The Move

Chapter 31

By Doug Smith

We were in the same position when I woke up Tuesday morning. My arm was over Josh's chest and he was pushed back against me sound asleep. His smooth ass was pressed against my crotch. It felt good but nature called and I had to get out of bed. I kissed him gently on the neck and tried to get up without disturbing him. Unfortunately, some of the remnants from last night's activities had dried between us, literally gluing us together. He woke up as soon as I backed away.

"Good morning," he smiled. "Is that what you meant by sticking close to you today?"

I laughed. "It works for me but I don't think my mother would write us an excuse that we couldn't be in school because we somehow glued ourselves together."

He turned to give me a kiss but started laughing.

"What's wrong?"

"You may want to look in the mirror."

I got out of bed and grabbed my shorts before going to do the bathroom thing. When I looked in the mirror I saw the what Josh was laughing at. I had a bright red mark on my neck where Josh had bitten me.

"You're dead," I laughed jumping on him when I got back to my room.

"Hey, I was just marking my territory."

"I'll mark my territory," I smiled as I playfully spanked his ass.

"Why don't you kiss it now? I need to fart."

I think he was surprised when I leaned down and kissed him like I had the night before. Fortunately he didn't fart.

"You're one sick puppy, you know that? Let me up. I need to take a piss."

"What were you saying last night about wanting me to hold it for you? Maybe I should practice."

"I think I can handle it," he smiled as he got out of bed.

"That's no fun," I said and ran behind him into the bathroom.

"You really are a perve," he said when I reached around him and held his cock as he took a piss.

"Yeah, but I'm you're perve," I said giving him a kiss on the neck as he was taking to piss. When he finished I gave it a shake. Alright, maybe it was a little perverted but it was fun.

"Anything else you need help with? Need any help to get dressed?"

He laughed. "I'm not sure if you know how to put clothes on me. You're usually too busy taking them off. Let's stick to that."

I smiled. "Okay. You're not mad are you? I'm just having fun."

"Of course I'm not mad. I know you'd help me put on my clothes if I really needed help. It's a good feeling knowing you care that much. Just remember I'd do the same for you."

"I know that but it's nice to hear you say it too. We should probably get ready for breakfast."

I took a wash cloth and washed any dried cum off my stomach as well as Josh's back. "You should be more careful who you sleep with."

"I like who I'm sleeping with. I think I'll keep him around for a while."

"That sounds nice. Speaking of which, have you heard from your aunt?"

"No, I should call her. The last I knew was the end of the month."

"She doesn't have to hurry on my account. I'll probably go through withdrawals when you're not here at night."

We went back to my room to get dressed. Actually, Josh went to his room since his clothes were still there. I put on a pair of jeans and a shirt. I also put on a sweater with a high collar that effectively covered Josh's handiwork. My cock started to rise when I thought about how hot he got the night before. I looked at the mark he left and smiled. Chris and Ryan would give us shit if they saw it. That would be okay. I'm not sure what my mother will say.

My mother was making pancakes when we walked into the kitchen. Scott was already dressed and at the table. My mother just smiled and said "Good Morning." She did give us a funny look and shook her head. I grabbed the syrup, handed it to Josh and smiled. He moved his eyes between me and my mother thinking she was going to say something. Maybe we were being self-conscious since she really couldn't see anything but then again I usually didn't wear clothes to cover my neck.

We weren't so lucky when we got to school. As soon as Chris saw me he laughed and moved my collar. "Way to go Josh. I didn't think you had it in you."

I laughed. "What was in him is all over my sheets now."

Chris laughed. "Ryan has done the same thing to me a few times."

I put my arm on Josh's shoulder. "I could have stopped him but he was in the throws of the moment. It would have been cruel." I smiled.

"That's for sure," said Josh. "This asshole kept me on the edge for over an hour last night. Each time I was close he'd stop. I think he would have kept going if we could have slept in this morning."

"I didn't hear you complain when you were shaking like you were having a seizure and shooting your load all over the place."

"Alright guys. Stop it. We need to get to class and I really don't want to walk by Phil and his friends with a hardon."

