Not as it seems

by Benjamin Conner

Chapter 10

Attention Readers: I'm looking for help publishing my stories. Since I'm not natively English, I need someone to look over my chapters before posting them online, so the quality stays high. So, if you are good at grammar, punctuation and phrases, you may want to spend some time helping me. Contact me, if you'd like to do so. Thanks!

The sun was about to fight its way up into the sky, slowly highlighting the ground mist of the morning, and asked Canada to wake up. Peter, being in a hurry, reached the Whistler's RV Park and Campground. He had been able to successfully flee from the safe house and currently was on his search for the two most important people in his life.

Finding the public phone the boys could have used to talk to Frank he picked up the handset and dialed his friend's cell phone number. Peter learned that Ethan had called and that the Parksville Detective was on his way to where Peter was waiting.

"I'll be there soon. Where are the boys?"

"I don't know Frank; they are not here....damnit!"

"Don't panic Peter, Ethan told me that Darren called someone and that this person was going to pick them up as well."

"What do you mean by he called someone? He doesn't talk."

"I don't know, that's what Ethan told me and this guy must have been faster than me. Wait for me, and we will find them together, okay?"

"Okay Frank, please hurry - I don't know how long it will take before the Agents find out that we're gone."

"I will, see you soon."


Carl watched Peter arrive, searching for someone or something and then observed the man talking to somebody on the phone. He wasn't sure if it was a smart move, but following his intuition he turned off the radio, opened the door of his car, and slowly crossed the street.

"Hey Mister, you look like you've lost something."

"Hello....oh...yeah I'm looking for my....dogs. They ran away in the middle of the night....from the campsite."

The black man immediately knew that he was lying and thought about testing Peter.

"Oh, too bad, what kind of dogs were they?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know what kind of dogs you lost?"

"Well, they're...."

"Didn't you probably lose two little puppies?"

"Well...um...yeah." Peter answered guessing that this guy was the person Frank mentioned and that he knew where the boys were.

"What color are they?"

"Both white...I mean with brown fur."

"I guess I've seen them. What names do they go by?"

"Who are you?" Peter asked having enough of the game.

"I'll answer your question if you answer mine!"

"They're called Ethan and Darren."

"Pretty odd names for puppies', right?"

"Gosh, can you please stop it and tell me where the boys are?"

"Which one is your kid?"

"Ethan."

"Okay, I have them in a safe place, don't worry."

"I'm Peter. Who are you?"

"My name is Carl, Darren's uncle."

"But you are....."

"Black?"

"Yes."

"That's a long story. Jump into the car. I'll drive you to them."

"Alright, you got a cell phone?"

"Why?"

"A friend of mine is on his way to help. He's a Police Detective and will be here soon. I want to tell him where we are going to."


Minutes later they opened the door to the motel room and found the boys snuggled up to each other sleeping in one bed. It was a beautiful heart warming image, just like brothers.

Peter hurried over to his son and softly stroked his boy's face breathing out in relief. Neither of them woke up and he decided to let them sleep, now that they were safe again. Carl wanted to remove the IV line from Darren's arm, but to his surprise, it had already been removed. With a questioning look on his face he went over to the couch and started to fold the clothes Ethan and Darren had worn, wondering why Ethan's shirt and boxers lay on the ground. Peter on the other hand needed some clarification and asked Carl to follow him into the open kitchen.

"So, who are you?"

"My name is Carl Weinberg. I'm Darren's uncle so to say. Actually not his real uncle but I have been there since he was born."

"Where?"

"Wherever Dylan, Darren's father was at the time. Dylan Anderson and I were friends and we worked together for a very long time."

"What kind of work?"

"We both had a chair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and did a lot of research together."

"MIT - wow. What kind of research?"

"NT - Nanotechnology."

"Okay whatever that is....and why are you here?"

"Quid pro quo - it's your turn now. What's your connection to Darren?" Carl asked.

Peter told Carl about the accident, how he happened to become his legal guardian, how they had found him, what happened during all their time together, the connection Darren had to Ethan, that he never talked, and that he was probably still in a state of shock. The same state Peter got in when he was told that Darren had talked to the man some hours ago.

"He's a mysterious boy, Carl."

"I know, but that's not his fault."

