The Best Christmas

by Victor Thomas

August – December 2018

Pulling into the driveway of my house, I quickly glanced out the window, ensuring no one could see and finally I kissed Aaron like I'd wanted to all afternoon.

"Can you stay?" I asked.

Aaron thought about it for a second. "I have some studying to do," he replied.

"Well I can help you study," I said. "I have homework as well. We can study together."

"That's true."

"Or, we could do something else after we finish our homework," I said. "Remember what we said about taking things slowly?"


"Let's not!"

Aaron's brow furrowed and he asked in a shaky tone, "are you saying what I think you're saying?"

My smile never wavered. "If you're thinking I want to take things to the next level, then yes."

Everything else forgotten, I was physically hauled out of the car and dragged into the house, up the stairs and into my bedroom where I was flung onto my bed.

Aaron's mouth crashed down and I poured everything I wanted to say but couldn't find the words for into the kiss. There, in the semidarkness of my room, in the comfort of my bed, I realized that I had progressed from being seriously in like to being seriously in love with Aaron.

I pushed him off just long enough to remove my shoes and socks, then stood and shimmied out of my jeans. I peeled my t-shirt over my head and then turned my attention to Aaron, stripping him naked in under a minute. I flopped down onto my bed, gesturing for my lover to join me. Capturing Aaron's rugged body in a near crushing embrace, I sought more skin and more contact, pulling him down, bare chest to bare chest, our lower bodies separated only by the material of our boxers.

Finally, that last barrier between us fell as we struggled out of the thin cotton garments and lay completely naked in a tangle of arms and legs. Moans and panted gasps competed with the rustle of covers and the squeak of the bed.

"Stop!" Aaron exclaimed, catching me by surprise. "We're in no hurry. Slow down."

I didn't want to slow down, afraid I'd lose my nerve if I paused long enough to think.

I needn't have worried, for Aaron's mouth latched onto my neck and thinking was no longer an option. When I tried to reciprocate, he pushed me back down on the bed to stop me.

Aaron's warm mouth worked my neck, then traveled down to my nipples. God, I loved it when he did that!

Kissing a trail down my abdomen, Aaron finally settled between my legs, taking me between his lips gently. Just like he'd said, he took his time, driving me crazy with his intense sucking.

Out of my mind with lust, I pleaded, "I want you to fuck me, Aaron."

Aaron stilled and I wondered if I'd said something wrong until he crawled back up my body to deliver a sizzling kiss, grinding our hard cocks together.

"Shit!" he suddenly exclaimed.

"What's wrong?" I asked, alarmed.

"We don't have any lube," he growled.

With a grin I crawled out from under him and said, "I'll be right back." I dashed over to my dresser to retrieve the bottle of lube I had hidden in the back. Hurrying back over, I flopped back down on the bed. Wrapping my arms around him I rolled us until I was back underneath him. "Now, where were we?"

"Are you sure about this?" Aaron asked, his voice husky with passion.

In answer I raised my groin, my hard cock pushing against his. "Doesn't it feel like I'm sure?"

Aaron's moan was music to my ears. Finally, after all this waiting, I was going to get what I so badly desired, to truly know what it was like to make love to my boyfriend.

Aaron reached down and retrieved the bottle that I had gotten from my drawer, flipping open the cap and pouring a generous amount into his hand. I flinched when a wet finger brushed against my opening, cautiously seeking entrance, then spreading my legs farther apart, encouraging the tentative exploration. I hissed through clenched teeth as the steady pressure of that finger breached my inner muscles and slid steadily into my body. Willing myself to relax, I fought my instinct to fight the intruder.

"Bear down," he instructed. "Push back against it; it'll help."

Gently, that finger twisted and turned. While not truly painful, it wasn't entirely comfortable either.

"Just do it," I whined, surprised and embarrassed at how needy I sounded.

Aaron chuckled. "So impatient. Losing your virginity isn't something to take lightly. We'll get there, but I'm not going to rush and hurt you."

Caught in the throes of passion, I threw caution to the winds, begging, "please! You won't hurt me. I want you in me!"

With that Aaron slid up my body and took possession of my mouth, his tongue delving in deep and demanding. "Don't rush us," he whispered against my lips as he withdrew. "We have plenty of time."

Momentarily distracted, I was surprised to discover that the discomfort was gone. Experimentally, I pushed back on his finger, moaning when it brushed something inside that felt amazing.

When the finger disappeared and Aaron's tongue took it's place, I thought I just might lose my mind. When I'd first heard of rimming I'd been repulsed. Now I understood the error of my ways. If this was just the foreplay I might not survive the actual sex.

In the dim light I saw Aaron rise up on his knees. He ran a lightly oiled hand down his cock, moaning softly and bucking his hips at the contact.

Eyes closed, head thrown back, Aaron was beautiful, and I nearly came from the sight alone as one tanned hand lazily stroked what I hoped to soon have in my body.

"Lay on your side," he murmured softly. Those dark eyes raked over me, all reservations, all are you sures, gone. Aaron spooned against my back, forcing my knees to bend. "You're gonna love this," he said. "I'm going to make it so good for you."

I felt a nudge at my opening and took a deep breath.

"Relax," he reminded me.

Fighting to control my nerves, I hissed when Aaron slowly entered me. My erection, so full and eager a moment ago, deflated.

Aaron stilled. "Relax, Adam. Don't fight it." He continued to hold perfectly still until I exhaled a loud, shuddering breath and began to relax. "Better now?" he asked.

"Yeah, don't stop."

Warm lips caressed my neck while Aaron reached around me, stroking me to full hardness again. Gradually the pressure resumed until I felt the head of his cock slip through my opening. Aaron stopped again, only resuming when I nodded.

True to his word, Aaron didn't hurt me thought the sensation was slightly uncomfortable at first. Slowly he eased out, stopping just short of total withdrawal. Just as slowly he eased back in, creating sensations which I never knew I was capable of feeling.

"Ready?" he asked.

"Ready for what?" He was already in me, what more could there be?

He chuckled and replied, "I'll take that as a yes."

With that he proceeded to turn my mind to mush as he began to move in and out, in firm, sure strokes, angling just right to hit that newly discovered spot inside.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"Ask me that one more time and I'll scream," I threatened.

"Well, in that case…"

It wasn't the ass pounding I'd read about in some of the online stories I'd read, or in the porn videos I'd watched, it was slow, gentle, and slowly driving me over the edge. My hand joined Aaron's on my cock.

"That's it, Adam, stroke it," he encouraged. "Are you close? I'm almost there."

That was all it took to push me over the edge. My body bowed and I shouted as I came, my muscles clenching around Aaron's cock almost painfully. I felt him bury himself to the hilt sinking in as far as physically possible before pulsing against my sensitized inner muscle.

I wished I could see his face. Of all I had read online and watched on the internet, nothing came close to what I'd just experienced, and I couldn't have kept the words from spilling from my lips if my life had depended on it.

"Damn, I love you."

Aaron, however, had chosen that moment to roll me over and deliver a heated kiss, so instead of the words, all that came out was, "oooaaf."

Later, Aaron lay sprawled across the bed, to deeply asleep to hear the words the second time they were spoken.

"I love you, Aaron.

Things had been going so well with Aaron over the last four months that it seemed inevitable that something would happen, and sure enough, it finally did. Him and I were in my room as we were a lot of days after we got out of school, making out on my bed. We were wearing just our underwear. A lot of times we would be completely naked, either blowing each other or sometimes fucking, and we probably would be later as well. Then it happened!

"What the hell are you two doing, you little faggots?" I heard my father yell.

I quickly looked up from making out with Aaron and saw my father standing in the doorway to my room. Oh shit, I thought. I quickly looked back down at Aaron who had a scared look on his face. No doubt I did as well. We were both just in just our underwear but Aaron had his hand in mine, playing with my butt, and I was rubbing the front of his, and his cock was hard as a rock, as was mine. A blind man could see what we were doing so I knew there was no denying it. Thank god we weren't fucking!

"Oh fuck!" I heard Aaron say as he quickly removed his hand and looked over at my father.

"Oh, fuck is right, you little cocksucker," dad yelled. "Get dressed and get the hell out of my house. Right now! And you get your ass dressed as well, Adam. I want you downstairs in five minutes."

With that, dad turned and stormed out of my room and down the stairs, cussing the entire way. Aaron was scrambling to get dressed so he could leave before dad got even more pissed. I got dressed as well and walked him to the front door and said goodbye, promising to see him hopefully tomorrow morning. I then turned and walked into the living room. I was scared of what dad was going to say and do, but I knew I had no choice but to see him.

"Sit down, god damnit," he screamed as soon as I walked into the room. I quickly did as I was told. Dad then continued on. "You want to tell me what the hell I just saw up there, Adam?" I started to open my mouth but he cut me off. "Tell me I didn't just see you kissing another boy and rubbing on his dick. Look at me and tell me you were not kissing another boy and he didn't have his hand on your butt."

I looked at him and said meekly, "yes dad, I was kissing and making out with Aaron. You saw it so I won't bother trying to deny it."

"Shit!" was all he managed to say.

Mom walked in from the kitchen just then where she had been cooking supper. She looked at me and dad and then back at me again.

"What's all the yelling about?" she asked both of us. "Joel, what's going on?" Joel is my father.

"I'll tell you what all the yelling is about," dad said to her. "I caught this faggot son of ours kissing that boy Aaron up in his room, that's what going on. Not only were they kissing, but they were also naked and had their hands all over each other."

Mom then looked at me, and she didn't appear to be very happy. "Is that true, Adam? How the hell could you do something like that?"

By now I could feel tears in my eyes. I knew I was in deep shit and just wondered how I was going to get out of this mess. While my parents have always supported and provided for my needs there's always been this underlying feeling in the back of my mind that they wish I had never been born. They've never treated me particularly bad or anything, but it's just a feeling I've always had. I've even heard them on a couple of occasions talking about how glad they would be when I left home.

"Yes, it's true, mom," I told her. "Aaron and I were in my room making out."

"But why?" she asked.

"Because I'm gay, mom."

I could tell she was shocked to hear me saying that. She looked at me for several seconds, looked at dad, and said, "how the hell can you be gay? You can't be gay, Adam. She looked over at dad and continued. "Joel, what are you going to do about this? What will my father say? What will the family say? What will our friends and neighbors say?"

"I'll tell you what I'm gonna do," he said, looking straight at me again. "You, young man need to get your gay ass upstairs, get your coat and anything else you want and get the hell out of my house. I won't have a faggot son living under my roof. Now go before I get really mad!"

"But dad, what am I supposed to do? Where do I go?"

"You can go to hell as far as I'm concerned," dad said. "As of now you're no longer my son. Now get the hell out!"

"Mom," I pleaded, but she just looked at me with a disgusted look on her face.

"You heard your father, Adam," she said. "You need to go."

With that they both turned their backs on me and walked into the kitchen while I walked upstairs to my room, wondering what the hell I was going to do now, or where I could possibly go. Just like that, I was homeless.

I quickly grabbed my coat out of the closet. While it hadn't been all that cold recently it was November and I knew the nice weather wouldn't last for much longer. It was only two weeks until Thanksgiving, but I suppose that doesn't really matter anymore. I also grabbed what little money I had, which wasn't much by the way. Only forty-two dollars and sixteen cents. I also made sure to grab my cell phone and cord, and threw a few clothes into my back pack, looked around my room for the last time and left.

I was hoping my parents might change their minds but no such luck. They didn't even bother to acknowledge me as I walked out the door. I could hear dad on the phone in the kitchen as I opened the door and walked out. As I was walking away I turned and looked at the house one last time. Home sweet home, I thought. What a fucking joke.

Aaron lived about four blocks from me so I quickly started walking toward his house. I was hoping that maybe I could stay with him for a few days until maybe my parents had a chance to calm down and reconsider.

I arrived at Aaron's house about ten minutes later, walked up and rang the front door bell. Mr. McCormick answered the door and just glared at me.

"What the hell do you want?" he shouted.

"Is Aaron here?" I asked.

"Aaron is grounded until further notice and I have forbidden him from seeing you. You corrupted my son, made him into a little cocksucker just like you, and I won't stand for it. Now you need to get the hell off my front porch and get the hell out of here."

With that he slammed the door in my face. At least Aaron hadn't been kicked out, not yet anyway. I quickly turned and started walking down the street with no idea where I was going or what I was going to do now. all I knew was that I wanted to get as far away from this place as possible.

I briefly considered heading toward my grandfather's house. He lives about five miles from my house, or my former house, but I quickly dismissed that thought. Him and I have always been close, closer than I was to my own parents, but I was sure he probably had the same attitude as they did. My grandmother had died back in the spring and he had been alone ever since, as my mom, his daughter, hardly ever went to visit him, although I tried to go see him at least weekly, and more often when I could.

I'm sorry, but in all the excitement I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Adam Harrison and I'm sixteen years old. Sixteen and homeless! How fucked up is that? I'm from a small town in southern Nebraska, near Lincoln, or I was anyway. I've got brown hair and blue green eyes. I'm only five feet eight inches tall and weighted ninety-eight pounds the last time I checked. Aaron says I'm cute so I guess I must be, but I don't consider myself all that good looking. Not nearly as good looking as Aaron is anyway.

After leaving Aaron's house last night I just started walking on the highway going south. I have no idea where I'm going, no where in particular, I guess. It's mid-November so I figured I'd head down toward Texas or somewhere where it was warmer. Fuck mom and dad! There was nothing left for me in my little town anymore. I continued walking, putting more distance between myself and the home I'd known all my life.

I was starting to get tired. I stopped for a moment to think as I stared into the night sky. I didn't know what time it was, but it was getting late. I wasn't sure how long I had been walking but it had been all day. This was my first full day on the road. There was a bit of a chill in the air now that the sun was going down. I was wearing jeans and a sweat shirt, as well as my coat, but my whole body was cold.

I continued walking for a couple of more hours until it was completely dark and I was too tired to go any farther, then I found myself a place to hide just off the road. I lay down in a patch of thick grass. It wasn't too uncomfortable, except for the chill. The grass was kind of damp and that added to my discomfort. I wrapped my arms around my body, my teeth chattering, trying desperately to keep warm. I was so exhausted. I closed my eyes and prayed for sleep to overtake me.

I was cold and miserable. I shivered as a slight breeze stole my body heat away from me. The night air was only a little chilly, but I felt as if I could die of exposure. I don't know what I'll do when winter finally arrives. Hopefully I'll have figured something out by then or maybe I'll be farther south where it doesn't get quite as cold as it does here in Nebraska. I just lay there staring at the stars, trying to figure out what had happened yesterday afternoon. How had I been so stupid and not locked my door, letting dad catch Aaron and me making out? I guess it really doesn't matter now.

When I awoke, the sun was shining down bright and warm upon me. I was thankful for the warmth and just lay there for a few moments basking in it. My coat was damp, but I knew it'd dry soon in the sun. My stomach growled with hunger. I thought longingly of the bacon and eggs that I often had for breakfast, or just a bowl of cereal… but I no longer had a home anymore. I gritted my teeth. I could never go back. I could almost smell the bacon, fried just right, crispy and delicious. My empty stomach protested again, but there was nothing to eat but the grass.

I staggered to my feet and began walking on the road again. After a few minutes the exercise warmed me up and the chill of the night before finally left me.

I had no idea of what lay ahead. I had no clue as to what I was going to eat for lunch or if I'd even get any. I had almost no money, no nothing really except for the clothes on my back. I didn't know where I was going, or how I would get there, or even how I'd survive the coming day. The future beyond that was even fuzzier. I shook my head and tried not to think about it. I walked and walked until my feet were aching, no more sure of my future than I'd been when I'd taken my first step last night.

In the early afternoon I heard a car coming up behind me. There had been several since the morning, but I'd always managed to duck out of sight. This time, I was so lost in my own thoughts that I didn't pay any attention until it was too late to hide. I'd look suspicious darting off the side of the road into the woods, so I just kept walking. The car slowed as it drew near, and I tensed. I was ready to bolt if need be. I turned my head and looked as the car pulled up to me and stopped. Inside was a middle-aged man with dark hair.

"You look like you could use a lift," he said.

I was frightened, but he seemed nice enough.

"Um, yeah" I said. "If you don't mind."

He smiled and gestured towards the empty seat beside him. "Hop in."

I opened the passenger door and got in. it was an older car, from the early two thousands, but well kept.

"Where are you headed?"

"Um, I'm going to Kansas City to visit my grandparents," I lied.

"Now that is a long walk."

I had the feeling he didn't believe me.

"I'm Ron," he said.


"Nice to meet you, Adam. I'm only going to Leavenworth, about twenty miles from here, but you'll be that much closer to where you're going."

"Thanks," I said. "I appreciate it."

I was nervous. A vision of myself bound and gagged in the trunk of the car flashed through my mind. I glanced at the man next to me as we continued down the road. Ron seemed nice enough. He was smiling and talking, barely looking at me. Maybe he was just what he appeared to be, a nice old guy.

I felt stupid for getting into his car. I'd put myself in a bad situation. What if Ron wasn't as nice as he seemed? What if he was one of those old perverts who liked young boys? What if he put his hand on my leg? Or what if he was worse than that? What if he overpowered me and did perverted sexual shit to me? What if he was a deranged psycho who'd kill me after he had raped me? I began to tremble with the thought of what could happen. For the whole drive, I was wishing I had just walked.

We talked as Ron drove, but didn't say anything very meaningful. I was too nervous and he seemed to want to keep things casual. Mainly we talked about the weather, and stuff like that. As I sat by him, the thought occurred to me that I must look like shit. I'd no more than run my fingers through my hair before starting out. I looked down at my shirt. My clothes were wrinkled from sleeping in them, my teeth felt like they were covered with moss, and I could faintly smell my ow underarms. I hoped that Ron couldn't. Then again, if he was some kind of pervert, maybe me smelling bad would keep him away, like some kind of repellant. Or, if he was a pervert, maybe it might excite him all the more.

Ron didn't mention anything about my appearance. He seemed to be avoiding any conversation that was personal in nature. He probably thought I was a runaway or something. More like a throw away I thought bitterly.

Later on, we arrived at his destination and he let me out. I thanked him, then watched as he drove away. I let out a sigh of relief. I guess he wasn't some old pervert or anything like that after all. He hadn't tried anything with me. I felt a pang of regret. Shit! Now that I knew Ron was okay I thought it was too bad he wasn't going farther. I could've used a long ride. Then again, if he'd been going farther, I'd still be sitting in his car, wondering if he was gonna grope me or something.

I almost wished I had asked him for some money, because I was ravenously hungry. I looked in my wallet and saw the money I had grabbed before leaving home. It wasn't much, less than forty-five dollars. I knew I was going to have to be very careful with what little money I had. I wouldn't be able to go into Burger King or anyplace like that, but I needed to get something to eat.

There was a little supermarket in the distance and I made for it. The moment I stepped inside, I felt like I was being tortured. I was so hungry that everything looked delicious. I'd never wanted donuts or fried chicken or anything else so badly in all my life.

I looked around. I had to make the most of the money I had. That forty-two dollars seemed so valuable now. I longingly thought of the fifty bucks allowance my parents gave me every week. I'd always thought it was nothing; now it seemed like a fortune. I could've bought a feast with it.

Before finishing my shopping, I went into the restroom and tried to wash up in the sink. It felt good to get my face clean. It was also nice to go to the bathroom indoors. Just outside the restroom was a water fountain. I took a good long drink. I had to be careful. I had no idea how long I might be in this situation and I wasn't going to use any of my precious funds on something to drink when I could get free water.

I looked around the store, dreaming about buying a bag of cookies of one of those roasted chickens by the deli section. I could afford it now but I knew I needed to preserve as much of my money as possible. I turned and walked out of the grocery store and spotted a McDonalds about a block away. I walked toward it and entered. I briefly considered ordering a quarter pounder value meal but I settled on two hamburgers from the dollar menu to hold me over until I could figure out what I could do.

I pulled out one of the hamburgers as soon as I was out of the restaurant and devoured it. I'd never been so hungry before. I started walking through town, toward the road that I knew would take me farther south. I wanted to get as far from home as possible, plus I was hoping it would warm up as I went south. The days were still fairly nice but it was starting to turn cold after the sun went down.

I knew if I couldn't think of something soon things were going to get a lot worse for me. I could either starve to death or end up freezing to death if I wasn't careful. Right now, the idea of dying really didn't sound so bad. Not that I wanted to die, but my life sucked at the moment. I was a homeless gay kid in bumfuck Kansas. Things really couldn't get much worse, could they? Little did I know.

I ate the other hamburger more slowly. I didn't want it to disappear in seconds like the first one. I wanted to make it last. I savored every bite. It was delicious. All too soon, it was gone. I knew I should have saved some for later but I was just too hungry. I was far from full when I was finished, but I felt a lot better than I had an hour ago. I just wondered what I was going to do for my next meal. I had less than forty dollars left in my pocket.

There was a Wal-Mart at the far edge of town. I couldn't afford to spend any more money, but I went in to use the bathroom and get another drink. I'd drank so much water earlier that I had to go bad. I lucked out in the supermarket side of the store. They were giving away free samples of pizza and sub sandwiches. The samples weren't big, but they seemed like a feast to me. Before I left, I drank a lot more water. I knew I'd be needing to go to the bathroom bad later, but at least it made me feel fuller. I could just piss behind a tree or something when the time came. I don't know what I'll do when I have to shit but I guess I'll figure that out when the time comes.

The sun was hanging low in the sky now. Daylight savings time had recently ended and it got dark around five o'clock now. I headed out of town on an old paved road, steering clear of the main highway. The road was nearly empty, and I scurried out of sight whenever I heard a car coming. I knew a sixteen-year-old boy walking down the road by himself was suspicious, and I didn't want to get picked up by the police, although I would at least get a meal out of it if I did. But then again, they would call my parents and there was no telling what would happen if they did. I wanted to get as far as I could as quickly as I could.

Most nights I either slept in the woods beside the road or I would find an old abandoned barn or other building to sleep in. I woke up this morning to cold rain pelting down on me, soaking me to the skin. I was cold and miserable but I got up, bundled up as best I could and continued walking. Before long the ground was wet and my shoes and socks soaked. I didn't think I'd ever feel warm again. I was also starting to cough and it didn't sound good. I could feel it from deep inside my chest, and I wasn't feeling well and I was starting to shiver in the cold. My jacket wasn't enough to keep me warm during the night. I was starting to get more and more worried. If something didn't happen soon I was afraid I'd end up dead along side the road. I wasn't ready to die just yet. I had walked through a couple of other small towns and managed to get myself a little something to eat, but it was never enough. I could feel myself becoming weaker and weaker.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, but only a week after being kicked out of my house, I had spent another uncomfortable night by the side of the road, chilled and frightened. I was so hungry my stomach ached. I desperately wished I had more to eat, but I still knew I had to preserve my money.

Fuck! How had I gotten myself into this situation? How had things gotten so bad? I still can't believe I forgot to lock my door. I've kicked myself over and over about that, but what's done is done. There's no going back now.

My stomach grumbled again. I wished it would stop that. I pulled some grass from the side of the road and sucked on it. It didn't help in the least. I wished I could find an apple tree or something, but there wouldn't be any apples this time of year.

My last meal had been three days ago when I'd bought myself a couple of more hamburgers from McDonald's dollar menu. I had decided that I had to eat something so I'd been eating about every three days, plus whatever I can manage to find elsewhere. I'm down to less than thirty dollars now and I've got to make that last. I'm starting to get desperate after being on the road for ten days now, but somehow, I managed to keep going. I have no idea where I'll end up, but I can't go back home so I guess I'll have to keep going until something turns up or I end up dead. As much as my life sucks right now I'm not ready to die. Not yet anyway.

Hunger clawed at me. I was about ready to start eating bark off the trees. I wondered if I could catch a rabbit or something and cook it. I thought about eating some plants, but I didn't know which ones were poisonous and which were not. Since it was late in the fall there was no fruit on any of the trees or anything like that. I was so hungry I was getting shaky.

Not knowing where my next meal was coming from made me feel dejected, frightened and helpless. Would I manage to find anything for lunch? For supper? For breakfast tomorrow? Or would I still be starving days from now? How long could I go without food? I felt like I couldn't hold out for another minute, but as there was nothing to eat, I had no choice.

