The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
by Ricky


Chapter 17

Michael was pressed up against the shower wall, his back arched, his head back and teeth grit. His hands pushing back against the shower wall to try and get every inch of Andy he could. Andy was thrust forward, also in a frozen state, holding himself tightly into Michael. It was one of the finest examples of petrified boy love that Nurse Jackie had ever seen in her 14 years on the pediatric psych ward. She stood, not wanting to break the moment that either one had even known had happened. She set the towels down on the sink and placed two six packs of Trojans on top.

As their passion subsided and the spasms of their hormonal torrents ebbed, they could feel the rush of cold air replacing the escaping steam. “DAMN, that is one nice ass,” she said as she closed the door. The boys jumped. Michael turned to see who was there.

“Shit! That was incredible . . . Do you think we’re in trouble?” Michael asked.

“Don’t be silly. Do you think the condoms were for balloon decorations? We’re minors. They just can’t say ‘go bump uglies now, can they? Relax, if there were issues, we’d know by now. Now, quit worrying and kiss me.” They kissed, and Andy tried his best to swallow his tongue and received the desired effect. He could feel it rising between them. He moved his hands down and cupped the perfectly round buns in front of him pulling them into him.

Michael broke the kiss and smiled. “Nobody has ever touched me this way. If that was your idea of slow then I’m in trouble here.” He smiled and paused, knowing he had to choose his words carefully here. “If this is your second hand love, then I hope to stick around long enough to sample a little of your first hand love. I expect it comes with fireworks and a parade.” He giggled and pulled him in to touch the tip of his nose to Andy’s as he spoke and then he kissed the tip of his nose before matching foreheads.

“Let’s towel off. We better find out what’s going on before we get another visit,” Michael said. Andy started to get out. “Wait!” Michael stepped out and toweled off quickly, dropping his towel on the cold tile floor for Andy to step out on. “OK, come on out now.” Andy stepped out on the towel and Michael toweled him off ever so slowly, gently kissing each part as he toweled it dry. When he carefully dried Andy’s perfect round mounds, he kissed them slowly. Then turning, he carefully kissed each part on the front. Andy was already rising to the occasion. Michael finished drying him and rose to kiss him on the mouth. “You have given me life Andy Harter. I will never be able to show you what that means to me.” He turned and took a fresh gown from the pile and held it for Andy to slip into and then tied it in the back. He grabbed one for himself and hastily shoved his arms through and reached for the door to hold it for Andy.

“Wait you silly thing.” Andy chided him and he reached over and tied his gown for him. Andy grabbed the condoms and put them in the drawer of his bed stand. “Why are you acting like this?” Andy asked smiling, as they both climbed back into his bed.

“Acting like what?” Michael asked, looking like he didn’t want to answer.

“All of a sudden you’re acting weird, like I’m royalty or something. I don’t get it. I mean, we had great sex, but I am still me and you are still you. So what gives?”

“You want me to stop? I’ll stop.”

“No, I want you to do what you feel like. I just want to know why you are being all weird to me now.”

Michael was breathing fast now. “I don’t know what to do now. I’m afraid.” Michael swallowed hard. He was talking fast, breathing rapid.

“Michael, stop. Slow down, calm down. Everything is alright. Talk to me. I don’t understand. Everything was fine until we went in the shower. We had a great time, didn’t we?”

Michael shook his head in the affirmative but he was still panicking.

“So slow down, tell me what you are afraid of. Why are you being like this?”

“You know all this wonderful stuff. I don’t know what to do to please you. I’m . . .I’m afraid I won’t know enough and you’ll find someone else who knows stuff and I’ll be alone. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be alone.”

“Shhhh,” Andy said pushing his hair back out of his eyes. “Look, don’t worry about that. Love has little to do with sex and I got to tell you that you were magnificent.” Andy grabbed his upper arm and settled in nuzzling his neck. “You worry too much Michael. I’m afraid that you and I are stuck together for a long time. Even if we get well and go out on our own, we will still belong to each other. And I don’t know everything. We will find things that feel good to each other as we go along. Tad and I did a lot of things and I have just shared some of the best things that he liked. I wanted you to like them so you wouldn’t want to leave me for someone who wasn’t in tears every ten minutes. You were treating me weird, I was afraid I rushed you and you were trying to tell me to stop or something.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.” Michael said. “You’ve made me feel alive and . . . loved. I never thought that feeling would ever land at my door step.  Leave? Where would I go? Back to hell?  See, I’m afraid that you’ll tire of me with no experience and you’ll want someone who can make you feel like you make me feel. I don’t know how.”

