was scaring me to death, I just ran, I didn't know what else to do. I'm still scared, I never felt this way with any guy before and you just showed up in my life. And you turned my world completely upside down. Michael, I'm scared to death of being in love with you, I don't know how to handle it, it's never happened to me like this what am I supposed to think of all this, I don't want to run away from you and at the same time I don't know how to handle you. Can you understand that? Does it make any sense to you? Because it doesn't make any sense to me and at the same time I don't want to lose you in anyway."

"Have you asked or said anything to your parents about me Trent, do they know what's going on?"

"No, not yet but don't worry they support me and when I tell them what's going on my mother will insist that you stay and be prepared to have your own room. We might be a couple but if they catch us in bed together there will be hell to pay. I'm not saying it won't happen, anytime you need me just let me know and I'll make sure we have time and space for us." Michael and Trent both laughed at the thought of sneaking into each other's bedrooms. Soon Trent thought it was time to get home and introduce Michael to his parents and present them with Michael's current problem he knew that his parents were going to want to sit down and talk.

These are some awesome houses Trent, what is this the rich end of town?" Trent looked out the window without looking at Michael. Michael had a feeling that Trent wasn't telling him something but wasn't sure what. Trent took hold of Michael's hand and kissed the top of it.

"Listen up buddy, something is eating at you and I can feel the change, did I say something I shouldn't have? Trent pulled over to the side of the road and stopped the car. He held onto both of Michael's hands.

"Listen Mikey, it's not that I haven't been honest with you but there is a part of my life that sometimes I'm uncomfortable with."

"You're uncomfortable with something, and your gay, what else could there be to be distressed about Trent? Just like you once told me, you can tell me anything, I'm going to stick around bud. So take a deep breath, look me in the eyes Trent and tell me what's bothering you and I promise to help you with whatever it is that's causing you this pain I see in your eye's." Michael kept his eyes locked onto Trent's and squeezed his hands as if to reaffirm what he had just said. There were a few minutes of silence as Trent drew up the courage to tell Michael his fear.

"I don't know if I can say this without sounding like a mocking pompous ass Michael, it's just something that although my parents are comfortable with, I'm not. Anyway, we are driving as you said into the "rich" end of town, in a few minutes the houses will get bigger as will the lawns. Remember yesterday I mentioned about your house being a mansion, I was being sincere to me it was a big house with the way it looked, with the circular driveway, it's what I've always envisioned myself living in someday. The house you're about to see is not the kind of house I want, I want what you live in, to me that's a house." Trent looked at Michael and he began to weep and the tears ripped at Michael's heart. He pulled Trent into to him and held him close telling him that it didn't matter to him, what mattered was that he had him and that's all that mattered. What was important was their relationship.

"Now come on Trent, just dry your eyes now and take me to your house. I'm not going to judge you based on what your mother and father have built. It's what they've done with their lives, not what you've done with yours, there's a big difference buddy."

"How come you know just what to say to make me feel better?"

"Cuz you just make me feel good, the rest comes easy being with you Hon. Now come on and let's get this over with and then you'll stop worrying about this and you will ease up on yourself, okay?" Trent smiled, leaned over and kissed Michael and put the car in drive.

"What did I ever do to deserve you?"

"I was asking myself the same question when you made love to me." Michael had to smile as he watched Trent squirm and blush a deep red. And couldn't help but comment.

"Why Trent I do believe you're blushing." Michael just kind of chuckled and Trent reached over and punched Michael on the arm. They both laughed and held hands. Trent wasn't lying to Michael the houses were getting bigger and now some of the houses had brick stone walls built around them. Michael's eyes were getting bigger and Trent cringed inside himself thinking to himself what was Michael going to really think when he entered the house and saw that they had a chef, maids and a butler, inwardly he just groaned. Hoping that Michael would still want him after what he had said at Michael's house and how he had joked, he was feeling like an ass right now having said the things that he had. Trent pulled into the driveway and stopped and punched in the code for the front gate to open. He looked over at Michael and he could see the disbelief on his face as they waited for the gate to open enough to drive through.

"HOLY FUCK TRENT!" You weren't kidding that's for sure. How many bedrooms are in this place Trent?" Michael was like a little kid entering an amusement park for the first time. Trent was at least glad it wasn't anger that was the one reaction he was hoping not to see.