I tried to keep walking at a steady pace, but it was hard to keep myself going. I was tired and didn't have the energy. I was still wearing the same clothes I had since leaving home and they stank. As bad as my shirt smelled, I didn't even want to think about what my boxers must be like. I'd never given much thought to clean clothes and a clean body before, but I'd have given a lot for a shower and some fresh underwear and socks.

I looked at the road ahead of me. It was pretty much the same as it had been all day, and the day before, and the day before that. It was just a road, with trees along the sides and sometimes wide-open fields. It was boring.

I was so lost in thought that I didn't notice the pickup truck until it was practically upon me. It slowed, then stopped beside me. A man in his late twenties leaned across the seat and poked his head out the open window.

"Hey, kid, need a lift?"

For an answer, I opened the door of the truck and got in. It felt so good just to sit down. My feet ached like hell. I knew getting in his truck might be a mistake but the guy I'd ridden with before was cool, so hopefully this one would be, too. The truth was, I was too hungry and tired to walk. I knew I was taking a chance, but I just didn't care. I wasn't going to pass up a ride out of fear.

"I'm Dave" he said as he put the truck in gear and hit the gas.

"I'm Adam," I told him.

He grinned at me. "So, what're you doing out here in the middle of nowhere, Adam?"

"Nothing in particular," I said. "Just heading for Texas."

I was glad the window was down in the truck. I had a feeling my body odor would've been over powering in the enclosed cab if they weren't. It got cold at night but it was still decent during the day, at least somewhat. I'd been sweating and it did nothing to improve my scent.

Dave looked at me appraisingly. There was something in his gaze I didn't like. It made me feel vulnerable, almost naked. The feelings of panic I'd had when I hitched a ride with Ron were coming back. I took a deep breath and tried not to worry. I was just being stupid.

"Did you run away from home, Adam?" he asked.

I looked at him fearfully before I could stop myself. He knew already.

"Don't worry" he said reassuringly. "I won't turn you in. You just seem a bit young to be wondering around on your own."

There were a couple of candy bars on the seat between us. Dave picked one up and absent mindedly ate it as he spoke.

"Yeah," I admitted. "I ran away. I had to. My dad… he, he beat me."

It was a lie. My dad never beat me. He'd never so much as touched me, but I had to tell Dave that. I certainly couldn't tell him that my dad had caught me making out with my boyfriend and kicked me out. Besides, it was good for the shock value and would probably get me some sympathy. This just might work after all.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, dude."

I looked hungrily at the candy bar Dave was munching on. He noticed.

"I'm sorry. You want a candy bar?" he asked.

I nodded furiously. "Yeah, I would. Thanks, man."

Dave handed me the other candy bar and I tore open the wrapper, my hands shaking. I tried not to devour it like I was starving, but I was so ravenous I couldn't help myself.

"You must be hungry," Dave said.

"Yes," I said, smacking my lips. I didn't see any harm in admitting that. Maybe he'd even have another candy bar stuck away somewhere he'd give me. I wouldn't be too proud to take it.

He gave me a sideways glance. "So, Adam… did your dad ever do anything else to you, besides beat you up?"

"What do you mean?"

He thought for a moment. "Well, for example… did he ever, you know… touch you? Like, uh… someplace he shouldn't?"

Dave was looking at me. He wasn't like Ron, the older guy who had picked me up several days before. Ron steered the conversation away from anything personal. This guy was asking intimately personal questions right off the bat. Ron was just a nice old dude giving me a lift. Dave wasn't so nice.

"No," I said. I was becoming uncomfortable.

"What would you have done if he did?"

"I don't know."

"You have a girlfriend, Adam?"

"Yes, well… I did."

I thought that if I let him think I was straight that he might back off a little. But that didn't seem to matter, in fact it had the opposite effect.

"Did you and her ever…?"

He didn't finish the question but I knew what the meant.

I glared at him. "No, we didn't."

He nodded. "That must've been very frustrating for a boy your age. I know it was for me."

"I guess."

I tried to stare out the window. I didn't like where this conversation was going. I didn't want to stop talking to Dave though. If I did, he might make me get out, and every second that passed got me a lot farther along my way. My feet were sore and blistered from walking and I was so very tired. Besides, I was still hoping he had something else to eat. That candy bar was the most delicious thing I'd ever had, but I was still desperately hungry.

"Do you masturbate a lot, Adam?"

The conversation was getting more and more uncomfortable. Dave made me feel vulnerable and afraid. Still, I didn't want to get out of that truck. I was desperate.

"You know what I mean?" he continued. "You jack off much? Beat the meat?"

I hesitated before answering. "Yes."

"It's okay, Adam, all boys do it. It's nothing to be ashamed of." He paused. "So, ah… when was the last time you did it?"

"I don't remember. I've had other things on my mind."

He moved his right hand up to my shoulder. "You must be feeling very… tense," he said, soothingly.

"Um, uh… I guess."

"Has anyone ever jerked it for you?"

Well, yeah, Aaron had, many times, and I had done the same for him. That and many other things, but I didn't want Dave to know any of that.

"A couple of girls," I lied. I made sure to say girls so he didn't know that I was gay.

His arm was behind my back now. "Feels good, doesn't it? he asked.


"I'd like to make you feel good, Adam."

I froze. I just sat there stunned. I knew things were heading in this direction, but when he said the words, I felt a wave of panic. I didn't know what to say or do.

"There's a good burger place just down the road," he said quietly. "They've got he best burgers and fries around and great shakes. Swear to god."

Dave paused, turning to look at me for a moment.

My heart was racing in my chest and my breath was coming a little faster. I felt desperate and vulnerable. I felt like I was eight years old, instead of sixteen. I glanced out the side window, and thought for a moment about jumping out of the truck, while it was still moving. Judging by the trees whipping by we were going at least sixty.

"If you let me make you feel good, Adam, I'll take you there and you can have anything you want," he said in a low voice. "You'd like that, wouldn't you, Adam?"

I was disgusted. I was also very, very hungry. My mouth began to salivate uncontrollably, just at the thought of hot food again.

"Make me feel good?" I asked in a small voice.

"I just want to feel it, Adam, nothing more. You don't have to do anything, just lean back and enjoy it."

I sat there, still staring out the window. I was on the verge of crying.

"So… can I touch you, Adam?"

A few moments more passed and I nodded my head. Dave motioned for me to move closer, and I did. He kept his left hand on the steering wheel and with the other he groped me. He unfastened my belt and undid my jeans. Despite myself, I was getting excited. It had been almost two weeks since I'd even thought about jacking off. Dave worked his hand into my jeans and pulled out my manhood. He felt it, and I moaned.

I didn't look at him. I kept my head turned to the window and my hands at my side. I couldn't look him in the eyes. I didn't even want to acknowledge what was happening. A tear rolled down my cheek. His hand on me felt good, but I hated it. I hated being touched, and I hated him for doing it. Fucking pervert! I hated him for taking advantage of me. And I hated myself for letting him.

The moment he touched me, an involuntary moan slipped from my lips. Dave moved his hand up and down. It felt so good I had to bite my lip to keep from moaning again. I didn't want him to think I liked it. it felt almost as good as when Aaron jerked me off. I didn't want to enjoy it, but it felt so fucking good. Dave definitely knew what he was doing.

Less than a minute later, my hips bucked uncontrollably and I felt a surge, then a warm wetness on my legs. Dave pulled his hand away. I quickly zipped up, feeling thoroughly humiliated and used. I wanted to kill him for what he'd done to me, but instead, I pretended I didn't mind so much.

"Like that?" he asked, wiping off his hand on a Kleenex.

"Yes," I lied.

I hated him so much I wanted to smash my fist into his face. He was a lot bigger then me though, and I needed him. He handed me a tissue and I wiped off the sticky mess from my legs, my shirt and the truck seat.

A few minutes later we stopped at the burger place he had mentioned; a little local place called the Hornet's Nest. What the hell kind of a name is that I thought. It wasn't much to look at, but the smell of the food was heavenly. We stood at the counter and looked at the menu for a few seconds.

Dave was as good as his word. I ordered a double cheeseburger, a fish sandwich, a barbecue sandwich, large fries, a large coke and a large chocolate shake. Dave didn't object. In fact, he asked if I'd like anything else. I shook my head and we found a booth and sat down.

When the food came, I dove into it. I tried not to eat like some kind of wild animal, but I couldn't help it. It all tasted so good and I was fucking starving. I ate and ate. I'd never been so hungry before. The waitress was amazed that I went through all that food. I even ordered an Oreo frosty sting after everything else and ate every last bite. I was full for the first time in almost two weeks.

Ten minutes later, I knew I'd made a mistake. I'd stuffed myself to the point of misery. But that wasn't why I didn't feel good. I knew what I'd had to go through just to get something to eat. What was worse was that I knew I'd do it again if I had to. Dave knew it, too. He looked at me and smiled. I couldn't look him in the eyes. I felt frightened and powerless.

A few minutes later Dave stood up and indicated that he was ready to leave. I had pretty much decided that I would part company with him but I got up as well and followed him out to the truck.

The ride and the food had come with a high price. I never thought I'd do something like that. I never thought I'd let some old pervert like Dave touch me like he had. Of course, I never thought I'd be kicked out of my own home for being gay, either, or so hungry that I'd try to eat grass.

Dave was smiling at me… or was that a smirk instead of a smile? I hated him. Fucking pervert! He knew he'd taken advantage of me. He knew I'd let him in my pants just to get something to eat. He knew he'd bought me and that I'd sold myself to him. He knew he had control over me, just because he could give me what I needed, a ride and food. I hated him. I wanted nothing more than to kick him in the nuts for it.

"I have a proposition for you, Adam," he said, breaking into my thoughts.

"I'm listening," I said evenly.

"I'm gonna spend the night in a motel." He paused, looking at me, his eyes roving over my body. He made me feel dirty. "Look, I know you're probably in desperate need of some cash, and you've got something I want. Perhaps we can, you know… make a deal." He licked his lips.

I wished I had a knife right then so I could stick it in him.

"Go on," I said.

I had no intention of actually going any further with this guy, but I was curious to hear what he had to say.

"I've never done this before. My wife would kill me if she knew, but…"

"Your wife?" I said, incredulously. "You're married?"

He laughed. "Yeah, I have a wife and two kids."

"But you're gay. I mean…"

"I'm bisexual," he said. "You look like an older version of my son. For quite a while now, I've been wanting … well, never mind that."

I thought I was going to be sick. He really was a fucking pervert. What kind of a man would even think about something like that.

"Here's the deal," he continued. "You stay with me tonight. You let me do whatever I want with you and I'll drive you all the way to Dallas and give you a hundred bucks besides."

I glared at him. "Let you do anything you want? You mean sex, right?"

He laughed. "Don't be naïve, Adam. Of course, I mean sex! You think I'm gonna pay a nasty little boy like you to wash my truck and make up the bed in the morning?"

I was desperate, but not that god damned desperate. Not yet anyway, although I knew it might eventually come to that if something didn't happen soon.

"Fuck that!" I said. "You're a sick motherfucker, Dave. I think I'll just stay right here and continue walking in the morning."

"Suit yourself," he said. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. "But you'll do it. If not me, you'll do it with someone, you piece of shit. You'll have to eventually if you want to survive."

I looked at him again. The sad thing is, Dave could very well be right, but it wouldn't be tonight. I'll worry about it when the time comes.

"Whatever," I said.

He leered at me, then climbed into his truck and was soon driving down the road. I watched until he disappeared then thought about what I was going to do for tonight. It was already starting to get dark so I knew I couldn't walk to far.

I turned and started walking down the sidewalk until I got to the highway heading south. I made it to the Oklahoma state line and then I noticed a farmhouse about a half a mile off the highway. There were several out buildings as well, including what looked like a large barn and several large grain storage bins. I decided I'd try and sneak inside and spend the night and hopefully sneak out tomorrow morning before the owner found me. As I approached the farm I noticed a large sign beside the driveway that said 'Summers Farm and Ranch.' There were cattle on both sides of the long driveway leading toward the house and other buildings. I quickly made my way to the barn and snuck in the door before anyone could see me.

"What the hell are you doing in here?" I heard the next morning.

I woke up startled, and saw a kid of about fifteen, looking down at me.

"Oh shit!" I said.

"Oh, shit is right," the kid said. "Who are you and what are you doing in our barn?"

"I can explain," I said.

"You can explain to my dad," he said.

He then turned and ran out the door and toward the house, yelling for his father to come outside.

I got up and started to leave, but before I could, a man and another boy came out of the house, followed by the first kid.

"What the hell is going on out here?" the man asked.

"I can explain sir," I said. "Please, I don't want any trouble. Let me explain and I'll be on my way."

"You can tell me what's going on in the house," he said. "Come on."

I suppose I could have run, but I didn't. For some reason that I can't explain I just felt that everything would be alright. I followed the man and his two sons into the house, where I smelled bacon and eggs cooking. My mouth began watering at the thought.

"Would you like some breakfast?" a lady asked as I entered the kitchen. There was also a girl of about seventeen, helping out, who I assumed was the sister of the two boys.

"Yes ma'am!" I exclaimed, before I realized what I was saying. "Sorry, but yes, I would love some breakfast."

"Don't be sorry," the lady said. "Wash your hands and sit down at the table. Cole, you and Patrick wash up and sit down too. And you to, Mark."

They pretended not to notice but I knew that I must look like quite a sight and I'm sure I smelled even worse. I don't even know what day it is but I'm sure I've been on the move for at least two weeks, maybe more, and I haven't washed or had any clean clothes since I was kicked out.

"So, what's going on… I don't even know your name," the man said.

"I'm sorry sir," I said. "I'm Adam Harrison."

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Adam," he said. "I'm Mark Summers, this is my wife Shirley and my daughter Laura. And this is my oldest son Cole and the younger one is Patrick."

"It's nice to meet you all as well," I said. "I just wish it was under different circumstances."

"You want to tell us about it?" Ms. Summers asked.

I hesitated for several seconds. I wasn't sure what would happen to me if I told them the truth. I mean, Kansas isn't that much different than Nebraska as far as people hating gays goes. I was sure they would probably send me packing as soon as they found out the truth, but I felt like I needed to say something, and I really have nothing to lose at this point. I am gay and I have nothing to be ashamed about. I had managed to survive this long, I'm sure I can make it to wherever I end up. I also knew that I would end up eventually selling myself just to eat, just like Dave had said I would. The thought of that almost made me cry.

"It all started, I don't even know what today is," I said.

"It's Saturday the seventeenth," said Cole.

I had noticed right away that Cole was rather cute and his brother Patrick was cute as well.

"Okay, thanks," I said. "It all started over two weeks ago. Before I tell you, though, there's probably something you should know about me. If you don't want me around after hearing this I'll understand and be on my way. I was kicked out by my parents for being gay. There I said it."

I thought I saw Cole's eyes light up for a few seconds when he heard that, but I was probably just imagining it.

I saw Ms. Summers look at her husband and then say, "that's such horseshit!"

Mr. Summers looked at his wife, surprised, and answered, "I agree dear, but what can we do. Some people are just assholes."

"I know," Ms. Summers continued. "But to kick your own child out of his home for something like that. I just don't understand it."

"I don't understand it either, mom," said Cole, "but it happens all the time."

"So, they kicked you out just for being gay?" Ms. Summers asked. "How did they find out, if you don't mind my asking?"

"My dad caught me and Aaron, that's my boyfriend, or he was anyway. Dad caught Aaron and me making out in my room about two and a half weeks ago." I could feel myself turning red from embarrassment, but I continued. "We were both in just our underwear on my bed when dad walked in on us. I had forgotten to lock my door for some reason."

"And just like that he threw you out?" Mr. Summers said. "What an asshole."

"Yeah, just like that," I said. "He ordered Aaron to leave and told me to get anything I wanted to take and get out. I grabbed my jacket and the little bit of money I had and left."

"Damn, that's fu… sorry mom," Cole said. "That's messed up."

"You're right, it is fucked up, Cole," Ms. Summers said.

Again, all four of the others looked at her with disbelief. Undoubtedly, she didn't use that kind of language very often and I think they were all sort of surprised.

"So, anyway," I continued, "I thought I would go over to Aaron's and maybe stay for a couple of days until things cooled off at home. But I guess mom or dad must have called over there because when I arrived I was greeted at the door by Aaron's dad who told me I needed to get lost and that Aaron was no longer allowed to see me. Then, I considered my grandpa, but quickly rejected that as well. I figured he would be just like my parents and want nothing to do with me."

"So, you just left?" Laura asked. "Where are you from anyway?"

"Some little hick town in Nebraska called Clanton, about forty miles from Lincoln. A town maybe a little bigger than whatever town this is that I walked through yesterday evening."

"This is Chouteau," Cole said. "And it doesn't get much more hick than this place."

"So, you've been on the road for a little over two weeks?" Mr. Summers asked.

"Yes sir," I answered.

"So, how have you survived all this time?" Ms. Summers asked.

"I would walk during the day as much as I could, and then when night came I would either sleep in the woods, or if I could find an old abandoned house or building I would stay there. Or, I might sneak into a barn or something," I said. "Like last night when I saw your barn from the highway. I snuck in there and that's where Patrick caught me this morning. I'm sorry, Mr. Summers. I didn't mean any harm. It's just that it's starting to get cold at night."

"No need to apologize, Adam," Mr. Summers said. "You did the right thing. But where exactly are you headed?"

"I don't really know," I admitted. "I just thought I would go further south, maybe to Texas or someplace where it's a little warmer before winter really sets in."

"What were you planning on doing once you got to where ever you ended up?" Ms. Summers asked. "And where would you live?"

"I guess I hadn't really thought about that," I admitted again. "Try to find some sort of job or something. Then maybe I could find a small apartment or something."

"How old are you, Adam?" she asked.

"I just turned sixteen in September," I told them.

"I hate to tell you this," Mr. Summers said, "but no one is going to hire a sixteen-year-old kid, especially one who doesn't even have an address or phone number to put on a job application."

"But I see kids my age working in fast food restaurants and places like that," I said.

"Yes, but those kids have their parent's permission and they have ways of being contacted. You would have none of that."

"I hadn't thought of that," I was sorry to say. "In which case I don't know what I would do."

I thought again about the hundred dollars Dave had offered me to stay the night with him. I hated to think about it, but I had read and heard of kids in my situation who had ended up doing that very thing just to survive. I think I would rather be dead, but I wasn't ready to die. Not yet anyway.

A momentary surge of sadness engulfed me and I took a big sip of orange juice while I attempted to hide the miserable expression on my face. I brought myself under control quickly, but not before Ms. Summers caught a glimpse. She said nothing, but she had seen.

By now everyone had finished eating their breakfast. Ms. Summers looked at me and asked, "would you like anything else, Adam?"

"No, ma'am, I'm full," I said. "But thank you."

"Okay then, everyone put their plates and silverware in the dishwasher," she said. Then she looked at Cole. "Cole, I want you to take Adam upstairs and let him take a shower. And see if any of your clothes will fit him. Then bring the clothes he's got on now and throw them in the washer."

Everyone got up and carried their plates and glasses into the kitchen and put them in the dishwasher. Then, Cole, Patrick and me turned to walk up the stairs.

"Yeah, show him where the shower is, Cole" Patrick said. "But you stay out and let him shower by himself." He laughed at that.

"Screw you, Patrick," Cole said.

"I keep telling you, I'm not gay, Cole," Patrick said. He looked at me and smiled. "Sorry."

"That's okay," I said.

I followed Cole into his room. "What was that all about?" I asked.

"Oh, Patrick is always joking around with me," Cole said. "He thinks I want to shower with you."

Damn, that sounds like fun I thought. "Do you?" I asked. I don't know what prompted me to say something like that to someone I had known for less than an hour, but it came out before I realized it.

"Well, yeah, I wouldn't mind," Cole said. His face turned red from embarrassment. "You look like a very cute guy, Adam."

Holy shit! Cole Summers was gay! No fucking way! His parents had to know but they seemed perfectly okay with it. Unlike my parents.

"Maybe we can later," I said. "Right now, I just want to get cleaned up. I must smell like shit. I haven't had a shower in over two weeks now."

"Well, you do smell kind of bad," he said. "I'll show you where the bathroom is and leave you alone. When you're done you can come back here to my room. I'll find some clothes for you to wear until we can get yours washed."

I followed him down the hallway to the bathroom where he got me a clean towel from the closet and pointed to the shower.

"Go ahead and take off your clothes and give them to me," he said.

I hesitated for just a second, but then I thought, Cole is really cute and he must be at least somewhat interested in me or he wouldn't be standing there watching me. I quickly pulled my nasty sweat shirt over my head. Cole just looked at my body and smiled. I know that I've probably lost quite a bit of weight, but I once had a decent body, at least I thought so. I never had six pac abs or anything like that, but I was decent. Aaron seemed to like me and that's really all that mattered. Cole seemed to like what he saw as well.

He started to reach over and touch me, but quickly pulled his hand back, looking at me and blushing.

"It's okay, Cole," I said. I reached out and took his hand and pulled it toward me and placed it against my chest. "That feels good."

Cole stood there and rubbed my chest and stomach, and even pinched both my nipples. Damn, that really felt good. I quickly unbuckled my belt and unbuttoned my jeans and dropped them to the floor. Cole looked down and smiled. The boy had definitely done this before because he clearly seemed to know what he was doing.

"I take it you've done this before?" I said to him.

"Yeah," he said. "I had a boyfriend earlier this summer but things didn't quite work out for us. We're still friends, and fuck buddies on occasion, but that's about it."

"Damn!" I said. "I had a boyfriend named Aaron right up until I got kicked out by my parents. I hope he's alright. His parents weren't very happy about us when I left. I guess I should call him and let him know I'm alright, assuming I can reach him."

"Give me your phone and I'll put it on charge, and you can call him later."

"It's in my pants pocket."

Cole bent over and picked up all my dirty clothes off the floor, taking my phone and laying it on the counter. I quickly dropped my boxers and was standing in front of him completely naked. He ran his hand down my stomach but stopped just above my now hard cock. He looked up at me and I nodded. He briefly wrapped his hand around my cock and cupped my balls, before I stopped him.

"That feels so good, Cole," I told him. "I really would like to continue but I really need to get a shower. I know I smell bad and I feel dirty. We can continue later, if you want."

"Oh, I want to, believe me," he said. "But you're right. I can't believe I even had the balls to do this. I should be getting downstairs to help dad out." He smiled at me and continued. "I'll lay some clothes out on my bed and get these in the washer. I'll see you later."

With that he turned and left the bathroom.

"See you later. And thanks."

I quickly turned on the water and climbed into the shower. I smelled nasty and I felt nasty, and the hot water sure felt good. I washed my hair three times before it felt clean and washed my entire body three times as well. By the time I finished I felt like a whole different person. I never realized how much I would miss being clean until I couldn't' shower.

Cole had also laid out a new toothbrush and sat a can of deodorant on the counter before leaving. I quickly dried off and wrapped the towel around my waist before brushing my teeth and spraying on the deodorant. I then opened the door, looked out into the hallway and saw that no one was around so I walked over to Cole's room.

True to his word he had laid out a pair of boxers, a pair of white socks, a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. There was also a flannel shirt laying on the bed that I could wear over the t-shirt. I also noticed my wallet laying on the bed and my phone was laying on the nightstand being charged.

I glanced at the phone and saw that I had a few missed calls. No surprise there since the battery had been dead since my first night on the road. I also saw that I had about ten text messages as well. I'll check all that latter I thought to myself.

I quickly got dressed. The clothes Cole had provided were a little baggy but they fit okay. I knew I had probably lost several pounds during my journey. I just wondered what was going to happen to me now. I couldn't very well expect the Summers' to let me stay here indefinitely, as nice as that might be. I needed to figure something out.

After I finished dressing, I walked downstairs and found Ms. Summers in the living room. She motioned for me to sit down in the chair across from her.

"Let me just sat again how sorry I am about your parents," she said. "I don't understand why people are like that. I hope I'm not out of line by telling you this, but Cole is gay and I love him no matter what. I would never dream of kicking any of my children out on the street, no matter what they may be or what they may do. They may aggravate me occasionally, but I will always love them."

"Yes, ma'am," I said. "Cole told me about himself when we went up to his room."

I almost slipped and told her what had happened in the bathroom but caught myself in time. She didn't need to know something private like that.

"Mark and I will discuss this later and try to figure out what to do," she continued, "but we are not going to make you leave. You'll stay here for as long as necessary until we can figure out what to do. This Thursday is Thanksgiving so you'll just be one extra person at the table."

