The Move

Chapter 26

By Doug Smith

Scott didn't wake up until nearly ten. I was in my room practicing my guitar when he walked down the hall... naked!!

"Scott, what are you doing? Put some clothes on."

"Hehehe, why? You and Josh walk to the bathroom without any clothes on. I've seen you."

I thought we had been careful. I guess not.

"You're right, we shouldn't have done that. It was wrong but when we did it we thought everyone was asleep. You knew I was in my room. What if Mom or Dad were here?"

"I wouldn't have done it then dummy. They'd get mad at me."

"They'd probably get mad at me too since you learned by seeing me do it." He was standing in my door completely naked talking like it was no big deal. "Will you please go put some clothes on?"

"I thought you liked boys."

"That's different. You're my brother. Plus you're only eight. You're growing up too fast. Don't be in such a hurry. Just go put some clothes on."

He laughed but he did go his room to put some clothes on. Afterward he came back and crawled up on my bed.

"I'm sorry. Don't be mad."

"It's okay Scott. I'm not mad. I just don't want you to grow up too fast. Enjoy being a kid. You'll grow up soon enough. I also don't want to see you without any clothes. Now let's get you some breakfast then we'll play."

I made Scott some pancakes. It wasn't hard. I may be a klutz in the kitchen but anyone can mix milk, an egg and some pancake mix in a bowl. I didn't even burn them. Scott must have been hungry. He ate four large pancakes and asked for more.

"If you keep eating like that you'll grow in more ways than one. No wonder I thought you were heavy last night."

"Hehehe, we're going to have fun today, just you and me."

I smiled. I couldn't remember the last time I had spent the day with just Scott.

"I still owe you you're birthday trip too. I promised I'd take you to the planetarium. We're still going. Things have been a little crazy around here with everything that's going on."

"It's okay. Now Josh can come too."

"He'll like that."

Scott and I played Nintendo for the next hour or so. After that we cleaned the family room. One, the party is tomorrow night and two, Mom had asked us to. She said Scott shouldn't view his time off from school as a vacation. She didn't expect him to work all day but she did want him to know there would be consequences for his actions.


Meanwhile at Kevin Johnson's office at the Law Offices of Wade and O'Reilly

"Kevin, do you have a few minutes?"

"I have to be in court in an hour. What can I do for you Jon?"

"It's about Josh Sullivan."

"What about him?"

"I've been searching all week for his birth certificate and have run into a dead end. There was no record of a Joshua Sullivan being born at the hospital he told me any time in 1994, or 93 or 95. I checked other hospitals and towns in the area as well, nothing. The state doesn't have any record of it either. The only Joshua Sullivan they had a record of is for some guy living up north but he's much older."

"What's your next step?"

"I checked with Massachusetts but they didn't have a record of him either. Short of calling every state I'm not sure how we prove he's that man's son short of a paternity test. I tried asking Mr. Sullivan about where Josh was born but he wouldn't talk to me. He said he doesn't want anything to do with 'that' boy. It's sad, that guy really has problems."

"What about his aunt?"

"I talked to her. She was living in Colorado when her sister was pregnant with Josh. She didn't come back east until after he was born. She did say something strange though. She said she didn't even know her sister was pregnant until about three weeks before he was born. I guess they only talked on the phone and her sister never said anything. She did say she and Mr. Sullivan didn't get along."

"That's too bad. If Mr. Sullivan was anything like he is now back then she probably kept her distance."

"There's something else."

"What?"

"Did you know Josh and Dan went to Josh's house yesterday to look for it?"

"Yes, Dan told me. He said they couldn't find it."

"That's right but they did find something interesting."

"And that is?"

"An invoice from a lawyer dated 1994. I did some checking. The lawyer was disbarred twelve years ago for unethical actions. Evidently he used some barely legal tactics when it came to certain things, like adoptions. He was suspected of some illegal activities as well but nothing was never proven. He died of a heroin overdose five years ago."

"What are you saying, that Josh was adopted?"

"I don't know, I'm still investigating."

"Shit... I was hoping to avoid this. Sit down. There's something we need to do. I would have said something earlier but assumed you'd find his birth certificate. Now I don't know but we need to be sure."