"Okay pay attention to me I'm only going to go through this list one time Little Buddy. There are fourteen bedrooms, nine bathrooms, an indoor swimming pool, a movie theater, two dining rooms, one formal, that's just for special occasions and the other is where we eat every day. There's a huge kitchen with a smaller table and if there's only a few of us eating, the staff will serve us in there." Trent knew the minute he used the word staff that Michael would pick up on it. He just waited for it.

"Staff? As in more than one person working for you, well keep going you've blown me out of the water at this point I guess you can't kill me with much more of this place." Michael purposely reached over and held Trent's hand and it made him feel much better about not losing Michael over how rich they really were.

"As for the staff, we have two chefs that alternate so one is on duty at all times, we have about a half dozen maids and cleaning crew for inside the house. My mother and father both have their own personal assistants, who take care of them and only them. There's just one for Yvonne and four for the boys that still live at home. There's an extra bedroom now that Roy has headed out west to live. Then there's an outside army that takes care of all the yard work, putting up and taking down all the seasonal decorations. My mother is real big on every holiday there is. And then there are four or five hands that take care of the stables in back that take care of the horses."

By now they had reached the house. Michael was glued to his seat and squeezing tightly onto Trent's hand. He was nervous now he felt like he was way out of his league.

"Come on buddy, let's go meet the folks and anyone else that might be home at the time."

"Oh my God Trent, I'm scared to death that your parents are going to think I'm some kind of hick for crying out loud. Are you sure you want to take me in? You can always take me home you know." Trent grabbed Michael by the back of the neck and pulled at him so that he was looking directly at Trent.

"Michael Wayne Evans you have more class and intelligence than anyone of my friends that have come here. Most of them come because my parents obviously are rich. And when they are here they get waited on, they can ride horses just by asking one of the handlers to saddle up one of the horses. They can request something to eat and the chef will make it for them. You are nothing like that and it's another reason I'm falling in love with you." Michael looked at Trent and had a tear in his eye.

"What's the matter babe, what's wrong?"

"You just told me that you're falling in love with me. You just put me on top of the world Trent Sanders. Me, who comes from nothing like you do, what if your parents don't like me Trent? What if they tell you that I'm not allowed to come around here with you? What if they think I'm some kind of gold digger?"

"Whoa, Little Buddy, slow down. First my father will instantly like you because your father is a Major in the Army. He wont' like your father for what he's done and how he's treated you. In my house people who serve the military rate number one in my parents book, number two, you my friend are a very nice guy to anyone you meet. You're friendly and show respect to everyone, believe me they are going to instantly like you. Now just come with me, hold onto my hand and I'll make the introductions, okay?

"You want me to hold your hand in front of everyone?"

"They all know Michael, it's not a secret, my parents and brothers and sisters still love me and my mother is always asking when am I'm going to bring home a boyfriend. She wants me to be happy with my life. She's going to fall in love with you two minutes after she meets you, I promise. Naturally she wants to approve any one that I might be dating. Which by now if you haven't noticed is you. So, if you're nervous just squeeze my hand and I'll squeeze yours back meaning just relax. Michael, just relax and be yourself, you'll knock them dead."

Trent got out of the truck and came around to open the door for Michael. He reached out his hand and Michael put his out for Trent to pull him out of the truck. As he pushed the door closed he pulled him into a hug and kissed him on the side of his neck.

"I love you Michael and I'm proud that you're my boyfriend. When we are here we can be ourselves without worry or shame. No one will criticize us or make fun of us and they will all respect you just as much as I do, so if I want to kiss you at any time I will, and you can feel free to hold my hand, sit on my lap, or just kiss me for the hell of it. Understand babe? Michael was blushing from Trent having kissed him so openly in the driveway

"All right you win I'm ready to meet the family, but I'm just telling you my stomach is in knots right now." Trent took Michael by the chin and made him look up him.

"Come on babe, look into my eyes and take a nice deep breath everything is going to be fine, the whole family will love you, well except maybe the cat, but he doesn't like anyone, so don't worry about him." Trent laughed. He took Michael by the hand and walked up the stone walkway and entered into the kitchen through the French doors. Trent's parents and three others were sitting at the small table in the kitchen.

"Well Trent I was beginning to wonder when you'd be pulling in, you're not usually this late coming in after spending the night out. And who do we have the pleasure of meeting that you have with you?" All eyes were on Michael and his stomach was churning inside, he took a deep breath remembering what Trent had told him, but his introduction from Trent absolutely floored him.