"Thank you, ma'am," I said. "I truly appreciate everything you've already done for me."

"You're welcome, Adam," she said. "And, you don't have to call me ma'am. Shirley will do just fine."

"Yes ma… yes, Shirley. Thank you."

Shirley continued talking for several more minutes, but she could tell that I was very tired by the way I kept yawning.

"When was the last time you slept?" she finally asked me.

"Last night," I told her.

"I mean, when was the last time you slept in a real bed, not on the hard ground or in a barn?"

"That would have been the night before I got kicked out by my parents."

"Then you need to go upstairs and go to sleep. We have an extra room up there and you can sleep there until we get your situation figured out."

"Thank you," I said. "I really would like to get a good night's sleep. Then I'll feel better."

Just then we both heard the back door into the kitchen open and someone coming in.

"Who's in the kitchen?" she asked.

"It's me, mom."

I recognized Patrick's voice. Now he's a little hottie himself. He's probably fifteen, only a year younger then me. I'd do him in an instant, but I don't imagine that he's gay. I'd definitely do his brother, and may get the chance later, especially after what had happened earlier between him and me. I felt guilty about cheating on Aaron, but I didn't even know if we were still boyfriends, or if we would ever even see each other again. I'm sure we will eventually, but who knows when. Maybe I should try calling him later and see if he's alright and let him know about me.

"Come in here a minute," she told him.

Patrick came into the living room and looked at me and then at his mother.

"Patrick, I want you to take Adam upstairs to the spare room so he can get some sleep. Show him where the room is and see if he needs anything else. First, go down to the basement and see if his clothes are dry and bring them up. Thank you, dear."

"Sure, mom," he said.

He turned and walked back into the kitchen and then returned about three minutes later, all my now clean clothes in his hands.

"Here you go, Adam," he said. "Follow me."

I followed Patrick up the stairs, checking out his ass as he took the stairs. I'd definitely fuck that shit, I thought. Patrick led me down the short hallway and showed me where the extra bedroom was.

"There you go, Adam," he said. Then he got a wicked gleam in his eyes. "Are you and Cole gonna fuck later? He wants to you know."

I knew the little shit was just teasing so I decided to tease him right back and see what his reaction would be.

"We might," I said. "We've already felt each other up."

"Damn, that's too much information, dude," he giggled. "I'm glad though."

"But you know what, Patrick?"


"I was looking at your ass coming up the stairs. You've got a nice butt yourself. You wouldn't be interested, would you?

"Oh, hell no!" he exclaimed. "I like girls! I have no interest in guys that way." Then he looked at me again. "You think I have a nice ass? Really?"

He didn't seem all that upset when I told him that. Most straight boys would be freaking out, but Patrick didn't seem to mind.

"Yeah, you've got a great ass," I told him.

"Cool," he said. "And thanks. If a gay boy thinks I have a nice ass then it must be true. Now if only I could get a girl to notice. Sometimes I think I have an incurable case of virginity. I'd like to cure that problem, the sooner the better."

"I'm sure plenty of girls have noticed," said. "How could they not? I'm sure you'll find someone soon. You don't seem bothered by the fact that I'm looking. Most guys would be flipping out if they thought a gay guy was checking the out."

"I hope you're right about the girls," he said. "And you're right, as far as flipping out. I used to, at least somewhat, but I'm straight and I know I am. I'm not insecure or any of that other bullshit you hear about guys our age. Besides, my brother is gay, and him and I have talked about things. He has an on again off again boyfriend and I know what they get up to. I've even seen videos on Cole's computer so I know what goes on. It's not my thing, but to each his own, I suppose."

"Wow!" I said. "If only more people were like you, Patrick. I'd be home right not, rather than four hundred miles away."

"What exactly happened?" he asked. "If you don't mind my asking that is."

"No, I don't mind," I said. "Aaron and I were on my bed making out. We had been doing other stuff earlier, but we were just making out when we got busted. We were both in just our underwear, but it was obvious what was going on."

"Do I want to know what other stuff you had been doing earlier?"

"Probably not, but I can tell you if you want. Aaron and I had been…"

I just looked at him and kind of laughed. Patrick's face turned red from embarrassment.

"Damn, that's fucked up," he said. "So, your parents just kicked you out for something like that. That's crazy."

"Yeah, it is," I said. "But that's what happened. I've been on the run ever since that night."

"What happened to Aaron?"

"I have no idea," I admitted. "I hope he's alright. I'm going to try and call him later. Hopefully he's still home and is okay."

"I hope so," Patrick said. "I guess I better let you get some sleep. One of us will come get you when supper is ready." He looked at his watch. "That'll be in about eight hours. We'll have lunch here in about two hours. You want me to come get you?"

"Thanks for asking," I said. "But I'll probably be sound asleep. You can check and if I'm awake I'll come down. Other wise just come back when it's time for supper. And thanks, Patrick."

"Okay. See you later then."

With that he turned around and walked out of the room, pulling the door closed behind him. I quickly folded my clothes, laying them on top of the dresser. I then pulled off my jeans, or rather Cole's jeans and turned back the covers on the bed and crawled under. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

As I lay there sleeping I started dreaming about the day Aaron and I had first become boyfriends back in August.

I was at the mall looking for some new clothes, and other school supplies, getting ready for the upcoming school year which started in less than two weeks. I would be a sophomore this year.

I was in the Old Navy store for now, but I intended to check out the American Eagle store as well. My mom had dropped me off earlier and was going to pick me up in about three hours, which should be plenty of time to pick out a couple of pairs of jeans and some shirts. I didn't really need a whole lot of clothes since most of the ones I had still fit.

As I was checking out the shirts I looked up and saw Aaron McCormick walking in the door. I knew Aaron from school, but I didn't really know him all that well. We were more casual acquaintances than actual friends. I always thought he was cute though, someone I'd definitely like to get to know a little better, if you know what I mean.

Aaron spotted me as well and started walking over toward me. I stood there and continued to look at the shirts.

"Hey, Adam?" he said. "I guess you must be getting ready for school just like I am."

"Hi, Aaron," I said. "Yeah, I'm trying to figure out which of these shirts to get. I'm also gonna get a couple of pairs of jeans. I'm trying to figure out which ones I would look good in."

"Trying to impress a girl?" he asked.

"No, nothing like that," I said. "I'm not really…"

I stopped myself before I finished what I had started to say, which is that I'm not really interested I girls. I wouldn't mine getting myself a boyfriend, but I have zero interest in girls, not in that way anyway.

"I know what you mean, Adam," he said, looking right at me and smiling. "I think you would look good in any of these, but I especially like this blue one."

He indicated one that I had just looked at. Damn, was he hinting at something or was it just wishful thinking on my part? I decided to see what else I could get out of him. If he was interested than I was definitely interested as well.

"You think so?" I asked, smiling back at him.

"Oh yeah," he said. "I think you would look good in anything, Adam, but I really like this one."

"I think you would look good in this one," I said, indicating a green shirt with white stripes around the collar and sleeves. I can't believe how bold I've suddenly become, but something just seemed to click between Aaron and me at that moment. Don't ask what, because I don't know.

We both took the shirts and also picked out two more and then wondered back over to the jeans. I took a pair I had noticed earlier and asked, "what about these?"

"Why don't you try them on and let me look?"

I took the jeans and went into the dressing room and came out a few minutes later. Adam looked at me and smiled.

"Looking good, Adam," he said. "Now turn around and let me see the back." I did as he asked and watched in the mirror as he looked at my butt. "They look good, Adam. They really highlight your butt."

"You think I have a nice butt?" I asked.

"God yes!" he said. He quickly realized what he had just said and looked at me sheepishly. "Sorry, Adam. I didn't mean to say that out loud."

I smiled at him and said, "that's alright, Aaron. I'm glad you noticed, and I'm glad you said something. I think you have a nice butt as well. So, I think I'll get this pair and one more."

"And I need to find me some as well."

"Well, you have to model them as well" I teased.

We both picked out two pair of jeans along with the shirts we had chosen earlier and went to pay for them. My stomach picked just then to start growling.

Aaron laughed. "I guess you're hungry?"


"How does Burger King at the food court sound?" he asked.

"Lead the way."

The two of us made our way to the food court, laughing and joking like we had been friends forever. I didn't know where things might be headed, but I liked the direction so far. I wasn't completely sure that Aaron was gay, but I was reasonably certain that he was.

The two of us got to Burger King and I ordered a double whopper value meal and Aaron ordered the same. We got our food and found an empty table and sat down to enjoy our meal.

The two of us sat and talked for an hour or so as we ate. We talked about the upcoming school year, about being gay, and several cute boys we saw walking through the food court. We also discussed boys at school and whether we should come out. We both decided it was probably not a good idea, at least not right away. Our school was not very accepting of people who are different and we were both worried about getting bullied or maybe even beaten up. Not to mention our parents. I was almost certain that mine would never accept me being gay and Aaron was pretty sure his wouldn't be either. If we were going to be boyfriends we would have to keep it a secret. But I didn't even know if we were boyfriends yet or would be boyfriends in the future. I hated that, but that's just how it is around here. I knew things would get better eventually, but I didn't think I was quite ready now to be out.

Finally, it was time to go. I started to call my mom but Aaron stopped me.

"Come home with me," he said. "I can take you home later."

"Okay," I said. "That sounds like fun. But I need to call mom and let her know not to pick me up."

I quickly dialed her number and she picked up on the third ring.

"Hello, Adam," she answered. "You ready to be picked up?"

"Hi, mom," I said. "No. I met a friend here at the mall and I'm going over to his house for a little while. He'll bring me home later. Is that okay?"

"That's fine, Adam," she said. "Will you be home for supper?"

"I don't know yet, but probably," I told her. I'll let you know if I won't be."

"Okay, dear. Have fun and thanks for calling. Bye."

"Bye, mom." I looked at Aaron and said, "we're all set. All mom said was to have fun."

"I plan to," he said, smiling.

"Good, I plan to as well," I said. "Let's go."

We dumped out trash, picked up our bags and headed toward Aaron's car. I can hardly wait to get my own car, hopefully soon. I got my license earlier this summer and dad and my grandpa have told me they'll help me get something after school starts next week. That'll sure be nice, not being dependent on my parents to go somewhere.

About half an hour later we pulled into the driveway at Aaron's house. He led me into the back door where he grabbed two Pepsis from the refrigerator. He then gave me a quick tour of his house, while also checking that neither of his parent's home. Seeing that we had the house to ourselves he then led me upstairs to his bedroom.

I nervously looked at Aaron and asked, "are we boyfriends, Aaron.

"Do you want to be?" he asked.

I didn't know quite how to reply. I'd really only known Aaron for a couple of hours, even though we went to the same school. I knew that I really liked him, but I certainly didn't love him, not yet anyway. Did I need to love him to be his boyfriend? I had absolutely no experience with this sort of thing. I was afraid that if we rushed into things to quickly, it could wreck our friendship, but I also feared that I could crush him by answering no, and the longer I thought about my answer the more awkward it became.

Finally, I answered him with baited breath. "As much as I like you, Aaron, I don't think either of us are ready to be boyfriends yet. We only really met and I don't think we should commit to anything that deep. More than anything, I wouldn't want our hormones to get in the way of our friendship right now I need a friend far more than I need a boyfriend."

"Thank god!" he exclaimed. "I feel exactly the same way. I'm not saying that someday we couldn't be boyfriends or that we couldn't maybe fool around a little bit…" I could almost feel Aaron blushing again, but we should take things slowly. I want to fall in like before I fall in love."

"I think I've already fallen in like," I added.

"Me too," he said as he threw his arms around me and hugged me tightly.

I could feel his heart pounding rapidly in his chest and I'm sure he felt mine. I hugged him back.

After a few minutes, we pulled apart and stared into each other's eyes, the only light being that coming through Aaron's bedroom window. I could feel him trembling under my arms. We sat there staring into each other's eyes, our faces mere inches apart. I think we both knew what we wanted, but we were both scared shitless that crossing even this line in the sand could affect our friendship forever.

Finally, I said, "it's not like we can't practice with each other, you know. Aaron, may I kiss you?"

Aaron barely managed a whisper as he said," yeah."

Our faces moved together at an excruciating slow pace. My world faded to black as I tilted my head and closed my eyes, just like I'd seen people do in the movies. Finally, our lips made contact. Aaron's lips were so much softer than I' ever imagined they could be. I applied gentle pressure and suction as I felt him do the same. All too quickly, we pulled apart as we both seemed to be testing the waters.

Before I could even say anything, Aaron pounced forward again pressing his lips to mine much more urgently this time. I too responded, quickening the pace and using much more forceful suction. When Aaron thrust his tongue forward, I eagerly opened my mouth to allow it entrance. Sensuously, I felt his tongue gyrate alongside mine. After a seemingly eternity, we pulled apart, both of us out of breath.

"Wow!" Aaron said.

"Yeah wow!" I agreed.

"That was fucking amazing. Just fucking amazing."

"I guess you liked it," I added with a smirk.

"You didn't?" he asked incredulously.

"It was the best," I replied with a sigh.

Aaron started chuckling. His chuckles grew into full blown laughter and before long he was howling hysterically.

"What's so funny?" I asked with a puzzled expression on my face.

It was a while before his laughing subsided enough for him to reply between bouts of laughter.

"Are we corny or what?"

Thinking about what we'd said, I soon found myself laughing hysterically, too. It was a good long while before our laughter subsided.

"Corny or not, that was a hell of a lot of fun," he said.

"Maybe a lot more than fun. Let's do it some more," I suggested.

And we did. Over the course of the next hour, Aaron and I became experts on making out.

After a while, Aaron suggested we move to his bed. We were both hard and we knew it.

"Are you sure you want to go that far?" I asked.

I knew I was horny as hell and I really needed to get off but I was scared of what doing anything together might mean to our friendship. Making out was one thing, but having sex was definitely crossing that line in the sand.

Aaron looked back at me with a hurt expression on his face, and then looked down. He mumbled back, "sorry, I know I shouldn't have pushed it."

"It's not that," I replied. "It's just that this is taking a big step. I'm afraid of wrecking our friendship."

"I know, Adam, but… well… I'm so horny, just breathing on my dick would get me off right now."

I laughed and said, "me to. Maybe we could just, you know, jerk off in front of each other."

"Okay," he said as he stood up and eagerly slid his shorts and boxers off in one smooth move. I lowered my shorts and then my boxers kicking them off. It didn't take long for either of us.

"Damn, that was fast," I said.

"But a lot of fun," Aaron agreed.

As I recovered I looked up at Aaron's face and saw him smiling back at m with that enchanting grin of his.

"Come on, let's get cleaned up," he said.

I followed him into the bathroom. He opened the shower door and turned on the water, adjusting the temperature to his liking.

He stepped into the shower and motioned for me to follow. I was still a bit nervous, but when he smiled at me, I again felt powerless to resist.

I expected we'd have a little fun in the shower, but I had no idea just how much fun two guys could have in a confined space. We got each other clean all right, and then washed each other again to clean up after the fun we had.

We stepped out and dried each other after we were done. Aaron handed me his deodorant when he was finished with it. I enjoyed smelling a little bit like him after I applied it. Somehow, I felt more attached to him because of it.

I took a moment to admire the perfect beauty of Aaron's body.

"You're beautiful," he said to me, almost as if he were reading my own thoughts.

"How can you say that?" I asked. "I'm so ordinary looking, but you… you're gorgeous."

"Yeah, if you like the California surfer look."

"But I love the California surfer look."

"I'm glad you like it, because it's the best I can do with my dull blond hair. My body is too thin, my skin is pasty, and my arms and legs are way to long for my body. You, on the other hand, are perfect. I love your wavy brown hair. And your eyes… your hazel eyes are golden… there's just something about the way you look at me…"

"Stop it, Aaron," I admonished. "You're making me self-conscious. I don't think I'm anything special, but I'm glad you like the way I look, and you'll have to trust me when I tell you that to me, you're the one who's perfect."

We embraced and kissed each other deeply on the lips, and then just held each other for a while, resting our heads on each other's shoulders as we swayed gently back and forth. Our balls were pretty much spent for the time being, and there was nothing sexual about the contact of our skin. We simply enjoyed each other's closeness.

Finally, Aaron began to speak as he held me tightly. "I think I'm falling in love with you, Adam. More than anything, I want you as a friend, but I don't think I can be your friend without wanting more than friendship."

I squeezed him even more tightly and spoke softly into his ear. "I love you too, Aaron. At first, I thought it was just lust, but there's more to it than that… maybe much more. I think we complement each other so well. It just feels right to hold you like this. I can't believe how great this feels."

I pulled away slightly and looked him right in the eyes as I continued. "But above all else, I want you as a friend. I've heard that sex can really fuck up a good friendship, but maybe we can pull it off and have both. Maybe we can be best friends… and boyfriends."

Aaron looked me in the eyes, his own starting to tear.

"I'd like that very much, Adam. We're more than friends… more than best friends. I'd love nothing more than to be your best friend… and your boyfriend, too."

Slowly, we moved back together and our lips met in the middle. Somehow the kiss seemed sweeter than all the others that day because it was our first official kiss as boyfriends.

Over the course of the summer, and into the fall, Aaron and I spent nearly every day together, and a few nights, too. It's a good thing our parents never knew what we got up to when we were alone or I would have been kicked out long before I was.

During our time alone, we became intimately familiar with each other's bodies. We tried just about everything, and I do mean everything. Aaron's a passionate lover, and very romantic.

Yeah, it had been a great summer, the summer in which we fell in love. School had started out as promising as well, even though we were neither one out to our parents or friends.

Yeah, things had been good, right up till the incident, as I call it. Things had deteriorated rapidly from there, but it was starting to look up again. At least I wasn't on the run, freezing, but how long would all this last? Mr. and Ms. Summers probably wouldn't want me around indefinitely.

I awoke about three hours later and lay on my back and stared at the ceiling. I felt a lot better even though I was still tired. I didn't want to sleep to long or else I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight so I finally crawled out of bed and started to get dressed. As I was pulling my shirt over my head I looked over at the dresser and saw my phone laying there. I remembered that I had several missed calls and at least ten text messages. I picked up the phone and checked the messages first and saw that about seven of them were from Aaron and a couple were from my grandfather. I quickly checked the messages from Aaron.

'Adam, please contact me. My parents really freaked out when your mom called.'

'Adam, where are you. I really need to talk to you. Please call or text me. I love you.'

'Adam, where are you? I need to talk to you. I love you.'

All the rest of the messages were pretty much the same so I won't read all of them to you. I then listened to my voice mail, and the messages were essentially the same as the texts, Aaron begging me to call him as soon as I could. He sounded really worried and even a little desperate. I decided I'd call him in a few minutes but first I wanted to see what my grandpa had to say. I was pretty sure he would react the same way my parents had but his texts seemed to indicate different.

"Adam, I need you to get ahold of me. I know what that bitch daughter of mine and that asshole father of yours did to you. I don't agree with them. Please talk to me.'

'Adam, please call or text me. I need to know that you're alright. Grandpa.'

After I listened to his voice mail my attitude changed. It seemed like he really did care about me and wanted to find out what had happened to me. I decided to call him as well, but first I had to call Aaron.

I quickly called up my contacts and hit Aaron's number. It rang about five times before he finally picked up.

"Adam! Thank god you finally called. What happened to you? Where are you? How are you?"

"I'm fine, Aaron," I told him. "I'm not sure exactly where I'm at, just some little town in southeast Kansas, staying with some people. I'll explain it all later. How are you? What happened after you got home that night? I hope everything is alright."

"Everything went to hell after I got home," he said. "Your mom called my mom and the shit hit the fan when I got home. Dad forbid me from seeing you ever again and even hit me several times. He grounded me for a month and that was only the beginning.

"Oh, my god!" I said. "I'm so sorry, Aaron."

"It wasn't your fault, Adam. I was just as involved as you were."

"So, you're alright now, aren't you?" I asked.

"I am not," he said. "I just got out of the hospital two days ago."

"The hospital?" I asked. "What the hell happened?"

"I tried to kill myself," he answered. "Things didn't get any better, in fact they got worse. Dad was always yelling and screaming, calling me a faggot and other names, and just generally making my life miserable. He started hitting me more and more. He had never hit me before he found out I was gay. He even threatened to send me to one of those special camps to try and cure me. I just couldn't take it any more so I took an overdose of pills. Fortunately, my mom discovered me in time and called an ambulance. I'm fine now, but it was close. Mom and dad haven't changed their attitudes at all, though. They still don't like that I'm gay, and they even kicked me out as well. Things are slowly getting back to normal, at least somewhat now that I'm living with your grandfather."

"Jesus!" I said. "I'm sorry, Aaron. Are you sure you're alright?"

"I'm fine now," he said.

"How did you end up living with grandpa?" I asked.

"You'll have to ask him about that," he said. "All I know for sure is that when it was time to leave the hospital he's the one who came and got me. Mom and dad signed some papers and now I live with him."

I could feel tears forming in my eyes as I listened to Aaron telling me about almost killing himself. I desperately wanted to see him, and now it looked like maybe I could after all. If what he said about grandpa taking him in then maybe there was hope for me as well. I needed to call grandpa and find out what was going on. For the first time in almost three weeks I began to see some hope in my situation.

Aaron and I continued to talk for the next hour before we finally hung up. I told him I would try to figure out some way to see him, but I didn't have any idea how I would go about it. I'd talk to Mr. and Ms. Summers and see what they said and then call him back.

I then decided to call grandpa and see what he had to say. Depending on what he told me would help me figure out what to do. I dialed his number and waited for him to answer.

"Hello," he answered. "Adam, it's good to hear from you. Are you okay?"

"Hi, grandpa," I said. "I'm okay now, but I've had a hell of a time over the last couple of weeks."'

"Yeah, I know, Adam," he said. "I heard about everything. That stupid daughter of mine, your mother. I can't believe what your parents did to you. I'm sorry, Adam. I thought I raised her better than that."

"It's true you know, grandpa," I told him. "I am gay. I'm gay and I can't change. I don't want to change. If you or my parents can't accept that then I want nothing to do with them or you again. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is. I just talked to my boyfriend, Aaron McCormick before I called you. Did you know he tried to kill himself because of this? I thought about that myself but I didn't."

"I'm sorry, Adam, I'm really sorry," grandpa said. "I heard about Aaron and I was horrified about what had happened. He's living with me now by the way. I couldn't just let him be homeless. I was so scared that you might try the same thing. Thank god you didn't, Adam. Thank god!"

From the sound of his voice it sounded like my grandfather might be crying, at least a little. He really sounded worried about me.

"Where are you anyway?" he finally asked.

"I'm in some little town in southeast Kansas. I can't remember the name of the place but I can find out. I'm staying with a family named Summers. They've been good to me so far, grandpa. I've only been here one day but they've let me sleep and fed me and they really seem to want to help me. They have a gay son and they completely support him, unlike my own parents."

"I'm glad to hear that, Adam," he said. "Why don't you find out for sure where you are and then call me back. I'd like to come and get you and bring you home. If your parents don't want you back then you can come and live with me. And you'll be able to be with Aaron as well. You and him can even stay together at night."

"Thank you, grandpa," I said. "I'd like that. I'll find out and let you know later this evening."

The two of us continued to talk for about twenty more minutes before I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door and Cole was standing there.

"Supper will be ready in about ten minutes," he said.

"Thank you, Cole," I said. "I'll be down in a minute." Then I said to grandpa, "I was just told that supper is almost ready. I'll find out where exactly I am and call you back in a couple of hours or so."

"Okay, Adam," grandpa said. "I'll be waiting for your call. Goodbye."

"Goodbye, grandpa."

I hung up and walked down to the dining room just as the food was being set on the table. Ms. Summers had fixed a big meal tonight consisting of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, along with green beans and corn. Everything looked and smelled so delicious. This would be the first real meal I had eaten since leaving home over two weeks ago.

Shirley looked up as I walked into the dining room. "Are you alright, Adam," she asked. "You look like you've been crying."

"I'm alright now, Shirley," I said. "I called Aaron about an hour ago and found out he had tried to kill himself. He survived, thank god, but I can't help but feel scared. I thought about killing myself as well, you know."

"Oh, Adam," she said, grabbing me in a hug. "I'm so sorry. Is there anything we can do for you?"

The rest of the family just sat there in stunned silence for several seconds before Mr. Summers finally said, "I'm sorry, Adam. You're more than welcome to stay here for as long as you need to. We'll figure something out I'm sure."