"It may not be that bad." I told them Phil probably wouldn't be here since the police are looking for him. I also told them what Marc Watson and Jeremy Tyler had said yesterday afternoon. They were concerned about Kyle. They hadn't heard and said they wished I had called to tell them. Chris said he really did like Travis and Kyle. It just took him a while to come to rips that he is Phil's step-brother.

"I'm sorry guys. Last night was a little crazy going to the hospital and worrying about Phil and all. I didn't even think. I feel like a schlep."

They both smiled. "We'll forgive you this time. It sounds like you had other things on your mind. Do you guys know how lucky you are? Sleeping together with your parents knowing what you're doing. I can't imagine that."

I smiled. "My father did say to shut my door again when he caught us making out on my bed. He said knowing and seeing are two different things."

"I don't even want to think what would happen if my parents caught us like that," said Chris.

"Neither would I," added Ryan.

"Like what?" asked Becky as she walked over to join us.

"Nothing, we were just talking. Where's Mike?"

"He's isn't feeling well. Nice sweater Dan. I've never seen you wear it before."

"Can't I dress up once in a while?"

"Any time you feel the need," she smirked.

Phil wasn't around when we walked towards the school. His friends, or former friends were all standing around and when they saw us called us over. Marc and Jeremy did most of the talking while Ron just watched. It wasn't clear he was entirely in synch with Marc and Jeremy's attitude but he wasn't hostile either. Mainly he just kept his mouth shut.

"Have you guys heard about Phil?"

"We heard the police are looking for him. They finally got Kyle's side of the story and want to talk to him. Hopefully he'll get what he deserves."

"He shouldn't have done that. Kyle is his brother. I can't imagine hurting my brother like that."

"Me neither but Kyle is quick to point out they're only step-brothers, not that that should make a difference."

School was starting to drag. It was the last full week before Thanksgiving and everyone was looking forward to having time off. I'm sure some teacher would be an asshole and assign a project but having five days off will be nice. Even if I'll have to put up with my cousin.

I left my study as soon as the bell rang and met Josh near the door of his class. I probably didn't have to since we hadn't seen Phil but I wasn't taking any chances.

"Hi Mom," he smirked when he saw me but smiled as we walked to Philosophy.

"Thanks for humoring me. I know you think I'm being over-protective."

"Maybe, but I know it's because you care. I do appreciate it but that doesn't mean I won't give you a hard time."

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

Philosophy class seemed to last forever. It was the last period of the day and we really wanted to be leave. We planned to go to the gym and then swing by the hospital to see Kyle after school. Chris and Ryan were going to the hospital first. We thought it would be better to stagger our visits so there wasn't too big a crowd in Kyle's room. Travis said he was doing better but that it would still be a few days before he would be released. It seems he improved much faster once he learned he wouldn't have to go back to live with Phil and his father. We both smiled when the bell sounded indicating the day was over.

"Man, I'm glad today is over with," I said as we walked to the parking lot. "Between everything going on and this being the last week before Thanksgiving I really had a tough time concentrating."

"I saw you looking at me during class," smiled Josh. "Maybe if you paid attention in class rather than looking at me you might have better luck. I do think it's funny how even though you didn't sit near me when you first moved here you always seemed to have a direct line of sight."

"Well, the day is over now. You ready for the gym?"

"Yeah, I'm actually beginning to enjoy it."

It's funny how people are creatures of habit like how people tend to park in the same place or sit in the same seats. It's sort of like 'your' parking place. I always park in the same place and park so that I can just drive straight out whenever I can. Not that I mind backing up, it's just a habit. Plus, I'm basically lazy when it comes to things like that. If it's a trivial task then I'll do the least amount of work possible. Sometimes I couldn't avoid it, like when there are a lot of cars, but that usually isn't a problem at school since we get there early. As had become the norm, Josh walked to the passenger side while I walked to the driver's door.

