**Before you begin, I must warn you this story involves the primary pairing of a boyXboy. If you do not support such an action, there is a back button on your browser, please use it. Don't waste your time or mine by informing me how disgusting/immoral/whatever you negatively think of it; you don't have to read this.

If you purposefully chose this story to read, knowing the boyXboy pairing, I encourage you to read on.**

Chapter 01

Atticus

-Typical American family: a mom, a dad, 2.4 kids (seriously why .4? Do you get to pick what 40% of a kid you want?), a dog, a two-story house, and a white picket fence. Yada. Yada. Yada.

The annoying sound of that forsaken alarm clock cuts through the peaceful sleeping atmosphere of my room. I groan and throw my pillow over my head. It can't be six AM yet. I had just gotten to sleep three hours ago.

I peak over at the offending clock, raising my pillow just enough to allow my right eye to see it, and read the numbers 6:04. I guess that's why we shouldn't have a Rook playoff on a school night. Dang Jaxon; it was his idea. Dang Sienna; she kicked mine and Jaxon's butts with barely the help of Aunt Julie.

Speaking of Aunt Julie, she is now opening my door.

"Atticus, come on, get up."

Atticus? Seriously what parent would name their kid Atticus? Oh yeah, that's right: mine. Of course, my hard feelings over my name against my parents don't last long. They were killed a few weeks after my birth in a car accident. An eighteen wheeler slammed into their car as they were on their way to their first dinner alone since I was born. They never made it, and I was sent to live with my great aunt Julie (who would prefer I leave off the word "great") and my great uncle RJ.

"Atticus?"

Aunt Julie has turned off the alarm clock and has crossed my room by this time (and is probably thankful my room isn't nearly as messy as Jaxon's.) She pulls back my covers and starts to tug at my pillow. I hold on, not realizing I am soon to be ganged up on. Icy cold water splashes on my back and drenches my pajamas and bedding.

I scream and jump up to where I'm standing on my bed. Uncle RJ's laughter meets my ears long before my eyes snap to him.

He's innocently holding a large glass, his aged face transforming into his signature amused expression, as the light from the hallway bounces off his silvery white hair. Laughter dances behind his mellow blue eyes, mimicking the sound escaping his lips.

It's the same routine every morning. I refuse to listen to that alarm clock (I often wonder why I bother setting it in the first place) and Aunt Julie and Uncle RJ take drastic measures to wake me up. Yesterday morning, they dragged my entire mattress with me still on it to the edge of the stairs before pushing me down them. I've done that countless times on my own accord as a kid, with Sienna and Jaxon at my side. It was a lot of fun then, but sliding down stairs on a mattress in my sleep is the complete opposite of fun.

"Is it safe to say you're awake now?" Aunt Julie asks.

I try to shoot her an angry glare, but all I manage is a tolerant amused one. I can't bring myself to be mad at her. Aunt Julie is the nicest lady I've ever known. I know that I remind her painfully of her dead sister and of my parents, but she's never faulted me for it. I guess that's because Aunt Julie looks more like my grandmother than I do, especially now. She just dyed her hair again last night, fighting off the signs of her age and trying to keep the youthfulness she knew my grandmother died with. Her blue eyes sweep across me with intensity I've only known one other person to possess.

"Yeah, I'm up," I assure them.

Aunt Julie's intense eyes soften slightly in humor.

"Well, you'd better get your second shower before breakfast," she tells me. "You don't want to give Jaxon a chance to get his fill before you do."

Aunt Julie and Uncle RJ exit my room, Uncle RJ flicking the remaining droplets of water at me as he leaves. Aunt Julie flips on my light just before she shuts the door.

I leave my sheet and quilt pulled back as Aunt Julie had left them; I know they'll dry quicker that way. I grab a pair of clean boxers and make my way to the bathroom across the hall. Shutting and locking the door (leaving the bathroom door unlocked in the house I live in isn't the greatest of ideas—that's just asking for trouble), I find myself staring at my reflection in the mirror.

My sandy blond hair, flyaway at normal, is sticking up in every direction, and there is a sleep line from my pillow that ran the length of my jaw. Bags are under my bluish gray eyes from the lack of sleep I received last night. There's a little bit of stubble on my chin that I'm getting ready to shave off; either Aunt Julie or Aunt Carrie would have a fit if I tried to leave the house without looking neat and clean-shaven. I flex my biceps and am rewarded with the recognition of definition. It's about time; I've been working out every day for the past three weeks with Jaxon at the gym in preparation for baseball season in a couple of months. I'm not a scrawny person, or at least I like to think I'm not, but I'm not the tallest person around. My legs are long enough to benefit me in baseball, but anyone could tell I'm not an avid runner. I prefer the more hands-on sports to the solo ones, which is also why I could never play golf (no matter how many times Uncle Al tries to get me to.)

Assuming I've spent enough time staring at myself in the mirror, which I would never admit to Sienna to doing, I begin to strip off my clothing. I pull down a towel from the rack, place it on the closed toilet seat, and turn on the water to the shower. It gets hot quickly, as it almost always does, and I step under the spray.