"Thank you, sir," I said. "Aaron seems to be okay now, but I would like to try and see him somehow if possible."

"We'll see if we can work something out," Mr. Summers said.

"Thank you," I said. "I also talked to my grandfather right before I came down here. He apologized for the way my parents treated me and offered to come and get me and take me home. He also said I could live with him if they didn't want me."

"Great!" Cole said.

"I told him I'd call him back later," I said. "Where did you say I am again? I mean the name of the town so I can let him know."

"This is Chouteau Kansas, in Labette county," Mr. Summers said.

"Thank you," I said. "I'll let him know after supper. And this is a delicious meal, Shirley. Thank you."

"You're welcome, Adam," she said. "I'm glad you're enjoying it,"

The six of us continued to enjoy our meal and we talked and talked about all kinds of different stuff. The chicken was delicious. So were the mashed potatoes and gravy, the corn, green beans and the hot rolls, and the cake we had for desert. I gorged myself, but didn't feel guilty, because everyone else did to.

Cole had a truly wonderful family. They talked, laughed, and made me feel right at home. They were so kind and thoughtful to each other and me as well. A momentary surge of sadness engulfed me, as I thought about Aaron, but then I remembered that he was okay now, and was living with my grandpa. That made me smile, knowing that everything seemed like it was going to be okay after all.

I guess I should consider myself lucky, all things considered, at least for now. I could well have been cold, hungry, and alone, living on the streets, selling my body to assholes like Dave in order to survive. Instead, I was warm, stuffed, and surrounded by laughter and quite conversation. I don't know what the future holds for me, but for right now things were good, and starting to look better.

I really enjoyed talking to them and I was sure I would miss everyone, but I also really wanted to see Aaron again and hold him in my arms.

Finally, we finished and I went back up to my room and called my grandpa again to let him know what I had found out.

"Hi, Adam," he answered.

"Hi, grandpa," I said. "I found out some information for you. I'm in a little town called Chouteau which is in southeast Kansas, Labette county actually. I'm right on the Oklahoma state line actually." I quickly gave him the actual address so he could find me if he decided to actually come and get me.

"That's about three hundred fifty miles from here," he said. "I can be there tomorrow afternoon. I have something I need to tell you, Adam, but I'll tell you when I see you."

"Are you sure you want me back, grandpa?" I asked. "Even though you know that I'm gay?"

"What kind of question is that, Adam?" he asked. "Of course, I want to see you. I love you, Adam, and I don't care that you're gay. I just want you to come home. Like I said earlier, you can live with me if necessary."

I could feel myself starting to cry again as I heard him say that he loved me and didn't care that I was gay. That was the best news that I had heard in weeks.

"Thank you, grandpa," I said. "I can't wait to see you tomorrow afternoon."

We talked for a few more minutes before hanging up. I then walked downstairs into the living room to talk to Mr. and Ms. Summers again. Shirley muted the television as I entered the room.

"Is everything okay, Adam?" she asked.

"Everything is fine," I told her. "Grandpa told me he would drive down tomorrow and pick me up in the afternoon. He told me I could live with him if necessary. Aaron is okay as well and living with grandpa temporarily. In fact, grandpa even offered to let him live with us as well all the time, if he needs to."

"That's great news, Adam," Mr. Summers said. "It sounds like things are going to work out for the best after all."

"It seems like it," I said. "I hope so anyway."

The three of us talked for a few more minutes before I finally went back upstairs to get some sleep. What had started out as a very shitty day had turned into a very good day, and tomorrow promised to be even better, at least I had hopes for tomorrow.

I awoke with a start at the unfamiliar sensations, but quickly relaxed, or relaxed as well as I could under the circumstances, and glanced down. The sight that greeted me took my breath away. At some point while I was sleeping Cole must have snuck into my room and turned on the bedside light. In its subdued lighting I watched him crawl seductively up from the foot of the bed, bringing to mind a sleek, dark panther stalking its prey. I would have sworn the sinuous movements were even accompanied by a low, aggressive growl. Long, slender fingers caressed the skin of my inner thighs lightly as laughing brown eyes watched me intently. A devilish smile was my only warning before strong hands firmly pushed my thighs apart, allowing the sleekly muscled body to settle between them. Those mesmerizing eyes looked on mine and held, paralyzing me with their dark gaze. I couldn't have moved if I tried.

Though Cole's head dipped lower, he never broke eye contact. So intent was I on staring into those eyes that I jumped at the unexpected feeling of a warm, wet tongue. A broad stroke ran repeatedly over my balls before his mouth opened and sucked them in, first one, then the other. Then that talented tongue moved lower, nearly to my hole, applying more pressure than I would have believed a tongue capable of. With agonizing slowness, it inched its way upward, sliding up and over my ball, then excruciatingly slowly over my shaft, and up to the head of my hard, aching cock. It jumped of it's own accord, bumping against Cole's cheek, causing him to pull back and laugh.

Still we maintained eye contact as that dark head bent down and blew gently against my dampened skin. Cole chuckled softly at the moan that escaped my lips and repeated the entire process again. This time when his tongue reached the crown of my cock his lips parted and hot, moist heat surrounded it, his tongue working the underside, causing an involuntarily gasp from me. I moaned, my head falling back and my eyes closing, unable to withstand the gaze that was burning through me to my very soul.

I was no stranger to blow jobs, having given and gotten them many times from Aaron over the last several months, but what Cole was doing to me was no mere sex act or playing around. It was a gift from someone who sincerely wanted me to enjoy the sensations, as hands, lips, tongue and very gently, teeth, were applied with the skill only someone who knew first hand how it felt could employ. My balls were lovingly caressed, kissed, licked and sucked, as were my inner thighs, my cock, and my lower belly. Cole never used a single technique or remained focused on one spot long enough to become predictable, constantly treating me to new and different sensations, all beyond anything I'd ever encountered before or even dreamed of. I never knew that someone could curl my toes and melt me into a puddle so easily.

A calloused hand moved up my torso. A second had joined the first, sliding across my abdominal muscles, caressing and exploring, working their way up my body. Gently, those fingers brushed my nipples, causing them to stiffen. I arched my back, willing Cole to be more aggressive, to pinch and tug instead of restricting himself to gentle, tentative touches. The message was understood and all I could do was writhe on the crumpled sheets.

My impending orgasm started as a slight tingling in my lower back and balls and grew steadily until I could feel it approaching like a breaking wave. As my eyes flew open I discovered Cole still watching me, the look in his eyes conveying everything I needed to know about the boy who was so lovingly giving me just what I needed. Fighting a losing battle, I had just opened my mouth to warn Cole that I was cumming when it slammed into him with violent force.

"Cole!" I screamed, my back arching off the bed.

I was still trying to catch my breath when a grinning Cole straddled my chest, gazing down at me to cheerfully say, "good morning, Adam."

I wanted to reciprocate. I gazed up at Cole and said quietly, "bring that a bit closer."

I quickly grabbed him by the hips, reached out my tongue and lapped at the slit, tasting the pearly drop of fluid clinging there. Tentatively I placed my mouth over the head and gently sucked before pulling away.

Wrapping my arms around Cole's slender hips, I pulled him close, taking his cock as far into my mouth as I could, only to push him back a moment later when I started to gag.

"Easy, Adam," he told me, though it was obvious he wanted me to continue.

I was more cautious this time, only taking half the length into my mouth. Working my tongue against the underside I was gently encouraged by Cole's moans.

Taking Cole's cock in as far as I could, I worked my tongue against it and then pulled back, applying steady suction. Cole began gently humping my mouth, rising up on his knees and grabbing the headboard for leverage.

"Oh god, yes!" he cried, his rhythm increasing as he neared his orgasm. "Adam, if you don't want me to cum in your mouth you'd better stop now!" he panted.

I hummed and increased the pressure of my tongue, letting my actions answer for me.

"Ahhh…" Cole exclaimed as his muscles went rigid and a splash of semen hit my tongue.

I wasn't going to pull off; if Cole could swallow my cum, then I'd return the favor. Surprisingly, the taste and smell of Cole was so exciting that I nearly came again.

Cole slumped boneless against the headboard, taking in huge panting gasp.

After a few more gentle laps with my tongue I reluctantly released Cole's spent flesh.

"Now it's a good morning," I said, immensely pleased with myself. "What time is it?"

"Eight o'clock," was the murmured reply, garbled because Cole's face was pressed against the headboard.

I knew that my grandfather wouldn't be here for several more hours so I said, "we've got time for another round," I observed, glancing at the clock.

Cole and I emerged from my room about half an hour later, heading toward the bathroom to get cleaned up. Just as we opened the door Patrick happened to walked out of his room. He just laughed and looked at us, but didn't say a word. He clearly knew what had just happened however.

After we had taken a shower together Cole and I got dressed and went down to the kitchen. Cole's mother was fixing breakfast and told us to both get our plates and sit down at the table. We joined the others and Shirley walked in a few seconds later and sat down as well.

"What time do you think your grandpa will be here?" Mr. Summers asked.

"He texted me earlier and said he was on his way," I told them. "He left up there about seven this morning so he will probably be here around noon or thereabouts. He said he would text me when he got to town so we would know where he was."

"I'll have lunch ready then," Shirley said. "We'll have our usual Sunday meal I think. I hope you and him like roast beef, carrots and mashed potatoes."

"I love that stuff," I said.

The six of us sat at the dining room table and talked for another half hour or so before everyone got up and put everything in the kitchen. I followed Cole outside and Patrick tagged along with us. The three of us walked toward the equipment shed so Cole and Patrick could help their father work on one of the combines. According to Cole it would soon be time to start harvesting soybeans and then planting winter wheat.

"I know what you two were up to," Patrick said, looking right at us. "You were fucking, weren't you?"

I really like Patrick. He's a cocky little shit, but he's not afraid to say what's on his mind and he seems much more accepting than I would expect for a straight boy.

I decided to fuck with his head a little. "No, Patrick," I said. "Your brother and I did not fuck. We just sucked each other off, that's all. Are you happy now?" I laughed. We actually had fucked but I didn't want to give Patrick the satisfaction of guessing right.

"That's gross!" Patrick said, but I noticed him smile as well.

Cole laughed as well and the three of us continued walking. About two hours later I heard my phone beep and pulled it out of my pocket. It was a text from my grandpa.

'I'm just coming into Chouteau,' it said.

'I'll be waiting for you,' I texted back. I then looked at Mr. Summers and said, "that was grandpa. He said he's just arriving in town."

"He should be here in about fifteen minutes then," Mr. Summers said. Then he looked over at Cole. "Why don't you and Adam go down to the road and wait for him. Make sure he finds the place alright."

"Sure dad," Cole said. He then turned to me. "You ready to go meet him, Adam?"

"Yes," I said. "I can't wait to see him again."

The two of us started walking toward the road, about a hundred yards or so from where we had been working. We were there in about five minutes and just a few minutes later I saw grandpa's car coming down the road, trailing a cloud of dust. I guess it's him anyway. He pulled up about a minute later. I saw that he also had a passenger in the car with him. Upon closer checking I saw that it was Aaron, my boyfriend.

"Oh my god, it's Aaron!" I said to Cole. "It's Aaron!"

I had never been so happy to see him in my life. I had feared I might never see him again and here he was.

Grandpa stopped the car and he and Aaron jumped out. Aaron quickly ran over, grabbed me in a tight hug and then leaned in and kissed me right on the lips. The two of us just stood there for a couple of minutes, hugging and crying. I saw grandpa just smiling. He didn't seem all that upset to see two boys hugging and kissing. In fact, he seemed happy to see it. I finally broke my hug with Aaron and went over and hugged grandpa as well.

"Oh my god, I can't believe you brought Aaron with you, grandpa," I said. "I never thought I'd see him again. It's good to see you as well, grandpa. Thank you for everything."

"You're welcome, Adam," grandpa said. "I never thought I'd see you again. I was more than glad to bring Aaron with me."

I looked over at Cole and said, "grandpa, this is my friend Cole. Cole and his family run this farm. Cole, this is my grandfather, Joseph Harper."

"It's nice to meet you Mr. Harper," Cole said, extending his hand.

"It's nice to meet you as well, Cole," he said. "And please, call me Joseph. Any friend of Adam's is a friend of mine."

"I guess we better get up to the house," Cole finally said. "Mom should have lunch about ready and dad is up working on the combine. He'll be glad to meet you, Joseph, and you as well Aaron."

"I think Aaron and I will walk, if you don't mind," I said. "We can talk and figure out what's going to happen with us."

I had never been so happy in my life. Cole had climbed into the car with grandpa and they drove toward the house, stopping at the equipment shed to meet Mr. Summers and Patrick.

I still can't believe that Aaron actually came with him. I had never been so glad to see him as I was now, especially after he had told me what he had almost done. I had feared that I might never see him again. I realized now, more than ever, how much I loved Aaron. I had always loved him, but not as much as I did right now. The two of us just grinned at each other, leaned in and kissed. We stood there for a couple of minutes making out before I grabbed him by the hand and the two of us started walking back toward the house. I could feel the tears in my eyes and I could see that Aaron was also crying.

"I'm so happy to see you Aaron," I said, "but why did grandpa bring you with him?"

"That's a long story, Adam," he said. "As you already know, I tried to kill myself the night you left. My dad was threatening to send me to one of those church camps or whatever the hell they are to be cured. It was either that or be kicked out. He had already hit me a couple of times and I feared even more."

"That's so fucked up!" I said. "But please, please Aaron, promise me you'll never do something like that again. I don't think I could live without you. I really love you, Aaron, more than I ever realized."

"I love you too, Adam," he said. "I never realized how much until you weren't around. But we're back together again thanks to grandpa. He let's me call him that now."

"That's so cool," I said. "So, what happened?"

"I took a bunch of pills thinking I would just die in my sleep," he said. "That didn't happen, fortunately, but only because my mother happened to find me before they had a chance to work. She called an ambulance and they got me to the hospital in time."

"Thank god!"

"Yes, thank god she found me in time. But I don't think my dad really cared one way or the other. I got the impression that he'd rather I was dead than be gay. How fucked up is that?"

"That's pretty fucked up!" I said. "What an asshole!"

"So anyway, I was in the hospital for about a week," he continued. "When it was time to leave I had no place to go. My parents didn't want me around. I was starting to wish I had died after all. At least I wouldn't have to worry about anything anymore."

Jesus Christ, I thought. His parents were more fucked up then mine, or at least as bad. I didn't know what to expect from my parents when I arrived back home.

I didn't know what I was gonna do," he continued. "I thought I would just take off like you did and then your grandfather walked into my hospital room and we had a long talk."

"Good ole grandpa," I said. "Him and me have always been close, closer than I am to my own father. I always knew he cared about me even if dad didn't seem to all that much."

"So, your grandpa walked into my room. I thought it was strange that he would be there. I mean, I'd only seen him a couple of times when I was with you. But him and I got to talking and I explained what had happened. He had already heard about you and me, of course, but he wasn't upset at all by you being gay. Just the opposite in fact. He seemed really happy that the two of us had found each other, but he was very pissed off about what our parents had done. I mean, pissed! He was cussing all of them out. Well, they weren't there obviously, but he was still cussing. He was upset as hell."

"That sounds like grandpa," I said. "He's normally a friendly, easy going man, but don't get him mad at you."

"He finally calmed down and I told him my situation. That just got him all riled up again."

"Holy shit!" I said. "I wish I could have been there to hear that. So, how did you end up staying with him."

After he calmed down the second time, he got on his phone and called my parents and cussed them out. And, I still can't believe it, but he offered to let me come live with him if they didn't want me."

"Oh my god," I said. "Really?"

"Yeah, really," Aaron said. "He left after talking to my parents and came back later that same day with some papers he drawn up for my parents to sign, granting him temporary custody of me. They signed them without even batting an eye, and now I've been living with him for about two weeks now."

"Oh man!" I said. "That's so good. I'm sorry about your parents and all, but that is so cool."

"Yeah well, fuck em," he said. "They're dead as far as I'm concerned. And, I think you're gonna be living with him as well when we get back, at least part of the time. I don't know what the situation with your parents is going to be. Grandpa hasn't really talked about it a whole lot. He's been more concerned about what happened to you. He was so relieved and so happy when he heard from you yesterday. He was ready to jump in the car and drive down last night but I convinced him you would be okay until today. And here we are!"

"Yes, here you are," I said. "Thank god!"

Aaron and I arrived about ten minutes later at the equipment shed and I introduced him to everyone.

"Mark, this is Aaron McCormick my boyfriend," I said. "Aaron, this is Mark Summers, Cole's father."

Aaron extended his hand and said, "it's nice to meet you, Mr. Summers."

"It's nice to meet you as well, Aaron," Mark said, shaking Aaron's hand.

The five of us stood there talking for about twenty minutes until Mark's phone beeped and he looked at it.

"Shirley says that lunch will be ready in about fifteen minutes and that everyone should come up to the house and get washed up. I hope you're hungry, Joseph. And you as well, Aaron."

"You didn't have to fix us lunch," Mark," grandpa said. "The boys and I can get something in town."

"My wife would shoot me if I sent you on your way without lunch," Mr. Summers said. "And besides, you have to at least spend the night. It's a long drive back up to Nebraska."

"That it is," grandpa agreed. "Thank you, Mark. We're both starving, at least I know I am."

"I am too," said Aaron.

The five of us started toward the house. It's about a three-minute walk from where we were. Aaron and I followed Cole upstairs to the bathroom where we washed our hands and got ready to eat lunch. I also showed Aaron where I had slept the night before. I hoped him and I would be sharing the bed tonight, but I wasn't going to say anything to Mr. or Ms. Summers, or grandpa. They had been very accepting so far but I didn't want to push it. Besides, I'm sure Aaron and I will get plenty of time alone when we get back home, especially if I'm living with my grandfather, which I hope I do. As I stood there with Aaron I started to feel guilty for what had happened with Cole earlier this morning. I wasn't sure if I should tell Aaron what had happened or keep it a secret. For now, I decided not to say anything, at least not right away.

Lunch was just being placed on the table as we entered the dining room. I quickly introduced grandpa and Aaron to Shirley and Laura.

"Shirley, Laura, this is my grandpa, Joseph, and my boyfriend Aaron. Grandpa this is Shirley, Cole's mother, and his sister Laura."

"It's nice to finally meet you, Joseph," said Shirley. "Adam has told us about you. And it's nice to meet you as well, Aaron. Adam told us what happened. I'm glad you're okay and that you two are back together."

"It's nice to meet you as well, Shirley," said grandpa. "I want to thank you and your husband for taking care of Adam, and for understanding. You'll never know how much I appreciate it."

"Yes, thank you so much, Mr. and Ms. Summers," Aaron said.

"You're both quite welcome," Mr. Summers said. "And please call me Mark, Aaron. Just like I could never turn my own son out on the street I could never let someone else be in that situation."

All eight of us sat at the dining room table, which was a little crowded, but we managed. Shirley had really made a fantastic meal. We sat there and talked and laughed for over an hour.

"I insist you at least stay the night, Joseph," Mark said when grandpa indicated that we should go.

"You're more than welcome," Shirley said. "We can figure out sleeping arrangements. Joseph, you can sleep in the spare room, and Cole and Patrick can share Patrick's room. And, if you have no objections, Joseph, Adam and Aaron can share Cole's room. I'm sure they won't mind sharing a bed tonight." She winked at me.

"No, ma'am!" I said. "Aaron and I will be glad to share a bed tonight. That is if you don't mind, grandpa."

"That's fine, Adam," grandpa said. "I expect you'll be sharing a bed when we get home anyway since you'll be staying with me."

Wow! I thought. I never expected my grandpa to be so understanding about this. I expected him to be like my parents and instead he was just the opposite. Holy shit!

"And if you're not in a hurry, you're more than welcome to stay for Thanksgiving dinner as well," Shirley said. "We'll have plenty of food."

"Thank you, Shirley," grandpa said. "We might just take you up on that offer. I don't have to be home until next Monday, and the boys will have to go back to school as well." He then looked at me. "What do you think, Adam?"

"Yes, if we could, I would sure like to, grandpa," I said. "I'm not in that big a hurry to go back home. I'm not sure what's going to happen with mom and dad when I get there."

"That's something we need to talk about, Adam," grandpa said. "After we finish this fine meal Shirley has prepared maybe me and you can go for a walk and talk. I have something I need to tell you."

After we finished eating lunch and cleared the table everyone sat around and talked for almost an hour. As everyone gradually got up and left the dining room, grandpa looked at me and smiled.

"Let's go for a walk," he said.

The two of us excused ourselves and headed outside, walking down the long driveway, looking at the cattle on both sides of the fence, and all the out building that lined the way, along with a couple of big trucks sitting along the side as well.

"I want to thank you, grandpa, for taking care of Aaron," I said. "But why are you doing it?"

"That's a good question, Adam," he said. "I'm gonna tell you, but first I need to tell you some other things, something only your grandmother knew."

What in the world could he possibly have to tell me that only she knew, I thought. Grandma had died over a year ago after developing breast cancer.

"Okay…" I said.

"I first began to wonder if you might be gay back a year ago," he began. "I didn't say anything, of course, and I wasn't sure, but I just wondered."

"What made you think that?" I asked.

"I'll get to that," he said. "Then when you started bringing Aaron around I became more convinced than ever. It's just the way you two looked at each other sometimes, the way your hands would brush together sometimes, the way you would touch each other when you thought no one was watching. All little signs that added up. All the little things that happened with me when I was a boy your age."

"What are you saying, grandpa?" I asked.

"What I'm saying, Adam," he continued, "what I'm saying is… your grandpa is gay, Adam. I'm gay!"

"What the fuck are you talking about?" I practically shouted. "Sorry, grandpa about the language, but what are you saying? You're gay? What the hell?"

I could not believe what I was hearing. How could he be gay?

"You heard me right, Adam," he said. "I'm gay. I always have been, ever since I was your age."

"But… but, you're married for over thirty years," I said. "You have kids and grandkids. How could you be gay? How is that possible?"

"A gay man can have kids, Adam," he explained. "You could father a kid if you wanted to."

"I know," I said. "But I don't understand. If you're gay, why did you ever get married in the first place? Why not just find a boyfriend and just live together?"

He just looked at me for a few seconds before answering. "How much do you know about the gay rights movement?"

"Not much," I admitted. "I mean, I've read a little about it but I'm not really all that sure about all that."

"I thought not," he said. "You kids today are so lucky. You can be out and proud, at least in some places, if not everywhere. Hell, you can even serve in the military and get married now. All that was nonexistent back in the 1970's when I was your age. The gay rights movement had only just started within the last ten years. Things were bad, Adam. Even in the larger cities, but especially in small town America. Being gay was often a death sentence if anyone found out."

"It wasn't really that bad was it?"

"Oh yes, Adam, it could be. But thanks to a few brave people coming out and fighting for their rights, things gradually got better and they are continuing to improve. I never thought I'd live to see the day gay people could openly serve in the military or could actually get married, but it happened. We've had a temporary setback by putting Donald Trump in the White House, but hopefully that will change in two years."

"But why get married to a woman?" I asked. "Why not just find another guy and live together and keep it a secret?"

"It's not as easy as it sounds," he said. "I had a boyfriend in high school, a boy named Justin Carson. We got together when we were just fifteen a year younger than you are now. We could never be open about our relationship, of course, but we stayed together through high school. We both pretended to date girls to keep from being discovered. I even had sex with a girl, but it was not the same as when Justin and I did it."

Oh my god!

"So, what happened?" I asked.

"We graduated and I joined the navy," grandpa said. "Justin went off to college. I haven't seen him for over forty years. I've thought about him over the years, wondered what he's been doing, but I have no idea where he lives or works. I'd like to see him again just to catch up and find out what happened with him."

Oh my god! I just stood there in stunned silence for several seconds, unable to believe what my grandfather was telling me. He was gay! Jesus! In my wildest imagination I never thought I'd hear something like that.

"So, how did you and grandma end up together?" I finally asked.

"She was three years younger then me so while I knew who she was during high school, I never really knew her. As you know, I joined the navy after I graduated, did my four years and came home. The military always tried to pretend there were no gays serving, but I'm here to tell you, Adam, there were plenty. I went out with a couple of guys on my ship, nothing ever serious, mainly just for sex and companionship. Then I came home. I knew there was no way I could be gay in small town Nebraska during the 1980's. It's hard even now days as yours and Aaron's situation proves. It was even worse back then. But anyway, I met your grandmother, we started to date and soon I asked her to marry me."