The problem was someone had parked really close next to me. I practically needed a shoe horn to get between the jeep and the car next to us. That's when I saw it. I was reaching for the door and caught a reflection in the side mirror. It happened so quickly. I heard Josh yell but couldn't move and wasn't quick enough. I was blocked between the door and the other car. Phil came running from behind the jeep. He was carrying a knife and lunged towards me. I was trapped between him and the open door. I also must have frozen for a second because I just remember staring at the knife not really aware of what was happening. It was only for a second but that was all he needed. When I tried to move out of the way I felt the knife plunge into my side just above my hip.

"I told you I'd get you Johnson," Phil sneered. "You've ruined my life and now I'm going to ruin yours. Then I'm going to take care of your boyfriend."

It all happened so fast. The pain from the knife was like nothing I had felt before, ten times worse than any kick I had ever taken in a match. Blood was spurting out and I felt him twist the knife inside me. It was like I was in a daze looking at Phil and then the knife. It wasn't that I didn't think I could bleed, I just couldn't believe what was happening. I just stared at the blood soaking into my shirt.

The one thing that struck me was the pain. It's not like on TV. You know how Chuck Norris can still kick the shit out of the bad guy after he'd been stabbed? Well, that may work on TV but it doesn't work like that for real, especially when Phil punched my jaw while I was distracted. I tried to react but couldn't move. All I could do was yell to Josh, telling him to run, before I dropped to my knees. All I could think about was how I'd let him down as I felt Phil's foot against my side.

What happened after that is a blur. I remember seeing Phil stand over me laughing and feeling more kicks to my chest and arms. I only hoped that Josh had taken the opportunity to get out of there. If I couldn't protect him hopefully Phil would be distracted long enough to give him time to get away.

He didn't though. I saw him come around the jeep and yell at Phil. Phil saw him too and turned with the knife. Shit Josh, why didn't you run? I tried to get up and did manage to get to my knees but just fell back to the ground. I must have been semi-conscious because I remember hearing yelling and fighting but don't remember a thing. They sounded like they were behind the jeep. I winced when I heard someone scream in pain assuming it was Josh. I wanted to help but each time I tried to stand it was like the knife was still in me, twisting.

I never pray, especially after Aaron died but I did then. "Not again, please take me ...let Josh live." I couldn't go through loosing someone again. Everything seemed like it was in a fog. I remember hearing screams but couldn't do anything. Each time I tried to get up all I did was fall. I'm sure it wasn't long but it seemed like hours before I heard the siren and more voices.

"Take this one first, he's lost a lot of blood. He's probably got internal injuries as well given those bruises. ...Press this on his wound. We've got to stop the bleeding. ...Get another ambulance."

I tried looking around to see what was happening but couldn't open my eyes. They wouldn't work.

"Relax buddy, I've got you. I told you I'd always be there for you."

"Aaron??? Where am I? What's going on?"

"You've been in a fight Dan. You lost in case you haven't figured that out."

"Where's Josh? ...Is he okay? ..."

"I don't know Dan. Just relax, you'll be okay."

"I let him down. Just like I let you down."

"What are you talking about? You didn't let me down. Now just relax."

"Am I dead?"

"No Dan, you're not dead. You're hurt bad. The paramedics are taking you to the hospital. I'll stay with you. Just hang on."

"What is this place? Where am I?"

"I told you. You're on the way to the hospital."

"Where's Josh?"

"He's still back at the school. There's nothing you can do for him. Just stay with me Dan. You'll be there soon."

"I let him down. I was supposed to protect him. I don't want to live if it means losing someone I love all over again. I can't."

"You can and you will Dan. I told you, you can't choose when you die. It doesn't work that way. Don't give up. Giving up is the same as trying to kill yourself. We wouldn't have been together then and we won't be now if you give up. Don't do it Dan."

. . .

"We're loosing him. Blood pressure 90 over 50 and dropping. Stay with us kid, we're almost there."

"Dan, stay with me. You're almost at the hospital. You'll be okay. Don't give up."

"Stay with me Aaron."

"Always buddy. You know it. Just don't give up. Promise me. You can't die. It's not time. You have more to do. Hold my hand."

"BP is stabilizing. 80 over 40. Heartbeat 45."

"Shit," said Lieutenant Henderson as he pulled into the parking lot with Officer Gagnon just as one ambulance was leaving. "This looks bad. Is there another ambulance on the way?"