Both men jumped startled when there was a knocking noise at the door. Peter apprehensively took a look through the side window, it was Frank. He opened the door to the motel room and could do nothing else but hug him.

"Oh my god Frank, what a relief to see you. Thanks for coming."

"Are the boys here?"

"Yeah, Ethan and Darren are sleeping. I guess we only have another hour until they'll notice that we're gone."

"Who are 'THEY' Peter, and tell me what happened? I found your note on the kitchen counter, but actually was unable to make any sense out of it."

"It's a long story."

"I've been hearing that a lot these days. Who's that?" Frank asked pointing to the black man.

"That's Carl, Darren's uncle?" Peter answered.

"Carl? Carl Weinberg?"

"Yes, that's my name, and you are?"

"Frank Miller, we talked on the phone yesterday."

"Oh yes you are the Detective looking for....oh Lord now this all makes sense."

"You know him?" Peter asked.

"Yes I found his telephone number in one of the files I received from the LAPD and he told me a little bit about Darren. Now Peter, why are we here?"

"Okay Frank, listen, it's all pretty weird. You remember the FBI story I told you?"

Carl listened as interested in the details as Frank was, while Peter explained the safe house story and how he had discovered the Agents, Detectives, or whoever, were really the bad guys. All three had different impressions from what they knew about it, but putting it all together the story made sense. Now the only thing that was totally unclear was the role Darren had in it.

"Carl, can you imagine any reason why Darren would stop talking, besides the shock from the accident - I mean, he obviously was able to talk - and why was he in that car with these two guys?" Peter asked.

"Unfortunately yes, but before I tell you this you have to promise that you will never tell anybody about it. This is really important because if this information gets in the wrong hands, Darren is pretty much in danger."

"In more danger than he is already in?"

"Yes, because some secrets are still unrevealed and it should stay like this."

Both promised to keep their mouths shut as long as none of them, especially Ethan, would be harmed in any way.

"Okay listen, Dylan Anderson is....was one of the most intelligent people I've ever known and I enjoyed working with him very much. I told you about our jobs - NT research and development.

"What's NT?" Frank asked.

"Nanotechnology - it's all about very...very small things - up to 10.000 times thinner than a human hair. These things are half organic and half technical - we call them nano devices with different abilities - you might have heard about nano bots in some movies which can do special things within a human body."

"Yeah, I've heard that before." Peter said with pride.

"Okay, that's comparable in many ways! Dylan and I did lots of research in NT trying to develop a multi-functional nano device and we were way ahead of our colleagues. Right as this technology was established as one of six strategic research areas for defense, we joined the US National Nanotechnology Initiative. It was actually part of the US Department of Defense and Homeland Security, but we didn't know that at the time. We received a lot of money for all our researches and were free to do whatever we wanted to, so we were quite lucky. By 2005 the NNI - including us as the head of it - received an annual budget of $276 million dollars; can you possibly imagine what we were able to do with that amount of money?"

"No I can't and I've never heard of this field of research." Frank answered.

"A few years after we had begun Dylan found a way of building a self-assembling nanoscale device that was able to modify human cells into an organic-based.....I'm sorry, when I start talking about these things I sometimes forget, that it's hard to understand. I'll make it easy for you. He built an organic nano device with multi-functional characteristics which was able to increase a person's stamina and ease or even heal injuries. Basically it was able to influence a person's health; of course only in theory by that time and its function was limited, but it worked in a real mysterious way."

"And you call that easy? Frank, do you understand this?" Peter asked.

"Well, a little, but what does any of this have to do with the boy?"

"I'll tell you, but first listen or you won't understand this. Here are the basics about our field of research. Take a diamond and a piece of graphite for example. They consist of carbon and have the exact same amount of atoms, so they are basically the same. The only thing which makes them different is the arrangement of the atoms. This means, you have a material which is based on the same element, but when you rearrange the molecular structure you get totally different features from the same element. Did you understand that?"

The men nodded still with a questioning look on their faces.

"And that's what Dylan tried to do with the human cell structure - modifying it by the usage of very small helpers - our nano devices." Carl added.