"Mom, Dad, Randy and Yvonne and Danny I'd like you all to meet the love of my life, Michael Evans." Walking to the table Trent kept Michael's hand firmly in his. Trent's father Clay stood up and shook Michael's hand, followed by his brother Randy. Trent's mother rose from the table and hugged Michael.

"I'm so glad to meet you Michael and good luck with this one, I'm just warning you now that he's a handful! But I'm delighted to meet you and you're to make yourself at home while you're here with Trent, if you need anything the staff is always willing to make sure you have whatever you need.

"Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Sanders, that's very kind of you." Yvonne got up and hugged Michael. Glad to meet you Michael, if he gives you any grief you just let anyone of his brothers or sisters know and we'll kick his behind so he behaves." Michael had to laugh at her candor. Danny was the last to get up but he certainly was Trent's brother they almost could pass for twins.

"Yvonne I'll keep that thought handy in case I need him straightened out for some reason."

"Why don't you two sit down and have some coffee, have you boys eaten or are you hungry? I can have the chef put something together if you'd like." Trent may have eaten earlier but with Michael with him in the past few days his appetite had increased.

"I'll tell Joshua what I want, you want anything Babe, and don't be shy and bashful on me now, if you're hungry I'll have Joshua make you something, and don't play games with me either."

"Trent! Don't talk to him like that or you won't have a boyfriend for long." Michael blushed at the small tongue lashing that Trents' mother had bestowed upon him.

"Yes Mam, sorry Mikey, forgive, but if you want something don't be shy, I know how you are."

"Really Trent just a small sandwich would be good and a cup of coffee to go with it." Trent took off into the kitchen area and Michael could hear him talking to someone and asking for what he and Trent wanted. He was glad to hear that Trent had said please and thank you. Trent returned from the kitchen. "So do you want a tour of the museum?" Trent and Randy both laughed at his reference to the house. Randy felt just as Trent did about the house, he appreciated it, but it wasn't something he ever wanted in his life, they both desired smaller and more comfortable, something they could take care of themselves.

Trent grabbed his hand and before he took him on the tour he told his parents to please stick around he wanted to talk to the both of them and it was important. Trent pulled at Michael and talking a mile a minute as they wondered through the house. Trent had mentioned just about everything but he had missed a few things in his description of the house. When they got to the living room, Michael's mouth dropped open and he froze in place.

"How big is this room Trent, my whole house could fit in here? It's huge!"

"It's thirty five feet by fifty feet, this is where we have Christmas every year, the tree sits in front of the window and is sixteen feet tall." Michael was overwhelmed by the enormity of the room. The grand piano seemed undersized compared to the rest of the room.

"So does anyone really know how to play the piano or is it just there for show?" Trent walked over towards the piano he told Michael to sit down and he'd see what he could remember. Michael thought he was pulling his leg. But when Trent began to play Michael was amazed at his obvious talent to play the instrument. Michael wasn't much of a classical music person but he knew enough to know that Trent was playing Beethoven and without music sheets to look at. Trent looked into Michael's eyes and Michael could feel the emotion of the song as Trent played. As the song came to an end Michael got up and walked up behind Trent and put his arms around him and kissed him on top of his head.

"I am truly impressed Trent, that was beautiful, I wish I had that kind of talent. Does anyone else play in the family? And just so you know you can play for me anytime you feel like impressing me."

"Just about all of us play but there are only about four of us that still sit down and play. Sometimes there's a place I like to go to that let's anyone play for tips. I've gone there a few times. My music teacher happen to be there the second time I played. I was immediately put in the school band."

"You can play for me anytime Trent, I love listening to the piano. Have you ever given any thought to playing professionally?"

"I'd need lots more training and discipline to do that and for me it's more about playing from the heart and the mood I'm in. I love a few of the classical, and I like some of the more popular songs they play today, but mostly it's a release some times when I'm going through some hard times and I just need time to think. Just tell me when you want to hear anything Little Buddy and I'll give you a personal concert."

"Come on, we will have to skip the rest of the tour for now. I'm sure by now that Joshua will have our meal ready." As Trent got up from the piano bench a young man entered the room to inform them that their meal was being served.

The two boys sat down with Trent's parents, Randy and Yvonne had gone off to other parts of the house.

"So Michael what do your parents do for a living?"