"Yes sir."

Brett Henderson did a quick survey of the scene. Two boys down, badly beaten. Another with blood all over him standing in a daze. A group of teachers and students were standing around curious what all the excitement was. 'Why does this happen?' he asked himself. 'What happened to the days when arguments were solved with fists, not weapons?'

"Alright, move back people. Give us room. Jim, check on that one. I'll get this one."

"He's unconscious Brett. It looks like he took quite a beating."

"This one too. ...Can you hear me son? Don't try to move. An ambulance is on the way."

"Officer? I'm Tom Hodgkins the school principal. I'm the one who called you. These boys are all students at the school. I can't believe this happened. I knew there was something going on between them but never expected anything like this. This is terrible. Nothing like this happens here. We're a small school. We have our trouble-makers but nothing like this."

"It can happen anywhere these days. Nobody is immune. Can you give me their names? We need to contact their parents."

"The boy who they're putting in the ambulance is Dan Johnson. I've already called his father. That's Josh Sullivan. He and Dan are friends. The other boy is Phil Clayton. I think you people are looking for him. Another officer was around earlier but he wasn't in school. He hasn't been here for a couple of days."

"Yeah, we want to talk to him about a beating his brother took. ...Who did you say was in the ambulance?"

"Dan Johnson. He's only been going to school here a little over a month. He moved here from Chicago."

"I know him. I met him the other night. I thought the other boy looked familiar. They seemed like good kids."

"Dan and Josh are both good students. Dan doesn't get along with Phil. Phil is kind of a punk, quarterback of the football team, what some people call a dumb jock. A couple weeks ago he got detention for threatening the Johnson boy. I talked to him and thought it was just a typical school disagreement over some girl. It's been getting worse but I never expected this. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. If Phil beat his brother who knows what he's capable of."

"How do you know Phil beat his brother?"

"It's a small school Lieutenant. Rumors travel quickly. I know Kyle is in the hospital and Phil hasn't been in school. Kids talk. Could this be related?"

"I don't know. It may be but not have anything to do with it. I can believe he wouldn't get along with Johnson or Sullivan though. Tell me, are those surveillance cameras working?"

"Yes, we just got them installed this year. The school board thought it was a good security measure. They thought it would help with vandalism. We had some incidents last spring."

"I'll need to see the tape."

"It's all electronic Lieutenant. I'll get you a DVD of the last hour or so. Will that be enough?"

"Make it two. This didn't happen that long ago but we need to get the beginning. I'd appreciate it if you could get that now. Jim, will you go with him? Put the other boy in the back of the cruiser. He doesn't seem hurt. We'll need to talk with him. Any word on the second ambulance?"

"Yes sir. They should be here any minute."

"I need an evidence bag too. We need to take some pictures and bag that knife. Did Johnson have knife wounds too? Hopefully it isn't his knife. He didn't seem the type. We'll need to see whose prints are on it."

"Here's the second ambulance."

"Hang in there kid. Help is on the way."

"Dan, don't go to sleep on me. Look at me. Keep focused on my face."

"Your face, his face ...They're both beautiful. Is he hurt bad? Tell me Aaron. I need to know."

"Just worry about yourself right not Dan. You're almost to the hospital. Hold my hand."

"Jim, get the laptop. I want to watch the DVD before talking to the other boy. See if you can get statements from some of these people. Someone had to have seen something."

"Yes sir."

"Mr. Hodgkins, you said you spoke with the Johnson boy's father?"

"Yes Lieutenant. I just got through to him. He was in court. He's on his way down."


"Yeah, he's a lawyer."

"Great, ...just what I need," said Lieutenant Henderson. "How about the other boy's parents?"

"I called Phil Clayton's father at work. He said he couldn't take the time. Nice guy don't you think? He can't take the time for his son. I tried the mother too but she's not home. I assume she's at the hospital with her other son."

"How about Josh Sullivan's father?"

"He didn't answer his phone. I left a message but so far nothing."

"I really can't talk to any of them without their parents. They're all minors. Of course two of them won't be talking to anyone any time soon."

