Now That You're Here - The College Years


Chapter 8



Justin was just getting comfortable in bed when Brian appeared at the bottom of the stairs with a smile on his face. “Alone at last.”

“I didn’t think we’d ever get away from everyone,” Justin laughed. “As much as I love our friends and family, I was definitely ready to say goodnight to them all and be alone with you.”

“I know,” Brian agreed. He quickly stripped down and climbed into bed, pulling Justin into his arms. They curled up together, with Justin’s head lying on Brian’s chest, ready to enjoy their time alone. “Have you noticed how much the tide has changed within our group?”

“The tide?” Justin asked in confusion.

“Yeah, this is the first time in a long time where there’s drama everywhere and none of it is ours. We have Steve, who was kicked out of his house and is struggling with what to do next with his life, poor Jason who isn’t fooling anybody with his attempts at a happy face, and then there’s Matt. I’m not sure what’s going on with him, but it’s obvious by the worry in your eyes that he’s dealing with something serious.”

“You’re not upset that he told me and not you, are you? I wish I could tell you what’s going on, but he really doesn’t want anyone to know,” Justin said, interrupting Brian’s thoughts.

“Of course I’m not upset. I know that you and Matt have gotten really close and I’m fine with that. He’s a really good friend and I’m just glad that he has someone to talk to,” Brian assured him. “I feel bad for all of them and what they’re going though, but I have to say, I’m kind of glad that it’s not our drama right now. Between you losing your parents, the accident, Ryan and all his bullshit, Zan moving out, his father dying, and learning about Sophia I feel like we live in a Soap Opera. I just want to have a little down time, you know? I can’t wait until winter break so we can spend four weeks here just relaxing and getting to know Sophia better.”

“I know, me too. I feel like we’re missing so much. She’s so young and so much fun right now. I hate having to leave her every Sunday,” Justin replied. Ever since Sophia had joined the family, Brian and Justin made it a point to go home almost every weekend, both of them wanting to be an active part of her life. “And I feel guilty trying to plan a vacation during spring break. A part of me wants to stay here with her.”

“Well we’re not,” Brian laughed. “As much as I love her, I really love the thought of all of us going to New York in the spring. I’ve always wanted to go there.”

“I know, I’ve been there before but it was only once and I was like…eleven or something. Trust me; I know we’re not staying here. I just wish we didn’t have to lose more time with her.”

“Maybe during the summer we can take her somewhere for a few days?”

“You mean us, like in you and me taking her on a vacation without Chris and Zan?” Justin asked incredulously.

“Yeah, why not? You don’t think we can handle her for a few days?”

“No…no, of course we can handle her,” Justin said. “I guess I just never thought of doing something like that. Do you think Chris and Zan will let us?”

“I don’t see why not. I think they trust us. They know we’d never let anything happen to her. We just have to figure out where we want to take her before we talk to them. Let them know that we put some thought into it and we’re not just planning on tossing her into the car and ending up wherever. Of course I need to look at my finances before we make any decisions. My savings account is getting smaller and smaller since I’m not picking up nearly as many shifts at the store these days. New York is going to be a big drain.”

“You know, Bri…”

“Don’t even finish that thought,” Brian warned.

“Would you let me say what I want to say before you shoot me down? All I was gonna say is that Sophia is my cousin. Why don’t you let me pay for that trip? I’m sure my parents would approve of me spending money on her. She’s their niece.”

“I’m sure they would. That’s not the point,” Brian said.

“Please, Bri, let me do this for us. It’s not like we’re going to go to the Taj Mahal. We’re just taking a small trip and I really want to do this. You never let me pay for anything and I understand that you don’t want me to try and support you, even though I would do it in a heartbeat if you’d let me, but I have this money and I’ve hardly touched it. Let me do this one thing for us,” Justin said quickly, trying to finish his thoughts before Brian interrupted him again.

Brian sighed. “I’ll think about it.”


“Leave it at that, Blondie before I say no altogether.”

“Fine, I guess I’ll think about it is better than no,” Justin muttered.

“It is. Now come here.”

Justin tilted his head up and accepted the kiss that Brian offered willingly. When he first climbed into bed, he had been exhausted and ready to fall asleep. Being in Brian’s arms, feeling his boyfriend’s hand stroke his body while they talked stirred something inside of him, like it always did. He deepened the kiss as he rose up and spread out on top of Brian. It wasn’t a surprise when he felt Brian’s hardened cock rubbing against his own. He ground down, adding pressure to their already stimulating dance, eliciting a moan from Brian. He pulled back and looked down into Brian’s lust filled eyes.

“I love you so much,” Justin murmured softly. “I want to be inside you. Can I? Will you roll over for me?”

The surprise on Brian’s face was almost enough to cause Justin to laugh out loud. It was very rare for Brian to bottom, and that was usually just fine in Justin’s book. He could count on one hand the number of times that he took the lead, but every time was wonderful…for the both of them.

“Babe,” Brian groaned.

“Please,” Justin prodded. “Let me make you feel good. Let me give you another taste of what you give me regularly. I want to feel you grip me from within.”

