Rev: 9-29-16


                                         Robby and Ryan

                                       From the author:



       Thank you again for continuing to read about our life. I appreciate all the wonderful comments and awesome rating you are giving me. Special thanks to, Ice. I have great respect for you as an author and value your opinion. Please finish ‘Building Things’. 

       This next chapter is going to bring us closer to a pivotal point in our relationship. I get my ass kicked. I am pursued by a member of the opposite sex and I am drilled on who it is that has a hold on my heart.


                               Chapter X

       We sat on the steps for a while and talked. He told me he was sitting in the grass with his eyes closed. He was concentrating on the smells and sounds; doing what I had told him. He had a hard time putting words to what he was trying to explain to me.


       “It was like a wave, Ryan,” he started. “It broke through everything and I could feel it was you. When I turned and saw you sitting here, crying, it literally broke my heart. I could feel it. But the saddest was your colors, they had changed, they weren’t the same. They were sad, Ryan.” as he struggled to a stop.

       I thought about it and he was right. When I saw him looking at me with tears running down his face, his colors were different too. We saw them differently in each other. To me, his were rainbow like. To Robby, the way he saw them, was like looking at the northern lights. It should have dawned on me then.

       I moved down one step and put my arms around him resting my hands on his chest. He leaned back on me and my chin came to rest on the top of his head. I asked him what he did when he touched me.

       He said he really couldn’t explain it. He felt that if he touched me he could make it better. Like he had done it before and it had worked. He smiled up at me and said, “Then your colors got happy again, Ryan.”

       I dried my face and told him I was hungry. He added, "Probably a little dehydrated too.” I nodded and asked how about Millie's for a light lunch? I told him we had a seven o’clock reservation at the Gentleman and then we would go to Mike's for a little gathering after dinner.

       He said he was up for that and asked, "We’re not going to be home too late, are we?"

       I wanted to surprise him after lunch. I had called Josh and told him I was bringing Rob in for school clothes; the works.

       As we ate lunch Millie listened while Rob told her about our trip. He went on and on. She could tell; I knew she could. The way she would look at me and then at him; she could see it and it made me nervous.

       We finished lunch and when I paid the bill, Millie told me to relax and said, “Life is good, Ryan.” Then she tilted her head like Rob does and said, “You look happier than I have ever seen you, honey,” and smiled. I tilted my head a little, let her see my dimples then smiled as I looked over at Robby shrugging my shoulders.


       We got in the car and Rob asked, “What now?”

       I said, “School clothes, that what.”

       We pulled up at Josh's store and when we walked in Josh gave us both hugs. Rob hugged him back; a genuine hug. I told Josh he knew what we were here for and followed him back to a dressing room. There was a ton of stuff hanging on hooks and boxes of shoes lined up.

       It still had not sunk in yet just how much money I had. I really never thought about money much; I had enough to buy what I wanted when I wanted. One thing was for sure; I loved buying things for Robby.


       Josh told me to go sit down and he was going to help Robby; then said, "Don't worry, Ryan," looking back at me over his shoulder.

       I could hear them talking; Josh going on about colors and tones. What went with what and how he was going to be the best dressed young man in school!

       Rob would come out to show me how he looked and how the platforms made him so much taller. His bell bottoms covered the shoes and I had always liked that look; wishing my feet were smaller.

       He came out in the last outfit; he looked so… fucking hot. I started to get that feeling again. He looked at me, furrowed his brow, and with a tone said, "Stop it, Ryan, right now.” then smiled.

       Josh had loaded us up. Pants and shirts, coats and shoes, underwear and belts; he was set. I told Rob to put on what he liked best to wear tonight.

       Josh came out with a huge armload of stuff and dropped it on the counter. He came and took the seat next to me. "Oh… my fucking god… Ryan,” he started. “I have never had so much fun dressing anybody in my life. Oh, that body of his. I mean he is so; and with that tan, and in his underwear; that basket he's got, shit, I mean fuck. I can’t wait to get home and tell Randy.”

       "I know." was all I could say.


       Rob came out wearing tight black pants with a white shirt that had black circles on it that fit like a glove. He was standing in black platforms that made us the same height and a black leather coat. Fuck.


       He looked at me and announced that Josh told him, he looked good enough to eat. Then asked me what I thought. "I've always known that Rob,” and while looking at Josh I said, “and you taste great too."

       Josh had been ringing up the stuff. When he finished, he said, "Don't shit, Ryan, $1,200.00. And that's with your discount.”

       I said, “Look at him, Josh. I would pay ten times that to see that smile on his face," as I looked over at Rob who was admiring himself in the mirror. And I really would have.

       "He reminds me of you Ryan,” Josh told me. “I remember when Zach brought you,” and then he stopped. “What was last night all about anyway?”

       I told him, "It was totally fucked up, that's what,"


       Josh and I just stood admiring Robby. He turned and said my name softly. I looked at him and we seemed to have a silent conversation. He was truly happy for me; I could feel it. “He doesn’t even no how lucky he is, RJ.” Josh admitted out loud.

       I winked and informed him, “I’m the lucky one, Josh.

       I paid before Rob came over so he didn't know what it all cost. Josh came around the counter and gave me a hug and said, “Thanks for making my day, RJ,” then turned to Rob and held out his arms. “Come here you little stud and give Josh a hug.” Robby went over and hugged Josh and I saw they were whispering something in each others ears.

       I looked at Rob and said, “We should have brought the truck for all this stuff, you little pimp.”

       Rob turned to me with a face-splitting grin and said, "A pimp would kill to look this good" Josh told us a pimp would kill to look half that good.

       The trunk and back seat were full of bags and boxes, and Rob was so animated talking about everything. I told him we were going back to the house before dinner, adding I couldn't be seen with him looking like that, and me looking like this.

       I questioned, "So you and Josh. What was the whispering about?”

       Rob looked at me and smiled. “He said that you were one of the nicest guys he has ever known, and if I ever hurt you, he would scratch my eyes out.”      


       “Really,” I replied.

       Rob ended with, "I told him I would scratch my own eyes out before I ever did that.” reaching over and taking my hand.

       We pulled in the driveway about five and I told Rob he could bring in whatever he wanted to stay here. I added, he could take everything else home tomorrow, and said that school started the day after that, he could take it all home, if he wanted.

       “Deb is going to shit,” he said. “I don't know how I'm going to get all this past her.”

       I told him that he would be the best-dressed kid in school and he needed to carry himself accordingly. "When you walk into a room, own it, strut, and show your shit, Rob. You will be the talk of the school."


       We walked into my room, I rolled a couple up, and we took one out on the deck. Rob looked at me and asked, "Ryan, how much did all this cost?”

       I told him it cost a fucking arm and a leg; calling him a clothes whore. I added that he looked so fucking good. And yes, he looked good enough to eat.

       He asked about Mike's; was it a party or a gathering? I told him it was a gathering, but when we got there, it would be a party.

       He asked, "Zach?"

       I told him, no, Mike and those guys were from school and didn't know Zach.