While the men were talking about how all this had started and what the root cause was, Darren slowly opened his eyes. It took a minute before he recognized that his left leg was entangled with Ethan's, which felt warm and cozy. There was no better way to wake up, especially after what they had just experienced. Darren smiled in satisfaction and turned his head to see the boy that he admired so much for being there. He had always felt that there was a special bond between him and Peter's son, but that it was pure love between two very special boys, was far beyond his imagination.

"Ethan?" He whispered, but didn't get an answer.

Darren heard his friend's constant breathing and could feel Ethan's soft and warm skin on his body. Before he decided to wake the other boy up, he listened to the voices that were heard in the background. The men had to be in the kitchen because they weren't visible from the bed. Identifying all three of them by their voices, Darren decided that he should wake up his friend and let him know that his father was there.

"Ethan....wake up!" He breathed and kissed his friend on his left cheek.

Feeling bleary, Ethan slowly blinked and snuggled up even closer to Darren asking for some more time.

"Your Dad is here."

"Really?" Now Ethan was awake in no time.

Both felt the immediate need to see and hug them, but instead of jumping up and running over to the grown-ups they decided to put on their boxers and listen to what the men were saying after they heard some interesting things.


"Okay, so far so good. In 2001 Darren was born and it was the most wonderful time for all three of us, that's Dylan, Barbara and me. They were such a harmonious family and thank God I was part of it in so many ways - we worked together, ate together, spent our time and holidays together...I was just always there. Besides the happy family we were also successful with our research and made good progress. Everything was fine, until the US Military stated their interest - actually they hired us to work for them and offered us even more money. So we quit working for MIT."

"Oh man, can you make a long story short?" Frank asked.

"I'll try. When Darren was 4 years old he was diagnosed with a genetic type of leukemia and was given a maximum of 3 more years to live because it was already incurable. Dylan was unable to accept this and practically stopped all military research to find a cure for his boy. It's understandable that the Military didn't like his decision. However, he did what he needed to do, but he failed, luckily."

"Why was he lucky if he failed?" Frank asked.

"Because, it's what brought him back to our NT research. It took us about two more years, Darren was getting weaker and weaker and had to spend more and more time in the hospital when Dylan finally found a way of programming these nano devices to find and correct genetic errors - as he had done in theory – but this time for real. Using special military equipment he tried to prove his idea on rats - and it worked....the devices began to modify the cell structure of the rats and selectively destroyed cancerous cells."

"Wow, that could heal many fatal diseases right?" Peter asked.

"Right you are. But there were some problems and only one year left. Self-replicating nano devices underlie an unintended action-reaction cycle that could lead to all kinds of side effects which could have been even worse than cancer."

"Carl please, my brain is fried already." Ethan's father said.

"It's difficult I know. What Dylan found was the beginning of something beautiful, something unique, and way ahead of any other research. The nano devices he built were able to reassemble each other and furthermore developed independently in an evolutionary process. They more and more differed from the first deployment. No matter at what time we took samples from the rats we used, at all times the devices were different and more enhanced than a generation before. Something we never programmed them to do."

"You don't know what it means if somebody asks you to make a long story short do you?" Frank was obviously overwhelmed by all the information.

"What I'm trying to tell you is that he developed a self replicating evolutionary and self enhancing - let's say medicine - that positively influenced organic cells. Something that could change the whole world, but Dylan only focused on his son. Being pressed for time he injected the most stable version to Darren, and it worked. Hell it worked brilliantly because two weeks later his son was practically free of cancer, and not only cancer, but he was free of any kind of kind of wound, scar, or anything else. It was as if his body was transforming into a perfect version of a human body. The only problem with it was that we couldn't heal his genetic errors. Once the medicine stops working, he encounters a dramatic fall back within days."

"It's difficult to believe." Peter said.

"I know, but it's the truth."

"But why was Darren on the move with these guys, the Krayne's, and why did they transport him to Vancouver Island - far away from L.A.?" Frank still wasn't convinced.

"Military Intelligence Service, for sure. I don't know why they were there and who the guys were, but what I do know is that the MIS wanted all the research results and especially any information on what he'd done with his son. However, he couldn't give it to them because unfortunately everything was lost after a great fire in our laboratory and we never found out who did it. So the only working samples were in Darren and they would only work for about two years. Then he would need a fresh dose which couldn't be replicated because of the lost results and since the samples in Darren had already changed within the evolutionary process. What I didn't know was that Dylan had kept some of the original source in a secret place outside the lab so he could focus on healing his son without the Military bothering him."