Brian grabbed Justin tightly and flipped him over, effectively switching their positions. Justin tried not to be disappointed. He knew it was a long shot. Brian really didn’t like being on the receiving end of making love. Not that he didn’t enjoy it. There wasn’t an aspect of sex Brian didn’t like. It was a self esteem thing. For some reason, in Brian’s mind he needed to be in control. Justin never minded since being under Brian was his favorite place to be. It was just that every once in awhile he wanted to be the one in charge. Shaking off his thoughts, Justin accepted Brian’s kisses and quickly lost himself in his building lust. Brian knew all the right moves when it came to driving Justin crazy and by the time his boyfriend reached for the nightstand to get the lube, Justin was ready to explode. In fact, he was so worked up that he almost didn’t notice Brian handing him the lube.

“Well?” Brian asked.


“If you want to feel me grip you from within, I suggest you use lots of this,” Brian said, once again trying to hand the lube to Justin.

“But I thought that…”

“Babe, when have I ever refused you anything?”

“I know, but if you don’t want to, I don’t want to force…”

“You’re not forcing anything. You know my reasons for wanting to be on top have nothing to do with you or your abilities. It’s my issue. I love having you inside me,” Brian assured him with a sexy smile. “Now get to work. I’m horny as hell and getting impatient,” he teased.

Justin didn’t have to be told twice. He did, however, have to tell himself to calm down. His excitement at taking the lead was causing his hands to tremble. Since he didn’t have a lot of experience in the area, topping Brian always made him nervous. He rolled them over so that he was lying alongside Brian and opened the lube, making sure to be generous with the cool gel. The first touch caused Brian’s whole body to stiffen, reminding Justin just how hard it was for Brian to relax and let go. Justin kissed him deeply as he gently prepared his lover. He could sense the moment Brian let go and knew that he was ready. After a few more passionate kisses, Justin guided Brian to roll over and positioned himself from behind. Taking a deep breath, he lined his cock up to Brian’s waiting hole and slowly pushed inside.

Brian groaned at the sudden pressure but forced himself to relax as Justin slowly entered him. The slight pain associated with being on the receiving end always seemed to surprise him, probably because it was very rare that he ever let anyone inside him. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy it. On the contrary, he enjoyed being filled quite a bit. It was just the mechanics of it all. The relinquishing of power, the vulnerability of it all that made him resistant to it. He knew it was crazy, and actually considered talking to Megan for about a minute, but then nixed the idea. He loved Megan and she had been a great help to him through the years, but there was no way he was going to discuss his sex life with her. After a few moments, Justin was buried deep inside of him and all thoughts of anything other than his closeness with Justin left him. He knew Justin was giving him a minute to adjust and breathed deeply before pushing back against his lover, letting him know he was ready.

Justin took the ready sign from Brian and began thrusting inside his lover, relishing in the feel of being surrounded by a tight, warm body. He found a steady pace and fought off the orgasm that was ready to burst through and end their coupling before they had a chance to enjoy it. Instead he tried focusing more on Brian’s pleasure, making sure to hit that special spot on every third thrust until Brian was whimpering with pleasure. Once he knew Brian was close, he reached around and grabbed his cock, pulling it in time with his thrusts. It wasn’t long before Brian called out as his orgasm ripped through his body, pulling Justin over the edge with him.

It took Brian a few minutes to get his heart rate and his breathing under control. It would take a lot longer to lose the exhilaration he felt after being taken by Justin. It was those times when he wondered why he didn’t allow himself the joy more often. It wasn’t until the light of day that his insecurities took hold and put him back in his place. He glanced over at Justin just as the blond returned from the bathroom with a damp cloth.

“Here, let me clean you up a bit.”

When Justin reached out to wipe the remnants of cum off Brian’s stomach, Brian grabbed him and pulled him down, taking his mouth in a hungry kiss. Justin didn’t fight the manhandling. They continued to kiss for a long time, lost in the taste and feel of each other. Not surprisingly, when the kissing finally ended, Brian was on top looking down into his favorite pair of blue eyes.

“I love you, too,” Brian said softly.

It took Justin a moment to remember that everything started with him telling Brian that he loved him. He never realized that the words were not returned. They didn’t need to be. He knew they were true, but he never tired of hearing them. He laughed as he struggled to get up and try to clean up a bit. Once that was done, he brought the cloth back to the bathroom and then climbed into bed with Brian, ready for sleep. Apparently Brian wasn’t quite ready for that.

“So, what do you think of David?”

“David? What made you think of him?” Justin asked curiously.

“I don’t know. I guess I just think it’s kind of weird that he suddenly showed up here out of the blue,” Brian replied.

“He didn’t just show up out of the blue. Matt invited him,” Justin pointed out. “And who cares? He and David have become friends. There’s nothing wrong with bringing a friend home from school.”

“I guess not, but he didn’t bring him home, did he? If he brought him home, they would’ve come together on Wednesday. David suddenly showed up on Thursday night after Matt’s parents went out of town. Don’t you think that’s a little weird?” Brian asked. “Has Matt said anything about him to you?”