       We puffed on the joint and I asked him to stand up. I took off my shoes and stood in front of him, eye to eye. With his shoes on we were the same height and I rested my forehead on his. I had so much I wanted to say to him but I just couldn't find the words. It almost made me tear up.


       The last week had been so much more than I had expected and add to that; last night. He said, “I know, Rye, I really do. Now go get dressed.” I knew, I could feel it, he did know. I knew he did.


       No way could I compete with him the way he was dressed; well I could have but what was the point. Honestly, I wanted him to shine, to be the center of attention, and I wanted him to feel what it felt like. I decided to wear tan slacks and a black silk shirt with gold cufflinks. I added three gold chains and one of my grandfather's Rolex watches.

       I might have let him shine but I wore enough bling for both of us. I downed a nice sport coat, putting the rolled numbers in my shirt pocket. I didn't know if my mom was working tonight; she hadn't been home. I told Rob it was time to go.


       We arrived at the Gentleman and were welcomed by a smiling Harold. He said he saw my name on the reservation list and asked, “When did you become a doctor?” Rob laughed out loud and Harold took us to our table; telling us how good we looked.

       We sat down and I told Harold I wanted to talk to him about expanding and adding another dining room. He gave me a puzzled look and walked off. We were looking at our menus when I saw Harold walking in with Miss Brown.   


       She saw us; shielded her eyes with the back of her hand as she broke away from Harold and headed straight over to our table. I stood immediately with Rob following my lead.

       She took my hand and just gushed, “Look at you two. If the power goes out, you will light up the city.”

       Rob looked at her bewildered. When I went to introduce him, she took his hand and said, “Sir Robert, I've been looking forward to meeting you.” never letting go of his hand and sharing one of those looks with me.

       He stood there; studying her, he seemed to be at a loss for words. I asked her to join us and she agreed; thanking Harold as he pointed, saying her table was in the corner when she was ready.


       Sylvia sat next to Rob, keeping his hand in hers. I called the waitress over and told her, “Miss Brown will have a double Vodka Martini, straight up with a twist.” Something I had seen it on her bill many times.

       She smiled at me and told both of us, “I have never seen such bright beautiful colors radiating from anyone like this before, boys.” She looked at me and asked, "Still think I'm a crazy old lady, Ryan?" I lowered my head and shook it no. She looked at Rob and said, "Yes honey, I can see them too. Now tell me everything.”


       Rob; still looking bewildered said, "I know you. I have seen you in my dreams.”

       She mused, "That’s sweet that you would dream of this old lady, honey. You would have found him on your own, Robert, you always have.”

       Something about her calling him Robert was familiar; she looked at me and smiled. Rob looked at me and then her. He said, “My mother used to call me Robert.”

       Sylvia nodded. "Yes she did honey and so did others."

       Rob said, "I'm confused."

        Sylvia replied. "When the time is right, everything will become clear." as her drink arrived.

       She took a sip and said again "Tell me everything. Did you find the clues?"

       Rob said quickly "Yes we did, and we left one for next time too." He seemed like his response surprised him.

       “You always have,” she told him with a smile.

       She turned to me and said, “You know, Ryan; your grandfather was an old soul too.” adding he was on a new journey now. Her comments were cryptic and she really didn't confirm nor deny anything.


       She stood and Rob and I did the same. She said, “You boys have things to do and people to see, so I will take my leave.”

       Rob took her hand and begged, "Please stay, I have so many questions.”

       She smiled at him and said, "You know the answers child, we will see each other again, Robert," and as she left, our food arrived.

       We sat; Rob looked at me and said, "She’s not a nutcase, is she?" I just shook my head no, and stared at my food; suddenly not hungry. He started asking me questions and I held up my hand saying, let it go.

       We ate in mostly silence but Rob kept looking over at Sylvia and would occasionally smile. As we picked at our food he said, "She knows doesn't she? She knows about us?"

       I just said, “She knows a lot of things, Robert.”


       He looked at me; way beyond my eyes; I could feel it, and said, "You were one of those people, Ryan. You used to call me Robert, too." I picked at my food and just shrugged my shoulders.

       We ate what we could and took our leftovers in a doggie bag. I paid the bill and told Harold that I still wanted to talk to him about expanding and we said good night.

       The ride to Mike's was quite and when we arrived Rob asked if we were staying long. I told him we could go whenever he wanted. He reached for my hand and kissed it. Less than a week had passed but his lips on my hand felt as old as time.


       We could hear music and talking from the back yard as we made our way around the house and surveyed the group. Mike saw us and announced that the party could start now; the pimps had arrived.

       Rob said, "That's right Mike, and your grandma's making me a ton of money.” That got a good laugh all around. He walked over to us as we went through the gate. He gave us hi-fives and leaned to the side.      


       He asked, "Hollywood, you have a fight with a Hoover?” looking at my neck.


       I had forgotten about the hickey; reaching up and touching it, unable to hold back a smile. Rob told him that I had run into an old cousin, causing Mike to laugh.


       Then he looked at Rob and said, "So what's you excuse Robby?" Rob started turning red so I told Mike, she tag teamed us and walked away to say hi to everyone else.

       I pulled a joint out of my pocket and asked, “Anybody got a light?” in a loud voice. There were only about a dozen or so people, most just milling around, but that got everybody's attention.

       A pony keg sat on a table and as I was getting a beer Rob came up to me; still red. I handed him mine then poured another. He leaned over and said, he didn't think Mike bought it. My reply was ‘fuck'em if he can't take a joke’. I puffed on the joint and handed it to Rob.

       I walked over to Mike's guitar, picked it up, and ran my fingers across the strings. It had been over a week since I felt strings on my finger tips and I had missed it.

       I thought about the songs I knew; most were ballots or love songs, they were the kind of songs I liked, but now it was different. I loved someone now and the words held a new meaning.

        Cindy came up and asked if I was going to play something. She said, “Do Time in A bottle, Ryan.” My fingers started plucking at the strings as I thought of the words.


       I didn't know if I could sing that song, not here, not with Rob. Trish walked over, hearing Cindy. She said, “Come on, Ryan.”

       I started to play and everyone gathered around. I stopped and took a drink of my beer and started over.

       I played a long intro; the lyrics going through my mind. It was telling a story of what was in my heart. I wasn't sure I could but I closed my eyes and let my heart sing, to Robby.


       If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do is to save every day 'til eternity passes away, just to spend them with you.

       If I could make days last forever; if words could make wishes come true. I'd save every day like a treasure and then, Again, I would spend them with you.

       I opened my eyes and saw Rob had removed himself from the group. He was standing by himself, leaning against the fence. He made eye contact with me and smiled.

       I started singing again.


       But there never seems to be enough time, to do the things you want to do, once you find them. I've looked around enough to know, that you're the one I wasn't to go through time with

       I opened my eyes and looked around. Everyone was staring at me; mouths open, looking at each other, and it confused me. I looked at Rob and he was still smiling and just shaking his head back and forth.


       If I had a box just for wishes, and dreams that had never come true, the box would be empty except for the memory of how they were answered by you.