“I’ll make you a deal. You must always tell me what you like and don’t like when we have sex. I will do the same, and I’ll teach you what I know. But there will be no talk of us leaving one another even if they won’t let you come live with us. We will still be together. If you find someone you want to be with more than me, tell me and we can go from there. I will do the same. But I got to tell you that you are far too pretty for me to look somewhere else.”

Michael went crimson at this news. “Did you just call me pretty? Girls are pretty and I’m certainly not pretty. I’m about as homely as a paper bag.”

“Stop it! You are not; I won’t hear that kind of talk. I wouldn’t hear it from others towards you and I’m sure as hell not going to listen to it from you either. I mean, look at your eyes. I don’t think I have ever seen eyes like that. I almost have to get a snorkel so I don’t drown in them they are so blue. And your nose, you have a perfect nose. I always wanted a nose like that; just slightly pointed at the end, perfectly aligned between your eyes. And look at those delicate ears, with perfect ridges that just beg for my nose, lips and tongue to caress them.” He held his face and kissed each little part as he went along. “Those perfectly subdued cheekbones and the strong jaw bone holding the sweetest tasting mouth I think I’ve ever kissed.”

“I think your green eyes just turned brown ‘cause your full of shit. But go ahead and continue. I like the sound of it.” Michael said smiling.

“OK, I will because there is plenty to say. I like your nipples. They are perfectly the right color and size. When they get hard you have to be careful ‘cause you could put an eye out with one of those things,” he said, kissing them through the gown as Michael giggled. “And your cock is one of the tastiest ever. I just like the feel of it in my mouth, the way the skin pulls back over the head when I press my lips around it and then suck really fast and hard. And look at that muscular neck. It’s so long and slender, I think I could spend a week there one day, just kissing it.”

“Wait a minute, how can you spend a week there one day?”

“You aren’t really a romantic are you?” Andy asked, grinning.

“Yes I am. I can be romantic! Ummm, you have really nice ummm really nice balls! There, that was romantic wasn’t it? Oh yeah, and I love to kiss your lips too, you got really nice lips.”

Andy was roaring with laughter.

Michael was laughing too as he grabbed him and pulled him into a wonderful giggly kiss. “And I think you’re getting a mustache too. I can see little hairs right under your really kissable nose.”

Andy couldn’t control his laughter and the conversation turned into a slap and tickle session.

Both boys were tuckered out from the day’s activities and decided a nap was in order. One nuzzled into the other, arm in arm, legs entwined and the sheet blanket pulled up over their shoulders. They caught a nap until dinner came and then meds.

“What’s this,” they asked together?

“Well, the doctor said to get you on orals so they can build up in your system and you can get used to the different dosing. It’s a good sign. It means he is getting ready to give you guys the boot. I guess he figures if you are well enough to do the shower mambo then you must be getting well enough to do home pretty soon. And Michael, I would take it as a good sign that you are taking oral meds now too. It means the same thing for you. Since you are starting orals the same day it would make one think that maybe you are both going to hit the streets the same day. I mean, nothing official has come down, but the signs are all looking good. Any word yet on your court date?”

“Not yet. I really need to get hold of Ms. Carmaletti. Can you call her for me and see when the court date is? I asked Dr. Raburn to do it, but I haven’t heard anything. He may have forgotten.”

“Hey, what time is it?” Andy asked.

“Right about six in the evening,” Nurse Jackie replied.

“Really?! That is fantastic!” Andy said.

“What’s so fantastic about it?” Jackie asked.

“It has been over twenty-four hours! I went a whole day without crying!” Andy said.

“No, you cried this morning when Pat was here.”

“Yeah, but those didn’t count. I mean a whole day without crying over . . . Tad.”

His eyes instantly welled up, “You don’t think I’m forgetting him do you?”