“Just the usual stuff. David’s a senior at the University of Texas. They met through mutual friends and just hit it off. And maybe Matt called him after his parents left because he didn’t want to spend the whole weekend alone,” Justin suggested, hoping to satisfy Brian’s curiosity.

Brian scoffed at that. “He wouldn’t have been alone. He’d have us.”

“Oh yeah, I’m sure that thought thrilled him. Dane spends most of his time with his daughter, Steve spends most of his time at the store and Trent is flying back to London tomorrow. Of course there’s always you and I or Jason and Zac. It’s always fun being a third or fifth wheel. Maybe he just wanted some company that would focus on him.”

“I guess you’re right,” Brian said. “I don’t know. It just feels weird to me. You know David’s gay, right?”

“Well, he wasn’t wearing a pink tutu when we met him, but I did pick up on a mild scent of homosexual,” Justin teased. “What difference does it make? You realize that becoming a homophobe would be slightly hypocritical, right?”

“I’m not becoming a homophobe you ass,” Brian laughed, shoving Justin playfully. “I just meant that…I don’t know. I think David likes Matt.”

“And they’re alone right now at Matt’s house,” Brian said.


“Well how well do we really know this guy? I mean, he’s a senior in college. That makes him at least what, twenty-two? He’s not a kid. What if he tries something with Matt?”

“Well Brian, I’m pretty sure that if he tried something that made Matt uncomfortable, Matt would tell him no,” Justin replied.

“But they’re alone.”

“You mentioned that,” Justin pointed out. “Bri, being a senior in college doesn’t suddenly make David a rapist. He’s Matt’s friend. Why are you suddenly worried about this?”

“I don’t know. I was thinking about it earlier and I just…I don’t know. Something just doesn’t feel right about him being here. I don’t like him.”

“You don’t like David? That’s insane, you don’t even know him,” Justin said.

“I know, I’ve just suddenly got a really bad feeling. Maybe we should call Matt and check on him. Just make sure he’s alright.”

“It’s after midnight. I’m not going to call him this late. He might be sleeping,” Justin insisted.

“Well then, I’ll call him,” Brian said as he reached for his phone.

Justin jumped up and grabbed the phone out of his hand before he could make the call. “Brian, you are not calling Matt after midnight just because you don’t like someone you don’t even know. I’m pretty sure Matt feels he can trust him considering he invited David up for the weekend in the first place. Just let it be for now. Matt will call me in the morning and you’ll see that everything is fine.”

“But what if it’s not? You said yourself that Matt is having a hard time right now. What if David takes advantage of him while he’s vulnerable? “

“Oh my God, what is with you tonight? Matt’s a big boy who can take care of himself. He goes to the gym at least four days a week and is planning on joining the police force in a few years. He’s not some wallflower who couldn’t protect himself if he had to, which he won’t have to do because David is a nice guy,” Justin replied in exasperation.

“Oh yeah? You think Jason’s some wallflower? He works out a lot, too. I would’ve thought he could protect himself if he had to and look what happened to him!” Brian exclaimed as he jumped out of bed and began pacing. “I never would’ve expected him to be attacked like that and he was out in public. Matt is locked away in the house with some guy that no one knows anything about. How can you not be worried?”

Justin stared at Brian in horror. He had no idea that Brian had been so affected by Jason’s attack. Without worrying about the time, Justin grabbed his phone and called Matt. He hoped he didn’t wake his friend up.

“Hey, Jus, is everything alright?” Matt said when he answered the phone.

“Yeah, I’m sorry to call so late. Did I wake you up?”

“No, David and I are just watching a movie,” Matt replied. “What’s going on?”

“Um, nothing really. I just wanted to make sure everything was okay over there. I mean, how well do you know David?”

“Jus, what’s going on?”

“Nothing, Brian and I were just talking and he just happened to say that we don’t really know David and that he was over there with you alone. He was just kind of worried,” Justin explained.

“So he doesn’t trust him? I’m confused. What exactly is he worried about?”

“I’m sorry, Matt. I think we’re all just a little on edge after what happened to Jason right on our campus,” Justin said.

Realization hit Matt suddenly. “Yeah, I guess that hit a little closer to home for you guys than it did for me. You’re not worried, are you?”

“Well, I wasn’t until Brian brought up Jason. Now I’m not so sure. It’s nothing against David. I like him. He seems pretty cool. It’s just…we’re not even sure who attacked Jason at this point. It could be anybody. He didn’t recognize the guy, but that doesn’t mean he’s not someone I sit next to in one of my classes. Hell, for all we know it could be Colin.”

Matt thought about that for a moment. “Hang on a minute, Jus.”

“Okay,” Justin said and then turned his focus on Brian. “I’m going to kill you. Now you have me worried.”

“Sorry, I don’t even know why I’m so worried suddenly. I wasn’t too impressed with David earlier, but it wasn’t until I started asking you about him that I realized we really don’t know anything about him. And you’re right; the guy who attacked Jason could be someone from one of our classes. He could be someone we know. Maybe we ought to have someone do a background check on David and see what we can find out.”