       But there never seems to be enough time, to do the things you want to do, once you find them. I've looked around enough to know, that you're the one I want to go through time with.

       I opened my eyes again and everybody looked stunned. I said, "WHAT.”

       Trish, walked up and put her arms around me and said, "That was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard Ryan." then hugged me.  


       Everybody clapped and starting talking to each other and I wondered what the fuck was going on. Mike and Cindy came up to me and said they had never heard me sing with such passion before and wanted to know what was up.

       Rob was still by the fence; still smiling and wiping his eyes discretely. He walked over and told them I was just showing off and then proceeded to tell them about the Hilton in DC.


       He was a little animated telling them I had set fire to the piano in the hotel. Mike said “I've seen him do that shit before, was it Boogie Bogie Bugle Boy?” He told Rob that I had done that one day at lunch in the cafeteria and everybody went fucking wild.

       Rob told him that people were stopping to listen and he said, “Then he would play with his left hand and just smile at everybody.”

       Mike said “let me guess, he did it sixteen to the bar didn't he?”

       Rob nodded and said when he finished. Mike broke in adding, he blew on his fingers like they were on fire, didn't he? He looked at me and said, "Fucking show off."

       Again I questioned, “WHAT?”

       Rob and I walked over to the keg and drew a couple more beers. I pulled my last laced joint out of my pocket but before I could ask for a light, Rob produced Mike's lighter and smiled at me.

       Rob told me he understood now, and I was right, it was going to be hard. I knew what he was talking about and just nodded. He leaned a little closer and said, "You sounded fucking fantastic, you know.”


       I told him how I felt so different; the lyrics had so much more meaning now. I admitted I couldn't have done it with my eyes open because I wouldn't have been able to look at anything but him.


       He smiled at my statement and said, "How about we go home and you can show me how you feel."

       I looked over Mike's shoulder just in time to see Trish's boyfriend slap her across the face. Before he could slap her again, I made my way over, grabbing his arm, mid swing. I spun him around and hit him square in the face.

        He was a prick and I never liked him. I always thought she could do much better. I told him if he wanted to hit somebody, I was up for it.


       As he was swinging, Rob jumped in front of me. As I pushed him to the side, I was the recipient of Jack’s fist in the side of my head that knocked me down and rang my fucking bell.

       I think he damn near knocked me out, but I could hear him calling me a pussy. He was saying “you think you're such a fucking badass, don't you, Chancellor?”

       Like a flash it all came back to me. Not long before my dad died, I saw him hit my mother, that's when she moved to the guest room. I think I had pushed it out of my mind, but it came back in an instant.

       As I got up Rob and Mike were next to me. Trish's boyfriend laughed at me and asked if I wanted some more. I was shaking off the stars in my head as I stood up. I wanted to kill that bastard; just like I wanted to kill my father when I was eight for hitting my mother.

       I walked up to him like I was going to swing; but instead, I kicked him, Right, Square, in the balls. As he doubled over I grabbed him by the hair; brought my knee to his face and he fell backward landing on his ass.

       I got down on top of him and started bitch slapping him hard across the face using both sides of my hand. Then I rolled him onto his stomach, pulled his arms back and up so they were pointing at the sky.

       I got my face down in his ear and started to taunt him. “You liked to hit girls you fuckin pussy? Think you're a big man now you little bitch?”

       There was no way to get out of this hold and I knew it. I put my bloody knee in the middle of his back and started squeezing his arms together.


       I could hear Mike and Rob yelling for me to stop. I knew what I wanted to do and nobody was going to stop me. Jack was screaming in pain and Trish was pleading for me to stop.

       I had one of Jack's arms squeezed between my chest and was holding the other with one hand.

Mike came up behind me and tried to pull me off him. Unfortunately for him I threw my free fist up and caught him in the face. I yelled at him, “I’m not done yet.”

       I took Jacks arms; one in each hand. As I was pressing them together, I told him, “The next sound you here pussy is one of your shoulder dislocating. I don’t know which one, but I promise at least one of them will.”

       As I squeezed them together more; everyone heard it. Jack's right arm gave way and he screamed at the top of his lungs. I dropped his arm and held onto the left one asking if he wanted to go for two.

       I felt a pair of hands on my shoulders; they weren't forceful and before I heard his voice, I knew it was him, it was Robby. In a firm tone, he said, "Ryan,” the tone got softer as he leaned across my back and put his head closer to my ear. "Rye! Please. You have to let him go, he's had enough, Ryan, please.”


       That may have been the only time he ever called me that in front of anyone. I relaxed and dropped Jack's other arm. I saw the hole in my pant leg and the blood; it was starting to hurt. I reached up with my hand and felt the side of my head. When I pulled it back I saw more blood. The fucker hit me hard.

       I drove my knee harder into Jack's back and told him if I got rabies, I was going to break his fucking legs. I told him in a calmer voice, “if I ever hear you have raised your hand to another woman; mister badass here, will tear your arms completely off,” and slapped the back of his head as I got up.


       Jack didn't move, was in tears, and moaning. I looked around at everybody and they all looked scared. I saw Mike; Cindy was looking at his forehead. I had caught him between the eyes with my ring and he had a goose egg already starting to form.

        I saw something out of the corner of my eye; it was Trish. She was swinging to slap me but Rob blocked her with his arm and she didn't connect with my face. He called her a stupid bitch and asked her if she liked getting slapped around. She went over and got down on her knees next to Jack and started to consol him.

       I limped over to Mike; apologizing as I got closer. Cindy took the towel she was using on Mike and put it to the side of my head; which was starting to hurt real bad. I had never ever been hit so hard before and was starting to shake.

       I started to tell Mike how sorry I was but he stopped me; saying it was his own fault. He shouldn’t have gotten close enough for me to hit him and told me he had never seen anybody flip out like that before.

       I had never lost it like that; it even scared me, but I think I scared everybody else more. I pulled the bloody towel from my head and looked at my shoulder and saw my shirt was covered with blood. Mike asked, "Are you just going to have to carry extra clothes with you all the time, Hollywood?”

       I looked at myself and said, "I guess at least pants and a shirt.” I was glad I had left my jacket in the car. I was starting to get tunnel vision and I knew I needed to sit down.

       Rob and Cindy helped me over to a bench and I plopped down. I said I needed a cigarette as I put my face in my hands. Mike handed me one and Rob used Mike's lighter to light it for me.

       Mike looked at him and said, "Oh, I have to worry about you too?"

       Rob handed it back to him saying, "Oh… sorry Mike, I must have spaced," with a smile.

       I saw Jack standing up; his right arm hanging about three inches longer than it should; his left hand on his nuts. I stood; not knowing if he wanted more. Luckily he turned and with help from Trish he made his way to the other side of the yard.

       My head was spinning, there was no way I could have gone another round. I had to sit again.

       Cindy looked over at Trish and said, "He's done this to her before, you know.”


       Robby sat down next to me and asked if I was OK as I was looking at my right hand. My knuckles were red and bleeding from my assault on Jacks face; I have know idea how many times I slapped him but I put all I had into it.