“Woah! Hold your horses. You are not forgetting him. You are simply replacing sadness with love. And a good trade too. You still remember his face and his touch, his smell and his taste?” She asked looking him right in the eyes.

“Yeah I do, and I miss him.”

“Then you aren’t forgetting him. Look baby, he watches from heaven and he will see you again. Right now, he wants you to get happy again. So don’t read more into it than there is. You have to go on. It’s time for that. Going on doesn’t ever mean forgetting. It means remembering and remembering means it is a memory. It is something we keep in our minds and hearts. But in our arms we need to find another to hug. And from what I saw in the shower this afternoon, ya’ll’s way beyond hugs. You have a really cute ass too, I wanted to tell you.”

“Yeah, well what about me? How come you never tell me about my cute ass?” Michael asked all dejected.

“Well I would, but you see, every time I’ve seen yours so far it has been covered up by somebody else’s pelvic region, but now if you’d like to show me, . . .” She said lifting the covers up.

“No! That’s alright,” he said, turning a few new shades of red.

“Ya’ll know how to put those condoms on?” She asked.

“Yes ma’am,” they said together.

“Good then I’ll expect to see used ones in the trash can and not the toilet. They stop up the plumbin’.”

“You’ll be checking?” Michael asked scrunching up his face as if the though was nasty.

“Hey, with every cloud some rain must fall. You think my job is just looking at cute butts all day?”

“Hey, I wanted to ask you. We got us a candy striper named Jeff that would really like to get your Toome’s telephone number. Think we can manage that? Seems Toome made quite an impression on our Jeff this morning.”

Andy and Michael grinned, remembering Toome sneaking Jeff out behind the doctor’s back. “Sure, I’ll get it from Mom next time she comes in.”

“Alrighty, you boys know how to get me. Push the button if you need anything. 24 hours! That’s really something Andy, your going to be alright.” And she sashayed out the door.

Wow, home, Andy thought. Am I ready for that? He had a good bit to think about.

Michael had his share to think about too. Wow, out of here. I couldn’t even think of that just a few days ago. Becky is way cool. It’s neat to have a Mom again. And she smells so good too. And my God, Andy knows everything. I thought I was in heaven too, this afternoon. I wonder if Terry and Tad know each other where they are. This all feels too good to be true. That usually means it isn’t. But I really want it to be true. He is so easy to love. And when he touches me, my body expects to shiver and it does. What a touch, or maybe a better word is caress. And that smile, the only thing better than seeing it, is hearing it. I don’t deserve this, but I sure as hell want it. I just need to work on keeping it. God, he is so hot. I know what his Tad saw in him. He’s way too good to be with me. But I’ll take it until he figures it out. Michael dozed off to sleep.


“Look Mom, it sucks. There isn’t even a Circle K or 7-11 for about three miles from here. Do they even have internet? Oh God, what if they just have dial up? Are there other humans out here or just more country mutants?”

“Randal Thomas McKenzie, it will be what it will be! You know that to get the job I have to live in the country.”

“But Mom, you don’t have to live in the total toolies! We could live closer to town. This is absolute Hicksville.”

“Look, I think that’s the place, what’s the address? Look on the mailbox.”

“God Mom, it’s a row of mailboxes. It could be anyone of them.”

“Then I’ll just pull in here and ask.”

“Oh right Mom, look at that kid. Honest to God, Mom, he’s wearing those farmer things. Ya know, those jeans with the built in drool rag up the chest. LOOK! NO SHOES! Mom, you can’t do this to me.”

“Randal you watch your mouth, please.” Randal’s mom said as she pushed the button, rolling down the window on his side and talking to the young boy in bibs standing beside the drive. “Excuse me young man, is this the Gay farm?”

The young boy looked at the boy in the passenger seat. “Yep, this is it.” Toome looked with interest as the boy got out of the white mini-van. Toome studied him for a minute.

Randal looked him over. “Hey kid, you know you been standing there so long, there’s a weed growing out of your mouth.”

Toome walked up to him, “You trip in a hardware store or sumpin? I got me some pliers out in the shed, I can he’p you get them things outta yer face. Must hurt sumpin fierce.”