I didn't know what to say. I couldn't have been more shocked if grandpa had told me he was an alien from the planet Vulcan.

"I know this must be quite a shock to you, Adam," he said.

"You have no idea, grandpa. I just don't know what to think or how to react. I'm just… wow! My own grandfather is gay. Holy shit!"

"I did love your grandmother, Adam," he said. "I still love her and I miss her. I would give anything to have her back, but that can't happen."

He paused for a second and continued. "We got married in the spring of 1984 and eleven months later your mother was born. Two years after that your Uncle Tommy was born. We had a good life together, raising our children and then later the grandchildren started coming along."

"You said grandma knew about you?" I asked. "I can't imagine she was very happy to find out something like that."

"She didn't find out until we had been married for almost twenty-two years," he said. "But you're right, she was very upset. We even talked about getting a divorce, but like I said, I really did love her and she loved me as well, despite this. We talked and worked things out. We were married thirty-three years when she died.

"So, you never…" I started to say, but I couldn't finish my sentence. It just didn't seem right to ask grandpa something like that.

"No, I never cheated on your grandmother, if that's what you're asking," he said. "I was tempted, I won't lie, but I resisted. I had opportunities as well which made it even harder, but I never did. You and Aaron will both be tempted as well, and a nice-looking boy like you or him will have opportunities to do so. If you do cheat on Aaron, it's best to get it out in the open. I know he loves you, Adam. Him and I had a long talk on our drive down here yesterday, and we've talked since he's been staying with me. He doesn't know about me, however, and I would appreciate if you didn't say anything to him or anyone else.

"Sure, grandpa," I said. "Your secret is safe with me."

I could feel tears welling in my eyes. Grandpa noticed as well.

"Is everything alright, Adam?" he asked. "You look like you're about to cry."

I hesitated for a second, but finally said, "I cheated on Aaron just last night, grandpa. After everything I've been through the last two weeks, and then hearing about him almost killing himself, I was very depressed. Cole came into my room last night to comfort me and before I realized it, him and I were making out and then ended up fu… sorry, we ended up having sex. Does that make me a bad person, grandpa?"

"No, Adam, you're not a bad person," he said. "I understand why, and I'm sure Aaron will as well. You were under a lot of strain."

"I love him, grandpa. I never really realized how much until I thought I had lost him. I never thought I'd see him again, and Cole was there, and…"

Grandpa just hugged me and held me as I cried on his shoulder. He didn't say anything, just let me cry.

"You think I should tell Aaron?" I finally asked.

"I think honesty is always best in a relationship," he said. "Aaron really does love you. I can tell. He may be pissed off at first, may even cuss you out or something, but he'll still love you and he'll forgive you. Love always forgives, Adam. Trust me on that."

By now we had made it to the road, about a quarter mile from the house. We turned around and started back.

"I think I'll tell him when we get back," I said. "I love him, grandpa. I know I'm kind of young to be saying that, but I really do love him. I can see us getting married in a few years and living the rest of our lives together. I can see us as old men in our fifties."

"Hey!" he said. "Men in their fifties aren't old. I've still got a lot of life left in me, at least I hope so anyway." He chuckled. "But I know what you mean. When I was your age anyone over thirty was old and anyone over fifty was a dinosaur."

We both laughed at that. I'm glad I'm able to laugh, at least for a second, but I had something else I needed to tell grandpa, something I was ashamed to even think about but I knew he needed to know.

"Grandpa, I have something else I need to tell you," I said. "I'm kind of embarrassed and ashamed but I feel like you need to know. I hope you don't hate me for what I'm about to tell you."

"You're my grandson, Adam," he said. "I could never hate you, no matter what. I may be disappointed in some things, but I will never hate you. Please, tell me what happened."

So, I told him the story about what had happened during my disappearance, including the incident with Dave. I was ready to start crying again as I told him that but he just put his arm around me and held me tight.

"That sick fuck," he said when I had finished. "People like that should be horse whipped and then shot. But don't worry, Adam. You only did what you had to do to survive and I can't hold that against you. Unfortunately, that's just a fact of life for thousands of kids living on the street. You were actually very fortunate in a way. It could have been a lot worse. But that's all over now. You're safe with me."

"Thank you, grandpa."

"You're welcome, Adam," he said. "I love you, I'll always love you."

"So, what's gonna happen when we get back home," I asked. "Am I going back home or living with you or what?"

"For now, at least, you'll be living with me," he said. "I've been talking with your mother and I think she will be glad to see you. She still loves you, Adam. As far as your father goes, I think he'll come around eventually. I've talked to him as well, and he seems like he wants to have you back. You'll just have to give him time. It can't be easy for a man to find out he has a gay son, especially give the way he found out. Not that I'm excusing him.

"Thanks, grandpa," I said. "I wondered if I would ever see either of them again. I guess I will."

"You'll see them this Friday when we get home," he said. "Your mom can't wait to see you again."

"So, what exactly is up with Aaron," I asked. "He says he's been staying with you for the past week. He seems happy to be staying with you."

"I think he is," grandpa said. "His father is a complete asshole and his mother a total bitch. They couldn't wait to get rid of him. They actually signed papers to allow him to live with me temporarily. They didn't even hesitate, just signed the papers, turned and walked away."

"I never realized they were that bad," I said. "When I was with Aaron at his house they seemed a little tough on him at times, but I never thought they would actually hate their own son. Of course, I never thought I would end up homeless myself, even if things are getting back to normal."

We continued talking as we walked back to the house. We arrived back about ten minutes later and went inside. Aaron was in the living room, talking with Cole and his parents. Grandpa and I joined them and we sat there for another hour or so before Cole asked if Aaron and I wanted to go out and do something, and meet his boyfriend and best friend.

"Hey, Adam, would you and Aaron like to go with me to meet my boyfriend? I'm going to meet him at his house and then we'll probably go see a movie or something later. I'd like to introduce you guys to him. I'm also going to pick up my best friend and his boyfriend."

"I'd like to, Cole," I said. I looked over at grandpa. "Is that okay grandpa?"

"That's fine, Adam," he said. "You boys have fun." He then reached into his wallet and pulled out two fifty-dollar bills and handed them to me. "In fact, it's my treat for the movie and if you guys decide to eat later."

"Thanks grandpa," I said. I then looked over at Aaron. "If that's okay with you, Aaron."

"That sounds like fun," he said.

I then looked at Cole and said, "sounds like fun, Cole. But I need to talk to Aaron first. If you don't mind waiting for a little while that is."

Aaron just looked at me with a puzzled look on his face.

"There's something I need to tell you, Aaron," I said. "Let's go for a walk. We'll be back in a little while, Cole."

"Good luck, Adam," grandpa said.

Aaron and I quickly walked out the kitchen door and walked toward the barn, holding hands as we walked. I didn't know how I was going to say what I needed to say, but I knew I couldn't keep this from Aaron. I loved him too much to keep something like this from him.

"What's so important that you couldn't tell me later?" Aaron asked me.

I hesitated but decided to just tell him rather than beat around the bush. "First off, I love you Aaron. I really love you which makes what I have to tell you even harder, but I can't keep this from you. I thought about it but I just can't. Grandpa convinced me I should, but I had already been thinking strongly about it."

I was starting to cry a little by now and Aaron noticed. He put his hand on my face and leaned in and kissed me.

"What's wrong, Adam?" he asked. "What could you possibly have done to make you so upset?"

I looked him right in the eye and said, "I cheated on you, Aaron. Last night Cole and me fucked. Can you ever forgive me, Aaron? I love you and I'm so sorry about what happened."

"What!" he exclaimed. "How could you, Adam? Why would you do something like that?"

"It had been a long three weeks since I left home," I explained. "I thought I would never see you again. Then when I found out that you had almost killed yourself, well I was extremely upset and depressed, as you might imagine. Cole and I talked and I explained what had happened with you."

"So, how did that lead to you cheating?" he asked.

"Cole hugged me as I was crying and I fell asleep. Then later that night he came back to my room and crawled into bed with me. Before I knew it, we were kissing and making out. Soon after that we were blowing each other and before I knew it we were fucking. I needed comforting last night and Cole was there for me. Can you ever forgive me, Aaron?"

Aaron just stared at me for several seconds before saying, "yes, I forgive you, Adam. I love you. Under the circumstances I think I can understand why you did it. I might have done the same thing if I had had someone available. I'm just glad Cole was there for you. Yes, I suppose I'm a little upset, but I understand, and I appreciate you telling me."

I couldn't believe that Aaron was taking this so well. I expected him to start yelling or cussing or something but he was remarkedly calm about all this.

"I appreciate you not flipping out on me," I said. "I'm so sorry all this happened and I swear it will never happen again."

We stood there hugging and making out for the next several minutes, both of us crying as well. I had never loved Aaron more than I do right now.

Finally, Aaron got a wicked looking gleam in his eye and a shit eating grin on his face.

"Cole is awfully cute," he said. "I wouldn't mind fucking him myself. Is he any good?"

Oh my god!

"He is cute, isn't he?" I replied. "Not as cute as you, of course, but he is definitely nice looking. And he was pretty good. It was definitely not his first time with another boy."

I couldn't believe the two of us were standing there talking about having sex with another boy. I had expected Aaron to be pissed off at me, not asking if Cole was any good in bed. Jesus!

"Maybe the three of us can get together before we leave," he suggested. "You ever thought about something like that?"

I had, of course, but I had never said anything to Aaron about it. I didn't know what he would think, plus we had only been together about four months now.

"Well, yeah, I thought about it," I admitted. "I just didn't know what you might think if I ever mentioned it."

"I wouldn't say no, if the opportunity was there," he said. "As long as we're both there what harm could there be. But what about Cole? Doesn't he have a boyfriend?"

"He does," I said. "But he explained it to me. Jeffrey, that's his boyfriend, goes to another school so they don't see each other that often. They are boyfriends, but they have an understanding, if you know what I mean."

"I guess I sort of understand," he said. "That's not something I would ever want to do, but it's cool if that's how they worked things out."

The two of us continued to talk and make out for about ten more minutes before returning to the house. Aaron gave Cole a smile when we walked into the living room and we sat down together on the love seat.

"I called Dakota while you guys were out," Cole said. "We're going to meet him in town and then pick up Ryan and Jeffrey after that."

"Sounds like fun," Aaron said.

Cole looked over at his father. "Dad, can I use the car tonight, please. There's gonna be six of us and we need a big car."

"Sure, Cole," Mark said. "You boys have fun and don't do anything stupid. Drive carefully and be home at a decent time."

The three of us went into the kitchen where Cole grabbed the keys to the car and then he led us into the garage. Cole has his own pickup, as does Mark, of course, and Shirley and Laura have their own cars, and I assume Patrick will as well since he's old enough to drive. But they also have a big Lincoln for when the whole family goes somewhere together. The Summers family definitely has money, no doubt.

Aaron and I climbed in the backseat and Cole backed out of the garage and headed into town. We arrived at Dakota's house about fifteen minutes later. Dakota was waiting on the porch when we pulled up and quickly ran out and jumped in the front seat.

"Dakota, this is Aaron and Adam, the guys I was telling you about earlier. Guys, this is Dakota, my best friend."

"It's nice to meet you guys," Dakota said. "Cole has told me a little about you but not much. I'm sorry about what happened with you but I'm glad everything seems to be working out for you."

"Thanks, Dakota," Aaron said. "It's nice to meet you as well."

"Yeah, it's nice to meet you," I said.

The four of us headed out of town, crossing the river a few minutes later and then about half an hour later we arrived at Jeffrey's house. Introductions were quickly made and then we picked up Ryan, Dakota's boyfriend about twenty minutes later.

From there we headed toward a larger city called Joplin. The car was a little crowded with six people, but we managed. There were four of us in the back seat, but I didn't mind being squeezed up next to Aaron on one side and Dakota on the other side. All four boys were very nice looking.

Since this was Sunday night a lot of places were closed by the time we arrived. We went to the movie and afterward we stopped at Pizza Hut where we ordered three large meat lovers pizzas. The six of us sat there eating and laughing and just generally having a good time until the place was finally getting ready to close and we had to leave.

We headed toward home, dropping both Jeffrey and Ryan off at their homes before finally heading back to Chouteau. Aaron and I were in the back and we were able to make out a little as we drove back to the Summers farm. Cole dropped Dakota off and we finally went home.

It had been a fun evening and a very remarkable day in general, but I was tired and ready to go to bed and make love with my boyfriend. Everyone was already in bed when we arrived so we headed straight upstairs.

"I'm so horny I could pop a nut," Aaron giggled as he drew me into his arms and our lips came together with heated passion.

It had been more than three weeks since we'd last made love so I was way beyond excited with lust when I felt our erections press into each other.

"Let's get out of these clothes," Aaron suggested.

I wasn't about to argue with him. I think we set a speed record for undressing each other in that moment. We were both so primed to make love to one another.

Aaron carried me to the bed, barely taking the time to pull the covers back. We were both primed and leaking pre-cum furiously. In the short time we'd been together we'd come adept at a variety of positions, but Aaron had become particularly enamored of lowering himself onto me from above. I'm not sure why, but since my cock is so wide compared to his, but he enjoys bottoming this way with me on my back. For my part, I enjoy it a lot, too, as there is nothing more beautiful than watching the sight of his face as I enter him. The look of ecstasy… the pure joy of my penetration is more beautiful than all the colors of the rainbow. No water fall, no mountain lake, no last rays of a sunset casting it's light across the endless peaks and valleys of a mountain range, can compare with the site of my Aaron as the pleasure of my entry washes over him.

Unfortunately, given the length of time since we'd last made love, we were primed and ready to go and we didn't last long. All too soon I felt Aaron's ring tighten around me and I saw his face contort into the most unbelievable look of intense bliss as sweat poured off his face and torso down onto me. His back arched and I was caught slightly off guard as his cum rocketed out past my head and onto the headboard of the bed, then into my hair, onto my face, into my mouth, much to my delight, and over my chest and stomach. Of course, the intensely pleasurable sensations that were building in my balls were incredible and it wasn't long before I was filling Aaron's bowels with what must have been a very impressive load of my spunk, too.

I think I might have actually blacked out from the intensity of my orgasm for a moment, because when I came to, Aaron's full weight was on top of me, I was no longer buried inside of him and my head was nuzzled in the crook of his neck. He lifted himself slightly off me, looked down at me and smiled.

"God, I love you. You mean everything to me," he said before he planted his lips on mine and we kissed passionately. We were both hard again, instantly.

I know some of you might think it gross to go down on someone after anal sex, but Aaron didn't seem to mind. Hell, I'd done it too. It was different when love was involved, and so we found ourselves in a slow and intense sixty-nine. I loved doing this, fingering Aaron's prostate, rubbing his balls and sucking on him for all his worth. The appreciation I felt through my own balls told me all I needed to know. This time we lasted a lot longer, but when we came, it was no less intense.

"I love the taste of your spunk, Adam," Aaron said. "It's so uniquely 'you'."

Turning around and snuggling up with me, we shared yet another passionate kiss, sharing our juices in the process. We just couldn't seem to get enough of each other as we pleasured each other again and again.

After we had made love for the second time, this time with Aaron making love to me, he looked at me, his eyes burning into mine and asked, "Adam, what would you think about coming out?"

Coming out? What the hell did he mean by coming out? Wasn't high school difficult enough without being harassed for being gay?

"Why do you want to come out?" I asked him incredulously.

"I think it's likely we've already been outed," he said. "With my attempted suicide and your three-week disappearance, I'm sure people have already figured things out, or at least they suspect."

"Yeah, I suppose you're right," I replied. "But still, I don't know if it's a good idea or not."

"Besides," he answered back, "I don't want to sneak around for the next two years. I know I'm being idealistic, but I want us to be seen together in the halls without worrying about that goofy grin on your face." I blushed as he said that. "I'd like to be able to hold your hand if I want to," he continued. "I'd like to give you a peck on the lips now and then as well."

"But Aaron, this is the Midwest. It's the fucking bible belt! Nebraska is one of the reddest states in the country. Do you really think people are going to leave us alone if we do some shit like that?"

"Adam, I know it'll be tough. I'm just saying it might be tougher for us if we're not out. There are other out kids at our school, and things are slowly getting better. Hell, our high school even has a GSA."

"Yeah, I know," I said, "but I'm still not sure coming out is a good idea, at least not right away."

A million thoughts raced through my mind. I'd thought I'd stay in the closet at least through high school, but Aaron clearly wanted to come out… as a couple no less. And he was right, the whole school had probably heard all kinds of rumors by now. I thought about how everyone would look at me differently. How would I feel the first time someone called me a fag? Sure, I'd have some recourse in school, but I'd still have to like in the real world. What would happen when I went out anywhere in town?

On the other hand, wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to go to the mall or to a movie with Aaron at my side? Wouldn't it be nice not to be afraid that people would find out we were a couple? And I wouldn't have to pretend. I wouldn't have to date girls, just to keep up appearances. There were many positives to this scenario, but damn, it was scary.

Then I thought about all the brave people in the past that grandpa had mentioned earlier, the ones who had come out back when it was practically a death sentence to do so. They had made it easier for people like Aaron and me. And just a few hours ago both Cole and his friend Dakota had told us about being out at their school, and how they were mostly left alone. They were harassed occasionally, but the school administration didn't tolerate it when they found out. There were even several out students at their school, including several football players.

But what about my parents? True, they already knew about me, which is the reason I'm laying in a bed in southeast Kansas right now, but grandpa talked like there was a chance of me getting back together with them. How would they react if I came out publicly at school? But did I even care? Grandpa has already told me I can live with him until I graduate high school.

"Adam, are you okay?" Aaron asked me as I continued thinking about everything he'd said.

"I don't know, Aaron," I said. "I'm going to need some time to think about everything you said."

"I understand, Adam, and that's okay. We've got another week until we have to be back in school. We'll talk about it some more."

Aaron and I kissed each other good night and we both rolled over and went to sleep. The next few days promised to be interesting.

The next morning, I opened my eyes, waking up to the smell of sausage wafting up from the kitchen. I looked at my watch. Six o'clock! Jesus, don't these people believe in sleeping in? Then I remembered that this is a working farm and various chores have to be done no matter what. The cattle don't know what day it is and they don't give a rat's ass. They just want to be fed. Equipment still has to be maintained. There's always a thousand little things that have to be done around a farm.

I looked over at Aaron sleeping peacefully next to me. He had kicked the covers off in the middle of the night and was on full display in all his naked glory, including his morning wood. I was also hard, but that's normal for me and has been for the last couple of years. I think all teenage boys are like that.

I just lay there admiring my beautiful boyfriend for about three minutes before a wicked thought entered my mind. I just couldn't resist. I leaned over and took Aaron in my mouth. He moaned softly as he slept, but I got a reaction out of him about thirty seconds later.

He started moaning louder and was writhing on the bed as I continued to suck him off. Finally, about two minutes later I could feel his whole-body tense and then relax as he shot his load into my mouth. I swallowed it all, as usual. He then opened his eyes and smiled at me.

"Good morning, Aaron," I said. "I hope you slept well."

"I slept like a baby until he I was so rudely awoken," he laughed.

"I though you'd like that," I said, leaning down to kiss him. "You looked so cute laying there, I just couldn't resist."

"Thank you, Adam," he said. "I enjoyed it very much. Now it's my turn. After all, fair is fair."

"You won't get any argument from me."

He quickly leaned over and returned the favor. It wasn't long before I shot my load in his mouth. He swallowed every drop and then the two of us made out for several minutes before slipping our boxers back on and opening the door, looking into the hallway to see if anyone was out there, before heading to the bathroom to shower.

If you've never been woken up by a blow job first thing in the morning I highly recommend it. It's the perfect way to start your day.

After last nights activities and then again, this morning, Aaron and I were covered in dry cum and god knows what else so we made sure to wash everything really well. We shampooed our hair and soaped up our bodies, ensuring we cleaned everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. Just as we were coming out of the bathroom, grandpa came up the stairs. We both had just towels wrapped around our waists. He just smiled at us.

"I hope you guys slept well," he said. "Breakfast will be ready in about ten minutes."

"We both slept good, grandpa," Aaron said.

"With all the noise coming from that room last night I don't know how you got any sleep at all." He laughed at that.

Aaron's face started turning red and I could feel mine doing the same. We both looked at him sheepishly and said nothing. Busted! But then, he knew what we would be doing beforehand and didn't object to our sharing a room. And he had said we would be sharing a room once we got back to his house.

"You mean you heard us?" Aaron finally said.

"I think everyone upstairs probably heard you two," grandpa joked. "Now, get dressed and come down for breakfast."

Thank god Mark and Shirley's bedroom was downstairs. I don't think I could look at her if she had heard what went on last night, although I'm sure they both had a pretty good idea.

He turned and walked back down the stairs and Aaron and I quickly went into our room and got dressed, and then went down to the dining room.

Laura giggled and turned away as we entered the dining room, but Patrick had an evil grin on his face. I decided to tease him a little before he had a chance to say anything.

I leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Aaron and I fucked each other last night, in case you're interested. In fact, we did it three times."

I looked at Aaron and the two of us busted out laughing. Patrick started laughing as well, and we were soon joined by Cole and then grandpa, and finally Laura.

"What's so funny?" Shirley asked as she walked in from the kitchen.

"Nothing mom," Cole quickly said. "Adam just said something funny, that's all."

"What was it?" she asked.

"Never mind, mom," Cole told her. "It's not something you probably want to hear."

"Coming from a bunch of men, you're probably right, Cole," she said. "Now come get your breakfast before it gets cold."

Everyone quickly went into the kitchen where Shirley had prepared scrambled eggs with sausage, bacon and toast. There was also a pot of fresh coffee, as well as orange juice and milk.

Everyone served themselves and we quickly went back into the dining room and sat down and started eating, talking and laughing. It's hard to believe I've only known these people for two days. They seemed more like family to me than my own family ever had.

"So, what's on the agenda for today?" Aaron asked Cole as soon as we had finished.

"Things are kind of slow around the farm right now," Cole answered. "We got all the corn and soybeans cut and the wheat is all planted, so all we do now is wait. There's always something to do, of course, but dad told me I could take off. I thought I'd take you guys into town and show you around, show you where I go to school. Chouteau isn't much, but it is home. If you're interested that is?"

"Why not?" I said. "It should be interesting.

"I'd like to see the farm as well," Aaron said.

"Sure, we can do that. You might want to get a long sleeve shirt to wear over your t-shirts," he said. "It's a little cool out this morning. You guys can borrow one of mine if you need to."

Actually, I did have a light jacket and Aaron had brought one as well so I quickly ran upstairs and grabbed both. Cole was right, it wasn't really cold outside, but it was a little chilly.

"Dad and your grandpa are going to drive around the farm and talk, I think," Cole said. "I'll show you around as well, before we head into town."

The Summers house, barn and other out buildings all sit on eighty acres, right on the Kansas side of the state line, but they also have more land across the road in Oklahoma, as well as further west, about eighteen hundred acres total, which is not a large farm in this part of the country. There's about fifty head of cattle here at the home place, and maybe another thirty or forty on another pasture. Their farm and ranch aren't a whole lot different than the ones up in Nebraska, but I didn't really expect it would be. I was raised in farm country, although not on a farm, so none of this was really all that new to me.

"So, what do you think?" Cole asked after he'd finished showing us around the farm."

"It's interesting," I said. "It's not a whole lot different than what we have up home."

"Yeah, I suppose," he said. "I guess a farm is pretty much a farm, no matter where you are."

"Pretty much," Aaron agreed. "Do you like doing it?"

"I like it," Cole answered. "I plan on going to Kansas State after I graduate high school and then coming back here and working with dad and grandpa. I might do some time in the navy before settling down, but I haven't decided yet. Dad did four years and he says it's a good thing to at least serve a few years.

"Yeah, grandpa served four years and he enjoyed it," I said. "He got out and went to school on the GI Bill. He's kind of hinted that maybe I should do it as well, but I haven't decided yet. I've still got a couple of years before I have to decide. Plus, now that I'm with Aaron, that might change things."

"Gay people can serve now," Aaron pointed out. "It might be something to consider for me as well. I just don't know what I want to do yet, but I need to start making some serious decisions soon."

By now we were driving into town. Chouteau is maybe half as big as the town where Aaron and I live, roughly fifteen hundred or so people, according to Cole. Not all that much different however. It was dominated by a huge grain elevator, but those dot the great plains of North America, so it was nothing unusual.