"One more thing Lieutenant. ...Those two boys, Dan and Josh ...They're really good friends. I really don't understand what happened. Dan's father told me Dan has taken karate lessons for over ten years. If that's the case then how could Phil have done that?"

"Yeah, I know. He was probably surprised. Maybe he didn't see him until it was too late. Can you try to call the father again? Tell him he should go to the hospital. There's no point of him coming here. Tell him the ambulance is leaving now."

"No problem Lieutenant. I just can't believe this happened at our school. Usually our discipline problems involve kids using their cellphones when they aren't suppose to."

"Like I said, it can happen anywhere. Nobody is immune."

"Dr. Johnson? I'm Dr. Kelly. I'm sorry we're meeting under these circumstances. Your son is being prepped for surgery. I'm sorry but we don't have much time. Your son has been hurt badly. I could sugar coat it but I've found it's best just to lay out the facts. I don't want to sound negative or unsympathetic but time is of the essence."

"Your son has lost a lot of blood, his blood pressure is very low and he's got both internal and external wounds. His stab wound is what concerns me the most. I'd like to wait to operate but a piece of the knife broke off and is moving around causing more damage every time he moves. It's important we get it out and repair as much of the damage as we can. We'll do the major problems but I want to keep his time on the table to a minimum. If we can't get it all we'll have to go back in. We have to get it but we have to get him stabilized too."

"The other injuries, his cracked ribs, dislocated arm, and cheek bone can wait. We can deal with those after surgery. It's fortunate whoever did this stopped when he did. If he hadn't it's likely he wouldn't have made it this far. The paramedics almost lost him once before he got here."

"Dr. Johnson, this won't be easy but it's the only option. Time is of the essence. He's young and in remarkable physical condition so that works in his favor. He also seems to be a fighter. I am optimistic but I also want to lay everything out for you. I wish I could say he'll be fine once we do this but I can't."

"Doctor, please take care of my son. I can't lose him."

"I'll do my best Doctor. We have a good team here. I should be able to tell you more in a couple of hours. Is there someone else coming to be with you?"

"My husband is on his way. He should be here any minute."

"Do you have any questions?"

"No, I'll trust your judgment. I'm a psychiatrist, I know the basics but this isn't my expertise. I can judge people by their body language and don't get the feeling you're hiding anything. Maybe if there was more time I'd ask for another opinion but I can't take that risk. Just do what you have to do."

"I just can't believe this is happening. This morning they left the house happy and healthy, now this. Dan's best friend was killed just over a year ago. He was like a son to me. It devastated our family. I can't lose my son Doctor. Please do your best."

"I obviously will Dr. Johnson. I wish I could be more hopeful. Let me find someone to stay with you until your husband gets here."

"It's okay Doctor. I'll wait here. I want to check on the other boy. He's Dan's friend."

"I heard there is another boy on his way. I don't know anything about him. I'd offer to find out for you but I need to get inside."

"Go Doctor. Take care of my son."

"I'll do my very best Dr. Johnson."

"I'm Kevin Johnson. Are you in charge here?"

"Yes sir. I'm Lieutenant Henderson. Your son was just taken to the hospital. I can't tell you anything about how he is other than he was alive when he left. I haven't heard anything since. I'm sorry."

"Alive?? How bad is he hurt?"

"I don't know the details. I'm sorry. The paramedics worked on him and left for the hospital. They left right after I got here. I plan on going there when I'm done here. The ambulance with the second boy just left too."

"Where's the boy who did this?"

"We have one boy in the back of the cruiser. We haven't talked to him yet and he hasn't said anything. We need his father present. I'm sure you understand."

"Is it Phil Clayton?"

"I really can't tell you. I'm sorry. He's a minor and we're not releasing names. He's not guilty of anything yet. Your son could have started all this."

"Lieutenant, my son and that boy have been at odds since we moved here. I'm not saying my son was entirely blameless. He isn't the type to back down from anyone but he's a good boy, he didn't deserve this and he wouldn't have started it. Please let me see the face of the person who did this to him."