“Don’t be stupid, those are body piercings. Christ, I’m in hell and nobody cares.”

“What happened to your hair?”

“What do you mean what happened to my hair? Nothin’ happened to my hair.”

“Taint never seen green hair afore. Sep maybe Kenny’s lil’ sister. She spent too much time in the swimming pool. Made her hair kinda green but nuthin’ like that. That’s like poisonous chemical like green. So are you like, a boy or a girl?”

“WHAT? Hello, little country mutant, my names Randal. Does that sound like a girl’s name?”

“Well you seem to be agin anything natural so I figgered I better ask.”

“So where’d my Mom go anyways?”

“A boy huh? Right this way.”

“I think she went over towards the house. Why would she come out here to the barn?”

“Trus’ me, this is the place you want to be. Figgered you ought to get a sample of country hospitality.” Toome said as he closed the barn door and opened another.

“What the, oh, mmm. God, I think I could like country livin’. . .”


Meanwhile, in the house . . .

“Hi, I’m Jan and this is . . . well, my son was here a minute ago. He must be talking to your son out there.”

“Oh, that could be Toome or Markie. They’re twins so it could be either one. But if your boy is with them he’s fine, come on in. Coffee?” Hester pushed the door open in that familiar country way that said this is casual and we’re already friends, aren’t we?

“Oh yes please, that would be delightful. So this is the place. It’s quite lovely.”

“Yeah well, it’s had its share of heart ache in the last month or two. My Mom and Dad were both killed in a bus accident about eight weeks ago and my brother died in a freak accident a little over three weeks ago. So, it’s been a little sad here. I think the house is ready for some smiles. How old is your boy?”

“Oh, Randal is fourteen going on thirty-seven. I’m afraid he isn’t as happy about moving to the country as I am. You know, he has his social life.”

“You don’t?”

“No. Randal’s dad was an ass. I think I’ve had enough social life for a while. And I’m not overly thrilled with Randal’s social life either, he’s into Goth.”

“Oh, is that a rock group?”

“Oh, he’s going to hate it here. I’ll take it.”

Hester laughed, “Well, there is a boy next door about his age but he’s in the hospital right now.”

“Oh? Is it serious?”

“Yeah, I’m afraid it is. He was in love with my brother and they were, for lack of a better term, an item. He was there when my brother fell and died. I’m afraid he didn’t take it too well and tried to take his own life at the scene. He almost made it too. He died three times on the way to the hospital. It is such a shame too. He is just the sweetest little boy, so gentle and kind. He’s just one of those kids that wouldn’t say ‘shit’ if he had a mouth full, but he was just so much in love. You know when you’re young you love with your very breath. It was his whole world and then it just crashed in front of him. And his Momma was right there and all too. He’s supposed to be coming home soon, too.”

“Then he’s homosexual then?”

“Yes ma’am. You would have had to know Tad, my brother, to really appreciate it. He didn’t just think “Gay” was a last name, but also a personal directive. But you’ll like him, I promise. Unless you got something agin it?”

“Oh, no, in the city it is commonplace.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty commonplace out here too. Now, the house and barn are included and you’ll need to keep the weeds down. You can use as much for garden as you want and Mr. McGrudy said he may want to farm and plant on anything you don’t want to use. Our land goes all the way back to the fence. It works out, because you get free vegetables and he keeps the land from growing wild. So you both win. Now the Quarry back there, has a swimming hole in there and kids just naturally gravitate there. It was something I reserved for my brother ‘cause it was a special place for him. But since he is gone, I’m gonna make it a gift to the little boy next door. It was their special place and I know Tad would want him to have it. I don’t think he’ll mind if y’all go fer a dip now and again though.”

“Let me show you around a bit and I’ll give Gladys and Becky a call so you can meet them. They’re your life boat and Gladys makes a mean recipe.”

“Oh? A recipe for what?”

“Well, I’ll let her tell ya about it. Hello, Becky? Yeah, this is Hester. Y’all got a minute? I want ya’s to meet someone. . . yeah, uh huh, right. I think she is going to be your new neighbor, so if y’all want to come on over and maybe Gladys kin bring a lil’ sumpin along too? Great. See y’all in just a couple. Uh huh, yeah sure, you bet. Bye-bye.” Hester hung up the phone smiling.