By now it was nearly lunch time so Cole looked at both of us and asked, "are you guys hungry yet?"

"I'm starting to get a little hungry," Aaron said.

"I could eat as well," I said.

"I'll take you to the local hamburger place," Cole said. "It's called the Hornet's Nest."

The Hornet's Nest, I thought. That's where Dave had taken me two days ago, and where I had left him, before ending up on the Summers Farm. I wasn't about to tell anyone what had happened with Dave. I had told grandpa but I didn't want Aaron to ever know.

"I saw that the other night," I said. "What's up with that name? It seems kind of weird."

"It's named after the school mascot," Cole said. "The Chouteau Green Hornet's. It's been here forever. Dad says it was popular when he was a kid."

I had been scared before when I was in here so I hadn't paid much attention, but the place had red booths along three walls and several tables in the center and the counter where you placed your order. There was a schedule for the local football, volleyball and basketball teams as well as pictures of the teams. The place was also decorated for Thanksgiving.

The three of us placed our orders and took a seat in one of the booths while we waited. About fifteen minutes later our food was brought out by a cute boy about our age. He was apparently a friend of Cole's.

"Kevin, this is my friends Aaron and his boyfriend Adam," Cole said in introduction. "Guys, this is my friend Kevin."

"It's nice to meet you guys," Kevin said. "You from around here? I don't recognize you."

"We're just visiting from out of town," Aaron said. "We'll be leaving on Friday to go back home."

"Where you from?" Kevin asked.

"We live in Nebraska," I said.

Kevin stood there and talked with us for another couple of minutes before he had to get back to work. The three of us watched him as he walked away."

"Nice ass," Aaron said.

"I agree," I said. "I wouldn't mind fucking that shit."

"Sorry, guys, but Kevin is as straight as they come," Cole said. "But he's cool. He'd probably be flattered if you told him that, but you'll never get him to admit it."

We all laughed at that. We finished eating lunch, waved goodbye to Kevin and then got into the truck and left, driving through town. Chouteau is really not all that large, the entire main street is probably only two miles from one end to the other, ending at the river, with a park on both sides of the river.

The school is maybe half the size of the one back home. According to Cole the school has less than five hundred students in all twelve grades, and only twenty-three in his sophomore class.

That night grandpa insisted on taking everyone out to dinner as his way of saying thanks for everything the Summers' had done for me in the last two days. Aaron and I rode with Cole in his truck, along with Patrick. Grandpa and everyone else piled in the Lincoln and we all drove into town to eat at the nicest restaurant in town, a place called the Old Mill Inn, about a block from the river and right next to an old flour mill that had been closed for as long as everyone could remember.

The Old Mill Inn was nicer than one might expect in such a small town and a little expensive, but not too bad. The tables were covered with linen table cloths, and they had a candle in the middle, and cloth napkins instead of paper. It had a pleasant atmosphere with lots of plants hanging from the ceiling and dividing the tables. There was even a little fountain near the center of the restaurant. We had a nice table off to the side, mostly screened from view by a huge tropical plant, almost like eating in a jungle. It was kind of romantic looking in the dim light. It's just too bad Aaron and I aren't alone.

"This is really nice," said Aaron. He opened his menu and his eyes widened. "Grandpa, it's so expensive."

"Don't worry about it, everyone," grandpa said. "It's not that expensive and I can afford it, so just order whatever you want."

I knew that grandpa could afford it. He was one of only three lawyers back home and there was no shortage of people needing legal advice so he always had plenty of business.

"Oh, the Ziti al Farno looks good," Cole said. "I might get that."

"I'm going to have to read the descriptions," Aaron said. "I don't know what most of this stuff is."

"That's what I did," I said.

A few minutes later our waiter walked up. "What can I get you ladies and gentlemen to drink?" he asked.

"How about a Coke or Pepsi?" said Aaron.

"And for you sir?" he asked me.

"Um, a Dr. Pepper for me," I said.

He took everyone else's order and then said, "I'll be right back."

They served Italian food and when the waiter returned with our drinks I ordered the Ziti al Farno, and Aaron went for the Rigatoni alla Bolognese. Grandpa was having chicken Alfredo and Cole ordered something called Pasta Corbonara. I had never heard of that but it looked and smelled delicious. Everyone else placed their order and the waiter departed to let the kitchen know, and returned with two baskets of breadsticks. Everything came with breadsticks, which were incredible. Everything about the place was nice.

We had a delightful meal, followed by the most excellent chocolate cake I'd ever tasted. The icing was thick and creamy and covered with a cherry sauce that made it out of this world.

After we had finished everyone sat there and talked for at least half an hour before finally grandpa paid the check and left a generous tip, before we left to go back to the house.

The next two days were mostly uneventful so I'll just skip ahead to Thanksgiving Day.

I couldn't believe the amount of food that Shirley and Laura, along with her grandmother and Shirley's mother, Ms. Potter had prepared for Thanksgiving. They let others help, but the three of them did all the real work. There was so much food that it wouldn't begin to fit on the table. He whole counter in the kitchen was lined up with platters of turkey and ham, and giant bowls of mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, dressing, and just about anything else you care to name. There were homemade rolls and bread, real butter, pumpkin pies, apple pies, cherry pies and pecan pies, as well as a big chocolate cake with pecans in the icing.

In addition to the Summers family there was Shirley's parents, Mr. and Ms. Potter, Laura's boyfriend, Nathan, grandpa, Aaron and me. All together there were eleven of us. It was crowded but cool.

During dinner we mostly concentrated on eating. We were all talking too but it was hard to keep track of what was said. It was just the kind of idle chitchat that didn't require a lot of attention anyway.

We ate and ate and I got so full that I thought I might pop. I usually tried to watch my weight a little, but Thanksgiving was an exception. Besides with the weight I had lost recently I could afford to put on a few pounds. I ate all I wanted. By the time we worked our way to desert, I almost couldn't handle it. I had a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top, of course, and a piece of pecan pie as well. The cake and the other pies would have to wait. I just couldn't handle them on top of everything else.

Everything was delicious. Aaron and I offered to help clean up, but Shirley wouldn't hear of it. She shooed us out of the kitchen, claiming she could do it more quickly with her and Laura. So, we went up to our room for a bit and took a short nap. All that food made us sleepy.

When we got up, we made out for a few minutes before going downstairs. All the men were in the living room watching football on television. Aaron and I joined them. We must have sat there just talking for about an hour before Aaron and I decided to go for a walk together.

Everything was okay between us now. At first Aaron had been pissed when I told him what had happened between Cole and me but after I explained everything and how scared I had been about him, he forgave me and things are back to the way they were. Afterward we had made up in the best possible way.

We returned almost an hour later to find everyone back in the dining room, sitting around the table having a second or third or fourth desert. At last I had some room for a piece of cake and a slice of apple pie. It was delicious.

The next day it was time for us to return home. Part of me hated to think about going back, but I knew it was for the best. I had to try and resolve the issues with my parents and Aaron thought he would at least try as well with his parents. From what grandpa had told me that didn't seem likely, but maybe they had had time to think about what the had done. If not, he would continue to live with grandpa until he finished school. I didn't know if I was going back to my house or not, but if not then I could also stay with grandpa. Part of me wanted to stay with him so I could be with Aaron every night, but part of me also wanted to be able to go back to my own home.

We got up early and Shirley made everyone a big breakfast of biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns. She wanted it to be enough to last for most of the day, which I'm sure it will.

Finally, about nine o'clock, it was time for us to go. Aaron and I both gave Shirley a hug and then thanked her for everything. We also gave Mark a hug and shook his hand and grandpa shook his hand as well. We also said goodbye to Laura and Patrick.

Then there was Cole. Just in the few days we had known him he had became such a good friend. He had shown us around, taken us out with his friends, and just generally was there for us. A mere hand shake wouldn't do. Aaron and I leaned in from both sides and kissed him on the cheeks, and then grabbed him in a tight hug and stood there for several seconds before finally releasing him.

The whole family walked with us out to the car and we said goodbye one final time before getting in and driving away. We had an open invitation to return anytime and I hoped to someday. We had also told them they could come up and see us, and hopefully at least Cole will someday.

The drive home was very uneventful. It was actually kind of boring so I'll just skip ahead to when we arrived later that afternoon.

We arrived at grandpa's house about four o'clock that afternoon after an almost seven-hour drive. Grandpa's house is a single-story brick house with three bedrooms, sitting on a large lot near the edge of town. It was the same house my mother and her brother had grown up.

Aaron led me back to the room he had been staying in, my uncle's old room. Grandpa had indicated earlier that we would be sharing the same room which was fine with the both of us. It only had a double bed but that was fine with us as well. We could just sleep that much closer together, that's all.

After we had unloaded the car, which took all of five minutes, we settled in the living room. I wasn't sure what exactly was going to happen but I knew I had to see my parents, the sooner the better. That way I would know where things stood with them.

After we had rested for maybe half an hour grandpa finally looked over at me and said, "you think you're ready to see your mom and dad?"

"I'm as ready as I'm gonna be," I said. "Part of me dreads it, but I know we have to talk, and get things out in the open."

"You're right, Adam," grandpa said. "I think things will be alright between the three of you once you talk to them. I've already talked to them as well, as you know. What about Aaron, though?"

"Aaron is my boyfriend," I said. "I love him and I'm not giving him up for them or anybody else. If they can't accept that then we really have nothing to talk about."

"Are you sure about that, Adam?" Aaron asked. "Maybe just you and grandpa should see them tonight. Give them a chance to get used to the idea."

"I'm sure," I said. "Not bringing you would indicate that I have something to be ashamed of. I'm gay! That's not gonna change and the sooner they accept that the better. Besides, maybe if they get to know you a little better, things will be okay. I want to give them a fair chance."

"I'm glad to hear that," grandpa said. "They might as well get used to seeing you two together."

Grandpa then took out his phone and called mom and dad. They talked for several minutes before they decided they would meet us at Sarah's, one of the local restaurants in about twenty minutes.

"Okay, your mom and dad will meet us at Sarah's in twenty minutes," grandpa said as soon as he got off the phone.

The three of us got up and walked out to the car for the short drive to the restaurant. It was just an ordinary looking place on the outside, but wonderful scents began to tease my nostrils even before we were through the door. The ambiance could best be described as 'well worn'. Sarah's had been in operation forever and was practically an institution here in Clanton. Grandpa even mentioned that it was in operation when he was a boy. Now that's old!

The booths, tables and chairs were all scuffed, but clean. The interior was plain, but homey and very busy on this Friday night. It was always busy, however, so that wasn't unusual. The waitress was finally able to locate a table that would seat five, way in the back.

A few minutes later I spotted mom and dad coming through the door. I didn't know what to expect exactly, but I got up and walked over to meet them. As soon as my mother spotted me she hurried over and grabbed me in a hug and kissed my on the cheek. I could see tears in her eyes.

"Oh, Adam, I'm so sorry about everything," she said.

I could feel tears forming in my eyes as well as we stood there hugging.

"It's okay, mom," I said.

"No, it's not okay, honey," she said. "I can't believe we kicked our own so out of his home. Can you ever forgive us?"

I had thought about this and had wondered if I'd ever be able to forgive my parents, but my mom at least seemed truly sorry about what had happened. I wasn't sure about dad yet, but at least he had come to see me.

As I've mentioned before, I always kind of had the impression that I was unwanted by my mom and dad. I can't recall ever receiving a hug like this from my mother, but she seemed sorry as she stood there hugging me and sobbing.

"I forgive you, mom," I said.

Mom held me for another minute before finally releasing me. Then the damndest thing happened. I couldn't believe it! Dad actually grabbed me in a tight hug, but only for a second, before releasing me.

"I'm sorry, son," he said. "I don't know what the hell I was thinking. Please forgive me, son. I know I've never said it, and I probably haven't been the best father, but I do love you Adam. I've always loved you. Please believe me when I say that."

"For some reason I actually did believe him. I quickly led both of them back to our table before the other diners got to upset with all the crying and hugging.

Dad didn't look to thrilled when he saw Aaron sitting there but he quickly changed his expression. Mom seemed to be okay with it. I decided I needed to get things out in the open right away so there was no confusion.

"Mom, dad, you know my boyfriend, Aaron. Aaron, you know my mom and dad."

Aaron offered his had and dad, somewhat reluctantly, shook it. Mom shook it as well.

"It's nice to see you again, Aaron," she said. "I'm sorry about what happened with you and with your parents."

"Thank you, Ms. Harrison," Aaron said. "It's nice to see you as well."

Just then the waitress came back and took our drink orders and said she would be back with our drinks and to take our orders.

Everyone grabbed a menu and started trying to decide what we wanted. Sarah's has a wide variety to choose from, everything from steaks, chicken, and fish, as well as hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and chicken strips, as well as soup and salad. Each meal comes with a choice of mashed potatoes and gravy, or a baked potato, as well as one vegetable. You could also get soup and salad if you wanted. The sandwiches come with fries.

I decided to have the chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and green beans. Aaron ordered a steak with a baked potato and corn, as did mom and dad. Grandpa ordered a chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans.

After the waitress left with our orders I knew it was time to address the elephant in the room, so to speak. I wasn't sure how to start the conversation so I just started talking.

"Mom, dad, I know you don't like that I'm gay," I started, before mom interrupted me.

"It's not that so much, Adam," she said. "It's just that your father and I were so surprised to find out. The way he found you and… you and Aaron were just so shocking."

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," dad said. "I'm still not exactly thrilled to have a gay son, but after your grandfather cussed me out for twenty minutes, I started to think about everything that had happened. I know I over reacted that night, and for that I'm truly sorry."

You should be, I thought to myself, but I held my tongue. Jesus, I wish I had been there to hear what grandpa had to say.

"It's just that we've never known any gay people until now," mom continued. "We just didn't know how to deal with the fact that you're gay. Our only child is gay! We just couldn't believe it could be possible."

I looked at grandpa and smiled. If only they knew about him, but the only ones who knew were Aaron and me and grandpa wanted to keep it that way, at least for now.

"I guess you didn't fit any of the stereotypes," dad said, "so therefore we never expected this. I was afraid you would turn out like that, and I didn't know how I would face all my friends and coworkers. But after your grandpa finally stopped cussing me out and calmed down, him and I had a serious conversation, and I learned quite a few things."

"He didn't cuss me out or anything," mom said, "but we did sit down and talk and he set me straight on a lot of stuff, stuff I had never really thought about."

Just then the waitress brought out our food so we paused while she served us. I was amazed at the chicken dinner. It looked like there was at least half a chicken on my plate! There were extra large portions of mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans. The other orders were just as big. She also brought out a large basket of hot rolls, with plenty of butter, and then refilled all our drinks before leaving.

I looked over at grandpa and he just nodded for me to continue, so I said, "I'm glad to hear all that, mom and dad. So, I guess you have figured out that I can't change, even if I wanted to, which I don't. I was born this way."

"That's the conclusion your father and I finally came to," mom said. "Nobody would choose to be gay, but you had no choice in the matter. I just wish we had really stopped to think about it beforehand, before all this happened. Maybe we could have avoided all the pain this has caused you."

"I know we haven't always been the best parents, son," dad said, "but we tried to do the right thing, at least we thought so anyway."

"I'm sure you did, dad," I finally said. It's just that I always kind of thought in the back of my mind that you didn't really want me. We just never seemed that close for some reason."

"I know, dear," mom finally said, after looking over at dad. "That's our fault. We have always loved you, even if it seemed to you that we didn't at times."

"I do love you, Adam," dad said. "Even if I've never said it, and even though we sometimes came across as not caring about you, we always have and always will love you. Can you ever forgive us?"

"I forgive you," I said. "But what about Aaron and me? He is my boyfriend and I'm not giving him up. I love him and he loves me."

Mom looked at Aaron and smiled before saying, "you sure picked a cute one for a boyfriend. I'm happy for you guys and I'm sure your father and me will get used to him and you, given time."

I could see Aaron's face turning red from embarrassment when mom called him cute, but he was cute. He was gorgeous, at least in my opinion, and my opinion is the only one that counts.

"So, are Aaron and I going to be allowed to go on dates and stuff?" I asked. "Is he going to be allowed to come to the house?"

"He'll be welcome," dad said. "You'll have to keep the door to your room open whenever he's there, but I promise we won't bother you."

"That's fine," I said.

I looked at Aaron and grinned. I didn't have to say it. We would be able to be together at grandpa's house and whenever mom and dad weren't home, we could be together as well.

"I know you guys have already…" dad started to say before he stopped. "Just keep all that shit to yourselves. Your mother and I don't need to see it or know about it, okay."

"Okay, dad," I said.

"I know I can't stop you," dad continued, "and I'm not even sure if I should try. Just be careful, that's all. I don't want one of you to end up pregnant. I'm too young to be a grandfather."

It was a pretty lame joke, but at least it caused everyone to giggle, at least a little bit anyway.

"Speaking of grand kids, I was kind of looking forward to having some one day," mom said. "I guess that's out of the question now."

"Maybe not, mom," I said. "Things are always changing and slowly getting better all the time. Even Nebraska is changing, even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes. Gay people are allowed to adopt in some states now, or, there's always surrogacy. The point is, there are always options."

"That's true," she said. "But that's not something to worry about now. you still have to finish high school and then college. Then maybe you can think about something like that."

Maybe, I thought, but I wasn't sure. But that's at least ten years off so it's not something to think about now.

"So, what's going to happen with you, Aaron?" she asked him.

"I don't know," he said, "but I have a feeling that things are not going to go well. I plan on visiting my parents tomorrow, so I guess we'll see."

"You'll always be able to stay with me, Aaron," grandpa said. "No matter what happens, you'll have a home. And you'll be able to come over anytime you want as well, Adam."

"Thank you," said Aaron. "I have a feeling I'm going to be staying with you for a while. I can't see my parents changing, but I hope I'm wrong."

Now that we had mostly settled things between us the five of us sat there and enjoyed our meal, talking and laughing occasionally. Finally, the waitress came around with the check and asked if anyone wanted desert. I was too full for anything else right now, so we continued to talk for another twenty minutes or so. Finally, grandpa pulled out his debit card and paid the check, leaving a generous tip for the waitress.

We all walked out to the cars, and mom pulled me aside and said, "Adam, your father and I have done a lot of soul searching since that night, and we've spent a lot of time with other parents of gay kids, and with your grandfather. We've even joined the area chapter of PFLAG, believe it or not. I didn't even know there was such an organization until recently. The most important thing we learned is that we can't change you, that you were born gay and will always be gay. I can't believe I was so blind all these years, that I couldn't see it."

Looking at me with the sincerest look of love in her eyes, mom continued. "Adam, come home. You belong here. I'm sorry I can't do much about Aaron and his stubborn parents, but we'll welcome you home with open arms, and I promise you we won't try to change you. I'm sorry we started this whole mess in the first place. If you ever do bring Aaron or even another boyfriend home, he'll be welcome here. It may not be what we wanted for you, but it's not for your father and I to decide. You're nearly a man now and the choices you make are yours.

"Come home, Adam. Come home, and celebrate Christmas with us."

I threw my arms around my mother and we both cried our eyes out.

Finally, I asked her, "what made you change your mind?"

"Adam, it takes a lot of courage to admit your mistakes, and we always think there's plenty of time to make amends. When you left home it dawned on me that we were nearly too late, that we may never see you again. Then when we heard about Aaron nearly killing himself, well that really scared both your father and I. We thought that could have easily been you.

"Let's promise each other to never let our stubbornness nor time get in the way of our love again."

Hugging her again, I said, "I promise, mom."

"And I promise you, son."

My father then walked over and said, "we almost lost you son, and for that I'm truly sorry. I may not be completely comfortable with you and Aaron, but you're almost a man now, and it's your life to live, and no matter what, your mother and I will always love you. We may not always tell you that, but we'll always feel that way."

And then he threw his arms around me and hugged me as the three of us cried our eyes out.

With that mom and dad climbed into their car after saying goodbye again. Mom actually kissed me on the cheek before she left. I promised I would see them sometime tomorrow.

I was going to spend the night with Aaron at grandpa's house tonight, before moving back home tomorrow. First however, I was going to go with Aaron while he visited his parents to see if they had changed their attitude toward him. I sure hope they do, but Aaron doesn't seem to think anything will change.

Today had been a long day of driving and Aaron and I were tired so we decided to go to bed early tonight, but not before we spent an hour or more making love, before finally falling asleep in each other's arms.

Aaron and I awoke the next morning and made love again, and then showered together before getting dressed and going into the kitchen for breakfast.

Grandpa was already up and fixing breakfast. "Good morning, guys," he said. "I hope the two of you slept good last night."

"It was great, grandpa," said Aaron.

"I'm sure it was," grandpa said. "You boys like some breakfast?"

"Sure, grandpa," the two of us said at the same time.

"Get the bacon and eggs out of the refrigerator and set the table. I'll fix you something right quick."

He pulled six pieces of bacon out of the package and laid them in the skillet and then after removing them about ten minutes later he cracked the eggs and fried them up, then popped two pieces of bread into the toaster. Finally, he put everything on two plates and set them in front of us. The three of us sat there and ate as we talked about what was going to happen today.

"I think I'm going to go over to mom and dad's house first thing," Aaron said. "I want to confront them and get things over with."

"Do you think there's any chance of them changing their attitudes?" grandpa asked.

"I hope so, grandpa," Aaron said, "but I'll be shocked if they do."

I reached over and squeezed his hand and asked, "do you want me to go with you?

"I don't know," Aaron said. "You being with me might make things worse than they already are. But then again, it would be more comforting for me if you were there. I think I'd like for you to go with me. Maybe you could just sit in the car while I go in and talk to them. Who knows what might happen."

Aaron and I drove the short distance through town and stopped in front of a large, well kept home. Aaron gazed at it for several seconds. It had been his home once, and he was hoping it would be again.

"You know, my parents used to love me," he said, "but they threw all that away when they discovered I was different."

I held his hand as we sat there and I could tell that he was nervous about what he had to do.

"Are you sure you don't want me to go with you?" I asked.

"As much as I'd like for you to, this is something I have to do alone. Just knowing that you're here for me is comforting."

With that, he opened the door and stepped out. I watched him walk up the sidewalk and knock on the door, a door he had entered countless times a day without knocking, and waited. A few minutes later the door opened and his mother stood there, staring at him as if he were a stranger.

Aaron said something to her and she stepped back, allowing him to enter. I would have loved to have heard that conversation, but I knew Aaron needed to face this by himself.

About ten minutes later a car pulled into the driveway and Aaron's father stepped out. He glanced over at the car I was sitting in but paid no attention. He walked up to the front porch and entered the house. I had rolled the window about half way down so I could get some air.

"What the hell are you doing here?" I heard him yell, before he slammed the door shut.

About twenty minutes later I saw the front door open again and Aaron came walking out and stood on the porch. I could tell he was crying. Things must not have gone well, I thought.

His father actually stood in the doorway and yelled, "get out! This isn't your home anymore."

"No, it's not," Aaron shouted back. "It stopped being my home when you drove me to attempt suicide. It stopped being my home when you signed temporary custody of me over to Mr. Harper. It stopped being my home when you betrayed me. I just came back to see if we could work things out, but I guess that's out of the question."

I watched in shock as Mr. McCormick actually took a swing at his son. Aaron ducked and then pushed him away.

"Stop it!" I heard his mother yell. "Both of you, just stop it!"

They both looked at her.

"We can't work this out if all the two of you will do is fight."

"There's nothing to work out," his father yelled. "I no longer have a son. Now get the hell out of here."

"Fine, I'll go," Aaron said. He then turned to his mother. "Mom, things can still be okay between us, but that's up to you. You know where I'm staying. You can reach me on my cell phone. And don't worry, dad, my phone is no longer on your plan. Mr. Harper changed it over as soon as I moved in."

"She won't be calling you," said Mr. McCormick

"I think mom can make her own decisions." He turned back towards his mother. "I forgive you for not helping me, mom. I know you have your own problems, so I forgive you. I'd like you to be part of my life, but that's up to you."

With that he turned and walked toward the car. I could tell that he was very sad and angry. It looked like things had gone about like he had expected.

Poor Aaron. I knew that he needed me now more than ever. I loved him with all my heart and there was no one more important to me in the entire world.

Aaron climbed into the car and started crying. I held him as he sat there crying his eyes out. We must have sat there for another fifteen minutes before he finally stopped crying.