Jon Kinkaid sat listening as Kevin told him what was on his mind.

"Holy shit Kevin. Do you know the odds of that? You move 1500 miles and Dan meets his dead friend's double and... "

"That's why I didn't say anything. It's not something I ever thought was possible. I still don't but we need to find out."

"I'll get on it. You know what we'll have to do, right?"

"I know. Take this, I never gave it back when we moved."

"You're sure you want to do this?"

"No, but we have to if only to rule it out. Just be discreet. I don't want to open old wounds or create new ones."

"I will Kevin. I'll keep looking for his birth certificate as well."

"Thanks Jon and I'm sure I don't have to mention it, not a word to Josh."

"Of course not. He's a good kid. From what he told me his life since his mother died has been pretty bad. Given his father I'm not surprised. Some people shouldn't be parents."

"He is a good kid. He and my son have become good friends. At first I thought it was because he looked like Aaron but that's not it."

"That's obvious. The other night I got the impression that if I had done anything to upset Josh then Dan would have been all over me."

"He's very protective of Josh. We're dealing with a kid at school who is kind of a bully. I'm trying to make sure there isn't any trouble. Dan sometimes reacts without thinking when someone he cares about is being wronged. He's already got into one fight protecting Josh. He can handle himself. He's got a black-belt in karate and up until a year ago he competed in regional competitions. I'm worried he'll do something stupid. I don't want to see him get in trouble."

"Wow, remind me not to piss him off."

"You'll be fine as long as you do right by Josh."

"I plan to. Thanks Kevin, I'll let you know what I find out. It might be a while."

"Thanks Jon and remember, be discreet."

"No problem. I highly doubt anything will become of it however."

"I know. I'm not sure I want anything to come of it. It would just add to the problems."


"Okay Scott, we need to talk about what you could have done differently yesterday. You know Dad is going to ask."

"I'm hungry. Let's have lunch."

"Lunch? You just had breakfast an hour ago. You're going to turn into a blimp."

"No I won't. I'm just hungry."

"What do you want?"

"Pizza!!"

"I'm not making you pizza. How about a sandwich?"

"I don't want a sandwich. How about a pizza? It isn't hard. Can't you cook? I've seem Mommy do it. All she does is take it out of the freezer and put it in the oven. How hard can it be?"

I laughed. "I guess you're right. Let's see what we can find."

We found some personal pizzas in the freezer. "What kind do you want? Pepperoni? Cheese? Supreme?"

"Pepperoni."

"Why did I even ask? Let's heat up the oven."

"Aren't you going to have one?"

"No, I'm not going to have one. I'll have a salad."

"I like pizza."

"Yeah, I know. There isn't much food you don't like."

"I don't like salad... yuck."

I laughed and made my salad while Scott's pizza was cooking. To me it looked better than a frozen pizza but Scott obviously didn't think so.

"That looks like something a rabbit would eat."

"Rabbits are healthy," I laughed. "You don't see many fat rabbits."

Scott really wouldn't get fat. He had so much energy. He was always on the move. I think he could burn calories sitting still. That is if he ever sat still. The only time he did that was when he crawled up in my lap to watch TV. Even then he couldn't remain completely still. It just wasn't in his nature.

I talked with Scott as we ate but my mind kept thinking about Josh. He'd be eating lunch with Chris and Ryan. I could picture him at our regular table with everyone. I wasn't really worried but I would have felt better if I was there.

My phone buzzed as soon as I finished my salad. I smiled. He wasn't supposed to but Josh sent me a text message.

"Hi, you can relax, I'm fine. I've been thinking about you all morning. I miss you. - Love, J"

I smiled and texted him back. "Just had lunch with the munch but was thinking of you. Hurry home. I miss you too. - Love, D"

"What are you doing?" asked Scott.

"Josh was just saying hello. Let's pick up and then we need to talk."

Buzzz - "How is your day with Scott? Chris will drop me off right after school. Got to go to pre-calc. Bye."

"Scott is fine once I got him to put clothes on. We need to be more careful, lol."

Buzz - "What???"

"Relax go to class tell you later I love you."

So far so good. He would be okay now. None of Phil's friends were in his next two classes and Chris and Ryan were both in his last class. Maybe I wasn't worried but it would be nice when he got home. Of course that wasn't just because I was worried.