"Before we get into that Mom and Dad, I need your help or I should say that Michael needs our help." Trent's father put down his paper and his mother put down a book of some kind that she was working on.

"I take it this is serious Trent?"

"Yes sir it is and I promised Michael that I knew I could come to you two for help."

"Then tell us the problem son and let's see what we can do. I only have one question before you begin. Is this involving a legal matter in any way?"

"No sir it does not. At least I don't think so."

"Then tell me the problem son and lets see how we can help Michael."

"Basically because Michael told his father he was gay, he left home with a duffel bag with a week's worth of clothing and his cell phone, which he pays for on his own. Michael plans to attend college after we graduate and he's very smart and I know he wants to be a financial analyst when he graduates. He doesn't have a car because he's saving his money to go to college. He knew if his father found out that he was gay he would cut off any assistance for Michael. But Michael is applying for scholarships and I'm sure with his GPA he'll get several. In the meantime he's now homeless but can't afford to work full time and go to school so that he can graduate. That's pretty much it Mon and Dad, I just want to know if you will help him and not because he's my boyfriend but because he's my friend and I know how you two feel about the gay issue." Trent had said his piece and Michael had held onto his hand the whole time, not touching his food at all. His mother spoke first.

"Michael please relax first of all, you haven't touched your sandwich and I'm sure your hungry by now, when did you eat last? Your school lunch perhaps?"

"Yes mam it was." His mother got up and moved towards the kitchen.

"You eat that and I'll have Joshua make you something a little more substantial. And I'll repeat myself, I want you to relax everything will be fine, you won't be living on the streets, I promise you that." Michael tried hard to keep his emotions in check. They had been on the raw side from the past few days.

"Thank you very much Mrs. Sanders." Trent squeezed his hand several times and he finally felt Michael relax a little. He at least picked up the sandwich and began to eat it.

"I'm sorry that your father feels this way about you Michael. I do believe that being gay is not a choice but it is the way you are born. I thank my son for making me understand that. I know how hard it was for him to tell us when he did. I assure that in this house you are most welcome and please feel free to show your emotions to Trent in front of us, within reason of course." His father smiled at the both of them and the two boys laughed at his fathers underlying meaning. By this time Trent's mother had returned and acknowledged what had been said in her absence.

"At the moment Michael you will move into the bedroom across from Trent's. It was his oldest brothers bedroom and he is happily married with children of his own, I don't expect him returning home anytime soon to live. I'm sure Trent will put Stephen's things in boxes and you may bring anything you want into the house, it's your room for now. And don't call me Mrs. Sanders or Mr. Sanders, our names are Sarah and Clayton, please feel free to use them."

"My wife is right Michael for as long as you're here please feel free to stay here until either you work things out with your parents or when you go to college. If you go to college near here and you're still on the outs with your parents you may stay here until you graduate from college and find your way in this world. I will not accept rent or money or expect you to do any chores in this house while you're here, that's why we have a staff. I know some of my children aren't comfortable with the money we have. I'm happy to share what I have with others. I don't do it to show off I do the things I do because I can afford to and it brings my wife and I enjoyment to help others because we can. Each of my children will come into a substantial trust fund when they turn thirty, but not a minute before; I want them to learn the value of a dollar.

"All this being said Michael, you are considered a member of the family while you live here, you will be expected to be at all family functions and use the house as your own. I trust my son's selection of his friends, I've never met anyone of them that didn't fit in here and use us because of our money. Although I think some of them do, but it's okay, it's why we have it here, to be used and enjoyed. Otherwise it's not a home, it's just a house with people occupying it.

"If I may ask this of you Michael, how does your mother feel about this?"

"I'm not sure yet, I have talked to my sister to let her know where I am and that I'm okay and asked her to tell my mother that. I promised my sister that in a few days I will call my mother once I get a feel on how she actually feels about this, I only know when it all happened today my mother wasn't at home, so I'm not sure. But I promise you that I will call her in a few days when I talk to my sister in school."

"I'm glad to hear that, you've kept the door open to your mother and whether she agrees with it or not, as a mother I know she will still worry if she at least didn't know you were okay. Time may resolve the problem, sometimes that what it takes, the tricky part is how long of a time and that no one can answer for you unfortunately."

Joshua came from the kitchen with a few plates and placed them in front of Trent and Michael. Joshua turned to talk to Michael.