"Did he burn the lab?" Frank asked.

"If you ask me, yes he did it, because he knew that the Military would only use his results for warfare and nothing of it would ever be published or used to heal human diseases. However, by hiding some of the basic material, Darren was able to get a new shot right after his eighth birthday. Unfortunately this meant that we weren't able to give the MIS what they wanted, our research results, so they decided to just kidnap Darren. They wanted the nano devices so badly that they would sacrifice Darren's life for it."

"They tried to find a way of replicating these nano-things by extracting them from his body?" Peter anticipated.

"Exactly, but since the evolutionary process was already initiated and the devices had already morphed, they never found the source. Besides, there were additional side effects, something we never told anybody about. By this time Darren not only was perfectly healthy, but he also developed extra sensory perception and clairvoyance, sort of like remote viewing. We also recognized abilities for telepathy. They were weak, but he sometimes knew things or was able to influence a person's behavior."

"Extra sensory what?" Frank asked.

"Extra sensory perception - he knows things before they happen or he can see things, which he actually couldn't possibly know."

"I have heard a lot about that along my job, but have never seen it for real." Peter stated and continued. "How does it work?"

"We had no idea, but thought it might have to do with the pureness and innocence of a child's body, nature and soul in combination with a perfectly working body and a clean healthy gene pool."

"And so the military took him and tried to find out how it worked?" Frank concluded.

"Yes, and they wanted to know everything. What they were doing in Vancouver? I have no idea, but when Darren first called me, about a year ago – when he nearly escaped during that time - I rented a place in Vancouver and tried to find him on my own. I'm sure the people who transported him were MIS Agents."

Peter slowly began to understand and wanted to know if Carl had any explanation to why Darren remained silent. Frank on the other hand understood what this was all about, but decided to keep his mouth shut and continued to listening.

"It was one of the first rules Dylan taught his son, after he was healed - whenever somebody is near that you don't know, don't say anything and behave as if you can't speak - for your own protection."

"Did Darren know about these things?"

"He knows enough. I guess the military hoped that he could lead them to the source - and actually he would have been able to - I have it - but he never told them anything. He's a very brave boy."

"That's what they wanted to find out. Gosh this sounds like a science fiction story. Is it true that Darren's parents are dead?"

"Yes, they were killed, probably by MIS Agents."

"Carl, you have no idea what I've already heard in regards to this boy....about Interpol, FBI, organized organ trafficking and so on....unbelievable...and I'm not sure, if I can believe this one.

Ethan's father was just as puzzled as enlightened from what he had heard, but more or less understood what this was all about - if this was finally the truth.

Peter recognized a movement and looked up. By the wall, that separates the kitchen from the living room stood Darren, wearing only his boxers. He had a grief stricken expression on his face and tears were streaming down his cheeks. For a moment the men were shocked to see him. It was so quiet, that everybody was able to hear Darren's tears drop down and nearly explode as they fell down to the wooden floor.

"Is that true?" Darren asked with a shaking voice. "Are they dead?"


Uncle Carl turned his head and was startled that the little boy was standing right in front of him and heard all of this - he never wanted to let him know this way.

"Darren, come here please!" Carl said.

"NOOOO, IS IT TRUE?"

"Darren, please...."

"No, why didn't you tell me?"

"I wanted to, but..."

"You didn't....leave me alone!"

The younger boy couldn't accept this revelation and ran back over to the bed burying his head into the pillow crying for all he was worth. He had known for a while now that something bad had happened, but had refused to believe it sending a thousand prayers up to god for being wrong with his intuition. Sometimes he felt it hadn't happened, like when he stood at the window in the Bennet's house talking to his mom for example. At other times he was sure they were gone, but the pain was simply too hard to accept it.

Carl got up from his kitchen chair and followed Darren to console him. After such a long time without him he couldn't just leave him like that all alone with this.

Ethan was overwhelmed by the situation and ran over to Peter throwing himself into his arms not knowing what to feel first - happiness for seeing his father again or sadness for the boy he loved and who suffered so much.

"Oh boy, it's so good to see you Ethan. I missed you soo much." Peter said kissing his son wherever he could get his lips on the boy.