“Bri, we can’t just start running background checks on everybody we meet. We’re going to just have to trust our instincts again one day. But I’m not necessarily ready for that day to be now,” Justin said before Matt came back on the line.

“Hey, Jus, I know it’s late, but why don’t you guys come on over? We were just getting ready to have a little late night snack before bed. You guys could come over and then crash here. There’s plenty of room. You can take Mark’s room and David can just bunk with me. It’s no big deal,” Matt offered.

“Shit, Matt, that’s alright. We don’t want to intrude. I probably shouldn’t have called you. I was just trying to ease both of our minds and…”

“No really, it’s okay. Just leave a note for Chris and Zan and come over. I would probably feel the same way if I was in your shoes.”

“Are you sure? Is David going to think I’m an ass?”

“No, David is going to think it’s sweet that you guys are worried about me. Now get over here. I’m going to go throw some junk food together. I’ll see you in a few.”

Justin said goodbye and then turned to Brian. “Well, get dressed. Our over-protectiveness has landed us an invitation to sleep at Matt’s house. You can throw some stuff in a bag while I go upstairs and leave a note for everyone. I’ll drive. My car hardly ever gets used these days.”

“Are you mad? Is he? I’m thinking I might want to put in a call to Megan next week. See if I can get an appointment for next Friday afternoon. I don’t know what happened, but I suddenly got really freaked out over this.”

“Hey, no one’s mad. And I started freaking out, too. I’m sure we’ll learn to deal with this better in time, but it’s too soon. It hasn’t even been a week since a really good friend was violated on the same campus we spend a lot of our time on. I think it’s only natural that we’re a little jumpy. I just wish you’d thought of this sooner so we could’ve come up with a better plan than calling in the middle of the night in a panic.”

“Like I said, I really didn’t put much thought into it until we started talking,” Brian said as he finished pulling his t-shirt on. Justin was already dressed and grabbing his keys. “Go on, I’ll meet you by the door in five.”

“Okay,” Justin replied. “I can’t believe we’re doing this,” he said as he quickly took the stairs.

“Me neither,” Brian mumbled to himself. He wasn’t sorry, though. Something rubbed him the wrong way when it came to David. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he was glad that they were going to be able to keep a better eye on him.


David waited until Matt hung up the phone before questioning him. “Okay, now tell me why your friends are coming over here at midnight for a sleepover? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset, considering it’s causing a change of sleeping arrangements, I’m just curious.”

“Well, you know our friend Jason was attacked last week, right?”

“Yeah, on campus, right?”

“Yeah, well it kind of freaked Brian out. They all go to the same school. No arrests have been made so the guy is still out there. Jason didn’t recognize him, but he was a fairly young guy. Could’ve been a student. Maybe even someone Brian, Justin or Zac have in one of their classes,” Matt explained.

“So he’s worried about me hurting you?”

“Yes, but please don’t take it personally. Brian can be very overprotective. And Zander, Justin’s cousin was sort of attacked at the beginning of the year by someone Chris had worked with, and now Jason. He was just worried, and that got Justin worried. They’re just trying to look out for me. You’re not mad, are you?”

David leaned in and gave Matt a soft kiss before pulling away. “No, I’m not mad. Like you told Justin, I think it’s sweet that they’re worried about you. And I guess they’re right. No one really knows me that well. It’s never a bad thing to be cautious.”

“Thank you for understanding. I guess we’ll just have to give up on this movie for tonight. It wasn’t meant to be. Come on; let’s go see what we have to snack on. I had an early dinner and I’m kind of hungry,” Matt said as he hopped off the bed and walked towards the door. He was stopped from opening it when David grabbed him by the arm and spun him around, taking him into his arms. “Oomph.”

“Sorry, I just want to do this before they get here,” David said before kissing Matt once again. He couldn’t help himself. They had been lying side by side for almost an hour holding hands and David enjoyed every minute of it. Once the guys arrived, all physical contact was going to stop.

Matt sank into the kiss, relishing in the feel of David’s lips on his. He knew that he shouldn’t be enjoying their contact as much as he was, but he couldn’t seem to help himself. He also knew that once he had a few minutes alone with his thoughts, he was going to start panicking over his behavior. How in the hell was he supposed to deny being gay when he couldn’t seem to stay out of David’s arms? He pulled away slowly.

“I know, I know. I have to stop kissing you,” David said sheepishly.

“Um…yeah. That’s probably a good idea,” Matt said, refusing to show his disappointment. He wasn’t ready to admit that the last thing he wanted was for David to stop kissing him. “Come on.”

By the time Brian and Justin arrived, Matt had all kinds of junk food set out for their late night snack. He greeted his friends at the door and led them into the living room where David had been flipping through the channels, trying to find something worth watching on the TV. He looked up and smiled the minute they walked through the door.

“Hey guys, how’s it going?”

“I’m really sorry about this,” Justin said immediately. “It’s got nothing to do with you, I swear. We’re just…”

“Hey,” David said, stopping Justin midsentence. “There’s no need to apologize. I completely understand. And you’re right. Matt doesn’t know me that well. It doesn’t hurt to be careful. Hopefully after this weekend, you guys will feel more comfortable having me around.”