       I shook my head no and said we should go. I stood; my knee hurting more than before. I pulled up my pant leg; there were two punctures just above my knee and I started to get pissed all over again.

       Rob put his arm around my waist and said, “It’s over Ryan, let it go, please.” This whole thing had shaken him up, bad.

       Rob started telling me he should have never stepped in front of me when that guy swung at me. He added that he really didn't know what he was going to do, but he wasn't going to stand there and let that guy hit me. I told him it was fine and at least he stopped Trish from adding insult to injury; and I thanked him.

       We walked to the car and Rob asked if I was ok to drive; I shook my head no. I gave him the keys and asked if he was ok with driving. He assured me he was and we got in the car. I rolled my pant leg up; my wounds were still bleeding, with no sign of letting up anytime soon.

       I told Rob I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital for a few stitches and I watched panic wash over him. I knew we would pass close to one on our way home and he said he knew where it was.

       I laid my head back in the seat and that's the last thing I remember. I woke up in the ER; some asshole was shining a light in my eyes. Rob, was sitting next to me, sobbing, holding my hand with one and the other on my chest.


       Everything that had happened came flooding back and I started getting tunnel vision again as my eyes closed. The Doctor told me he couldn't stitch my leg because it was a bite, but I needed one or two on the side of my head, adding I might have a mild concussion.

       He said that he couldn't treat me without a parent or guardians permission. I told     Rob to call my house; if my mom didn't answer, call her at Clint's, giving him the number. I told him to play it down and not to worry her. The doctor told Rob that if he got a hold of her she could give her permission over the phone. That shit doesn’t happen today.


       Rob came back a minute later saying my mom was on the phone. The doctor and Rob left the room and the doctor came back a few minutes later and said he would have me fixed up in no time. Rob came back into the room, sat down, and took my hand again.

       He said he told my mom she didn't need to come; he would bring me home. The doctor said I should stay the night for observation; I told him that wasn't going to happen and tried to sit up.

       He said “OK fine; just lay back,” and he would take care of me then asked Rob if he wanted to leave the room.

       Robby said, "Not a chance.”

       The Doctor cleaned and put butterfly sutures on my leg and shaved a spot the size of a quarter on the side of my head.

       I got two stitches and a fucking tetanus shot that hurt like hell. Rob never let go of my hand the whole time. The doctor told him not to let me sleep for more than an hour without waking me up.

       I got a few pain pills and was told to check back in a week or so then was wheeled out to my car. Rob got in and looked at me; tears starting to roll down his cheeks, and then he just started to cry. I could feel his fear. I could see the difference.

       Between sobs he was telling me when we got to the hospital, he couldn't wake me, and he has never been so scared in his life. He was crying; almost uncontrollably. I was trying to calm him down, telling him I was fine.


       I reached over and took his face in my hands and looked him in the eyes. “Robby, look at me; I am fine. It’s ok.”  

       I pushed the lighter in; got my smokes from the visor and lit one up as Rob started to calm down. To try and lighten the mood, I said, "If I could, save time in a bottle that is. I would dump this fucking night down the drain.”

       It worked; a small smile came over his face. He wiped his eyes and called me an ass, but agreed. I asked him if my mom was home; he said he got her at her boyfriends.

       He told me she sounded a little drunk and he played it down; not wanting her to get in her car and race to the hospital. I wasn't really surprised and thanked him.

       I asked if he was good to drive and he answered by starting the car. As we were pulling out Trish was driving in with Jack in the passenger's seat. We drove passed them and I don't think they noticed us.

       I rested my head back and closed my eyes. I felt Rob take the cigarette from my fingers then heard him cough. I looked over and he had taken a drag. I took it from him and asked, "What the fuck are you doing, dipshit?”


       I told him he could smoke a joint when we got home; he didn't need to start smoking cigarettes. After a short ride; about fifteen minutes; Rob hit the clicker and slowly pulled into the garage.

       He came around and helped me into the house then down to my room. I walked over to the mirror and took inventory. I was a fucking mess. Rob walked up behind me and confirmed that I looked like hell.

       He reached around in front of me and started unbuttoning my shirt. I announced, "Shit! I've only worn this twice; fucking Jack."

       Rob pulled the shirt over my shoulders and paused. He looked at me in the mirror; “You must have fallen on something Ryan,” as he reached and touched my back.

       I unbuttoned my pants and just let them slide and pushed my underwear down stepping out of them. Rob walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower as I sat on the bed taking my socks off.

       We passed in the doorway and he said he'd be back in a sec. I still had blood in my hair and down my leg; I turned and looked at my back in the mirror. I saw a bruise was forming on the lower right side and it hurt to touch.

       I heard from my room, "Get in the shower, Ryan."

       I looked at my reflection in the mirror and smiled as I reached up touching my fading hickey. I couldn’t help it. I walked into the hot water and just let it flow over me; my eyes closed, my arms limp at my side.


       It wasn't long and a voice behind me asked, "Is there anyplace I can touch you that doesn't hurt?" I turned, rubbed my hands over my face, opened my eyes, put a finger on my lips, and smiled.

       He stood on his toes tenderly kissing me as his hands fell to my ass. It wasn't a let's start something kiss, it was something totally different. His intuition; when it came to me was uncanny.

       He moved his head back, reached up touching my neck, and smiled as if remembering. I looked at him and said, "I thought I'd be in better condition when we came home tonight; this isn't how I planned it.”

       "It's OK, Rye. You really scared me tonight.”

       I asked him if all the blood was off me and walked out grabbing a towel for each of us. As we were drying off I told him to see if there was a roach in the Frisbee.

       I walked into the bedroom and Rob had the roach in one hand and my shirt and pants in the other.

       "What should I do with these?" he asked? I walked over and took them, cleaned out the pockets, and threw them in the corner; fucking Jack. I put on my bathrobe and we went out to the deck and puffed.

       We were sitting on the steps with Rob behind me, his arms around my chest and he asked, "Ryan, what happened tonight? You were like another person; that was mean what you did to him. You dislocated his fucking shoulder. Did you have to do that?"


       I said let this be a lesson to both of you. You don't ever hit a woman and you never let another man get away with it either. Even if it means getting your ass kicked, like me.

       "I think you were the clear winner, Mr. Badass," he proclaimed.

       He told me it was more than that; like I was enjoying hurting him. “That's not you, Ryan, what was it, what happened?”

       I told him I needed to talk to my mom first to figure some things out. He settled for that, for now.

I told him the pain pills I took were kicking in, I needed to go to bed.

       He took my hand; we walked in and brushed our teeth. He asked, "What will make you the most comfortable?”

       I told him to lie down; I would see what worked. Just so happens, my favorite position was the most comfortable. I laid the left side of my head on his chest and my right leg resting on his leg. I lay my right hand on his chest over his heart and he put his arm around me. How fucking convenient is that?

       This was our last night like this. We had been together for ten days; free to show our affection and attraction towards each other whenever we wanted, however we wanted, and that was now over.