"I missed you too Dad....can I go to Darren?"

"Guess he needs some time alone with Carl."

"No, he needs me."

"Just a minute, okay? I just can't let you go right now; I need some cuddling with my little big boy. Frank, I guess we have to move soon. You know any place where we can go?"

"Hmm back home is not an option, right?"

"I don't think so."

"I'll talk to a friend and figure something out."

"Okay good, but perhaps you better not talk about addresses or places on the phone...just in case if even half of this is true!"


Fifteen minutes later Carl came back and told Ethan that Darren wanted to see him. In no time Peter's son was gone and tried to comfort his younger friend. The grown ups remained in the kitchen and talked about their options after Frank talked to a friend on the phone.

"I know a place where you can go and stay for a while, but it's a little place and you have to drive a long way - about 450 miles." Frank related.

"Where is it?" Peter wanted to know.

"It's close to Edmonton, a friend has a house on his ranch there which he isn't using at the moment and you can stay there until we find a way to handle all this."

"Edmonton? That's in Alberta, what about..."

"I know Peter; a friend of mine from the RCMP will help you cross the state border."

"RCMP? You really know him? Remember the story...."

"We have been together at the VPD for more than two years. He's a good man, don't worry! Carl, I guess you two should stick with Peter and Ethan."

"Yeah, that's a good idea, but I guess I'll have to take care of some other things so that we can begin to live a normal life again. Peter, can Darren stay with you?"

"Absolutely, I can't even imagine what Ethan would do if we'd separate them once again."

"What are you going to do Carl?" Frank asked.

"I'll check if I can give a sample of the working source to the MIS - otherwise we'll never regain a life and would have to hide Darren for the rest of his'."

"How long will the rest of the stuff last? I mean Darren needs a shot every two years, right?" Ethan's father asked.

"There's enough for his entire life, but we don't know where it might lead to at the end so we regularly have to check his state."

"Excellent, we should leave this place soon - let's say 30 minutes? I'll go back to Parksville and see about everything else." Frank suggested before Peter reminded them to think about new names for the time they needed to hide.

"I'll handle that; let me check into the witness protection program. Here, I only have a hundred bucks, but you'll need more money and I can't do anything about that before tomorrow; don't use your credit cards, okay? You have a cell phone?"

Carl gave Peter his cell phone, explained that it's a secret number and prepared to leave this place while Ethan was still consoling his friend.


It was nearly 9 o'clock on a warm and sunny August day in Edmonton, Alberta. Five days had passed since Peter, Darren and Ethan had left the motel close to Whistler right after their escape from the so called safe house. It had been a long journey and all three of them had to learn how not to leave behind any evidence while on their way. This could be a problem when you have nothing but the clothes you wear, only a little money and do not want to use any credit cards. However, the little family managed to handle it and in the meanwhile had settled into a lovely little ranch just outside a small town which Frank's friend had dedicated to them for as long as it was necessary. He had tried to sell it for months but was unsuccessful; so instead, it had become the temporary home for Peter and the boys.

Frank had also provided the three with new identities that he had organized from an old friend. Well not exactly a friend, but someone who owed him a favor for not being arrested because of forgery. So they had new identification cards, birth certificates and a good story about where they came from. The witness protection program had not been an alternative, because it was part of the government and that could have blown their cover.

The Police Detective had also tried to find a lawyer who was able to handle the entire case, since the district attorney was not interested, so to say - but all his attempts were unsuccessful. He also tried to talk with another friend from the RCMP, which is the federal police in Canada, and that didn't change anything either. He was informed it wasn't their authority - or more to the point they just didn't want to sue the U.S. Military. In the end Frank realized that they were all alone with this situation and that nobody seemed to be able to fight for them - or to be exact - declare war between them and the Military Intelligence Service of the United States.

This resulted in Carl being the fourth ace in this game. He tried a different approach and called his former liaison officer at the MIS to offer a sample from the source fluid that Dylan Anderson had used to heal his son's cancer. The MIS was willing to stop all investigations and help them if they could get what they wanted and if Carl would accept to work for them until everything was reproduced. The only problem was, that this could take months - and during that time and unless the MIS was satisfied, Peter and the two boys were still in danger. They couldn't trust the MIS once again because they've already proved capable of killing people whether intentionally or not; therefore, definitely not trustworthy.