“Great, they will be over in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Come on, I’ll show you around. First, upstairs. Here is the kids room. Oh mercy me. Markie, who tied you up? Yer brother do that? Here, let me untie you. You go find yer brother and you tell him his lil butt is mine when I catch him. Go on now. . . Uh, that was my lil Markie. He is as good as the other is rotten. Mercy, I don’t know what God were thinkin’. If he had jus mixed ‘em a bit, I coulda had me two fine boys. Stead, I have one quiet and one hellion. Anyways, bathroom over here and two more rooms at the end of the hall. There is a second bathroom and a master bedroom downstairs. Come on I’ll show ya. Oh! And here’s the laundry chute. It drops right down to the basement. Saves a ton of toten.”

Jan looked it all over and it was perfect. She was beginning to worry a little about her son. She rather expected he would be in by now.

“Oh look, Gladys and Becky’s here. Come on, I’ll introduce ya’s. Then we’ll see if we can find where Toome tied yer son up.” Jan took a double take with a slight worry in her brow for just a moment.

“Hi Gladys, Becky. Want ya’s to meet Jan and as soon as we find where Toome tied her son up, then you can meet him. Y’all get settled in the kitchen and I’ll see if I can find them boys.” She side stepped Jan and headed for the barn. “Toome! You in that barn? Why’d you tie Markie up? What’d I tell you about that?” As she got to the barn, Toome shoved Randal through the door at her. He had a dreamy, glazed look on his face.

“Mercy Toome! What’d you do to him? Look, he’s got pieces of metal all over his face. Here I kin get this one out easy.” She plucked one out of his lip.

“Ouch!” he said, as she snatched it out and went to work on getting the one out of his eyebrow.

“Damn Toome, you are lucky you didn’t hurt this boy. These look painful, too.”

“Ouch! Stop! What is wrong with you, woman? Ah, God that hurts.”

“Look, Toome didn’t mean nothun’ by it, did ya Toome. Get me them pliers quick. I think I can get them all out, but I think yer Momma might still notice some of them holes.”

“Are you nuts? Toome didn’t do this. Give me those back. I paid fifteen dollars for that one. Damn, it is a bitch to get back in too.”

“You mean Toome didn’t do all this to you? You trip in there in the dark, or what?”

“Are you for real? These are body piercings?”

“Well, out here, we’d call those a law suit. Looks like you tripped in a hardware store. Come on, yer Mom’s inside. Sorry about that. I were afraid you was in pain, that’s why you couldn’t speak when ya first came out.”

Randal blushed, thinking about the real reason, and looked over at Toome, who was still looking down, just sort of looked up at him, grinning without moving his head up. Hester looked at Toome and then at Randal and stopped them both. “Toome! Did you drain him? What have I told you?”

“But Momma, hain’t never tasted one with green hair afore.” She looked at Randal and he realized she knew what they did and blushed crimson. That, with the green hair, almost gave him a Christmas look to him, especially with all the glittery metal stuck in his face.

Hester gave Toome a look and winked at Randal, “Well, welcome to the neighborhood. Come on, you can meet the neighbors. Toome you go find your brother and if you tie him up agin, I will blister you so bad you won’t be able to think about your next sip! Got me?” She said with the ‘last straw’ mother look.

Jan was a thin woman, the type that stayed that way marginally and had to work at it constantly. She was well grounded and a realist about life. She had to be as a single mom. Her face was a little more long than round but proportioned nicely. Her brown eyes had a little weathering to them and were showing the first signs of becoming middle aged. She had a nice nose that sort of had a little square on the tip. She had a nice smile that, like her eyes, was starting to show the weather of age. But her lips were thin and supple. She wore make up sparingly and so subtle that it looked natural. She had a friendly voice and demeanor that Becky and Gladys liked right off.