“Why? Are you planning on being around a lot?” Brian asked. His tone was slightly cooler than normal.

David heard the challenge in Brian’s voice and knew he had at least one person who wasn’t a fan. He’d have to do what he could to change that. Matt was already skittish when it came to being open and having a relationship with him. The last thing David wanted was to have someone whispering in Matt’s ear, trying to sabotage a potential relationship. He needed as many people on his side as he could get. Then again, he wasn’t about to be run off by some spoiled teenager.

“I don’t know,” David replied. “I was kind of hoping to be. Matt’s pretty cool. We have fun together.”

“What kind of fun?” Brian continued.

“I don’t know. What kind of fun do you have with your friends?”

“Brian, are you thirsty?” Matt stepped in quickly. “Why don’t you come with me and see what we have?” He looked to Justin for help.

Justin jumped in. “Yeah Bri, I’m kind of thirsty. Could you get me something, too? You know what I like.”

Brian was about to argue until he saw the look on Justin’s face. It told him that he was on the verge of trouble. Sighing, he walked out of the living room.

“David, do you want anything?” Matt asked.

“Whatever you got is fine.”

Matt just nodded and walked away, leaving David and Justin alone.

“Your boyfriend is not my biggest fan,” David laughed as soon as they were alone.

“I’m sorry about that. Please don’t take it personally. He’s just very overprotective and under the circumstances; he’s just worried about Matt. They’ve been friends for awhile now and Brian always looks out for his friends,” Justin explained.

David got up and walked over to the doorway, making sure that no one was coming back before turning to Justin. “Look, Justin, I know Matt’s been talking to you about what’s been going on. I promise you, I’d never do anything to hurt him. I just really like him, you know? I’m hoping to be around for a very long time.”

“I know,” Justin said. “And if I thought that knowing that would make Brian feel better, I’d convince Matt to talk to him, but it wouldn’t change things. Brian just has to get to know you better.”

“That’s not going to be easy considering I live in El Paso,” David pointed out.

“Don’t worry about it. Once Matt knows you better, Brian will come around. This weekend will help. And I’ll keep working on him, too.”

“Thanks, Justin, I appreciate it. Getting Matt to admit that there’s something between us isn’t going to be easy. I need as many people as I can get on my side,” David said.

Justin nodded. “Yeah, you’ve got your work cut out for you. If it makes you feel any better, I’m on your side. I hate the thought of my friend spending his life trying to be someone he’s not.”

“It does make me feel better,” David chuckled. “You’re the only one who knows what’s going on aside from me, and everything I say is going to make it look like I’m just trying to get into his pants.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll find a way to get through to him,” Justin assured him, hoping that he was right.

Meanwhile, Matt waited until they were alone in the kitchen before turning to his friend in controlled anger. He knew Brian was worried, but he wasn’t going to allow him to treat David like shit because of it.

“Okay, you want to tell me what that was all about?”

“What?” Brian asked innocently.

Matt wasn’t buying it. “Oh come on, Brian. You know what I’m talking about. What’s your problem with David? I can accept that you’re worried about not knowing him after what happened to Jason last week, but that doesn’t explain why you’re being an ass to him. I invited you guys over here to ease your minds and let you get to know him a little better. Not so you can be rude.”

Brian sighed. “You know he’s gay, right?”

“Yes, I’m aware.”

“And that he’s into you?” Brian continued.

“I’m aware of that, too,” Matt told him.

“That doesn’t bother you?”

“Why should it? Come on, Bri. I’ve spent most of my high school years surrounded by gay people. Why would David being gay matter to me?”

“But he likes you?”

“So…what? If he likes me then that means he obviously can’t be around me without trying to hump my leg?” Matt asked sarcastically. “I’m not exactly sure why you’re so upset by this.”

Brian was getting frustrated. “Have you talked to him? Told him you’re not gay?”

Matt was starting to feel uncomfortable with Brian’s questions. He hated lying to his friend. “Yes, I told him I’m not gay,” he replied honestly.

“Then what is he doing here?”

“Oh my God, will you listen to yourself? You’re gay, right? Are you going to tell me that you don’t have any straight friends that you just hang out with? Cause I know that’s not true. Why is it so hard to believe that David just thinks I’m cool and wants to be friends with me? Justin feels that way, and for some reason, I thought you did, too.”

“Matt, knock it off. You know…”

“Seriously Bri, do you have any idea how hard it’s been on me lately? How hard it was to pick up and move on to a campus where I don’t know anyone? Ask Steve, I’m sure he can tell you how hard it is to move away from everyone you know. After three months, I’m finally starting to make friends and the first one I bring home to meet the people I care about and this is how you react? That’s not fair,” Matt yelled, allowing his anger to grow.

Brian could tell he crossed a line and knew he needed to do something quick. Otherwise, not only would Matt stop talking to him, but he was pretty sure that Justin would, too. “Okay fine, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been rude. There’s just something about him that doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe it’s just this shit with Jason, I don’t know. But seriously, what exactly do you know about this guy?”