       Robby's finger starting drawing designs on my back and he asked, "We got spoiled, didn't we?" Again, he was pulling things out of my head.

       "Ryan, you know I trust you, you said you would never lie to me” and he paused.

       “Is there a question in there somewhere?” I asked.

       "Ryan, how old are you?" Shit, shit, shit! “Ryan, I know you're still awake.”

       “I'm going to be eighteen on my next birthday, Robby.” I told him he had never asked, so it's not like I lied. “People have always just assumed I was older, sometimes I forget I'm only seventeen.”


       I felt him shaking my arm and calling my name. “Ryan, wake up.”

        I opened my eyes and asked what was wrong. He told me he was just checking; like the doctor said. I asked him if he was going to stay awake all night just to check on me every hour.


       "I would do anything for you, Ryan, now go back to sleep.”

       I told him, “You can't keep waking me up just to tell me to go back to sleep.”

       I woke up in the morning with the sun shining through the window. Rob's breathing told me he was still asleep and I melted more into his warm body feeling our hearts beating as one.

       I thought about the last ten days; what we had done, what we had learned about ourselves and each other, and I didn't want it to end. The thought of not being able to go to sleep and wake up next to him was heart wrenching.

       I could feel his breathing change and he pulled me a little closer. After a minute or two, he said, "I know you’re awake. How do you feel?"

       I replied, "Better than Jack,"

       “Ryan, do you think you're going to get in any trouble for what you did to Jack?” he asked.

       “He hit me first, Rob.”

       “No Ryan, he didn't. You hit him first.” He assured me.


       “Well, either way, I have Chuck and a butt load of money.” I reassured him.

       The phone rang and Rob reached over and got it. I could tell it was Mike from the one-sided conversation. Rob was playing down my injuries and didn't say anything about the hospital.

       I heard him say I was in the shower and he would have me call him back. He said goodbye and hung up. He rolled over and looked at me, he didn't say anything, and he just looked at me.

       I told him, I was sure I didn’t have cum on my face, so what was he looking at. He reached over and brushed some hair from my forehead, “I love the way you look in the morning, Ryan.” and gave me a soft peck on the lips.


       It was going on eleven but I pulled him down on me so I could have him close for a few more minutes. “We need to talk before I take you home Robby.” I softly told him.

       I said that I wanted to forget about last night; I would prefer it not get around. I continued with, it was up to him as far as the trip goes; DC, the house, and where we went.

       I was going to tell Walt he was a big help packing everything up and I bought the clothes as a thank you; so stick to that. I told him as far as the money, sleeping with each other, and shit that made us sound crazy; that was not to be shared.


       Then I told him that he was right; we had gotten spoiled, and I was going to miss not being with him all the time. I did say we would have things like school and work to keep our minds occupied, but for me, I knew it would be hard.

       We talked about school and how he was going to handle himself and wasn’t going to take shit off anybody. I added, “Please don’t let anybody hit you in the face.” and I kissed his nose.


       I explained how sorry I was for last night; the fight, the hospital, and everything. And to please don’t be scared of me thinking I might flip out. He told me I didn’t scare him like that; “Even after you hit Mike, I wasn’t scared of you hitting me. I knew you wouldn’t hurt me,” he said sounding so confident.

       “Ryan, you were going to bring me home and show me how you felt. When is that going to happen? It is going to happen, right?” he questioned with a wanton tone.

       I told him that I didn’t think Saturday was going to work; my lawn boy was coming over; I might be a little busy. The smile I got told me he understood.

       He asked me why I was going back to work; I didn’t need the money, so why don’t I go back to school. Like his mouth was engaged before his brain, he said, “Ryan, it would be so cool. We could be in school together.”

       I think my look said it all, “That could never work Rob. And I think you know why. This is going to be hard on us. It’s going to go back to like it was; even more, because we won’t be working together.”


       We hadn’t gotten out of bed yet and I needed to pee. “We got to get up Jr. It’s afternoon.” We got up with him letting me beat him and he started the shower. I yelled at him not to pee in my shower.

       “Too late,” I heard him say.

       I stood at the entrance of the shower and just watched him with the water running off him. I was missing this already.

       He had his back to me but said, “I know you’re there, Ryan. Why aren’t you getting under the water?” I walked up behind him and put my arms around his waist; he leaned his head back and I rested my chin on his shoulder. “I miss this already too, Rye.”


       “How do you fuckin do that?” I asked.

       “What? Like knowing what you’re thinking? I don’t know. It started when we got to Virginia and just keep getting stronger. When we got back; I thought it was gone. I just feel what you feel. I guess I can hear inside your head. I know how you felt last night singing that song.

       I could hear what you were thinking, but when you did what you did to Jack, nothing about you made any sense. I’ve never felt anything like that from you, you were screaming in your head, and your colors were so angry.”

       “So, you know what I’m thinking now?” I asked.


       He turned and put his forehead to mine. “You’re making jokes about serious shit again, Ryan. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. And no, it’s not going to happen. You need to save your strength for yard boy on Saturday, the yard boy will.”


       He was smiling when he turned for the soap and washcloth. As he washed me he told me he’d never thought about showering with someone; now he couldn’t imagine doing it alone.

       In his wisdom, he said, “The last 10 days have changed me, Ryan; they’ve changed both of us, in so many ways. I feel connected to you. I think I always was.” The little fucker; he was in my head more so than even he knew.


       I asked him where he wanted to eat before I took him home. Now it was me feeling him; I really could. I told him to cheer up.

       I took the soap and washcloth then lathered it up. He was so… right about showering; it meant so much more now. He loved the feel of my hands on his body as much as I enjoyed my hands on his skin.

       I said Millie’s and then home. I will come in with you and we can talk about what we did with Walt and Deb.

       He said, “I feel more at home here, or at home in Fredericksburg, than I do there.” and walked out of the shower.


       I followed him out after a minute; he was looking at himself in the mirror. I said, “I told you they would be gone by the time you went home, but I’ll always see them,” As I brushed my lips across them.

       He said, “Me too.”

       He went into his room and got dressed. I combed my hair; mindful of the stitches. The rest of my hair covered them. My leg was feeling better and I got dressed.

       We sat at Millie’s and I relayed how I wanted him to act in school tomorrow. I told him with the new clothes and attitude; people would look at him differently.

       He needed to be complementary to the girls: tell them they look good or they smell good. Hold the door for them, show confidence, be a gentleman, but don’t get a big head.


       I added, don’t let anybody bully you; most guys don’t want to fight anyway. If you can both walk away and save face without fighting, that’s cool.

       Sometimes, though; a guy just needs to be kicked in the balls, and that’s cool too. There is no such thing as a fair fight, but don’t sucker-punch somebody; that’s just not right.

       We finished lunch and we’re headed to his house. About a mile before we got there he told me to pull over. “Ryan, I have to tell you something. I don’t feel like a kid anymore. I’m not sure I ever did. The places you’ve taken me and the things I’ve seen. All the people I know now, you and me, the things we have shared, and the way you treat me. It’s all because of you.