All of this meant that the three of them now had new names, were on their own, had to live a simple and hidden life in a place they didn't know, in a house which was not their own, in a city where nobody knew them, and without any contact to anybody they knew from their former lives besides Frank.

For the life and happiness of his two boys, Peter, now going by the name Keith Burnett, was willing to do whatever needed to be done, including a new start and the preparation to get the boys back into school. Although contrary to the boy's expectations of a long and undisturbed holiday, it had been explained to them that kids who do not go to school arouse attention.


Their new home was about four miles outside the town and had a more or less large compound that was surrounded by an old fence to keep wild animals outside - it looked more like a huge yard, but that didn't matter. The house was made from bright unpainted wood in an old western style. It seemed neglected in many ways. The windows, the roof and the veranda, everything looked as if it had been built 30 years ago and had not been maintained since. Besides the first impression the little barn and the four massive trees that seemed to be protecting the residence, the place had something magical. It was full of peace and balance as if everything worked together perfectly and nothing was about to disturb the freedom. Not the sandy wind that sometimes swept through the country, nor the smell of domestic cattle which encroached the boundaries of the house depending on the wind direction.

"NATHAN, JUSTIN....GET UP NOW, you're going to be late, it's your first day!" The grown up, now on paper being a father of two, yelled upstairs to make the boys get up. They had become accustomed with their new names very fast and avoided calling each other by their real ones. 'You never know who's listening!' Peter had said once and they tried to stick to that rule. Ethan's new name was easy, because it only changed a little bit and he finally got a name to which a shorter version existed - Nate. Darren's name on the other hand was completely different - Justin.

Upstairs in a warm and sun flooded room which was filled with an all boy's scent, Nathan and Justin tried to keep their eyes open after a long night and a lot of excitement - not only about the new school. The house only had three rooms upstairs, one for the grown up, one for the boys and the bath room. This meant that the boys had to sleep in one room - which they would have wanted to anyway. Not only one room, but also one bed - thank god it was a large one.

Darren, or rather Justin, still had moments when he became very quiet and mourned the loss of his mom and dad, but Ethan, now going by the name Nathan, tried his best to cheer his friend up during these dark times. All in all they got along pretty well and with the money they had gotten from Carl, life wasn't as bad as it first appeared. However, they knew it would only be a matter of time until someone would ask the right questions about their past and would start digging deeper to find out that for many things no records exist - which in fact would throw up even more questions that cannot be answered satisfyingly. So the entire story needs to be solved quickly and that was Carl's job.


Keith didn't hear any reaction to his shouting and made his way upstairs and into the boy's room to get them out of bed. Over the last couple of days they've been a pain in the neck for Keith since there was nothing to do for both of them besides playing outside, in the barn or at the sea which was close to the main house. No computer, no TV, no PlayStation, no MP3-player, not even party games were there to cheer up the boys.

"Oh my god, what's this smell....Jesus this is unbearable....GUYS, GET UP!" Keith said as he entered the boy's room, tried to navigate around all the clothes that were lying on the floor, and immediately opened one of the windows to get some fresh air.

"Ethan, Darren...Up up!"

"Da-ad please...there's nobody here with those names."

"You know that I use them by mistake sometimes, but you have to start listening to me, okay? Come on...Justin, wake up!" The grown up said, pinching the little boy's left leg that stuck out from under the blanket.

"Why can't we sleep a little longer, please Pe....Keith!" Justin complained as he caught his own stumble with the new name.

"Darren, I know that it might hurt you and that it feels weird, but try to call me Dad, okay? That's very important, I explained that to you....and I call you Justin, cos that's your name, right?"

"Yeah, okay...Dad."

Keith waited a minute to see if the boys would get up, but nothing happened.

"Okaaaayyy, you don't get up...I'll get some water, just a minute."

"Dad, we'll get up when you leave, OKAY?" Nathan explained reproachfully.

"Why? Aren't you wearing anything again?"

"It was hot Dad."

"Okay, kitchen in 15 minutes! And clean this mess up!"

After their father left the room, both boys looked at each other, smiled, and remembered the time together last night...