Randal was obviously trying to find his path, but more so, he just wanted to be noticed. Noticed by anyone. His green hair and piercings drew attention, but he was finding out, it was not the kind he was expecting or looking for when he had it all done. His natural coal black hair and chiseled features accented his mother’s nose, stuck plainly in the middle of his face. It held up, as it seemed, two perfectly balanced emerald green eyes. And below was an absolutely kissable mouth as Toome found out. His thin lips pursed nicely when Toome was sucking his thinly uncut four inches, that grew to about four and three quarters when it turned to stone. It was all mounted on a frame that wasn’t fat, but wasn’t thin either. He was starting to get that pot belly they get just before they stretch.

When they got back in, Jan had already found one of the best uses for the recipe. Besides removing coffee stains, it also was a wonderful libation. She was sipping some in her lemonade.

“Everyone, this is Randal,” Hester said, “And before you say it, Toome didn’t do this to him, he says he did it. Becky, I was wondering if maybe she ought to have your Dr Raburn’s number. He might could help this boy to keep him from hurt’n his self.”

Becky laughed, “Hester, the kids in the city do that, it’s alright.”

Randal was a little embarrassed and rapidly approaching angry. While his Momma turned to her right to speak to Gladys, Randal snatched her lemonade and turned it up! His eyes got big as he gasped for air and the ladies roared with laughter.

“Well, bet he don’t do that agin,” Hester laughed.

Toome laughed, “Bet he does!” And the woman laughed even more. “Come on,” he said, “you look like you need some fresh air.” There was sweat on his forehead and he was searching for a voice against the 180 proof moonshine they called the ‘recipe’. As Toome escorted Randal out the front door onto the steps, Hester glanced out the back and saw Markie hopping with tied hands and feet from the barn. “I’ll be right back,” she said as she marched out the front door and snatching Toome by the ear, she drug him along.

“You ever want to sit down agin boy, you best be untie’n yer brother and quick! You can expect me to get the switch after your ass later tonight too. Don’t think I’ll forget about it, neither.”

Hester returned with her two boys together and Randal too. He seemed much happier now.

“Well, my Andrew should be home in about a week and he might be bringin’ another little boy home who has also had a terrible time of it.” Becky said. Jan filled Randal in on the situation.

“So, you mean he’s gay?” Randal asked.

“Yeah, you OK with that?” Jan asked.

“Yeah sure, I had friends in town that were gay. No big deal Mom.”

“Who did you know that was gay?” Jan asked like he was making it up.

“God, Mom, Jimmy Wassen, Mark Henry and that little geeky kid in the green house on the corner. Shit mom, they’re all over the place. But like, who cares, long as they ain’t try’n to get in my pants, I don’t much care.”

“I’ll thank you to watch your mouth young man. You aren’t with your friends.”

“Yes ma’am. Sorry. I think that lemonade went to my head.”

The ladies laughed.


“Alright, look, if your kid is going to testify, then I’m going to have to eat him alive on the stand. The jury will have a field day with the finger pointer being drugged and homosexual. They’ll throw his credibility right out the window. Does your kid need that?”

“I think he is sincere enough that they will believe him. After all, he saw it all come down. He was there. It was his brother they shot.”

“Oh come on. In this county? Your kid will be lucky if they don’t give him the chair just for being queer.”

“So what are you offering?”

“We’ll take manslaughter for the shooter and involuntary manslaughter for his brother.”

“No way. We’ll consider Murder two for your shooter and manslaughter for his brother. It keeps your client from taking the deep sleep, but we don’t see him on the streets again ever. His brother will get out when he’s too old to be a danger anymore. I figure 25 years.”

“I’ll ask them. I figure they’ll probably take it. I’ll get back to you on it.”


“Well, you boys have really made some distance here, haven’t you?” Dr Raburn said smiling. “We got everything cleared through your case worker, Michael, and Becky has agreed to be your guardian. The doctor will be in to do his final check tomorrow around eleven and probably discharge you guys around noon. Andrew, your Mom knows to be here at noon and she’s bringing clothes for you both. So it’s the big waiting game now. How are you feeling, Andy?”

“A little nervous. I hear we’re getting new neighbors. Toome and Markie are going to stay with us for a week or so at Gladys’ so we have more kids around and they’ll keep us from getting too serious.”