       You have changed my life again Ryan and I want you to know that. I want to thank you. This really has been the best 10 days of this life.” He laid his hand on the console. I took it and we interlocked our fingers.

       He held my hand for a minute, kissed it, and said, “I like you a little too.” He was in my head again, hearing me screaming, I love you so fucking much.


       He said with a smile, “OK, Mr. Bad Ass Chancellor, I’m ready.” I put the car in D and we made our way the last mile to his house.

       We pulled into his driveway and by the looks of it, everyone was home. We sat in the car for a minute having another wordless conversation in our heads.

       His niece and nephew came out the front door and ran up to the car. Rob got out and greeted both with hugs then said he had a surprise for them in his bag.

       He loaded both with bags and boxes and asked them to please put them in his room. I opened the trunk and set the rest of his stuff down on the ground as they came back for another load.

       Deb and Walt had come to the door and were watching as they came back in and down to Rob’s room. Rob had his suitcase in his hand and set it on the porch and gave Deb a hug.

       She backed away and looked at him asking if he had grown while he was gone. I smiled. He pulled up his pant leg and said, “Platforms.”

       She looked at him closer and said, “No, it’s more than that, Robby.”


       He went down to his room as I walked upstairs with Walt and Deb. “He wasn’t any trouble was he, Skate?” Walt asked. I told him Rob was great and I though he had a real good time.

       Rob came back upstairs carrying the picture of us with the Carter’s and the souvenirs for the kids. We sat down and I let Rob tell most of the stories. Deb looked over at me and asked what happened to my neck. I looked at Rob smiling, and then I lied my ass off.


       “The first night; this little pyro wanted to roast marshmallows, so we built a fire. He swung his stick around with a marshmallow on fire and accidentally hit me in the neck. He is so lucky he didn’t set my hair on fire or he would have come home in a body bag.” I said, “It looks a lot better now.”

       I don’t know if she bought it or not but the conversation moved on. I explained away the clothes; saying I had inherited some money and Rob was such a big help I wanted to buy him some school clothes.


       Rob started to tell them about the trip to DC, Arlington National Cemetery, and the White House. Then he told them we had met the President showing them the picture. Initially, I think they believed him.

       I chatted with Walt asking how everything had gone. He said Dave worked out real well and I asked him if I had to worry. He assured me that my job was safe like I really gave a shit.

       As much as I didn’t want to leave, I couldn’t think of any reason to hang around. I got up and looked at Rob; we could feel what the other was thinking and feeling as we both forced a smile and I told Walt I would see him in the morning.

       I looked at Rob telling him he would have a great first day at school and to remember everything I told him. He followed me down the stairs; he put his hand on my shoulder and gave it a squeeze, and said, “I’ll call you later.”

       I looked back over my shoulder giving him a weak smile and told him he would have an awesome day tomorrow. I walked down the stairs and got in my car. This was hell. I was going home by myself and I fucking hurt like hell.

       I pulled into the driveway and when I opened the garage I saw my mom’s car. This was going to be interesting. I went into the house and down to my mom’s room. I knocked on the door and she told me to come in.

       I gave her a rundown on what had happened last night and she confirmed it for me. My dad had hit her a month before he died, I saw it and freaked out. She said they were going to separate just before he died and that was when she moved into the guest room.

       She explained that after dad died I never spoke of it and acted like I didn’t remember; it had never come up until now. I held back the part about dislocating Jack’s arm but told her I remembered everything.


       She apologized and asked me about last night and the trip. I gave her the highlights and told her that I really liked Rob; he felt like a little brother I never had.

       She told me she could tell and she thought he was cute and nice. “Ryan? Are you really OK?” You can tell me anything, honey.”

       I nodded and told her I was going to play for a while then was going to bed, adding I needed to go to work tomorrow. I walked through the house; everywhere I looked, I saw and heard Rob.

       I walked into his bedroom seeing he had hung a few outfits in the closet. I walked into my room and picked up my clothes from last night throwing them in the garbage.

       I walked back into my room and picked up the picture of us and traced over it with my finger. I don’t know why I was doing this to myself; we were as good as we could be. I knew Saturday was only five days away but more than an hour had passed; it felt like a month.

       I turned on the hot tub; sat and picked up my guitar and went through the songs I played best. It was so much different now; I felt the words. I knew what it felt like and realized how I must have sounded last night.

       I did have more passion. I could hear it and feel it in my voice; my hands were gentler on the strings, caressing them as I played. I wasn’t sad. In a way, I was happy; happy I could relate better with the lyrics. It really does make a deferent’s.

       The phone rang and my heart came alive as I answered; expecting to hear Rob on the other end.

       I was surprised when I heard Trish’s voice. “Ryan, are you there?”

       I said, “Hi Trish,” and asked, “How did you get my number?”


       “I’m at Mike’s, he called you for me. I needed to thank you Ryan and I wanted to see if you were OK. I am so… sorry for trying to hit you last night.”


       “I’m fine Trish. Thanks.”

       I couldn’t help but tell her she could do so much better than Jack. She said she had broken up with him this morning and would never let another man hit her ever again.

       She told me he was mad at her for hugging me. “I knew it would piss him off,” she said, “but I just couldn’t help it. You sounded so good last night. It really was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard Ryan.

       If I were honest, Ryan, I wished you were singing that to me, I think every girl was.”

       Awkward! I told her she was real sweet. I was glad she dumped Jack and biting my tongue; I told her I was sorry for flipping out. I never should have done that to Jack.

       She told me it was just what Jack needed and she didn’t think he would ever hit a girl again. I said again, I was sorry and she asked, “So Ryan, ah, what are you doing Saturday night?”

       “Oh, ah, well, ah, Saturday; this coming Saturday? Ah, well. Fuck!”

       “Or Friday,” she added.

       “Friday; well, ah, work. I have to work this weekend.” I stuttered. I was fucking tongue tied.

       “Well then; what about the Saturday after that?” She pushed.

       Oh, fuck! “Oh; ah, well Saturday after this coming? Ah, oh, yeah, that’s Rob’s birthday. I was planning a small party for him. That won’t work.”

       “Where,” She asked?

        “I’m going to do a dinner party at a restaurant in Seattle and then a concert.” I told her.

       “So Ryan, who all is going,” She persisted.


       “Well; ah, well, I haven’t made the list yet, but I was thinking ten people. Yah, ten.” This was getting to be too much.

       “So Ryan, now we know the number of people, who do I have to know to get on that list?” She said digging deeper.  

       “Well, ah, see Trish, I think maybe because I stuck up for you last night, maybe you got the wrong idea.” Please let this work, please.

       “I’ve always liked you, Ryan. And well, last night it just kind of seemed like you were protecting my honor, and I thought that maybe we might see.”

       I cut her off. I told her that I was flattered and everything, but ah, well, see. She cut me off this time and told me it was fine. She could tell by the way I did that song last night there was somebody special in my heart and she thought that whoever it was, was very lucky.