"Alright, but only because I believe you. I met your son the other night. He struck me as a good kid. I'm really sorry about this. Stay with me. Okay? I want to do everything by the book. I don't want some lawyer saying I did something wrong here. If that boy is guilty I want him to pay for what he did. If your son was at fault then that boy might have just been acting in self-defense."

"Don't worry Lieutenant. I just want to see him."

"Dan, come with me. You're going to be here a while. There's no point of you laying here. Take my hand."

"Where are we going Aaron?"

"You're hallucinating anyway. What difference does it make?"

"Is that what this is? A hallucination?"

"What do you think? You're talking to a dead guy."

"You've talked to me before."

"I know. I'm just giving you a hard time. You're not hallucinating Dan. This is the 'in-between.' You're not in my world but you're not in yours either. The doctors are trying to save you. You really should have been paying better attention."

"Can I get back?"

"I can't tell you that Dan. That remains to be seen."

"Lieutenant!!! What's going on? Why is Josh in the cruiser? He wouldn't have done anything to Dan."

"All we know is that he was involved."

"Josh. What happened?"

"Mr. Johnson!! Thank God you're here. I'm sorry sir. It was Phil. He was hiding behind the jeep when we came out. Dan never saw him coming. He stabbed him. When he fell he started kicking him."

"Lieutenant why does this boy have hand cuffs on? He's Dan's friend."

"Jim!!! I told you to put him in the car. I didn't say to put cuffs on him. We don't know what happened here."

"I'm sorry sir. I didn't want him to run away."

"Just take the cuffs off. He's not going anywhere."

"Yes sir. I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry Mr. Johnson. He shouldn't have been cuffed. I hadn't had time to talk to him yet since both ambulances just left. I've also been waiting until I get in touch with his father. I asked the principal to call him."

"You're not going to find his father. He's in the hospital. I'm Josh's legal guardian and I'm also his lawyer. I assure you Lieutenant, it's okay to talk to him as long as I'm here."

"I'm sorry Mr. Johnson, I need proof of that."

"It's true Lieutenant. I'm living with Dan's family and he really is my lawyer."

"Josh, tell us what happened."

"I don't really know sir. We were walking to the jeep. I was getting in the passenger side and Dan walked to the driver's side as usual. When he opened the door Phil came running from behind the jeep. He surprised Dan and before he could do anything Phil stabbed him."

"All I remember was Dan yelling for me to run and Phil just kicking him. I couldn't run and leave him there sir. He's my friend. You know that, right? I tried to help."

"Josh, it's okay. I know you did what you could. Just tell us what happened."

"That's just it. I don't know. I remember yelling at Phil to stop. He just laughed and ran towards me with the knife. That's the last I remember until someone put those cuffs on me. Everything else is a blur. I'm sorry."

"Lieutenant, didn't anyone see anything?"

"Just that Josh was pummeling Phil Clayton. Nobody saw how it started."

"Me? Pummeling Phil? There's no way. He'd kick the shit out of me."

"Someone did. He's on the way to the hospital now."

"Lieutenant, I see cameras mounted on the light poles. Does the school have surveillance?"

"Yes, we got the tape ...sorry, DVD ...damn modern technology. Anyway, we got what they saw but haven't looked at it yet. They might not be pointed in the right direction."

"Can we do that now? Hopefully one of the cameras had the right angle. I have a laptop if you don't."

"We're not that archaic Mr. Johnson. Let me watch it. You and Josh wait here."

. . .

"Man, this kid is a mess. It amazes me what kids will do to each other."

"Fortunately it doesn't look like the knife hit any major organs. It's mainly the piece that broke off that's causing all the problems. It looks like it's wedged itself into his kidney after making these cuts. At least it'll be easy to remove. Then we can sew up some of this mess and stop the bleeding. It looks bad but it isn't as bad as I thought. The kid is lucky. Someone was watching over him."

"I don't think the other kid is so lucky. From what I heard he's in bad shape."

"Kids ...You'd think they'd learn."

"Mr. Johnson. Come take a look at this. It looks like you owe that boy. He might have saved your son's life."

"What's on the video Lieutenant?"