"Let's go home," he finally said.

We said nothing as we drove back to grandpa's. Later that evening we sat in the living room and Aaron told me and grandpa what had happened.

"I'm so sorry, Aaron," I said. "I was hoping things might turn out better."

"I was hoping as well," he said, "but I'm not really all that surprised. My father was a complete asshole, of course. Sometimes I can't really believe he's my father. Maybe I'm illegitimate or adopted or something."

"And your mom?"

"I think I kind of got through to her. Part of me is so pissed off I can barely stand the sight of her, but another part of me understands. It can't be easy to live with my father. I never realized how bad it was for her, but I guess I just wasn't paying attention. I think she's afraid of him. I think she just does what he wants so she won't have to deal with him."

"Do you mean he's violent?" asked grandpa.

"Not exactly. I don' think he'd hurt her or anything like that, but I think he bullies her. She should have stood up to my father and prevented him from kicking me out, but I think she just wasn't capable. I forgave her and told her I wanted her to be part of my life. I guess we'll just have to wait and see."

Later that evening I filled the tub with hot water and added some bubble bath. Grandpa has one of those large whirlpool tubs in his bathroom, perfect for holding two people. It had been a long day and I was ready to relax and I knew that Aaron was as well. When the tub was nearly filled I called Aaron into the bathroom. We undressed each other and slipped into the tub together, and then I turned on the water jets. It was pure bliss.

I lay with my back against the end of the tub with Aaron's back on my chest. I wrapped my arms around him as we enjoyed the soothing hot water.

"I've got an early Christmas present for you and I'm gonna give it to you right after this bath," I said.

"Do I get to unwrap it?"

"Only if I put a towel around my waist."

"You're just a bit wicked," Aaron said.

"And you love it."

"You have no idea."

"You'd just better have something for me, too."

"Oh, I've got something for you, and you're gonna love it."

"Don't I always?" I said.

"Okay, bath's over! Let's go to bed!"

"But I'm not sleepy," I said, mischievously.

"Good, because you're going to be up for hours yet."

"Oh, baby."

Being out and gay in the American Midwest, in a conservative bible belt town, was not something that had been in my plans, but the fact of the matter was that I am gay, and for better or worse, my boyfriend and I are out. We came out together right after returning home from southeast Kansas.

Now that all that mess was mostly behind us, I was happy to get back to school, even though I knew I would have a ton of work to catch up on. Both Aaron and I would, but we could work on that together and get caught up in just a few days.

Knowing that mom was comfortable with me being gay and having a boyfriend and that dad was slowly coming around was a big relief. Aaron's parents were another story, but he had pretty much given up hope of them ever coming around.

It was on Monday, the week after Thanksgiving and our return home that Aaron and I found ourselves walking the hallway at school. I turned to look at him and we smiled at each other, after realizing that we were thinking the same thing. Aaron reached out with his hand, and I grabbed it firmly in mine as we walked to our first class of the day.

After all that we had been through, returning to school seemed anti climatic, still my heart felt like it would beat itself right out of my chest as we walked hand in hand through the school. Aaron squeezed my hand firmly and I felt his love flow right through me, giving me the wherewithal to be myself in front of our classmates.

As we walked between classes I drew strength from Aaron, strength I'd have never had on my own, and I felt he drew strength from me as well. I could sense the eyes of people staring at us as we passed.

I heard someone mutter 'fags' as we passed and I turned to see who said it, but saw no one looking our way.

Aaron squeezed my hand even tighter and said, "don't let them get to you, Adam. They'll never have anything a tenth as good as what we have."

I looked at his face and immediately got lost in his beautiful blue eyes. I felt out lips inexorably being drawn together and we came very close to kissing each other in public, but neither of us was ready for that yet, and so we turned our heads to face forward, drawing strength from the feeling flowing through our joined hands.

As much as I hated to let go of Aaron's hand, we had to go our separate ways. We only had a couple of classes together. I guess we were lucky to have that much, considering there's nearly fifty kids in our class at school.

Not that everything was rosy, but for the most part, our classmates tolerated us and even the snide comments died down after a short while. Although we didn't feel comfortable kissing each other in school just yet, we were often seen walking together, hand in hand, smiling at each other and otherwise acting like a couple in love.

Yeah, we got called some things I'd rather not repeat, but a surprising number of kids we knew came up to us. Some even told us how cool they thought it was that we had the guts to come out.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, Aaron and I settled back into our school routine, attending classes and studying together after school at grandpa's house. We were able to catch up with all our missed work by the end of the first week.

I was back home now and things seemed to be going well for both of us. Things had really changed. Aaron was allowed to come over and we would even sit in the living room and watch TV with my parents. Dad was still a little bit uncomfortable, I could tell, but he was trying. I was even allowed to spend the night with him at grandpa's house, but not every night. Oh well, I can't have everything I guess. I'm just happy to be back home.

Since my return I had been driving grandpa's car whenever I needed to go anywhere, but he needed it to go to work in the morning, although he would drop Aaron off at school. I also occasionally drove mom's car, but she would normally drop me off at school in the morning on her way to her office. God, it sucks not having my own car to drive. All that changed on Sunday, a little over a week after we returned. I had spent the night with Aaron but mom had invited him and grandpa over for Sunday dinner.

When we pulled up I noticed that mom's car was sitting in the driveway rather than in the garage, but I didn't think anything about it. Maybe she had to go somewhere later and just hadn't bothered. Grandpa parked next to her and we got out and went to the back door.

"Ah, you're just in time to help me set the table," mom said as soon as we walked in the door.

She then leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and hugged me, something she had almost never done in the past, but it has been consistent here lately. Then she did something so surprising I still have a hard time believing it. She actually kissed Aaron on the cheek as well, and then grandpa. Holy shit! What's going on and who is this woman? And where is my mother? Not that I'm complaining.

"It's nice to see you again, Aaron," she said. "And dad. You guys take your coats off and get comfortable. Dinner will be ready in about fifteen minutes."

Aaron and I took grandpa's coat and walked back to my bedroom where I threw them on my bed. Then we took our shoes off and walked back into the living room to join dad. Since today is Sunday he was watching football on TV, specifically the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs were winning at present, but the game was only in the first quarter so that could change.

Aaron and grandpa sat down on the couch and I went back into the kitchen and grabbed plates out of the cabinet and silverware out of the drawer and carried them into the dining room. Then I got five glasses out of the other cabinet and filled them with ice and carried them, along with a pitcher of tea, into the dining room as well. Finally, I reached into the cabinet again and got several bowls and a big platter and sat then all on the counter. I watched as mom mashed the potatoes and then put them into one of the bowls, along with the green beans and corn. She then opened the oven door and pulled out the roast, carrots, and cabbage, and sat it on the counter as well. I then placed all that on the platter and watched as she poured some of the juice from the baking pan and made gravy for the potatoes. Finally, we carried everything into the dining room and sat it on the table. Mom had really gone all out for Sunday dinner today.

I then walked over into the living room and announced that, "dinner is ready."

As soon as everyone was seated at the table we started passing everything around and soon everyone's plate was full. The five of us sat there talking and laughing while we ate. Thing were still a little awkward, but they soon settled down. I could tell that my parents were really trying to make things right between us, so I was happy. I just felt sorry for poor Aaron, and I knew he was still sad from what had happened last weekend, even if he tried not to show it.

After we had finished the main meal, mom sent me back into the kitchen and had me bring out two pies, one pumpkin and one pecan, two of my favorites, along with a bowl of cool whip to put on top.

As we enjoyed our pie, dad said, "you boys have been back at school for a week now, and I know you've caught up with everything. I'm proud of both of you." He then looked over at mom and then at grandpa and continued. "Your mother and I had talked about this before all this crap started and we have decided that we are going to give you an early Christmas present this year."

"Since you just turned sixteen a couple of months ago and are now legal," mom said, "we decided you needed some way to get to school, or to the store, or to a movie or where ever you need to go. It's kind of a pain to take you around everywhere. She then reached into her pocket and pulled out a set of keys and handed them to me. "Merry Christmas, Adam. I know it's two weeks early but I'm sure you'll enjoy this."

"Go look in the garage, son" dad said.

I sat there for several seconds, unable to move or say anything. A car! They were giving me a car? No way! I looked over at Aaron who seemed just as stunned as I was. I then looked at grandpa and he just smiled and nodded his head.

"Really?" I asked. "You got me a car? Holy sh… holy cow!"

"Yes, son, we got you a car," dad said. "I know your mother and I haven't exactly been the best parents, but with everything that's been happening we came to realize how much we really do love you. We're trying to change, Adam, and this is just one of our ways of saying how sorry we are."

"Wow, thanks!" I said.

Then I stood up and did something I haven't done since yesterday, something I seem to be doing a lot here lately. I hugged dad and then kissed mom on the cheek.

"Come on, Aaron, let's go take a look."

Him and I ran into the kitchen and to the door leading out to the garage. There it was, a late model blue green Ford Fusion. It wasn't what I would get if I was picking it out, that would be a brand new 2019 Chevy Camaro convertible, or a 2019 Ford Mustang convertible, but I could never buy something like that, and I'm not sure mom and dad would let me even if I could. No, this car was nice, and truth be told, I would have settled for a twenty-year-old junker. Just having something to drive would give me so much more freedom.

Mom, dad and grandpa had followed us into the garage to see my reaction and they just smiled when I hugged Aaron.

"Okay, I'm officially jealous," Aaron laughed.

I opened the doors and carefully inspected everything.

"It's a 2015 model," grandpa said. "Only three years old and low mileage."

"Wow! I really like this car," I said.

"You guys should take it for a spin," dad said.

"Merry Christmas, Adam and Aaron," mom said. "Even if it is two weeks early."

"Does that mean I get to drive it, too?" Aaron asked.

"Of course it does," I said.

I then leaned over and hugged everyone again, as did Aaron. My parents are slowly getting more and more comfortable with him being in my life, which is comforting to me.

"Let's go," I said.

I walked around to the driver's side and Aaron climbed into the passenger seat. Grandpa reached over and pushed the button to open the garage door and I started it up. I was just about to put it in reverse so I could back out when I looked into the rearview mirror and saw that mom's car was blocking me in.

She looked at me and grinned. "Sorry. I'll go get the key and move it for you."

She ran into the house and came back out about thirty seconds later, carrying her keys. She climbed into her car, backed out of the driveway and parked it on the street in front of the house. I expect that's probably where I'll be parking from now on. That's fine with me. Sure enough, as soon as I backed out and took off, mom pulled her car right back into the garage. They all waved as we drove away.

I couldn't resist cruising around town for a while. I made a few turns, taking us by the high school.

"This is really nice," Aaron said. "I'm glad they got you something like this and not one of those old people cars."

"You mean like grandpa's Cadillac?" I asked.

"Exactly," he said. "It's a nice car but it's not for someone like us."

"I agree," I told him.

We cruised around for a while. I pulled into the school parking lot and switched with Aaron so he could drive for a bit. We blasted the radio and waved to some of our friends. I felt a sense of freedom. At last, I had a car! After a good long while we headed back home. As we got out and Aaron handed me the keys, I was already looking forward to driving to school tomorrow morning.

On Thursday, Aaron came up to me and said, "grandpa called me a few minutes ago. I need to be at his office at four o'clock, as soon as school is out. Can you take me there?"

"Of course, I can. I'll meet you at your locker like always."

Aaron and I always rode to school together. I would pick him up at grandpa's house in my new car and take him home after school. We would spend time studying and other stuff before I would go home for supper and to spend the night.

I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering what was going on with Aaron, and why he would need to be at grandpa's office after school. Something was going on and it didn't sound good.

Finally, school ended and I met up with Aaron at his locker. "What's going on?" I asked him.

"I'm not sure, exactly," he said. "I think it probably has something to do with my parents. Grandpa didn't really say, he just said they would be there and I needed to be there as well."

Damn, that doesn't sound good, I thought. Aaron's parents had disowned him about a month ago, even signing over temporary custody to grandpa.

"I hope it's nothing too serious," I said.

"I hope not either, but I have a feeling it is."

"Do you think I should go in with you?" I asked.

"As much as I would like that, I think this is probably something I need to do by myself. Whatever my parents are up to I have to face them."

"Yeah, you're probably right," I said. "Just call me if you need anything. I'll head back to grandpa's house and wait for you."

A few minutes later I dropped Aaron off at grandpa's office, and after ensuring that he would be okay, I headed back to grandpa's house.

About an hour after I got back to grandpa's house to wait, I heard his car pull into the garage and a minute later grandpa and Aaron walked into the house.

"How did it go?" I asked Aaron as they entered the kitchen.

"Not well," he said, "but it's over."

I hugged my boyfriend's shoulder and then stepped over to make him a cup of hot tea. I gazed at him as he pulled off his coat and sat down. His cheeks were tear stained, his features sullen and determined.

"I'm sorry," I said.

"It was about what I expected," said Aaron.

"I'm glad you're back," I said. "I've been worrying about you. I was afraid of what would happen when you confronted your parents."

I took a sip of my own tea. It had taken every ounce of self-control I possessed not to follow Aaron into grandpa's office when I dropped him off. Only by reminding myself that grandpa could handle anything that came up was I able to force myself to stay home and wait for the verdict.

"It was oddly anticlimactic," said Aaron. "There was no yelling, no violence. I just said what I felt I had to say, and mom and dad just sat there, looking at me like I was a stranger."

Aaron began to tear up again. Grandpa set a cup of tea down in front of him and then hugged him.

"What did they say, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Dad said I had made my choice and he wanted nothing more to do with me. Mom didn't say anything. She just looked at me without any particular expression on her face."

"Aaron, I'm truly sorry."

"I'm not. I knew they didn't love me. After they let me almost kill myself and I had to live with your grandfather, I knew they no longer loved me. So, now it's official."

Aaron scooted a stack of papers across the table

"What's this?"

"The custody papers. My parents signed them. They were so happy to be rid of me that they gladly signed them in your mom's office."

Mom is partners with grandpa in the law firm of Harper and Harper here in town. She uses her maiden name for all her professional work.

"You mean that's it? Just like that?"

"Yes. Just like that," Aaron said. "I'm now officially in the custody of your grandfather, or I will be as soon as he sends the papers to… well, wherever such legal papers go."

"I'll drive them to the courthouse tomorrow morning," grandpa said. "Once the judge signs everything it'll all be legal."

"Then we should celebrate!" I said.

Aaron grinned. "Yeah, but not yet, okay. I need some time to take all this in."

"Oh, yeah, sure. I didn't mean to… that is to say, I didn't mean to make light of your parents giving you up. I'm just happy it's all over and that you'll be here forever!

"I'm happy about that, too. It's just a bit much to take in. I really thought they might change their mind, especially mom. I had hope for her at least."

A sob escaped from Aaron's throat, and tears streamed from his eyes. "I always thought they loved me, especially my mother, but they just signed me away as if it was nothing… as if I was nothing…"

"You aren't nothing," I said, pulling him to his feet and taking him in my arms. "I love you, Aaron; you mean the world to me. Grandpa loves you, too."

"Yes, I do," grandpa said.

Aaron grinned again and wiped away his tears with the back of his hand.

"If you don't mind," he said, "I think I'm going to take a walk and spend some time by myself."

I grabbed him and hugged him yet again, kissing him this time, too.

"I'm here if you need me," I said.

"I'll be fine," he said. "I just need to sort it all out and let everything sink in. Later we can talk and have that celebration."

Aaron put on his coat for the cold winter weather outside and left grandpa and me alone in the kitchen. We sat at the table and drank our tea.

"He'll be okay, Adam," grandpa said. "This is probably something that will stick with him forever but he has you and me to make him feel wanted. That's what's important right now. It will still be difficult for him at times, but he'll be fine."

"Thanks, grandpa," I said. "I worry about him more than I can tell you. When he's hurting it's worse than any pain I've had to endure."

Aaron returned home about an hour later and him and I went back to his room to talk. The two of us planned on going out later to eat and mom and dad had agreed to let me stay the night with him, even though it was a school night.

After we got back home from eating we sat and talked with grandpa for several minutes before finally going to bed. The two of us made out briefly, but Aaron just wasn't in the mood for anything further tonight. We finally just lay there on the bed and fell asleep in each other's arms. I could hear him sobbing a couple of times during the night but he eventually was able to get to sleep.

Saturday morning, I decided to wake up Aaron in a way I hoped would take some of his troubles away. He was laying next to me, sound asleep and hard as a rock, as was I. That seemed to be our natural state most mornings anymore and had been for the last couple of years. Him and I always sleep naked when we're together, although I sleep in a pair of shorts when I'm alone.

Anyway, I noticed his condition and I couldn't resist. I leaned over and took him in my mouth. Aaron just lay there for several minutes, still asleep, but moaning softly. Finally, he woke up with a big smile on his face and started thrusting himself in and out of my mouth. It wasn't even five minutes later when I saw his fists ball up ad his whole body started shuddering. He reached the point of no return then shot one of the biggest loads ever down my throat. I struggled to take it all, but I wasn't going to let it go to waste.

"God that was incredible!" he said when he finally managed to catch his breath.

He offered to return the favor and as tempting as it was, I didn't let him. This was special for him. It is after all almost Christmas, and as the saying goes, it's better to give than to receive. And I do enjoy giving Aaron a blow job every chance I get. There's nothing more fun than sucking cock. I enjoy fucking and getting fucked as well, and even eating Aaron's ass occasionally, but I'd much rather suck his cock. Call me weird, but that's what I like.

Later that day Aaron decided he should probably go over to his old house and get all his stuff and give his mother one final chance to see him. If she didn't come around then he was going to wash his hands of both of them.

I drove him over to the house and again offered to go inside with him and help him get his things, but he thought it was probably better if I stayed in the car. He's probably right, but I just couldn't stand by and do nothing.

Aaron got out of the car and walked to the front door and rang the doorbell. A few seconds later his father opened the door and just glared at him.

Finally, he yelled, "what the hell do you want?"

I saw Aaron saying something but I couldn't hear what it was.

"You need to get your faggot ass off my porch," Mr. McCormick said. "I don't want to see you again. You're no son of mine."

I just couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't going to stand by while the boy I love is being abused by his own father. I quickly jumped out of the car and ran up to the house.

"I see you brought your faggot boyfriend with you," Mr. McCormick said. "Both of you need to get the hell out of here before I call the cops."

"Adam, what are you doing?" asked Aaron.

"I'm not saying it again," Mr. McCormick yelled. "Both of you get out!"

"You shut up!" I yelled, turning on him in a rage. "You evil, evil man, just shut the fuck up!"

Aaron's father was so shocked he took a step backward. My outburst surprised even me. By now Aaron's mother had come to the door to see what all the commotion was. It looked like she had been crying.

Aaron just stood there in shock as I continued. "He's your son for god's sake. Your own son. How the hell could you not love him?"

Aaron's mom looked from me to Aaron for a moment and then her gaze turned upon Mr. McCormick. Her eyes narrowed.

"I want you out of my house now!" she said, pointing at her husband, her voice trembling.

"Betsy, I won't have you…" Mr. McCormick began, but she cut him off.

"Pack your bags and get the hell out," she yelled. "The sight of you sickens me."

"I won't be ordered out of my own home!" Mr. McCormick yelled back.

"Then I'll leave," she said. "I've put up with your crap for seventeen years, but I'll be damned if I'm going to lose my son because of you."

His father just stood there, stuttering and stammering for a few seconds. Finally, without another word, he turned on his heel and rushed out the front door and out to his car.

"Way to go, mom!" Aaron said.

She looked at him with tears in her eyes. "I should have kicked him out years ago instead of just going along with whatever he said. I'm so sorry, Aaron, so sorry about… everything."

Aaron crossed the short distance between them and took her in his arms. She cried on his shoulder, and Aaron was crying as well. I came close to crying myself. When she quieted at last, they sat down on the couch and I took a seat in a nearby chair.

"Are you going to be okay?" Aaron asked.

"I'm going to be just fine," she said.

Oddly enough, there was a hint of laughter in her voice.

"But what about dad?"

"Things are going to change around here," she said. "These last few weeks have opened my eyes and I'm not standing for his foolishness any more. He can either shape up of ship out."

Aaron actually laughed for a moment. She looked at him and grinned.

"Adam is right. Your father did show me what kind of a man he is, an evil man."

"Are you okay with who and what I am?" he asked.

She looked at me for a moment.

"You're going to have to give me some time on that one, dear. I just… well, it's a lot to take in. No mother wants to find out… but no, that's not what I want to say. What I see when I look at you doesn't fit with what I've been told all along about… gay people, so… well, I guess I need to re-evaluate things. You're going to have to be patient with your mother. This isn't something I can come to terms with in just a few short days. What I can tell you is that I love you. That's the bottom line, and I guess that's all that really matters anyway."

"I love you too, mom."

"I guess there's no chance I'll be getting grandchildren," she said, with true regret in her voice.

"I don't know, mom, who knows what the future might bring. I'll never have a wife, that's for sure, but there are always alternatives."

She gazed into his eyes and became more serious than ever.

"Are you happy, Aaron?"

"Yes," he said, gazing over at me. "I've never been so happy."

She followed his gaze and smiled at me, too.

We sat and talked a while longer about nothing in particular. I think all of us needed a rest from such a serious discussion. When we departed at last she gave Aaron a hug and a kiss, and even hugged me, too.

A few minutes later we were back at grandpa's house, hot chocolate in hand, telling grandpa what had happened. He didn't seem to surprised about Aaron's mom. I think he had probably figured all along that she didn't really want to give up her son, but hadn't said anything to Aaron in case he was wrong about her.

I hadn't seen Aaron this happy for the last couple of weeks, not since we had gotten back together Thanksgiving week. I snuggled up against him, feeling a warmth that radiated from my own heart.

The next morning, we woke up and I took Aaron in my arms and hugged him. The hugging soon turned to kissing and soon we were entwined in each other's arms on the bed. Our love making was disturbed before it had a chance to truly get started, however, by Aaron's phone ringing.

He looked over at it. "My mom," he said. "I'd better talk to her. I'm sorry."

"We can pick up where we left off later," I said.

I got up to leave the room, but Aaron asked me to stay while he talked to her. I just smiled in response and lay back down beside him.

He picked up his phone and answered. "Mom?"

"Hello, son."

Aaron grinned. Until just the last couple of days he had thought that she would never call him that again.

"How are you, mom?" he asked.

"Alone at the moment," she answered.

"Alone? What do you mean?"

"Your father has taken off," she said.

"So, what's going on?" he asked. "Are you okay?"

"I'm okay, Aaron," she told him. "As for what's going on, I'm not sure. You father has been staying in a motel. He showed up this morning, packed his bags, and announced he was leaving for a few days to give me time to think things over. He said he was sure I'd come to my senses if I had a chance to think things through. I told him I'd already considered the situation and that a few days more wouldn't change my opinion."

"I'm proud of you, mom."

"It's about time I stood up to your father," she said. "I've put up with his crap long enough."

"Do you need anything, mom?" Aaron asked.

"Just to talk to my son," she said. "I'm not sure where things are going with your father, but things are going to change around here. I will not stand for being told to turn my back on my own son."

"Thanks mom. I love you," he said.

"I love you too, Aaron," she said.

Aaron's mom began telling him about her friends and some Christmas parties and other stuff she had been doing. I motioned to Aaron that I would be in the living room whenever he was finished, then left the room.

Over an hour later, he finally came into the living room, a big smile on his face.

"I take it things went well?" I asked.

"Things went great!" he said. "Things are slowly returning to normal, at least with my mother. She thinks my father is a lost cause, however, and I tend to agree with her. She even asked about you."

He then spent the next twenty or thirty minutes telling me about what all his mother had said. She had always taken care of Aaron and his father, but was now starting to take care of herself as well.

"It's about time," he said. "She's always cooked our meals, washed our clothes and performed a thousand other tasks that I always took for granted. I never really appreciated everything she had done for me. Mom deserves some happiness."

Three days later Aaron's mom called him again with more news. After he had finished talking with her he came out into the living room and told me what was going on.

"Mom is leaving dad," he said, grinning.

"Is she going to be okay?" I asked.

"I hope so," he said. "She said the last couple of days have been a little rough, but she hired your mom to be her lawyer in the divorce proceedings. Dad has been very ugly about this whole thig, but she took out a restraining order, and she's letting your mom and grandpa handle the whole thing. She wants nothing more to do with him."

"I'm sorry, Aaron," I said.