       Bullet dodged! I told her I was happy she understood; there was a ton of great guys out there that would be all over her now Jack was out of the picture. I told her I had to go and said goodbye before she could say anything more.

       Boy, I never saw that coming, what the fuck. I grabbed a cigarette and fired it up on the deck. I didn’t like smoking in the house. This was going to be hard to explain away. Ryan Chancellor turning down Trish, She was hot. How could I explain who that special someone was? Fuck me again!

       The phone rang and I was sure it was Rob. I answered saying, “Hi there.”

       “Ryan, is that you?” I hear from the other end.

       “Oh Cindy, I was expecting somebody else.” I replied.

       “Ryan, I was sitting here and I heard the conversation with Trish. I told her I thought there was somebody special. I mean, the way you sang last night Ryan, it was so obvious. You have to tell me Ryan, who is it, come on?” She pleaded. Fuckin woman. 

       “Oh; ah, well, ah, no Cindy, it’s not like that.” I said stumbling over my words.

       “Ryan, don’t be like that. I could tell, I mean, it was written all over you.”

       Fuck; fuck, shit, I can’t catch a fucking break. I could hear Mike in the background saying, “Just tell her Hollywood, she’s not going to let up until you do.” Fucking shit, him too.

       “It’s not like that, Cindy. I was just in a mood last night.”

       “Oh Ryan, don’t give me that shit. I’ve known you too long. Just tell me who it is.”

       “No, Cindy. I’m not going to do that, it’s nobody’s fuckin business. Just tell Trish, it has nothing to do with her or anything. OK?”

       “It’s not Jena again is it? Ryan, say it’s not Jena.”

       “Cindy you know I don’t like people all up in my business and shit. Really, you guys just saw more than, well, like I said, I was just in a mood.”

       To change the topic I said “A week from this coming Saturday I’m hosting a Birthday party for Rob at Palisades. Dinner and a concert, on me; you and Mike are both invited.” That should get her head out of my business.

       “Oh shit, Ryan, that’s going to cost a fortune. What’s the concert?” Good, this is working.

       I told her ‘The Cars’. That had her going in a different direction. I told her he was going to be sixteen and I wanted him to have a great birthday.

I could hear her relaying to Mike saying she had nothing to wear to Palisades. I had distracted her, way to go Chance, I thought. I said, “Well, you talk it over with Mike; I’ll talk to you guys later, Bye.”


       I hung up the phone still hearing her talking. Shit; fuck, son of a bitch! Well, I guess I knew what we were doing for Rob’s birthday. The phone rang again; shit. I answered with WHAT.

       “Ryan, what’s wrong?” I hear from the other end of the phone. It was Rob. “What’s wrong, Ryan?” he asked again.

       I said, “Sorry Rob, nothings wrong. I thought you were someone else.” I was wondering what I should do. Do I tell him Trish was hitting on me? “Really Rob, it’s nothing, really.”

       He said he had been trying to call me but the line was busy and asked who I was talking to? I just told him my phone had been ringing off the hook with people from last night. It had gotten around that I had flipped out and almost killed Jack.

       I told him, I hate it when people are all up in my business. Everyone was blowing things out of proportion.

       He said, “Ok, well I wanted you to know, it’s only been a few hours, but it feels like a month. I wanted to tell you sweet dreams.”

       I told him I felt the same way and I wanted him to have sweet dreams too and added but no, and he said, “I know.”

       We talked for a few minutes and he said he had to go. We said goodbye and hung up. How sweet was he? I took off my clothes then grabbed the roach and a smoke and went out to the hot tub. The water stung my leg but the distraction of the pain calmed me a little.

       I took a few hits and then lit my smoke and rested back. I had my work cut out for me. I had to make reservations for Palisades and call ticket master and see if I could get tickets for the concert. Even on the fly, it looked like Rob was going to have a good birthday.

       I climbed out of the hot tub and put on my robe. I went into the kitchen and put a TV dinner in the oven setting the timer. I walked back out on the deck sitting down with my guitar and strummed away.

       I sat out there way to long and burned my dinner. I went back to the kitchen, threw it in the garbage, and decided to just go to bed.

       After a rotten nights sleep, I got up at six and dressed for work. I was starving so I went to Millie’s for breakfast. I walked in and saw Walt having coffee so I joined him.

       He had a grin on his face and told me Rob didn’t shut up the whole night. I smiled at him saying Rob had a great time. Adding, I did also.

       Millie brought me a cup of coffee asking if I was having the usual for breakfast and I nodded. I asked Walt about Rob’s birthday saying that I wanted to take him out with some friends but didn’t want to interfere with anything they had going on.

       I told him that I hadn’t said anything to him about it; I kind of wanted it to be a surprise. He said they weren’t planning much and would work around it.

       He told me that I had bought Rob so many clothes; he couldn’t make up his mind what to wear this morning. He said I have never seen him so excited to go to school. I smiled at the thought.

       He told me it must have cost a butt load of money. I cut him off saying, it wasn’t that much and wasn’t a big deal.

       “It was good for him to go with you, Ryan. He needs someone like you to take him under their wing. Deb and I really appreciate you doing this for him.”

       I told him that was nice and I kind of thought of him as a little brother and it was fun watching him have such a good time. My food came and Walt said he was going to be off and would see me in a little while.

       Millie came and sat with me after Walt left. She watched me for a minute and said, “It sounded like you boys had a great time, Ryan.” I was smiling while I ate, thinking about Rob, and nodded with my mouth full.

       I finished and headed the mile to work. I walked into the office looking at the orders that needed to be filled and just started work; even though work didn’t start for a half hour.

       The day just flew by. I got shit from the guys as I expected, but no comments about the faded hickey, except a look from Dave.

       By the end of the day, I knew Rob had been out of school for an hour and I couldn’t wait to talk to him. I did call for reservations for his birthday and called ticket master checking on tickets for the concert.

       I left work and made it just before they closed getting ten tickets for The Cars. I walked into the house to the phone ringing. I answered it excited; wanting to hear all about Rob’s day, hoping it had gone well.

       “Well, how was it?” I asked.

       “Ah Ryan, this is Jack. Ryan, are you there?”

       “Jack, ah, so, so how did you get my number?”

       “Ryan, I just wanted to tell you, no hard feelings about last night, I deserved it.”

       He went on to tell me Trish had broken up with him. He didn’t blame her after how he acted. He shared with me he thought she liked me and had for a long time. I assured him that I had no designs on her.


       I couldn’t help but add, “It’s hard. All the girls wanted a piece of Chancellor.” Ha, ha, put that in your fucking pipe and smoke it, you son of a bitch.

       “Yah, well, I just wanted to say no hard feelings, Ryan,”

       I told him I hoped his arm got better soon and looking at the back of my hand I said, “Your face too.” I said goodbye before he could say anything else. Shit, how did he get my number?

       I was twisting one up when the phone rang again. Please let it be Rob as I answered it. “Ryan, it was the best day ever.” I heard from the other end. A face splitting smile spread across my face as I felt his excitement.