"It caught everything. Here is where your son and the Sullivan boy were walking to the jeep. You see here? Your son's back was turned when he opened the door and the Clayton boy came from behind, just like Josh said. Your son didn't even see him until he was stabbed. No lawyer is going to get him out of this."

"What happens next?"

"You may not want to watch this Mr. Johnson. Your son goes down and Clayton just keeps kicking him. Your son didn't have a chance."

"If he did that to Dan then who did it to him? Josh couldn't have done it. I know him."

"Maybe not normally but look at this. You can see Clayton kicking your son and Josh goes around the back of the jeep. Clayton turns and goes towards him but Josh does some kind of move and knocks Clayton on his ass. It looks like he fell on his knife. He starts to get up but Josh kicks him again. Did you know he knows karate?"

"He doesn't really. Believe it or not my son does. He's a black belt. He's been teaching Josh how to protect himself but I can't believe he was able to do that."

"People have been known to do remarkable things under pressure. After that he just starts wailing on Clayton. Personally I think it serves him right but the district attorney might think otherwise. Clayton was already down and Josh just kept hitting him. The DA might say he should have stopped when Clayton went down the second time."

"Let's hope it doesn't get that far. Hopefully he'll focus on what Phil Clayton did to his brother."

"What do you know about that?"

"Just what my son told me. Josh is a good kid. To me it looks like he saved my son's life."

"You don't have to convince me Mr. Johnson. Like I told the principal, I met Josh and your son the other night at the grocery store. They seemed like nice kids. They obviously care a lot about each other."

"You don't know the half of it Lieutenant."

"Oh I think I do Mr. Johnson. ...Son, you don't remember any of this?"

"No sir. If I didn't see it I'd never believe it. I can't fight like that. I've always been afraid of Phil. Dan has been teaching me some stuff but not that. I can't believe it."

"I need to write up my report but I think I know what went on here. I'll be talking to everyone later to get some background, like why did the Clayton boy attack your son in the first place. Other than background it doesn't really matter. It's clear from the tape that he attacked without provocation. He's definitely in a lot of trouble. As for you son it looks like you were just trying to stop Clayton from hurting your friend. Your only questionable action was continuing to hit him when he was down. The DA might want to make an issue of it, election year and all that but for now you're free to go. We know where to find you if there are any more questions. I'm sure you want to get to the hospital and check on your friend."

"Thank you sir."

"Josh, lock the jeep and I'll drive you to the hospital. We should swing by to pick Scott up too. He's not going to take this well."

"Kevin? Where are you? Dan is in surgery and Josh was just brought in. He's in a coma."

"Diane, that's not Josh. It has to be Phil Clayton. Josh is with me. We're going to get Scott and come to the hospital now."

"Josh is okay? Thank God."

"Josh is the one who did that to Clayton. If I hadn't seen the surveillance video I wouldn't have believed it. He's going to need someone to talk to. It's right up your alley. He can't remember a thing. What's going on with Dan?"

"They're taking him into surgery. Part of the knife broke off and it's causing a lot of internal damage. They're not sure if he's going to make it Kevin. Please hurry. I need you."

"We'll all be there as soon as we can. "

"Aaron, why are we at the falls?"

"I like this place. It relaxes me. Come on, lay down with me. You need to rest."

"This place. How can you come here? I haven't been back here since ...since you died."

"I never left. I love it here. So many memories. Good memories Dan. Remember all the promises we made to each other right by these rocks?"

"Of course I do. I'm just sorry they never came true. I wanted to spend my life with you."

"I know. I did too. It just wasn't meant to be. Life is fragile. You never think it at the time, especially when you're fifteen, but it is. That's why it's important to live life to the fullest at all times. You never know when it can be taken away."

"I wanted to be with you."

Aaron pulled me against him. "We're together now Dan. Maybe just for a little while but we're here. Let's just relax and enjoy it."

"That feels nice Aaron. I've missed you so much."

"I've missed you too Dan, now go to sleep. You need your rest if you're going to get better. Just because you're here it doesn't mean you're not connected to your world. I'll be right here when you wake up."

"I am tired," I said as I snuggled up next to Aaron. I fell asleep with my head on his chest and his arm around me.

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