"Some time in the next couple of days you and I will sit down and tell me some of the things you like and don't like, it's not a big deal, but Andy and I both work together making sure everyone gets a turn at things they like in particular, so make a list and get together with me and welcome to the house Michael, it's a joy to know you." Michael wasn't exactly sure what to say but thanked Joshua and told him he would certainly let him know.

"Did I hear Trent say you have some clothes with you?"

"Yes mam, they are in the back of Trent's truck. I didn't bring them in when we got here I wasn't sure what to think at the time."

"After you've eaten bring them in and put them away and there's a laundry basket in your bedroom, just put your dirty clothes in there and the staff will take care of cleaning them and making sure they are pressed and put away for you." Michael was amazed at the ease in which Trent's parents just took him in. He knew that he would have to do something for their kindness he just needed time to think about it. Sarah added one more thing.

"Now that all this has been settled I do have one rule that will be strictly adhered to while you both are living here. You will both be found in your own bedrooms at night, and I might just check now and then to make sure, she smiled at both of them. I may be older but I remember young love, I expect you two to behave but I know you aren't saints either." Michael and Trent both turned about twenty shades of red and Michael almost lost a mouthful of food from trying not to laugh at Trent's face."

"As the man of the house Michael if you need something or want something and need some advice or help, please come to me and don't be afraid to ask, as I said I enjoy spending my money when I feel it's the right thing to do, and with that my lady and gentlemen this old man is going to bed I'll see you two in the morning before you take off for school." Trent's mother rose from her chair and walked to the side of the table that Trent and Michael were sitting. She kissed Trent on the cheek and did the same for Michael.

"Sleep well the both of you, especially you Michael and I'll keep reminding you to relax until I see that you feel good and comfortable." Michael looked up and smiled.

"Thank you for your kindness and generosity Mrs... Sa..er Sarah."

"Good night boys, and not to late, it's a school night remember." Trent was the one to respond to his mother. As Sarah walked away Trent heard his mother told him shopping for Michael ASAP.

"Yes Mother dear, I know." Both looked at each other and smiled. The pair began to really eat once they were alone. Joshua came out to make sure they had everything they needed or if they wanted anything else. But by that time the two were finally feeling the effects of a full stomach. Michael felt ten times better than when Trent had picked him up. Yvonne and Randy came back from swimming, which is where they had taken off to once they knew that Trent had to talk seriously with their parents. They both knew that something was up when Trent brought Michael into the house looking they way he did. Randy was the first to ask what had transpired.

"So Trent what's up? Everything work out okay with Mom and Dad?"

"Michael will be living in Stephen's room, Michael has become the newest member of the Sanders clan, I think with the others that have come and stayed for some time, he makes the sixteenth child of the clan." Michael looked at Trent with a questioning look on his face.

"You my friend are not the first that my parents have adopted. Well not really adopted. Some of the girls have brought girl friends that where having problems at home and two of my oldest brothers brought home a few guys. Some stayed a few months, some stayed two or three years. When possible they all come here for Christmas, once you become one of the family there are expectations to live up to, kind of." Trent talked with Michael explaining how being here and staying for a while that even after you left you're expected to try and come for Christmas. Mom and Dad go all out, if you are here you'll see what I mean. And knowing your father and the whole situation I'm afraid to say that I doubt you'll be home for Christmas. I don't say that to make you feel bad Michael, but we both know your father is not going to open the door to quickly."

"I know Trent I thought about that when I was waiting for you and what was going to happen in the future and when I might return home. A lot is going to depend on how my mother really feels having a son that is gay. If she doesn't care and wants me home she's going to have to put pressure on my father and he's a stubborn ass and you know from me telling you, even if she pressures him into accepting me being gay that doesn't mean he's just going to say, hey come on home kiddo." Trent reached out and held Michael's chin so that he could look him in the eyes.

"I'm with you whatever happens Michael you know that. I will stand beside you and go with you if your father wants to see you or wants to talk to you. I will not leave you alone with him I don't trust him. And knowing how much bigger he is than you, I won't let you be alone with him knowing how he feels about gays." Michael reached over and took Trent's hand and kissed it.

"Thank you Trent I know you will. I wouldn't go there without you. I made arrangements to meet Mandy tomorrow at lunch, that's when I'll find out what the situation is at home. If possible maybe we can stop at the house after school and get some things that I have forgotten. But only if Mandy tells me it's okay or she gets them for me and we meet her afterwards."