"Okay munch, let's go upstairs. We need to talk."

"Let's play Nintendo."

"No... no more Nintendo until we talk. You know talking with me will make it easier to talk with Dad. Now, let's go. We might ask Mr. Google what he thinks you should have done."

Scott laughed. "Who is Mr. Google? Nobody is named Mr. Google."

I laughed. "Let's go bud. I'll show you."

We went upstairs and I powered on my computer. While waiting for it to boot I sat on the floor. "Come on bud, sit down here with me. ...Now tell me, why did you hit Jimmy?"

"Because he was teasing me."

"I tease you all the time. You don't hit me."

"You love me. Plus, you don't mean it. He was being mean."

"Okay, was hitting him worth it? You got in trouble, right?"

"I know but I was mad. It felt good too."

I laughed. "I bet it did but how does it feel now? Was it worth being punished?"

"No, I guess not."

"Okay then, what else could you have done?"

"I don't know. My teacher said I should have told her but kids who tell get picked on more."

"You could have but I don't think that's always a good idea. I know they say you should but I don't like that. I think it's better to deal with things yourself. Otherwise kids think you'll always run to teachers. They'll just wait for a time when no teacher is around. Besides, I really don't think teachers know how or really want to deal with things like that either."

"Then what could I have done?"

"He was only using words. Words can only hurt if you let them. You let it bother you and showed him that by hitting him."

"He won't do it again. He cried like a baby. Everyone laughed at him."

"Maybe this time but next time might be different. Why did you let what he was saying bother you?"

"He called me a f.., you know."

"It's okay Scott. I don't like that word either. It isn't very nice and it's only meant to hurt someone. But, you can't let it bother you. Jimmy probably doesn't even know what it means"

"It made me mad."

"I know how you feel. I cringe every time I hear it and have almost got into fights because of it but I try to remember it's only a word. I don't always do a good job at it but I try."

"He was being mean. He said f., ah, people like that are bad people. You're not a bad person. I love you. ...I love Josh too."

I put my arm around him and gave him a hug. "So you punched him because of me?"

"Uh-huh."

"I love you buddy. You're pretty special but you still shouldn't get into fights over a word. It's only a word."

"Yeah, but..."

"I know how you feel. I'm probably not a good example but you really shouldn't let words upset you. There's a kid at school who calls people that all the time. I almost got into a fight with him the first day of school. I probably would have if a teacher hadn't come by. I still can't stand him and we argue all the time. It might make me feel good to hit him but I doubt it would do any good."

"Yeah, but..."

"If Jimmy had hit you or you think he's going to then it's okay to defend yourself. If he's hurting someone else then it's probably okay to get involved but if he's just calling you, or someone, a name then it isn't worth it. He's just being stupid. He just kept doing it because he knew it upset you."

"Yea, but..."

"There's a saying: 'you can't argue with stupid', you're wasting your time trying. You got in trouble and he didn't. Nobody learned anything except he knows how to get you mad. "

"I know, but..."

"You're stubborn you know that?" I laughed as I tickled him. "You've used up all your 'yeah buts'. No more."

"Hahahaha, stop tickling me."

I laughed. "Okay but tell me what you're going to tell Dad when he asks what you should have done differently?"

"Tell him you can't argue with stupid?"

"How about telling him you won't get mad when someone calls you names or when someone else is being stupid?"

"I guess. It still felt good to hit him."

I laughed. "You probably shouldn't say that to Dad."

"Hehehehe"

"One more thing. ...Tomorrow, when Tommy comes?"

"Yeah, it'll be fun."

"I know but you have to be good. You can't say anything about Chris and Ryan being boyfriends. Tommy doesn't know and Chris is worried you might say something."

Scott just looked at me smiling.

"Do you understand?"

"Yeah, but he knows. He told me."

"What?? Are you sure?"

"Yeah, he said he saw them kissing."

"When did he say that?"

"After karate last week. You were talking with Chris. Tommy asked me if you knew about him and Ryan since you're their friend."

"What did you say?"

"At first I didn't know what he meant. That's when he said he saw them kissing. He thinks they're boyfriends. They are aren't they?"