About 12 hours earlier down in the living room Keith, Nathan and Justin were sitting at the table playing poker.

"Oh come on, this is boring, I lose every time." Nathan complained, throwing his poker cards away and jostling Justin's elbow.

"That's only because you can't bluff."

"No it's not, you both are cheating."

"Oh yeah, as if that'd explain it. We can't change your cards."

"Nate, Justin, enough of that. It's late anyway and tomorrow is your first day in your new school." Keith tried to calm the fighting cubs down, but the school subject was not a good one at the end of the day and made Nathan complain even more.

"Dad, I don't want to go to school here. Is it really necessary?" Nathan asked.

"I'm afraid yes. I told you, we have to act as normal as possible or people will start to ask questions and that could blow our cover."

"But why do we have to be in different classes?"

"First, because you're not the same age; Second and even more important, because Justin was unable to attend school for a long time."

"But I had private lessons." Justin remarked.

"I know, but that's not part of our current story now. Remember, you were in hospital a lot and at home most of the time last year...because of what?"

"Lyme disease." Justin said being bored of repeating it on and on.

"Yes and we do not say anything else besides what we agreed upon, right?"

The boys nodded and emptied their cup of milk before they began to chase each other upstairs and into their room.

Half an hour later, both boys only wore a shirt and their sleeping boxers, lay in bed and looked at the dark ceiling. Sometimes the bed made squeaking noises when they moved around too much, but that was the only sound noticeable besides the chirping from the army of crickets outside.

"Nate?"

"Yes?"

"It's too early, I can't sleep." Justin realized.

"Yeah, me too, but what can we do?"

"I don't know....do you remember the motel?"

"Sure."

"You remember what we did....I mean as we were in bed alone?"

"Yes."

A moment of silence filled the room. Both boys thought about their wonderful first sexual experience, but were too nervous to talk about it.

"What about it?" Nathan finally asked.

"Oh uhm...nothing."

"Come on, what's going on in your mind?"

"Can you put your arm around me again?" The younger boy asked and hoped that Nathan would spoon him once again - it made him feel safe and comfortable.

"Yeah, of course."

No sooner said than done. Justin turned to his side and Nathan came up from behind putting one arm around his new little brother slowly beginning to stroke his chest. It was an enjoyable situation for both, feeling the skin of the other one against his own skin, so warm, so smooth, and so familiar - it felt like home.

Justin, just like every other night, needed more time until he could fall asleep. His head was still spinning with thoughts from their first act of intimacy which he really liked, but nothing had happened since that day and he wasn't sure if Nathan still liked him as much or the same way as before their move. His extra sensory perception didn't help this time. So Justin thought of testing his new big brother and intently pressed himself in on Nathan more and more. He wiggled his bottom now and then to see if his movement did anything to make it happen once again. In fact he was still having these feelings for Nathan and they had grown even stronger, but now he was unsure if it was mutual and would do anything to find out if their love still existed.

While he finished this irritating thought full of fear for the possibly wrong answer, Justin felt Nathan's hand slowly wandering further down form his chest to his belly button. It rested there for a moment as if Nate was playing a game with him, knowing how much Justin longed for this little sign of devotion.

Nate's hand moved further down....slowly but constantly...until the answer was given. Justin looked up to the ceiling, imagining the great lord, thinking...

"Thank you God, I'm home now....", while a tear rolled down his cheek.

Sometimes tears say all there is to say!

The End

My fellow readers, I wrote this story in 2012 and have re-published it now - some of you liked it and even read it for the second time. I'm very grateful for this and thank you with all my heart. It was a long journey and I had spent so much time in research for the locations, technical details and building the storyline as well as the characters. However, I had struggled with the end of this story for a long time and finally took a creative break of a couple of years. I didn't know why, but I just couldn't make it work again.

Now that I returned to writing four years later, I can't work again on this story or with characters that are no longer present in my mind. They are so far away that it would be no good continuation and maybe full of flaws. So I appreciate that you have read this story and I thank you all for sending in your fantastic feedback. Now I have to ask you for understanding that I can't continue this story any farther and will devote all my energy and creativity to something new. I hope you will like it - whenever the first chapter of my newest story will be released.

Thanks for reading and your appreciation!

Yours faithfully

Benjamin J. Conner

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