"Whatever we need to do Little Buddy, I'll help you out, I don't have work tomorrow, but what about you?"

"No, I'm good for the next two days before I have to work."

"All right, I'm going to run out and get your duffel bag, is your cell phone in the front seat or in your jacket"

"It's in my jacket, just bring in the duffel bag Trent, every thing I brought is in there. Thanks I'm almost done here. I'm just going to clean up my mess and I'll be in here waiting for you."

"Michael, just tell Joshua that you're done. Since you're going to live here get used to having things done for you. I know it's not easy for people who don't grow up with it but you can take it easy here, especially because you belong to me." Trent exaggerated his verbalization of Michael belonging to him and Michael just laughed at him.

"Oh, I belong to you... get my duffel bag and we'll talk about who belongs to whom." Michael smiled at Trent as he went out the door to retrieve the duffel bag. Joshua returned from the kitchen and repeated to Michael about living in the house and being Trent's boyfriend, that made him part of the family more than just a friend. As a member of the family it gave him more rights than some of his other friends got. Michael couldn't believe this reception he only wanted a place to spend the night and time to figure things out, this changed every thing from dealing with his father and mother, but especially his father, now he had ground to stand on without fearing being homeless. Trent returned with Mike's duffel bag.

"I'm definitely going to have to take you shopping you're going to need some things this is not enough and I won't have you begging to go home to get your stuff Michael. You get Mandy to get your books and school stuff. I'm going to help you get the rest of the stuff you need."

"Trent you are not going to take me shopping."

"Don't tell me that, tell Dad and Mom that. I've been given orders to take you, and if I don't my ass will be grass and yours will be just the same and the parents will be the ever powerful lawn mowers running up and down our ass's!" Michael laughed at the visualization of Trent's comment. He just felt awkward about accepting it. He wasn't here to get a handout. He just needed time to figure things out and how he was going to deal with the whole issue.

"All right, but it isn't going to be much and I won't have some one spend a lot of money on me, I'm not helpless, I still have clothes at home I can get, it would be a waste of money to not get them and use them Trent. I do have my own money to you know I can use that to buy clothes if I so chose to my friend."

"Mikey, I know what you're saying and I understand you view point and if you want we will get the rest of your clothes, but even if we do that I'm still under orders to take you shopping and besides I want to, it'll be fun."

"Trent I don't know if I'm comfortable with this, I'm really not." Trent took Michael by the hand and headed for the upstairs.

"Let's take this conversation upstairs and get you unpacked. I'll be kind I promise." Michael looked at Trent and wondered what exactly he meant by that. He followed him nonetheless. They were soon in the room that Michael was going to be staying in and he was amazed that he had his own bathroom.

"Okay Mikey sit down and start emptying the duffel bag and I'll put it away for you, just this once, don't get use to me putting your clothes away mister. I can't put my own away." Trent looked at Michael and leaned over and kissed him.

"It's going to be okay kiddo, you'll see, it's just an adjustment for you right now and I'm here for you if you need to talk about anything, even if it's the middle of the night. We can't sleep together but if you need to talk you wake me up and I'll sit with you and we'll talk about what ever you want to. Don't shut me out now Mikey, now let me tell you why we have to go shopping." Michael looked at Trent and watched as he began putting his clothes into the drawers and hanging what few things he had on hangers.

"If your going to stay here which you don't have to, I won't make you do that if you don't want to, just know that from now on the door to this house is open to you, whether anyone is home or not. Your key is on the desk, Mom already put it there for you to have, and it opens the front door and the back door that we came in through tonight. But I can't ever remember coming home and having to use it, it seems like someone from the staff is always in the house so even if everyone is gone the staff is in the house."

As far as the shopping goes, your part of the Sanders family now, like it or not. In being so you're expected to show up here a certain way at certain times of the year, as long as you're here or as long as you are near by and just want to show up having become one of the family, it's my parents request and hope that once you have stayed here that as time goes by you come back so that they can keep in touch with you, and that's whether you're my boyfriend or not." Michael was beginning to understand the position he has now been put in. It felt rather taunting to him it was a position that he had never been put in before.

"I guess a few things won't hurt, but we are not going crazy are we?"

"Just exactly how do you define crazy?" Trent looked at Michael and smiled.