"Yes, but Chris doesn't think he knows. He doesn't think he'd understand."

"He wasn't mad. He was worried. He heard his father talking about f., errh, sorry. ...He heard his father talking and when he saw them kissing he got scared his father would find out. He said his father would be really mad. He also told me not to tell anyone. You won't tell him I told will you?"

"We should tell Chris that Tommy knows. They should talk about it. Don't worry, I'll make sure he doesn't let Tommy know you said anything. I'm glad you told me. How about you and I go downstairs. I'll teach you some new karate moves so that next time Jimmy bothers you then you can really teach him a lesson ...as long as you don't use them" I laughed.

Scott was practicing his new moves in the family room when Chris, Ryan and Josh walked downstairs. "See Dan, I told you your toy would be okay. You enjoy your vacation?"

"He showed me how to kick-box," said Scott.

"Good job Dan. The kid gets suspended for fighting and you show him how to do a better job at it. I'm sure your parents will be pleased."

I laughed. "Maybe we shouldn't mention it to them. Right Scott?"

He laughed. "Okay, but if Jimmy bothers me again..."

"Scott!!! What did we talk about?"

Josh laughed. "I think he forgot."

"No I didn't. Dan said I should have ignored him. He said it was only a word and Jimmy was just being stupid. He only did it because he knew it bothered me."

"Maybe Dan should take that advice too," Josh said smiling at me.

"Dickhead," I laughed. "Are you guys staying for a while? We can make plans for tomorrow night. Josh and I can go out and get snacks tonight."

"Sure, for a while. Ryan and I usually just go to my house after school but my father is there now. He got laid off from his job this week."

"That's rough. The economy does really suck right now. That's all they talk about on the news."

"We'll be okay. My Mom is still working plus they have some savings. If he is out of work too long then they'll probably have to dip into the college funds which will suck but we'll manage. The hardest part is that he's home during the day now and well, ...you know," he said turning red looking at Ryan.

I smiled. "Let's go upstairs. There's something I want to tell you. Scott, you stay down here for a few minutes."

"Why can't I come?"

Josh looked at me and said he'd stay and play a game of tennis. He said he needed to redeem himself for his loss the night before.

"Alright," said Scott.

When we got up to my room I told Chris what Scott had told me. At first he was upset since he didn't want his family knowing. At least not yet.

"It's okay," I said. "Scott said he wasn't mad. He was more worried that your father would find out."

"That wouldn't be good. Dad doesn't have many good things to say about gay people. I don't know what he'll do when he finds out. Are you sure Tommy wasn't mad."

"Scott said he wasn't but you should talk to him. He knows anyway. Do me a favor though. Do it in a way that he doesn't think Scott said something. He told Tommy he wouldn't say anything."

"I'll try," said Chris putting his arm on Ryan's shoulder. "I hope he understands."

"Give him a chance. Scott is okay with Josh and me."

"Yeah, but so are your parents. That's a big difference."

"I wish I could help."

"Thanks, but it's okay. I knew I'd have to tell him sooner or later. I was just hoping it would be later."

"Tell you what. Why don't you and Ryan stay up here for a while. You two can talk about it," I smiled. "I'll go down and check on Josh and Scott."

"We can't do that."

"Sure you can. You said you won't have any privacy at home. You guys need to talk. My parents won't be home until after five so take your time. Don't worry, the webcam isn't on. Just don't get the sheets too messy," I laughed. "On second thought it doesn't matter. I have to wash them anyway."

"I still can't believe your parents are okay with you and Josh sleeping together and having sex every night. You're lucky."

"Yeah, I guess I am. They just say to be careful around Scott. We need to do a better job at that. He saw us walking naked from the bathroom and decided it was okay for him to do it too. The little shit walked around the upstairs naked this morning. Good thing my parents weren't home. You guys have a good time," I said as I shut the door.

Josh and Scott were playing Nintendo when I got back downstairs. From the looks of things Josh was getting beat. Scott was pretty good at the fast serve knowing just when to flick his wrist. Either that or Josh was just letting him win. That wouldn't surprise me either.

"Did Chris and Ryan leave?"

"No, they're upstairs. They'll be down in a while."

Josh just looked at me and smiled. Scott didn't bat an eye. He was too busy playing the game. I sat on the couch and watched.