I emerge from the shower some fifteen minutes later and quickly dress in brown dress shoes, a pair of jeans, and a button down red flannel shirt. Uncle RJ constantly tells me to wear shirts like that to attract the attentions of the ladies, and although he's more than right, it's not the ladies I'm interested in. He doesn't know that, and I don't want to tell him—or anyone in my family for that matter. They mean the world to me, and there's no way I want to having a falling out with them or hate me.

As I make my way down the hallway, I pass the spare bedroom located beside my room and the upstairs den that is connected with Aunt Carrie and Uncle Al's half of the duplex. It's a weird arrangement, I'll admit, but I'm quite fond of it. See, the house was built as a duplex, and even I still consider it one, but when Uncle RJ and Aunt Julie took me in after my parent's deaths, they knew they needed a bigger place than their one bedroom apartment. That led them to finding the perfect place: this duplex. They didn't want the other half of the duplex to be inhabited by complete strangers; that would have made it a very uncomfortable lifestyle. Around that time, Aunt Carrie became pregnant with Jaxon, and the growing family of three also needed a bigger place. Uncle RJ proposed to Uncle Al to go in together and buy the duplex so they did.

For a while, the duplex was a place where two separate houses were located; however, when Sienna, Jaxon, and I were of the age that children want to play together all the time, it became a hassle to have to go outside just to get to the other house. As a result, Uncle RJ and Uncle Al tore down most walls in between the two sections of the duplex.

I tackle the stairs and watch the picture slideshow of Uncle RJ and Aunt Julie's life together that includes random pictures of their siblings and their biological children and grandchildren and myself. I've never asked them to include me in their family photos; they've just always done that. Every Christmas, Uncle RJ and Aunt Julie's kids and grandkids get together to take a family photo, and I'm always included. It means the world to me that they include me in the picture; they're the only family I've ever known.

The smell of frying bacon and baking biscuits immediately meets my nose as I come to the first floor landing. I'm standing in front of the double front doors. To my right is the red and gold decorated formal living area, which used to be Aunt Carrie and Uncle Al's family room before the wall got knocked down, and to my left is the living room decked out in blue and black décor. It's empty as it normally is in the morning times. The adults are either in the kitchen fixing breakfast or upstairs trying to get us kids up, and the kids are either in the kitchen under everyone's feet or pretending to be awake for the adults' benefits.

I proceed to my left and pass through the living room and enter the breakfast area of the kitchen through the white swinging door. A white table that sits eight people in located right in front of me. Uncle RJ is sitting in his usual seat at the end. He's nursing a cup of sweetened coffee and reading the morning newspaper.

I glance to my left. Aunt Julie is at the stove stirring the gravy while Aunt Carrie is digging in the cabinet for plates. She glances over her shoulder at my entrance and motions for me to help her. I almost curse the fact that neither Sienna nor Jaxon is up yet; they would be the ones helping their mother and I would be the one sneaking the comic section of the newspaper from Uncle RJ.

I don't complain verbally, though. It's nothing to set the table.

I walk over and pick up the mismatched plates. It's second nature for Aunt Carrie to pick the exact plates that aren't the same color yet they still match. She instructs me to give Uncle RJ a red plate that matches his red coffee cup. I nod my head, thankful my back is to her so she misses my eye roll.

Aunt Carrie has never been in the running to be the sanest person in the world, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. She's not mentally unstable or anything like that, but she's not the typical adult woman. She's eccentric, to say the least, and it is very noticeable by just looking at her. Her hair is rich auburn in color and cut in a pixie style, and her eyes are a deep shade of brown. She prefers to wear bright clothing that reflects her personality, and this morning she's chosen to wear a pair of blue dress pants and a bright yellow dress top. It's a good thing she owns her own business, a successful line of clothing stores, or she would never be able to wear that to a typical job.

I finish setting the table and return to the counter where Aunt Carrie had proceeded to lay the cups down. I take them to the table, placing the correct cup in front of the matching colored plate. I take my green cup back to the counter and poured some coffee into it. Like Aunt Julie, and unlike Uncle RJ, I preferred my coffee black.

I take my place at the table in my normal seat to Uncle RJ's right when my cousins and uncle walk into the kitchen through the other door than I had used.

Uncle Al is in the lead, his dark hair neatly combed to his head. He glances around the kitchen with his deep blue eyes before walking over and placing a kiss on Aunt Carrie's cheek. If Aunt Carrie is eccentric, Uncle Al is down-to-earth. He completely balances her out, and even sometimes picks up on her eccentricity. After kissing his wife, he grabs his black coffee cup from the table and goes to fill it with coffee. He returns and sits down opposite of Uncle RJ, at the other head of the table. Uncle RJ hands him a section of the newspaper he had already read.

"You'll find the article on page three interesting."

I glance at the section Uncle RJ had passed him. It is the financial section; the section everyone in the house thinks is boring except my banking-loving uncles. Uncle RJ retired from the banking industry around three years ago, but he still likes to check up on things. When he stepped down from the bank's president, Uncle Al took his place.