"I'm not," he said. "I don't know why she stayed with him all these years. She should have divorced him years ago. I hope she takes him for everything he has. She's trying to get the house, and of course she has her own car and money. She has a good job as an accountant so she doesn't want or need any money from him. She'll be much better off without him."

"What about you?" I asked.

"She wants me to stay here with grandpa until everything is settled, and then I can more back home, if I want. If grandpa's okay with that, that is."

"Okay with what?" we heard grandpa say.

Neither of us had heard him pull into the garage and come in the side door.

"Grandpa!" Aaron exclaimed, jumping up and hugging him. "I just got off the phone with mom. She tells me that you and Adam's mom are handling her divorce. She said I could move back in with her once everything is settled, but I should stay here until then. If that's okay with you, of course."

"That's fine with me," grandpa said. "I can't tell you much right now because things have just started, but I think your mother has a good case. Things might get nasty, but I think we can avoid most of that. No judge is going to look kindly on a man kicking his own son out of his home for being gay, not even in this part of the country. And threatening your mother is not going to be favorable either."

"So, how long is all this going to take?" I asked.

"Well, the holidays are upon us," grandpa said. "Christmas is next Tuesday and New Year's a week after that, so basically nothing will get done with the court until after the first of the year. Depending on how much trouble your father gives us things could be over by the middle of January, or maybe sooner, hopefully."

"Hopefully," Aaron said. "You know, it's kind of weird, but I think mom is going to be a lot happier without dad."

"I think so as well, Aaron" grandpa said.

I also continued to try to find grandpa's old friend from high school. I did a google search on the name Justin Carson. There were several thousand people with that name living in the United States so I had to try and narrow it down if possible. I entered the name along with the high school and the year of graduation and I was eventually able to come up with a possible location. I was also able to find a Facebook page for this man and determined that he seemed to be the right person.

I then sent him a message to see if he was indeed the right man.

Mr. Carson,

My name is Adam Harrison. I know you don't know who I am but I am tying to find the Justin Carson who attended Clanton High School and graduated in 1978.

The reason I'm asking is that my grandfather, Joseph Harper, mentioned he had been friends with you and wondered what had ever became of you. His wife, my grandmother, died over a year ago and your name came up in a conversation we had about two weeks ago. Grandpa recently told me something about the two of you which was rather shocking and I thought he might be interested in seeing you again, if indeed you are the man I'm looking for. Thank you for your time.


Adam Harrison

Two days later I heard back from Mr. Carson. He was indeed the person who had graduated with my grandfather in 1978. Justin was now living in Lincoln.

Dear Adam,

I am indeed the Justin Carson who graduated in 1978. I remember your grandfather fondly. I have often wondered what ever became of him after we graduated. I'm assuming that he told you the whole story about the two of us so I won't mention it. I would love to see Joseph again after all these years.


Justin Carson

I arranged for him to meet Aaron and I at the mall in Lincoln a week and a half before Christmas. I wanted to meet in a public place just in case he might try to do something. Aaron and I drove the sixty miles to the mall on Saturday, a week before Christmas.

The mall was packed as you might expect ten days before Christmas, but we finally found Mr. Carson waiting for us in the food court, just where he had said he would be. Aaron and I walked up and introduced ourselves.

"Mr. Carson?" I asked.

He looked up at us and smiled. "You must be Adam and Aaron. It's nice to finally meet you."

"It's nice to meet you as well, Mr. Carson," I said.

"Please, call me Justin," he said. "Can I buy you boys some lunch?"

"That sounds good," I said.

The three of us walked over to the Wendy's where Aaron and I ordered a double cheese burger with fries and a drink and Justin ordered the same. We took our food and found a quite table where we could talk.

"So, how is old Joseph?" Justin asked. "The last time I saw him was right before he joined the navy, right after we graduated."

"He's fine," I said. "Grandma died over a year ago and he's been lonely, but he's doing okay. He kind of adopted Aaron here after he was thrown out of his house about a month ago. The same thing happened with me briefly, although my parents are coming around."

"I'm glad to hear that," Justin said. "It's a damn shame what happened with you, Aaron. I'm just glad Joseph was able to help you. I assume he told you about him and I?"

"Yes, he did," I said. "I must admit that I was rather shocked when he told me. After all he's married to a woman and has two kids and three grandchildren. I just couldn't believe it, and I still have a hard time sometimes. But it's all good."

"Yeah, it was kind of weird at first," Aaron agreed. "But it's actually kind of cool about you guys."

"So, what made you decide to look me up?" Justin asked. "Not that I mind, but I just wondered."

"Well, grandpa had mentioned you and said he wondered what had ever became of you," I said. "He also said he wouldn't mind seeing you again if it was possible. But he knows nothing about this. I thought I might surprise him, if you're willing that is."

"I'd love to see him again," Justin said. "I missed him after we parted all those years ago. I understand why we broke up, times were a lot different back then, but I always missed him. You never forget your first time or your first boyfriend."

"So, you guys were actually boyfriends?" Aaron asked.

"Not like you and Adam are now," he said, "but we did go out a few times and we were definitely…" He paused for a second. "Never mind, you probably don't want to hear about that, but we were more than friends let's just say that."

"Yeah, that's what he told us as well," I said.

The three of us sat there and continued to talk while we ate our lunch. Justin was an interesting man. He told us he had recently married Evan, his longtime partner.

By the time we parted Justin had decided he would drive over to Clanton and see grandpa on the Saturday before Christmas. He was going to bring his husband and they would spend the weekend at grandpa's.

"That was interesting," I said to Aaron as we were driving home. "It still kind of weirds me out about grandpa, but it's cool as well. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be gay way back then?"

"It's hard to imagine," he said, "but from what I've read and from what grandpa and Justin have told us, it was an interesting time. I guess we have it pretty easy compared to what those guys back then went through."

"This will be a great present for grandpa," I said.

We continued to talk and laugh as we drove back home. Aaron was happy again, now that his mother seemed to be back in his life, even if things weren't perfect yet.

The final week before Christmas was uneventful. We went to school every day, Aaron was able to see his mother a couple of times and things were back to normal at home. Things could not be much better.

Finally, Friday arrived and we would be out of school until after new year's, almost two weeks. I would be able to spend most of that time with Aaron, although I did promise mom and dad that I would spend some time with them as well. Aaron would also be spending some time with his mother at her house. His father had up and moved out three days after their big confrontation, and she was going to file for divorce. It looked like Aaron might possibly be moving back into his old home.

Saturday morning the three of us were sitting in the kitchen eating lunch when the doorbell rang. That must be Justin and Evan I thought. I looked over at Aaron and smiled, before getting up to answer the door.

"I guess this must be the right house," Justin said as I opened the door.

"This is it," I said. "I'm glad to see you again, Justin."

"Who is it, Adam," grandpa said from the kitchen.

"Can you come to the door, grandpa?" I asked. "There's someone here who wants to see you."

Grandpa walked into the front hallway to see who was looking for him.

"Hello, Joseph," Justin said. "It's good to see you again."

Grandpa looked at him for several seconds trying to figure out who was asking about him. Finally, it came to him.

"Oh my god!" he said. "Justin! Justin Carson. How long has it been? How are you?"

"I'm fine, Joseph," Justin said. "It's been forty years since we saw each other. Joseph, this is my husband, Evan. Evan, this is my old friend, Joseph Harper, and this is Adam and Aaron, the boys I told you about."

"It's nice to meet you guys," Evan said, extending his hand. "Justin has told me a lot about you, especially you, Joseph."

"So, you two know about this?" grandpa asked, looking over at Aaron and me.

"They're the ones who arranged this," Justin said.

Grandpa shook hands with both men and then pulled Justin in for a hug.

"I never thought I'd see you again," grandpa said. "How did you guys ever find him?"

"We just googled his name and the dates of your graduation and gradually narrowed it down," Aaron said. "Then Adam just emailed him to confirm he was the right man and we met at the mall last weekend."

"And here we are!" Justin said.

"Well, come on in," grandpa said. "We were just finishing up with lunch. You guys care for anything?"

"No, thanks, Joe," said Justin. "Evan and I stopped earlier. But we do want to take all of you out later tonight."

Grandpa looked over at Aaron and I and smiled. "Thank you, boys, for doing this. I really missed you all these years, Justin. It's good to see you again."

Grandpa led the two men into the living room while Aaron and I decided to disappear. I knew they would have a lot to talk about and I'm sure they didn't want a couple of kids hanging around.

"Merry Christmas, grandpa," we both said before we went back to our room.

About an hour later, grandpa came back and knocked on Aaron's door. I quickly threw on my shirt and got up to answer it. Grandpa looked in, saw Aaron lying on the bed and smiled.

"Justin, Evan and I are going out for the night," he said. He then handed me two twenties and continued. "You boys are on your own tonight for supper. Just go and have fun, and thank you so much for finding Justin and inviting him over. It really means a lot to me, and to him as well. I don't know what time we'll be back, but don't stay out to late."

"We won't grandpa," I said. "I'm glad you guys were able to get together. Don't do anything to crazy."

We both laughed at that.

"Don't worry about that," grandpa said. "He's a married man now. Besides, I haven't been with another man for thirty-five years now. I'm not sure I would even know what to do."

"I'm sure things haven't changed from way back then till now, grandpa," I said. "You'll know when or if the time comes."

By now Aaron had come over to the door and we all three laughed at that.

"It just comes naturally, grandpa," Aaron said. "Adam and me didn't know what to do either, but we figured it out, sometimes experimenting with different things. Plus, there's plenty of porn on the internet."

All three of us were blushing from that little conversation, but it was also kind of cool. How many teenage boys can talk to their grandfather about sex, let alone gay sex. Not many I bet.

An hour later Aaron and I got dressed to go eat. We had to put on our long johns and heavy coats before we left. Three days before Christmas and its very cold outside, and there's even a good chance we'll have a white Christmas this year. I'm really looking forward to that. By the time we left it was already dark outside. I hate that it gets dark so early but what can you do.

Tonight, we just went to McDonald's, where I got a big mac and Aaron got a quarter pounder with cheese. We sat there, talking and laughing while we ate our meal. There wasn't a whole lot to do here in Clanton, even on a Saturday night, so we just went back home to watch some TV before going to bed.

We didn't go to sleep right away, but then you probably figured that out. I mean, what are two gay teenage boys gonna do if they're spending the night together. Sit in bed and read, right? I'll let you use your imagination on this one, okay.

We finally heard grandpa come in around midnight and he showed Justin and Evan the extra bedroom, mom's old room, and the three of them went to sleep.

I woke up the next morning to the smell of bacon frying in the kitchen. I quickly pulled on my boxers and a t-shirt and walked into the kitchen where grandpa was fixing hash browns and scrambled eggs to go with the bacon. The other two men were sitting at the kitchen table, talking and drinking coffee while grandpa fixed breakfast.

Justin looked up as I walked through the door. "Good morning, Adam," he said. "I trust you and Aaron had a good night."

Evan also looked up and said, "good morning."

Grandpa looked over and said, "you're just in time for breakfast. Is Aaron awake yet?"

"I'll go get him," I said, turning to go back to the bedroom.

Just as I walked into the hallway I saw Aaron walking toward the kitchen having just left the bathroom. He was also in just his boxers and a t-shirt, but it didn't matter. It was just a bunch of guys here anyway, and besides, it might give the old guys a thrill.

"Good morning, Aaron," Evan said, "I hope you and Adam slept well."

"You're just in time for breakfast," grandpa said. "Just get the plates and silverware out and it'll be ready in about five minutes,"

Aaron and I both reached into the cabinet at the same time to grab the plates. We just laughed and I let Aaron get the plates while I got the silverware. He also pulled out two more cups so the two of us could have a cup of coffee as well.

I poured us each a cup and topped off the others before setting about making a fresh pot.

"So, what are you guys doing to do today?" Aaron asked.

"I thought we might drive by the high school," Justin said. "See if anything has changed."

"It's changed alright," grandpa said. "They built a whole new school about fifteen years ago."

"Oh, yeah, I forgot about that," Justin said. "I guess we'll just drive around some of our old hangouts then. I haven't been back here in several years, so I guess I'll see how much the rest of the town has changed."

"Then I guess we'll head for home this afternoon before it gets dark," Evan said.

Just then grandpa said, "come and get it. Just bring your plates over here and help yourself. I can make more if this isn't enough."

Aaron and I let the old guys go first and then got ourselves some. We can always fix ourselves some more after they leave, or just have a bowl of cereal if there isn't enough. I don't think that's going to be a problem, however, as grandpa had fixed quite a lot of food. He had also had some biscuits in the oven which I hadn't thought about.

The three of them sat there eating, laughing and carrying on like old friends, which I guess they were. Aaron and I just sat there quietly and listened, answering the occasional question if we were asked. They probably sat there for an hour or more, drinking coffee after they had finished eating. Aaron and I finally excused ourselves and left the kitchen, going into the living room and turning on the TV.

Finally, the three of them came into the living room and grandpa said, "I think we're going to head out now. I'll see you boys later."

"We'll see you around, guys," Justin said. "And thank for everything, for tracking me down and all. It was really nice being able to see Joseph, your grandfather again after all these years."

"You're welcome," I said. "I hope you'll stay in touch."

"I plan to," Justin said.

With that the three of them bundled up and headed out into the cold. Aaron and I don't have anything planned for this afternoon, just staying home and watching a movie or something, and maybe taking a nap later this afternoon. All pretty boring, but it can't always be fun and games.

Christmas day finally arrived, along with at least six inches of snow on the ground. Although things were slowly returning to normal with my parents, dad still wasn't completely comfortable over the fact that I'm gay but I have to give him and mom credit. They did seem more loving than they had in the past and for that I'm grateful. I guess almost losing their only child had a way of focusing their minds on what's important. And mom is almost completely taken with Aaron and dad seems to like him as well, or at least he's starting to.

If only Aaron's dad felt that way, but Aaron hasn't seen him sine the confrontation two weeks ago. He sees his mom every few days and is looking forward to moving back with her, hopefully soon.

Grandpa had invited mom and dad, as well as Aaron and me to spend Christmas day at his house. While I was now living at home, mostly, I had been spending most nights during Christmas vacation with Aaron at grandpa's house.

We were all sitting in the living room, about to open presents when the doorbell rang.

Grandpa looked over at Aaron and said, "would you get that for me, Aaron?"

Aaron walked over and opened the door and I heard a loud cry. "Mom!" he exclaimed. "I'm so happy to see you."

"I'm happy to see you as well, dear," she said, giving him a kiss on the cheek as well as a big hug.

"Come on in," grandpa said. "I'm glad you could make it, Betsy."

"Thank you for inviting me, Joseph," she said.

I found out later that grandpa had invited her for Christmas but hadn't said anything, not wanting to get Aaron's hopes up in case she didn't make it. I hadn't seen him this happy in several days now. Good old grandpa, I thought. He comes through again.

After we all sat back down it was time to start opening presents. Since mom and dad had already gotten me the car I wasn't expecting anything else from them. I was pleasantly surprised when mom handed me a gift marked for both Aaron and me. It was a large, flat box, wrapped in beautiful white paper with Santa Claus, Christmas trees and other Christmas designs. Aaron and I both tore the paper off the box, opened it and found a beautiful picture of the two of us that someone had painted. I remembered mom had taken several pictures of the two of us with her phone a couple of weeks back but I had no idea what she was up to at the time. I loved it, as did Aaron.

"I love it," I said. "Thank you both. It's beautiful."

"Thank you so much," Aaron said. "It really is a very beautiful picture."

Both Aaron and I jumped up and went over to mom, where we both kissed her on the cheek, and then gave her a big hug. We didn't kiss dad, of course, but we both gave him a hug as well. I could see him stiffen up a little bit when Aaron hugged him, but he did hug him back. It made my heart glad to see that dad was starting to accept that Aaron was in my life and wasn't going away.

"You're both welcome," mom said. "I had a friend of mine paint the actual picture from the ones I took of both of you. Remember those?"

"I remember," I said. "I wondered at the time what you were up to but didn't really give it much thought. What made you think of this?"

"Your mom and I were wondering what we could give you for Christmas and I remembered seeing a picture of a man and wife somewhere, and it came to me that this would be the perfect gift for the two of you. I suggested it to your mother, thinking she would just get a print of one of the pictures she had take of the two of you."

"And that was what I was going to do," mom said. "But then I was talking to a friend that I work with and she suggested an actual painting. She does that in her spare time. So, that's where I got the idea."

"Well, thank you very much," Aaron said. "I love it."

"I thought maybe you could hang it in your bedroom for now," mom said. "Then when you graduate and move into a place of your own you can hang it wherever you want."

"That sounds like a good idea," said Aaron.

Although Aaron was still living with grandpa, he seems to think that he will be moving back with his mother sometime after the first of the year, once the divorce and everything is settled. I know in his heart he would still like to get back with his father, but in his mind, he knows that's not likely to ever happen.

Betsy then handed Aaron and I a medium sized flat box wrapped in green and red Christmas paper. I must admit that I was rather surprised that she had actually gotten me something, but the present was marked for both of us. We both tore it open to find a twenty-inch flat screen TV inside.

"I figured since you'll be moving back home sometime soon that you might like that in your room," she said. "And since I'm sure that Adam will be spending a lot of time with you as well, you can both use it."

I could see that Aaron had tear in his eyes, as did his mother. He quickly jumped up, ran over, ad gave her a kiss and a hug. I followed and did the same.

"Thank you so much, mom," Aaron said.

"You're more than welcome, honey," she said. "I know this doesn't make up for the way I treated you over the last month, but I do love you. I always have, even if I didn't show it. I went along with your father for a while, but I just couldn't abandon my only child. I just hope one day you'll find it in your heart to forgive me."

By now she was openly crying and Aaron was crying as well as they stood in the living room hugging each other.

"I do forgive you, mom," Aaron said. "I know that it couldn't have been easy living with dad all those years."

"Your father does love you, Aaron, in his own way," she said. "I know that you can't see it, but in my heart I'm sure he does. He just can't seem to get past you being gay. Maybe one day he will."

"I guess," Aaron said. I could hear the bitterness in his voice as he said that. "He has a funny way of showing it."

The two of them stood there for a couple of more minutes before they both sat back down. Grandpa then handed Aaron and I each a very small box. I couldn't imagine what must be in them. We quickly tore them open to find a necklace with half a heart on each, that formed a complete heart when they were put together. Grandpa had had Aaron's name inscribed on the one for me, and my name on the one for Aaron. I quickly placed the one with my name around Aaron's neck and he did the same with the one with my name.

"They're beautiful, grandpa," we both said at the same time. "Thank you so much."

We quickly stood up and kissed him on either cheek, and then hugged him tightly. There sure has been a lot of hugging and kissing going on with my family lately, more than I can ever remember previously. I guess mom and dad always did love me, they just didn't show it very often in the past.

"I saw those in a little place in the mall," grandpa said. "As soon as I saw them I though of you two so I went ahead and got them. I figured that you'd probably like them."

"I love it," Aaron said. "Thank you so much."

The six of us sat there for a while longer before mom stood up and headed for the kitchen.

"Since we missed Thanksgiving dinner this year, I thought I'd fix all the usual food for Christmas dinner instead," she said. "If that's alright with everyone, that is."

Everyone agreed that that sounded good.

"I'll help you, Emily," Betsy said, standing up and walking with mom toward the kitchen.

While the men sat in the living room talking, the two women started cooking dinner. About an hour later the smell of ham and turkey started wafting through the house and a couple of hours after that Betsy came into the living room and asked Aaron and I to start setting the table.

We went into the kitchen and grabbed six plates and the silverware and carried everything into the dining room, then went back and got six glasses and filled them with ice. Mom had already made a pitcher of tea for anyone who wanted it, or water for those who wanted that.

By now everything was almost finished so mom and Betsy started putting it all in bowls and Aaron and I took it into the dining room and sat it on the table. By now the ham and turkey was finished so Aaron helped get them out of the oven while I got two large platters out of the cabinet to put everything on. Aaron and I then carried that out to the table as well

Mom then looked at me and said, "honey, go tell your father and grandfather that dinner is ready."

Everyone came into the dining room and sat down and started passing the bowls around so every one could help themselves. Mom and Betsy had really gone all out for dinner today, fixing mashed potatoes, homemade noodles, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, dressing, as well as a basket of hot rolls to go with the turkey and ham. She had fixed all my favorites and Aaron's as well.

Seeing all this food made me really thankful. A little over a month ago I wasn't even sure where my next meal was coming from or when I would even get anything at all, and now I had more than I could possibly eat.

My family is not religious at all and neither is Aaron's, but today mom had us join hands while she said a little prayer.

"Lord, we thank you for the feast we are about to enjoy," she said. "And we thank you for the safe return of our son and for you watching over him, and for watching over Aaron and keeping him safe as well. We pray, lord, that you will bless both of them and all our family and keep us safe in the new year. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen."

"Amen," everyone said at once.

The six of us started eating and enjoying our food and the family that surrounded us. Mom and dad really had changed a lot in the last month and a half and Aaron's mom had as well. Everything was good with our family, and I sort of considered Aaron's mom as kind of like my mother in law, and I think mom and dad were starting to think of Aaron, at least somewhat, as their son in law. The only thing that would have made our family complete would be if Aaron's father would change his attitude. It didn't seem likely, but I suppose stranger things have happened, so who knows.

About an hour later everyone was finished with the main dinner and it was time for desert. Mom and Betsy had made several pies, actually they were store bought frozen pies, but everyone was too full for desert right now. Everyone went back into the living room to let our food digest while we continued to visit.

About an hour later mom stood up and announced that she was going to start cleaning things up and putting the left overs in the refrigerator. Betsy stood up to help her out. Aaron and I followed them both into the dining room, offering to help, but mom shooed us out, saying she could work faster without us being in the way, so we went back into the living room and joined dad and grandpa.

Less than an hour later Betsy came and asked if anyone was ready for a piece of pie now. I knew I was and I figured that Aaron and the others were as well so we all got up ad went into the kitchen.

There were pumpkin, cherry, pecan and apple pies lined up on the counter and little desert plates sitting next to them. While I would like to have a piece of each, I knew I couldn't possibly eat it all right now, so I settled on a piece of pumpkin pie and put some cool whip on top. I knew there would still be more for later tonight.

By now it was starting to get dark so mom and dad announced that they were going home. The roads are probably still a little slick from the snow so they wanted to drive while there was still at least some daylight. Betsy decided she should probably go as well.

I hate winter time and the fact that it gets dark at five o'clock in the afternoon, but there's nothing I can do about it, so why complain. Today had been the best Christmas I had had in the last couple of years so I was happy and Aaron seemed like he was happy as well, which made me happy.

Aaron and I sat up with grandpa and watched some Christmas movies on TV before he finally announced that he was going to bed. Aaron and I looked at each other and smiled. We waited a few minutes to give grandpa a chance settle into bed, and then we began to make out, right there on the couch. Oh, yeah, we had our own celebration and we sure knew how to celebrate, and celebrate we did, well into the night, making love until we finally collapsed in each other's arms and fell asleep.

The rest of the year was rather uneventful. What had started out as a very ordinary year back in January had turned into the best year of my life after Aaron and I had gotten together, but that had only lasted about three months before it became the worst year of my life. Not only had I been kicked out of my own home, but my boyfriend had nearly taken his own life, all because we were gay.

Thankfully, everything seemed to be a lot better now, at least for me, but even Aaron is better now after everything that had happened with him. He has his mother back in his life, but not his father, at least not yet. He still seems hopeful that his father will eventually come around, but I have my doubts. I would never say anything to him about that, however.

Aaron is still living with grandpa, at least until his mom's divorce is final, sometime in January, and I have been staying with him most nights. I live at home now and will be back there once school starts back up. Aaron will be allowed to spend time at my house and even be in my room with me. I never thought I would be allowed to have him stay with me, but mom and dad have changed a lot in just the last month.

Things are back to normal, mostly anyway. Aaron and I are out at school and that had gone better than I had expected, although there were still a few problems. Some things will never change. Overall, my life is good now, better than ever.

I don't know what the new year might hold for Aaron and me, but the old one had definitely ended well.

The End


This story is part of the 2018-2019 story challenge "Recovery". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 4 January to 25 January 2019 is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.

This challenge is to write a story based on the recovery of one or more of the cast from a dark place. There is no picture. Instead we are looking for tales which are able to paint a dark word picture and show recovery and hope.

The Best Christmas

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