"Scott thought he could walk around naked this morning," I said laughing. "He said he saw you do it."

Josh froze. "What??"

"He said he saw you walking around naked. What do you do? Sleep walk?"

Scott laughed. "I didn't say that. I saw you do it Dan. The other night I had to go to the bathroom and opened my door and saw you. You didn't have anything on."

Josh laughed. "So you thought it was okay for you to do it too?"

"Why not?"

"What if your parents had seen you?"

"They were at work. I knew Dan was in his room."

"What makes you think he wanted to see your naked body?"

"I thought he liked boys."

"That's gross. You're brothers. Plus you're only eight."

"Yeah and if you want to make nine then don't do it again."

"Alright, but it was funny."

"Yeah well don't do it again. You're too little, ahh, young," I said catching Josh's smirk.

"Good one Dan."

Scott and Josh played another game and then I played Scott. He beat me too. Chris and Ryan came down just as we finished. They turned red when Josh looked at them and asked if they had a good talk. I just smiled. They had 'we just had sex' written all over their faces. We spent the next hour playing Nintendo, shooting pool and talking about Friday night. We really weren't planning anything different from what we had just been doing, well everything except what Chris and Ryan had been doing, just more people, food and music.

After supper Josh and I made a quick trip to the grocery store to buy snacks for Friday night. I wouldn't call it a party since it was really just the four gay guys along with their straight friends. We were just going to hang out.

Josh laughed when he saw what I was buying. "I may not go to many parties but kids don't want to eat that crap," he said.

"What's wrong with healthy food?"

"You mean besides it tasting like crap? Kids want junk food. You know, the 'ito' diet. ...Doritos, Tostitos, Fritos ...junk food. They certainly don't want granola. ...You better buy real soda too. None of that diet crap."

"I guess it's a good thing you came. You can help me out. Remember that there will only be ten of us, twelve if you count Scott and Tommy. I don't want anything leftover. You'll get fat. I don't want a boyfriend with a fat ass."

"You didn't seem to have a problem with my ass last night."

"I love your ass. I'll show you again tonight if you want," I said smiling while giving him a playful spank.

I had my arm around him when a man and a woman came around the corner. We all had one of those awkward moments where everyone just stared at each other. They had obviously heard us talking. I dropped my arm and we tried to walk past.

The woman gave us a disgusted look and said something to the guy who was obviously her husband. I didn't hear everything but did hear words like 'disgusting' and 'pervert'. Then she turned and started in on us.

"You two should be ashamed. Good looking boys like you, what's wrong with you? Do you know what the bible says about you. You're both going to hell."

I had heard about people like this but never experienced anything quite like it first hand before. The woman went on and on about the bible and the evils of homosexuality. The more she talked the louder she got. Her husband tried to pull her away but she stood her ground.

What made it worse was that other people were starting to watch as well. We tried going around her but she moved to block our way and continued her ranting. I was definitely getting mad. I was trying to keep my temper in check but she was making it really difficult. I'm sure Josh felt the same but I didn't think he'd say anything. I didn't have that problem but just as I was about to say something Josh put his hand on my arm and told me not to.

I smiled when we made eye contact. He actually thought the situation was funny. He was practically laughing. Probably because the woman was being so insane. I smiled at him indicating I was okay and was about to say something when a man stepped forward and told the woman to calm down.

"Lady, stop bothering these boys. I saw what happened and they didn't do anything to you."

"These 'boys' aren't boys at all. They're..."

"Lady, my name is Detective Henderson. I saw what happened and can tell you that you're in the wrong. If you don't stop your yelling and let these boys pass I'll be forced to do something about it. Furthermore, if these boys file a complaint I promise you I'll take it very seriously so why don't you just calm down, finish your shopping and let these boys go about their business."

The woman started to say something but her husband pulled her away. "Come on Elizabeth, you've caused enough trouble. Sorry Detective. Let's go Elizabeth."

"It's these boys you should be apologizing to," Detective Henderson said as the man dragged his wife away. She obviously wasn't happy but did have the sense to keep her mouth shut.

"Thanks," Josh said somewhat apologetically.