I guess I should probably explain a couple of things. Uncle RJ is, as I have previously stated, my great uncle. He married my grandmother's sister, Aunt Julie. Uncle Al is my Dad's brother; therefore, he is technically Uncle RJ and Aunt Julie's nephew. He married Aunt Carrie about a year after my parents wed, and they have two kids, Sienna and Jaxon, who are, obviously, my first cousins.

Anyway, Jaxon sits down beside me with Sienna in front of him. Those two look like the spitting images of their parents. Jaxon's got dark hair, that he keeps safely long, and rich blue eyes. He's got the build of a baseball player like me. Sienna, on the other hand, has long auburn hair, chocolate brown almond shaped eyes, and the body of a cheerleader. She's beautiful, no doubt about it, and if I wasn't gay or related to her, I would be one of those guys fighting for her attention.

"So, Cal texted me this morning," Sienna says to me, "and guess who didn't do his part of the project for physics?"

"Callaway Peters?"

"How did you ever guess?"

I shrug, but neither of us is surprised that Cal hasn't finish his part of their physics projects. I mean, Cal's my best friend and Sienna's, but sometimes he gets too caught up in other things to think about school work. When I say sometimes, I mean, well, most of the time.

"Speaking of Cal," Jaxon draws our attention to himself, "Seth's finally got his car fixed."

Normally the statement, "Speaking of Cal," would have nothing to do with Seth. Sure we're all friends, but Cal and Seth are two completely different people. Cal's a hardhead and sometimes the word 'jerk' doesn't do him justice. Seth, on the other hand, is laid back and enjoys a wild party every once in a while… OK, so he enjoys a wild party a little too much and that's what draws Cal and him together. (I don't mean together in a gay way. I just mean as friends.) Either way, Seth is definitely not the typical road-raged driver… unless he's drunk off his rear end, which he happened to be a month and half ago. That resulted in him misreading the letters D and R, earning himself a not-so-pretty dent in the front of his truck. He was then forced to carpool with Cal to school.

Now that I really think about it, though, those two are so different they're eerily similar. That statement sounds weird, I know, but it's perfectly applicable to Cal and Seth.

"It's about time," Sienna replies. "I thought that boy was going to go stir crazy. He hasn't been to a party in like three weeks."

"I thought he went to one last weekend?"

Sienna shakes her head. I guess I was wrong.

"He went out of town with his brother."

So I wasn't wrong.

"And you know what that spells? P-A-R-T-Y."

Sienna laughs and rolls her eyes.

"You're probably right."

"I shouldn't assume you three have been P-A-R-T-Y-I-N-G lately, should I?" Aunt Julie interjects.

Have I mentioned Aunt Julie is the voice of reason in our house? Between her and Uncle Al, the craziness within the walls of the building is confined to a nine out of ten, and that's certainly saying something.

The three of us shake our heads innocently. Depending on how you string the word lately, we aren't lying. The last party any of us have been to was a week and a half ago. That isn't counting my weekly gay club trips, by the way, and mostly because no one else knows about them.

If Aunt Julie was going to proceed with her questioning, she did not. Instead, she and Aunt Carrie finish sitting the breakfast table and we said Grace.

I know what you're thinking. A gay guy saying Grace and believing in it—I should be struck down by lightening from the Creator above. But that's all stereotypical crap. There's no way the great Lord above could be homophobic. Plus, I refuse to give up on my beliefs just because someone says that my 'kind' isn't accepted. How the freak can they tell me I can't believe? I mean, seriously people. Let me live my life.

Speaking living my life, Aunt Carrie is reaching around Jaxon to shove a bowl of scrambled eggs in my face. (Jaxon's not a fan of any type of egg unless it's in macaroni salad.) She apparently hasn't realized I've been lost in my thoughts and almost completely oblivious to my surroundings. I grab the bowl a fraction of a second before she lets go of it. I swear if Aunt Carrie was any more scattered brained, we'd be picking up pieces of it all around the house.

The breakfast conversation revolves around the usual sports-talk, politics, and the latest Stock Market numbers. Jaxon, Sienna, and I only participate in the first subject, and thankfully it is time to leave for school before Uncle Al and Uncle RJ could get too far into the last subject.

I grab my books from the end table in the living room and followed Sienna out to my SUV, dodging Aunt Carrie's attempt to kiss me on the cheek with her cherry red lipstick-stained lips. Sienna's old enough to drive, as she's barely a month younger than me, but she rarely drives her precious car to school, and Jaxon… well the day he's old enough to drive is the day Uncle Al considers early retirement just to stay of the roads.

The moment we're all in my vehicle, with Sienna in the passenger's seat, the radio is changed from the morning talk show to some oldies rock only Sienna can appreciate. I laugh at Jaxon's audible groan from the backseat and try not to mimic his response.

I pull out of the circle driveway, leaving behind our Victorian-style duplex, and can only hope that today will bring something interesting or else we shall all die of boredom at that freakin' school.


A/N: Here's chapter one. This story will alternate between POV's; I'll state whose it is at the beginning of each chapter. I hope you enjoyed it, and please review.