“Yes, I’ve heard stories about this Toome. I understand he can be very distracting,” he said, getting a big smile on his face. “Just remember to go slow, don’t rush and try and do too much at a time. Remember to take your meds and if you need me, you call me right away. For the first three days or so I will have my cell with me day and night and I’ve written the number on the back of these cards. There is one for each of you and one for Becky and Gladys. And I mean it, you call me for anything. Don’t wait until things get overwhelming. Alright,” he said standing up and hugging each one and giving them a little kiss on the cheek. “You guys hang tough and we’ll see you in about a week and a half in my office to see how it’s going. Sleep tight! Bye-bye.”

The boy’s adrenalin pumps were functioning fine. Home in the morning! The thought was scary and exciting at the same time. For Michael, he had the excitement of a new home he knew nothing about except that it was a place where he would be safe and loved. They tired quickly as one does after the adrenalin plays out. They cuddled in Andy’s bed. It was in the dark of the late night when it happened. Andrew smelled that familiar smell. It caused him to swallow, it was so strong. He breathed it in and felt tears welling up inside of him. It wasn’t the sadness though, it was something else. He felt lips on his and a taste he knew in each cell in his body. It was the taste of Tad. His eyes opened to see the familiar site sitting on the side of his bed.

Andrew looked through tear laden eyes. He felt another kiss and tasted his taste, felt his soft embrace. “I love you. I have always loved you and will always love you. I’m sorry I had to leave you. Be happy until we are together again.” He kissed him again and looked at Michael and placed his hand on his hip and smiled at Andy. “Tell him that Terry does love him and we’ll wait together. He needs you Andy, love him. I have to go now. Remember, be happy. You belong to me, now and forever.” Tad faded away.

“Wait! Wait!” Andy yelled. “Don’t go. Wait!” The lights came on. Michael was sitting up.

“What’s wrong?” he asked pushing the button for the nurse.

“It was Tad. He was here.” Andy said, crying.

“What’s wrong?” Nurse Jackie came in. “What’s up, talk to me, what’s going on?”

“He says Tad came to him.”

“Really?” Jackie said. “What did he say to you Andy?”

“He said he loved me, that I was his and would always be his. He said he was sorry to have to leave me. He said that one day we would be together again but until then I should be happy.”

“Is that all? Then what happened?”

“No, he said that I should tell Michael that Terry did love him and they will wait together for us. He said I should love Michael, that he needs me. He put his hand on Michael and faded away.” He broke into tears as he said the last part and Michael turned and pulled him into a hug. Andy nuzzled into Michael’s neck and wept.

Michael felt something around his neck and moved his hand to investigate. He felt a thin golden chain on his neck, “Hey, were did this come from?” Andrew pulled away from him to see and dried his eyes.

He got a big grin on his face and cried, “Tad gave that to you. It was my father’s and he gave it to me just like Tad gave it too you. I gave it to Tad when we committed to each other. He never took it off. He was wearing it when he died. Its proof he loves me, and you too.”

Nurse Jackie looked at the chain. She knew they had no jewelry, as it wasn’t permitted. Any they had coming in went home with parents or down to security until they checked out. Becky had not been in for almost a week. “Sounds to me like you got the approval you were looking for. Are you going to be alright munchkin?” She asked Andy.

“Yeah, I think I am now,” he said.

“Do you want me to call Dr. Raburn?” She asked.

“No, please, he may change his mind about letting us go home.”

“Well if he did, don’t you think it would be the right thing to do? He’s been pretty smart about things so far.”

“Well, yeah, but it’s the middle of the night. How about I call him in the morning and tell him. There’s no reason to wake him up. I promise I’ll call him right after breakfast.”

“Alright, it’s your decision, but I think you should make sure you do. Now, do you need something to help you sleep?”

“No, I think I’m alright, I’m sorry it was just so . . .I don’t know what it was but somehow I feel more peaceful knowing he is ok and he’s not in pain, he’s just waiting. It was so good to taste his taste and to smell his smell again. I missed it so much.” He rolled over and his eyes began tearing up again as Michael spooned him and held him tight. Nurse Jackie turned out the light.

“Do you want your chain?” Michael asked.

“No, he meant for you to have it. It means you belong to me now.” Andy whispered.

Michael wept at his words. He belonged to Andy.


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