"Don't worry about it. I doubt I could have made much stick but she didn't know that. Some people are really ignorant. I'm sorry you had to experience that. Your first time?"

"Definitely like that," I said. "It's scary how hateful some people can be."

"They're probably members of that fundamentalist church over on Ashton. You've probably seen the signs they have outside."

"You mean the one telling people to read Leviticus if they want to know how God feels about homosexuality?"

"That's one of them."

"I actually read it online when I saw that. If that's what God is then I don't want anything to do with him."

"If I thought God was like that then I wouldn't want anything to do with him either. I go to a church that is much more tolerant. I'm not trying to push it on you but you might like it. There are some nice people there who believe God is more about love. Given my job I sometimes find that hard to believe but it does help me keep my perspective."

"I've never been that religious."

"Don't worry, I'm not trying to push anything on you. I'm just saying it helps me. Besides, you might meet some people you have a lot in common with, young and old," he smiled.

"You???" Josh asked.

"What? Can't cops be gay?"

"Yeah, of course. I'm just surprised."

"Don't be. I don't let it interfere with my job. It's just who I am. People like that frost me though."

We talked to Detective Henderson, or Brett as he preferred we call him, a while longer as he walked with us doing his shopping as well. I think he was keeping an eye on us to make sure the woman didn't come back. He told us which church he went to and said to feel free to stop by any Sunday. We thanked him and said we'd talk about it. I'd never had much use for religion but Brett did make it sound better than I remembered.

Brett laughed when he saw all the junk food Josh tossed into the carriage. We explained that we were having friends over Friday night and needed snacks.

"That's what started the problem with that lady. I told Josh we couldn't have too much stuff around because I didn't want a boyfriend with a fat ass."

He laughed. "Neither of you look like you have to worry about that for a while. I used to be able to eat like a horse when I was your age. Now I have to watch what I eat or I'll put on too much weight."

"You don't look too bad for an old guy," I laughed.

"Thanks, my partner doesn't want me to have a fat ass either. It's tough being a cop though. You know how we like those donuts," he laughed.

Before leaving Brett said good-bye and said he hoped he'd see us at church.

"Thanks for your help. I was about ready to punch that lady out."

"Glad you didn't do that. Otherwise, I would have had to take you down to the station."

When we got to the parking lot the man who we saw in the store came up to us.

"Boys, I want to apologize for what my wife said. What she did was totally inappropriate and I want you to know how sorry I am. For what it's worth she wasn't always like that. She started going to church with some friends of hers and hasn't been the same since. I don't understand it but that's my problem. I just wanted to apologize."

"Thank you for that. We really didn't mean to cause any problems. Sometimes I forget there are still people who aren't very accepting."

"You didn't do anything wrong. I'm sorry I couldn't stop her."

"Thank you sir. We hope things work out for you."

"Don't worry about me. I'll be fine but I should go find her. She went to the drugstore and should be back soon unless she found someone else to chastise. It would probably be better if she didn't see us talking."

Josh gave me a hard time the entire ride home. "So what did you say about doing with my ass tonight? I kind of liked what you did last night. Just don't do that with any other ass," he said reaching over and grabbing my crotch.

"You know you don't have to worry about that."

He was being a tease. He was rubbing my crotch as I was driving. Then he leaned down and kissed it.

"Oh man, now you've done it," I said as we pulled into the driveway. "Now I've got a hardon and we have to walk by my parents."

Josh laughed and reached over to squeeze my crotch again. "Want me to take care of it before we go in?"

"Right... my parents might be open-minded but sex in the driveway is probably not something they'd appreciate."

"Well let me re-arrange it for you so they won't see anything. After all, it's small enough to hide."

"How about I stick it up that ass you said is all mine and we'll see if you think it's small?"

Josh became serious. "Someday we'll do that. You know I want that but you want to wait too, right?"

I smiled and pulled him towards me. "Josh, I was just joking. I told you I want to wait. When it happens I want it to be right. I also want to make sure we're both ready for it. It's not that I'm not ready to give myself to you. It's just that I want to look forward to some things too. We are only sixteen."

"Me too, now let's go inside. It feels like your problem has subsided."

"Okay, but it won't take much to bring it on again so be good."

"I'm counting on that ...later," he smiled.

I smiled. "I can't wait."

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