Matt gestured to the table for Brian to take a seat and sat down himself. “I don’t really know that much, I guess. But I’ve been to his house twice. It’s a nice place with lots of pictures of him with his friends and family. He’s not living in some abandoned building where he can hide his victims. Bri, we’re eighteen years old and freshmen in college. We’re going to be meeting a lot of people in our lives. We can’t automatically assume everyone we meet is a psychopath because of what happened to Jason. That’s not fair. Just do me a favor and try being nice to him while he’s here. Take this time to get to know him a little bit. I’m sure you’ll see that he’s a nice guy and stop worrying so much. I really want you guys to like him.”

Brian could see how important it was to Matt so he sighed in resignation. “Fine, I’ll be nice and give him a chance.”

“Thank you. That’s all that I ask.”

When Brian went back to the living room, he apologized to David and then took a seat by Justin, happy when his blond kissed him, showing that he wasn’t mad. The four of them sat around munching on snacks and comparing college stories until almost three in the morning. Matt didn’t even have time to stress over sharing a bed with David. He fell asleep the minute his head hit the pillow. It had been a long day.

Because of their late night, Matt wasn’t surprised when he woke up and saw that it was a little after noon. He was a little surprised to find that David was sleeping spooned up against him. It was the first time that Matt had woken up in someone’s arms, and as much as he hated to admit it, it wasn’t a bad feeling. Despite his full bladder, he continued to lie there for another fifteen minutes, enjoying the feeling of having David’s arms around him. Eventually though, his need to relieve himself overruled his comfort and he slowly slipped from the bed. David didn’t seem to notice. He grabbed his phone and then left the room, quietly heading to the bathroom before going downstairs. He wanted to see if there was anything he could make for breakfast and he needed to call his parents. His mother answered the phone right away.

“Hi, honey, how are you?”

“I’m okay. How’s Nana doing?”

“She’s a trooper, that one. She’s trying to demand that the doctor release her today because she wants to go home. I’m not sure if she doesn’t understand how serious her injury is or just doesn’t care. Either way, she’s driving your father crazy.”

Matt laughed as he pictured his eighty-something year old grandmother, who weighed all of 90 pounds, demanding to go home. “She’s a handful, that’s for sure. What is the doctor saying? What’s going to happen next?”

“Well, they’re looking to keep her a few more days and then release her to a rehab where she can have physical therapy while she recovers. Your father is working with the hospital to try and have her placed in a facility by us so that we can be close to her. He hasn’t even mentioned having her move in with us yet. He’s going to wait until she gets settled in rehab for that.”

“Well, make sure you let me know when that conversation is going to happen. I don’t think I want to be in Arizona for that.”

“I’m with you. I think maybe I’ll go stay on campus with you while he talks to her,” she teased. “So, how are things with you? I feel so bad that you drove all the way home for the holiday and we weren’t there for you.”

“It’s fine, Mom. I’m glad you’re there with Nana. She needs you more than I do. Besides, I asked a friend from school to come visit while you guys are gone, so I’m not here alone. He didn’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving. His parents are out of the country or something, so he came here. You don’t mind, right? He’s sleeping in Mark’s room.” The little white lie was justified. David would’ve been sleeping in Mark’s room if Brian and Justin hadn’t come over.

“No, that’s okay. You know your friends are always welcome. I hate you being so far away. I feel like I don’t know anything about your life these days. First your brother goes away to school and now you. I feel like I’m losing both my boys.”

“Mom, you’re not losing either one of us. We’re just growing up. You had to know it was going to happen one day,” Matt laughed.

“I know, it’s just harder than I thought it would be,” she sighed. “But I’m glad you’re settling in and making friends.”

“Yeah, me too. It was really lonely there at the beginning,” Matt admitted. “Well, I’m gonna get going. Brian and Justin spent the night, too so I’m looking for something to make for breakfast.”

“I’ve got extra frozen waffles in the freezer in the garage if you want them. I think there’s also some breakfast sausage out there. I don’t know what you guys are in the mood for. Then again, it is lunchtime, you lazy bum. You could always order pizza.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. We were up really late talking,” Matt chuckled. His mother rarely let him sleep past ten on the days he didn’t have school. She said that it was a crime to miss the whole morning. “So, I’m thinking David and I should be there by around one tomorrow.”

“Oh, you’re going to come up?”

“Of course I am. Mom, you know how close I am with Nana. There’s no way I’d drive all the way back to El Paso without seeing her myself and making sure she’s okay. Give her a kiss for me and tell her I’ll see her tomorrow.”

“Okay, I will, honey. And that will be nice because I’ll get to meet your new friend,” she realized.

“Mom, please don’t be all mommy in front of him. He’s twenty-three and a senior. I don’t want to look like some stupid teenager in front of him,” Matt pleaded.

“Don’t be all mommy? I’m not exactly sure what you mean.”

“Ask Dad, he’ll explain it to you. I’d better go. I’ll see you tomorrow. Love you.”