       “Ryan, it was fucking awesome. Everybody was talking to me; people I don’t know were coming up to me. Even girls, like ten of them, they told me how good I looked.”

       “I told you Rob; so no problems?” I asked.

       “None,” he said. I paused; thinking about the girls. “Ryan, are you still there?”

       “Yes, Rob. I’m so happy for you. This is going to be a great year for you”

       “Ryan, what’s wrong? I can tell.”

       I changed the subject telling him Jack had called me; I told him what he said and what I said to him.


       “Ryan, girls were coming on to me, big time. I don’t know what to do”

       As much as it was killing me, I told him, “Enjoy all the attention, just ride the wave for a while and see what comes of it.”

       “Ryan, I don’t need to be standing next to you to know what you’re feeling.” I ignored what he said and asked about his neighbor; had there been any problems with him. “Ryan, don’t change the subject.”

       “Rob; we talked about this. It’s ok. Just go with the flow, we’ll be fine, I promise”

       “Who are you trying to convince, Ryan?” he challenged.

       “Me Robby, I’m trying to convince myself.”

       He started to say something then said Deb just pulled in and he had to go but would call me tonight before he went to bed. He paused and said “Ryan.”


       I said, “I know, Rob. I like you a little too.” I said goodbye and hung up.

       My mom wasn’t home so I decided to shower and dress and went to the Gentleman for dinner. I had Harold sit with me and I told him I wanted to invest in the restaurant and I thought we should expand.

       He said he didn’t own the property and wasn’t sure if that was feasible. I told him it was something that I wanted to do and asked if he would mind if I looked into it further. He said it was fine then asked how much money I was talking about.

       I told him I wasn’t sure, but I thought we were missing out on a lot of money having to turn people away. I ate my dinner and got home about eight.

       I got on the phone and called Park; inviting him and Cass to Rob’s party and told him they could bring dates if they wanted. I just needed to know beforehand, I had reservations for 10 at 5:30 on the 14th.

       I don’t know if I just missed Rob’s call or if he didn’t call, but I went to bed at ten and tossed and turned all night. I pulled Rob’s pillow up to my face and could still smell him on it, and that made me feel a little better.

       I woke up before the alarm. I got up and sat on the deck in my robe and smoked a cigarette. Surprisingly the phone rang and when I answered, it was Rob. He said, “I slept like shit too, Ryan.”

       I lied and said, “I slept like a baby.”

       He called me on it and said he felt me tossing all night. “I fucking hate this, Ryan.”

       “It’s ok, Rob. Get yourself ready for school and call me tonight.”

       I got dressed and beat Walt to work. I had coffee brewing when he pulled in. He told me that Rob had a great day yesterday telling me; “Whatever you told him seemed to make a difference.”

       I walked down to the office and got my orders as the guys starting showing up. Again, another busy day and it was over before I knew it. I called Josh when I got home and told him he and Randy were invited to Rob’s party. I gave him the date and time and told him Palisades.

       I got in the shower to wash off the day and heard the phone ringing. I ran out of the shower dripping all the way. It was Rob. He gave me a run down of his day, sounding much like yesterday.

       I told him I was in the shower when he called. I was naked and dripping all over. He said, “Wish I was there.”

       I said, “me too.”

       I told him I would talk to him tomorrow; I was going to finish my shower. He said, “No beating off in the shower, without me.” Then; again in my head, he said, “Love you too, Rye.”


       I hadn’t even thought about beating off, but it didn’t sound like a bad idea. I walked back into the shower, put some cream rinse in my hand, and started stroking my dick.

       After about five minutes of trying; I just gave up, rinsed off, and got out. Well, this was a first; I never had a problem getting hard before. I chalked it up to Rob telling me not to.


       I put a TV dinner in the oven setting the timer and made a mental note to remember it this time. I twisted one, went out on the deck, and fired it up. After a few hits, I had mellowed and was hungry.

       My Swanson dinner was done and I happily ate it. It was starting to get dark so I played for a while and went to bed. Another shitty nights sleep and the hard on I was sprouting in the morning was because I needed to pee.

       Again, I beat Walt to work and had the coffee done when he got there. He told me again that Rob seemed to be doing well compared to last year but it had only been two days. I told him I thought he was going to do great this year; maybe even get a girlfriend. Cringe!

       He said the weather was turning and asked about my yard and if Rob needed to take care of it this weekend. I told him I hoped it didn’t rain because the yard really needed to be mowed.

       Thursday ended with clouds moving in and by the time I went to bed it was raining. I talked to Rob before bed; much like the last two days, he said, everything was great.

       I think I was only really sleeping about three hours a night and it was starting to take its toll on me. By Friday morning, I was dragging and needed a few helpers. I didn’t beat Walt to work and I kept myself busy.

       I was talking to Chuck on the phone about my plans for the Gentleman when Walt walked in; overhearing some of the conversation. He asked me about it when I got off the phone.

       I played it down saying, I was thinking about investing in a business. I had never said anything about my other job to Walt and I didn’t want to share my shit with him.

       Walt walked out of the office and I watched him out the window. He strolled out into the yard and went behind a sling of lumber. He looked around then got down on his knees and was doing something.

       The phone rang so I went back to the desk and answered it. I took care of the questions the customer asked and by the time I was done, Walt had come back in.

       Walt had not asked me about working Saturday so I asked him. I was working tonight and didn’t care if he wanted me to work tomorrow so when he said that would be great, I said fine. I could pick Rob up in the morning and bring him to work with me.

       I finished the day and went home. I showered and put on one of my grandfather's suits to go to work. I fuckin rocked those threads; today that suit would be five thousand dollars, and Harold told me so when I got there, saying I was better dressed than he was.

       I had been doing well; I wasn’t depressed or feeling down. I was excited about having Rob spend the night, and on top of that, I was looking forward to a good nights sleep.

       I walked into the house around 10:30 to the phone ringing. I answered it and heard Rob on the other end. Just the sound of his voice lifted my spirits; I hadn’t realized it but I guess I was down.

       He had some excitement in his voice and it made me feel good. He said he was looking forward to tomorrow and asked if I was rested up.

       I told him I wasn’t rested but I was sure I could muster up some energy. He repeated the same story he had the last few days; saying everything at school was going great.

       I told him I would pick him up in the morning and said goodbye. I hung up my suit, turned on the hot tub, and twisted one up. I was happy; Rob sounded good and seemed to be excited about seeing me tomorrow.

       I smoked about half of my joint and dropped it in my Frisbee before I went to bed. It took me a while, but I eventually fell asleep.

       I had the most wonderful dream. Rob and I were older and in Fredericksburg. We seemed to be so happy lying under the tree by the river.

       It felt so good; it seemed I knew I was dreaming, but I enjoyed the images that were running through my brain. When I woke up, I knew the hard on I had wasn’t from having to pee and that put another smile on my face.

                             From the Author:

       You are continuing to read and from comments and emails, you are enjoying it. That is very flattering to me. Some of you; and you know who you are, have been too kind. Over the next few chapters, Rob and I live the highest highs, and the lowest lows, but we survive.



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