AUTHOR'S NOTE: Don't be sad! They're coming back. You'll see! I love them too much to let them go. Gets a swift kick in the ass from Rio Ow! Hey! Shakes finger You, cut that out! I'm not finished with your stories either. Don't worry. Now, go and bother jma for a while. Rio smiles and flips out of the picture

Anyway, please read and review!


Chapter 40

"What do you mean he was kicked out?" Kevin demanded. His brother had finally gotten hold of him after and his friends got home from their day out at the park. He hadn't expected Brian to call until tomorrow.

They had made a huge picnic to celebrate the basketball championship Jason's team had won, as well as the football trophy Joey and Randy's team earned months earlier. It had been a great sports year for the school. They were also delighted when Eric was suddenly transferred to some private school far, far away, and Kevin's life was just beginning to fall into place.

In fact, he and Jason were celebrating something else. They had both been accepted into Yale with partial scholarships, and Kevin had the money that Brian had saved for him. He also knew that the money he and his brother would get when they sold their childhood home would more than finance the rest.

"He called us from his father's driveway," Brian explained. "Literally. Kev, he was beaten pretty bad, too."


"Who was beaten!?" Joey growled from his place on the couch beside his girlfriend. He had been watching Randy and Lee play a video game when he heard Kevin raise his voice.

"Trent," Kevin called over uncertainly, and with good reason.

Joey's eyes transformed into slits of molten rock as he stood up suddenly and grabbed his keys.

"No, wait!" Kevin yelped before he could leave. "Brian says he's there with him."

Joey contemplated this for a second before putting his hand out for the phone.

"What's going on?" Jason asked as he and Ryan came back into the room from retrieving sodas and chips for their friends.

"Trent's father kicked him out of his house," Kevin replied, handing the phone to Joey. "I think he hurt him, too. Brian said it looked bad."

"Tell him I'll be right there," Joey said into the phone. He then listened for a moment. "No, tell Matt's dad it's okay. I want to."

There was more silence as everyone in the room shifted their attention from whatever they were doing to find out what was going on.

"No, I don't need to speak to …" Joey sighed in frustration and waited. "Yes, Mr. Henshaw." He looked at Kevin and mouthed, "Cody."

Kevin nodded and smiled a bit. Matt's stepdad was always so nice to him when he went over there to visit Brian when he was in town. He liked the quiet man a lot.

"No, I want to take care of him," Joey protested suddenly. "But I've known him forever." He looked at the others in exasperation and Jason, though concerned about Trent's condition, tried to hide a grin at watching his large friend reduced to a whining kid. "But …" Joey was losing this argument and badly. "Fine. I suppose you can take care of him. Would it be all right if I visit him tomorrow then?" More silence, followed by, "Thank you. I'll put Kev back on."

Joey handed the phone back to Kevin then resumed his seat next to his girlfriend and pouted.

"Hi, Cody," Kevin said through a grin. "How is Trent? We're all worried!"

"He's fine now. Grant took him to the emergency room and got him all patched up," the normally quiet man said excitedly. "He'll be staying here with us."

"To recover."

"Oh, no," Cody laughed. "From now on."

"Uh," Kevin murmured. "Um …"

"Oh, yes," Cody confirmed. "I've adopted him. There's no way I'm letting that slimebag who calls himself a father to get away with what he did and make Trent leave Harvard. No. He's my kid now."

Kevin was stunned into silence. Cody never seemed to get so riled up before. Normally, the man was as calm and serene as can be. But this time was different. This man on the phone was determined and angry. Very, very angry.

"How bad was he beaten?"

"Really badly, from what I saw," the man sighed into the phone. "Grant said he didn't actually have a concussion, but his father hit him over the top of the head with a garden spade. Do you know how heavy one of those is?"

Kevin shuddered and leaned into Jason. He didn't know how a shovel felt, but he did remember what it was like to have an old road sign smashed into his skull. Just the memory gave him chills. Jason's arms wrapped around him from behind and he felt a small kiss placed on the back of his head. For the millionth time that week he'd thanked whatever had intervened and kept him from leaving Jason that day.