Matt hung up before his mother could say anything more. He loved his mother dearly, but she had a tendency to baby him and his brother both whenever they were around. It may have been nice when they were little, but the last thing he wanted was to be treated like a child in front of David. It scared him a little to think about David meeting his parents, but he didn’t have a choice. He wasn’t leaving Arizona without seeing his grandmother and he couldn’t leave David home to fend for himself for the day. That would just be rude.

He made his way to the garage and grabbed the waffles and sausage. It sounded like a good breakfast to him. He put the sausage on to cook and then went to the sink to wash the dishes that he’d been too tired to wash from the night before. He never heard anyone enter the kitchen and jumped when he felt arms wrap around him from behind.

“Sorry…I didn’t mean to scare you,” David mumbled in his ear before kissing his neck. “How did you sleep?”

Matt leaned back slightly in David’s arms for a moment and then remembered that they shouldn’t be touching. He turned off the water and jumped out of David’s arms. “Um, okay. How about you? I didn’t hog the covers, did I?”

“No, you were perfect,” David said as he watched Matt look around nervously. “You can relax; I didn’t hear a sound coming from your brother’s room. Brian and Justin are both still in bed. Come here.”


“Okay, so we’re back to the no kissing rule. I got it. Maybe we should have a signal between us so I know the moment I walk into a room,” David teased.

“I’m sorry,” Matt replied sadly. “I’m just so…”

“I know, it’s okay. I’m only teasing. I told you last night that we’re taking your lead, remember? If you’re not comfortable with this right now, I’m okay with that,” David assured him.


“Well, I won’t say that I’m not a bit disappointed. You’re looking really hot in your PJ’s with your bed head,” David laughed. “But it’s fine. What are you making?”

Matt blushed at David’s compliment as he reached up and tried to smooth his hair, but he was thankful for the change in topic. “Waffles and sausage. I called my mother to check on Nana and she told me she had this stuff in the garage.”


“Oh, I mean my grandmother. That’s what we call her.”

“That’s cute. We called my grandmothers Mema and Grams. How’s Nana doing?” David took a seat at the table, content to watch Matt while he cooked.

“She’s doing okay. She seems to think that the doctor’s just going to release her and send her home. My parents are looking into rehabs around here. I told them that we’d be there tomorrow afternoon. You’re still okay with us going, right?”

“Of course I am. Babe, she’s your family. Family comes first. Besides, I’m looking forward to meeting your parents,” David told him.

“Umm…” Matt said nervously as he looked around. “You know you just called me babe, right?”

“I did?” David asked, looking contrite. “Sorry, guess it slipped out. I promise to be more careful.”

Matt just nodded, refusing to admit to himself that he enjoyed the endearment. He turned the sausage, trying to come up with something to say to change the subject. Luckily he didn’t have to worry about it. Brian and Justin suddenly appeared in the doorway, looking a little flushed. It didn’t take a mastermind to know what they had been doing upstairs. Matt had just been subjected to their after sex glow the previous morning. He blushed yet again and turned back to the stove before greeting them.

“Hey, how’d you guys sleep?”

“Really good,” Justin replied. “How about you?”

Matt glanced at Justin, knowing that he was secretly asking how things went sharing a bed with David. “Good. I’m making sausage and waffles. I hope you guys are hungry.”

“I’m starving,” Brian said as he took a seat at the table. “But then we need to get home. I promised Sophia I’d play Barbies with her.”

“Barbies? Um…you seem more like the GI Joe type,” Matt laughed, trying to picture his friend sitting on the floor playing with dolls.

“Oh Matt, Brian has become quite the doll man,” Justin snickered.

“Oh bite me, both of you,” Brian shot back. “You two try looking into those innocent blue eyes and telling her no.”

Justin sobered a little. “He’s got a point. Sophia wraps every person she meets around her little finger within minutes. It’s a gift she uses to her advantage.”

“I know the feeling,” David said, jumping in on the conversation. “My oldest brother has triplet girls. They just turned six and let me tell you, anything they want, they get. And boy do they know how to work Uncle David when they want to.”

Matt looked at him thoughtfully. “Your oldest brother? How many do you have?”

“There are six of us. My oldest brother Dylan is 30. Then there are the twins, Darren and Donovan. They’re 28. Next is my sister Deanna, who’s 26, then Daniel, who’s 24. I’m the baby at 23.”

“Wow, that’s a lot of kids,” Justin said in awe. “I’ve always wanted to have siblings. Especially after my parents were killed. I’d sit alone in my foster home and wish I had someone who knew exactly how I felt, you know? My parents wanted to have at least one more, but there were complications and my mom couldn’t have any more kids.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of cool to have so many of us now that we’re older. It wasn’t much fun when we were young, though. Being the baby of the family, I felt like I had seven parents instead of two. They were always telling me what to do. Well, except for Danny. There’s only 10 months between us so we’re pretty close. When we were young, we used to love the two months out of the year when we were the same age. It made us feel cool like Darren and Donovan. He’d tell people that we were twins and I was just born late,” David laughed at the memory.

“And they’re all okay with you being gay?” Matt asked, intrigued by David’s story.