"This is what comes with having money Mikey it's the part that's hard to accept some times. On the flip side of the coin there are advantages that it brings you in life. As they say Mikey wealth has its privileges and I'm not kidding and if you decide to stay here you'll begin to see what I mean. Especially watch out for my Dad when he decides to do something and how having money makes it happen and then watch how it happens, you'll be amazed. Maybe you won't since you're the one that wants to be the financial guy. You and my brother oldest brother Stephen will get along just fine, he's into finance to. There's also John Forrester who was a friend of Stephen's he stayed here for about a year and a half. Dad helped open some doors for him to work in financing and he loves it. Bunch of number geeks if you ask me." Michael gave Trent a rather stern look with over his comment.

"I didn't mean it in a bad way Mikey sorry it just came out wrong. Forgive?"

"Only if I get a kiss for an apology."

"Any time Little Buddy." Trent jumped up from the bed and bent down and kissed Michael who was now sitting at the desk.

"Now what exactly is the shopping deal? You won't go crazy will you?"

"No, I promise we won't go crazy, and I won't make you get something you don't want, well, you don't have a choice about the suits. Mom insists that you should have at least two tailor made suits. That's not an option, if you wish to try and get out of it you may go talk to my mother, and good luck with that Little Buddy." Michael resigned that it would be a useless argument with Sarah concerning the suits. Having met her and having listened to what Trent had told him about his mother Michael realized arguing with her would be like arguing with his own mother, useless.

"I'm afraid to ask, but want constitutes a suit?" Trent looked a Michael knowing what he was getting at.

"That means matching pants and jacket to begin with. Then two to three shirts with matching ties, belts, shoes and socks. I think that covers your question Mikey." Michael looked at Trent in disbelief.

"Are you serious? What else I am expected to wear, or should I say, what else I am getting without asking for? Trent smiled, understanding Michael's feelings over the whole thing. Trent sat on the bed next to Michael and put his arm around his shoulder and made Michael rest his head on his shoulder.

"That's about the biggest part of it all Mikey promise, there won't be much after that, but Mom and Dad want to make sure when you go out in public you always look your best once you're part of this family. They just make sure that happens and believe me Dad loves doing it, it's not meant to put you down in any way, it's meant as a privilege as being part of this family, so I don't want you to take it the wrong way. We don't go to church every Sunday and you aren't forced into going but you're welcome to join us. I'd like it if you'd go with me when I go Michael it's important to me. Like I said I don't go every Sunday but I do go and when we go to church as a family or just by ourselves Mom wants us to look appropriate we are representing the Sanders name after all Mikey."

"I never thought for a minute like that Trent, your parents don't come off that way at all. I just didn't think I'd be in this position this morning. This is just so much all at once. When I woke up this morning I was so mad at you and that was my biggest problem for today when I woke up. All I wanted to do was avoid you because I didn't know how to handle what had happened I'm sorry that I treated you like I did in gym class."

"You don't have to be sorry, I'm the one that should be saying I'm sorry, it was my fault. If I just hadn't run off like I did maybe none of this would have happened and you would still be at home, I'm sorry if this was my fault Michael. Trent reached around and hugged Michael pulling him around and into his chest. Michael just folded into Trent's hug and melted into his chest. He couldn't help but begin crying feeling the anguish and hurt brought on by his father's reaction and his verbal assault and accusations. Trent just held onto Michael and let him cry. His mother stood outside the door and had heard the two boys and her heart ached for Michael, she turned and gently wiped the tear from her eye as she retuned to her room for the night. Trent held Michael for some time before he realized that he had fallen asleep. He whispered gently into Michael's ear.

"Come on Little Buddy it's time to go to bed." Michael stood and Trent turned down the sheets and blankets. He turned towards Michael and pulled his shirt off and gently opened his pants and pulled them down and sat Michael down on the bed and pulled his pants the rest of the way off. Michael lay down and Trent covered him up and kissed him gently on his forehead. "Good night Mikey, I'll wake you in the morning in plenty of time to get ready and have breakfast." Trent pulled the blanket up over Michael shoulders and sat down on the bed next to him and brushed Michael's hair from his face.

"I don't know what I did to deserve you walking into my life Michael Evans. God help me that I don't screw it up again and hurt you like I did yesterday. I promise to never do that again." He kept slowly and lightly brushing Michael's hair from his face. It took about two minutes and Trent could tell that Michael had fallen back to sleep again. He turned on a light in the bathroom in case Michael woke up in the middle of the night and was disoriented. He left the room and gently closed the door.

 

Mikey

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