"I can relate," he finally answered Cody vaguely.

"Yes," the man replied. "I know all too well that you can."

"Hmm?" What had Brian told him? He was going to have to talk to his brother about keeping secrets.

"Matt told me," Cody said sternly. "He also confessed about the various things he and Ryan had done to Brian."

"That's in the past," Kevin said quickly, defending his brother's lover. "Things have been settled."

"Oh, I know," Cody replied brightly. "Everything's settled."

Why did Kevin suddenly feel like he'd fallen into a hole in the ground? All he needed now was a running rabbit who talked and his nightmare would be complete.

"Um, huh?"

"It's all settled."

"Okay," Kevin said slowly, as if he was talking to an inpatient in the psychiatric ward. "Well, can you tell Brian we'll be over tomorrow to visit him and Trent?"

"Okay. Then we can really talk. But make sure you remind Joseph that Trent isn't leaving with him."

"I will," Kevin laughed. "Thanks, Cody."

He hung up the phone and faced his friends, who were all staring at him inquisitively. He sighed and relayed what he'd learned, while Joey muttered under his breath … something about ramming Trent's father's head through a wall. They talked for a little while before deciding to head off home, since they all had plans the next day.

Ryan and Lee were heading off to California the next day to introduce Lee to Ryan's family. Kevin knew Lee was nervous, but Ryan had secretly told him that this was the best way he knew how to make Lee see that they weren't "casual" in Ryan's eyes. The smaller boy's doubts were still keeping them in check and Ryan wanted to make their relationship serious.

Randy and Marly were going to be starting their summer jobs as camp counselors nearby and Cindy was slated to start at the nursing home as an aide. Joey was bound and determined to go with Kevin and Jason to assess Trent's situation for himself.


As always, especially since their argument, Jason had carefully and reverently made love to Kevin before spooning him from behind to hold him all night. Jason didn't know it, but Kevin reveled in this position. He loved having his lover's arms wrapped securely around him at night. It made the bad dreams go away.

That was why he'd always wrapped himself around Jason before. He didn't want to seem needy, but it was really the only way he could get a good night's sleep. He'd always waited until Jason's breathing had evened out then very stealthily draped himself around him. He'd always apologized when Jason awoke to find them entwined like that, not wanting to annoy him. But Jason had never said he'd minded.

"You still awake?" Jason asked sleepily.


"What are you thinking about?"

Kevin smiled and pushed his ass back against Jason's front, delighting in the small gasp he heard. He loved knowing he could affect Jason as much as the other affected him. He truly loved this boy and he knew Jason loved him as much. That gave him hope that his future would never resemble his past again. Jason had proven he was more than willing to fight for him, and Kevin never wanted to see that look of despair on his love's face again.

"Just feeling thankful," Kevin finally replied.

"Thankful?" Jason laughed. "For what, baby?"

Kevin turned in Jason's arms so he could see him. Jason's eyes shone in the darkness, from the small slit of streetlight that filtered in through the blinds. He looked tousled and sleepy, and absolutely delicious.

"For you."

Moisture began to form in Jason's eyes as he reached a finger up to gently trace Kevin's beautiful face.

"Oh, I think I'm more thankful for you," he whispered. He leaned in and softly touched their lips together in a slow and loving kiss that took Kevin's breath away. When he pulled back he sighed happily and pushed some long blonde strands over his lover's shoulder. "Why are you thinking about it now though?"

"I don't know," the blonde shrugged. "Trent, maybe."

"Mmmm, I see," Jason nodded understandingly. "Well, don't be so sad, Princess."

For once, Kevin smiled lovingly at hearing the pet name. "Oh no?" Jason shook his head. "Why not?"

"Because his story's not over yet," the dark haired boy grinned, rolling Kevin onto his back and covering him with his own larger frame. Kevin sighed and reached up for him as Jason leaned in to capture his lips again before adding, "And neither is ours."