“Now they are. When I first came out, it was because of Ricky. My parents didn’t tell my brothers and sister because of everything that was going on. Like I said, Ricky and I grew up together. My whole family mourned him. It probably took about six months before we told everyone else. Daniel had the hardest time of it. I think he felt like he should have known because we were so close. He didn’t talk to me for a month. Everyone else seemed to handle it pretty well. Dylan doesn’t really understand. He’s always asking inappropriate questions,” David chuckled. “But he still loves me and that’s all that matters.”

Justin saw that Matt was lost in thought and decided to jump in. “So everything’s okay between you and Daniel now?”

“Yeah, but it took quite awhile. He started talking to me again but it took a long time for him to confide in me again. It broke my heart every time he told me that he just couldn’t trust me. He wasn’t upset that I was gay. He was upset because I hid it from him, from everyone,” David explained before turning to Matt. “Sometimes the truth doesn’t hurt nearly as much as the lies.”

Matt looked at David closely for a moment and then shook off his thoughts and turned back to the stove. “The sausage is just about done. Who’s having waffles?”

“Here, let me help,” Justin offered, jumping up from his chair. He waited until he heard Brian and David resume the conversation before he got close enough to whisper in Matt’s ear. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I think so,” Matt replied softly. “Just a lot to think about, you know? I mean, Mark and I are very close. What if he…I mean…do you think he’ll be mad?”

“Truthfully? I don’t know. It’s hard to know how a person’s going to react to something like this. I do see how it could hurt someone, thinking that you didn’t trust them enough to share your secret. I never told my friends while I was living in Pittsburgh, but my parents knew. Family is different. Maybe you should consider talking to Mark. It’ll probably be easier telling him than your parents and it might help to have some family support,” Justin suggested.

“But what if…if he freaks out and tells my parents, I’m screwed,” Matt pointed out.

“Do you think he’d do that?”

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t think so, but then this isn’t something as stupid as missing curfew,” Matt sighed. “I don’t know what to do. Every time I think I’m getting a handle on this, I just end up more confused.”

“I know,” Justin said, offering sympathy. “But it does get better, I promise.” The conversation stopped there while Matt thought about what his next move should be. It gave Justin the chance to listen to Brian and David. They seemed to be getting along pretty well considering what happened the night before.

“So, what’s your major?” Brian asked David.

“Computer Information Systems.”

“I wish I liked computers more. It’s a good field. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting a job after graduation,” Brian said.

“It is a good field, but I don’t have to worry about a job. I’ve got a place in the family business,” David explained casually. He looked over to where Matt and Justin had been talking and could see the tension dripping off Matt.

“That’s kind of cool, not having to worry about job searching. What’s the company name? Anything we would know?”

“Um…probably not,” David said, cursing under his breath.

“Hey, you’d be surprised. What is it?”

Damn, David hated this part. He refused to lie, but he really didn’t like anyone knowing his family name. “Jackson Technologies.”

“Really?” Brian asked as his brain started spinning. “Yeah, I think I might have heard of them, although like I said. I’m not much of a computer guy.”

Before anything else could be said, breakfast was ready. The four of them sat around the table chatting away while they consumed everything Matt had made. Once they were done and the kitchen was cleaned, Brian and Justin left, promising that they’d be back later for the beer and pizza they had planned the night before.

As soon as they were in the car, Brian turned to Justin. “Do you know who David’s family is?”

“Um, no,” Justin said in confusion. “I barely know David. How would I know who his family is?”

“His family is the Jackson’s, from Jackson Technologies,” Brian exclaimed.

“Okay, and that means…what exactly?”

“Don’t you ever watch the news?”

“No, it’s too depressing,” Justin replied sheepishly. “Who are the Jackson’s and should we be worried? Are they like some mob family that Matt needs to stay away from?”

“Not even close. Donald Jackson is the next Bill Gates. His company is worth millions, maybe even billions,” Brian replied.

“What? Are you sure,” Justin asked, forcing himself to pay attention to where he was going.

“Absolutely. We were talking about school and he said he was getting a degree in Computer Information. When I said that it would be a good career and that he wouldn’t have a problem finding a job, he said that he was going to work in the family business. I asked him who and he seemed to not want to tell me, but then he admitted to it being Jackson Technologies,” Brian explained. “I just saw an article yesterday about how stock prices jumped because of some new program they developed that is supposed to increase internet security by 75%. I can’t believe David is a Jackson.”

“But that would mean…”

“That Matt’s new friend is worth millions,” Brian finished for him.

Justin didn’t know what to say as they reached the house and he pulled into the driveway. They made their way inside and Justin barely acknowledged anyone as he went downstairs and turned on his laptop. As soon as the search engine opened, he typed in Jackson Technologies and began researching the company as well as the Jackson family. It only took ten minutes for him to confirm what Brian had said. Donald Jackson was one of the richest men in America and after seeing a posted picture of the entire family at a cancer benefit the previous year, there was no denying that David was Donald’s youngest son. He couldn’t help but wonder if Matt knew anything about his possible future boyfriend’s wealth. He couldn’t wait to have a chat with his friend later that night.

End of part 8


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