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boardman
6 hours ago, Motobrosub said:

This is who I picture Seth to look like

BF911EE2-5B11-4562-AB1E-ED3064F451C8.jpeg.d1a7b38dc9326849c872e89967d98b39.jpeg

and Erik

A3C06A30-9677-4AD0-B9D9-DB8287175D99.thumb.jpeg.15ef9de3f7d162695366b41f2780a61d.jpeg

least in my head 

Yes love those !  I imagine Seth huge like that 

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Chapter 11 Rudy and Amy pulled back from their kiss. Amy was looking up into Rudy's eyes and saw him looking back at her, the desire obvious in his eyes. "Wow." Amy said, letting out her bre

Chapter 9 "Well here we are." Eric said, as he pulled into the parking lot at San Diego University, and shut off the engine. Seth, who had his cowboy hat, sitting, in his lap, glanced over a

Hey guys, here's the first chapter of the new story I'm writing. Since it's not a story already finished or anything, the chapters will be released as I go. Im sure the story will have it's flaws

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Shawn1978
On 3/18/2021 at 12:28 AM, Motobrosub said:

This is who I picture Seth to look like

BF911EE2-5B11-4562-AB1E-ED3064F451C8.jpeg.d1a7b38dc9326849c872e89967d98b39.jpeg

and Erik

A3C06A30-9677-4AD0-B9D9-DB8287175D99.thumb.jpeg.15ef9de3f7d162695366b41f2780a61d.jpeg

least in my head 

OMG! That huge guy is almost exactly how I picture Seth in my mind! The biceps look bigger than 20 inches though. Bit his shirt he's wearing is the exact color I mentioned in the Chapter where Seth and Eric meet again, at the farm, when he goes to inquire about the farmer helper job.

The bottom stud could be Eric after a bit more growth, which, if the story goes according to plan, he could be doing along with Seth when he starts bulking up again to gain 25 extra pounds of muscle to hit 250.

But that top bodybuilder?! 98% Seth! The closest looking to him, yet!

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Shawn1978
On 3/18/2021 at 6:59 AM, boardman said:

Yes love those !  I imagine Seth huge like that 

Yes, but why does something about that huge guy scream "Chad Ray Martin" to me? He kind of looks like him too.

Also, an update to all readers: I plan to have the next chapter of Eric and Seth, posted by tonight. It's almost finished and will be a very long chapter.

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Supbrah1717

I'm already repeatedly refreshing the page just so I could read it 😂😂😂 can't wait omg

What's your timezone, Shawn? So I'll know exactly where to approximate my excitement lols

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Sjdmuscle
8 hours ago, Supbrah1717 said:

I'm already repeatedly refreshing the page just so I could read it 😂😂😂 can't wait omg

What's your timezone, Shawn? So I'll know exactly where to approximate my excitement lols

He's the Eastern Standard Time

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Shawn1978

Hey, Everyone! So sorry for the long wait. I promised to post the newest chapter days ago, but it didn't work out like I'd planned. I've now finished it and hope you all enjoy it! It's a very long chapter.

 

Chapter 28

 

It seemed like time had stood still, in the kitchen of the Lombardo farmhouse, as Rudy stood there, speechless, trying to process everything that Seth had just told him.

 

Seth looked at Rudy's shocked expression and continued talking to him.

 

"I know that this must come as a very big shock to you, Rudy." He said, quietly. "But, I can't deny my feelings anymore. Eric is the first guy I've ever had feelings for."

 

Rudy, still shocked, finally managed to find his voice, again.

 

"Well, to say that I'm shocked would be an understatement." Rudy said, looking at Seth. "How long have you known that you've liked men, Seth?"

 

Seth shrugged.

 

"I don't know." He said. "A couple days, I think. I realized it, the day I had the wrestling match at the University, with Joey Sloane. That's where I kissed Eric for the very first time, in his dorm room."

 

Rudy grew silent, for a moment, as he thought about Amy and wondering if she knew about this. He decided to bring this up, since he knew how close Eric and Amy were. He looked over at Eric.

 

"Does Amy know about this?" He asked, eyeing Eric closely.

 

Eric, after a slight hesitation, nodded his head.

 

"Yes, she does."

 

Rudy scoffed, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. Not only was he feeling angry that Amy knew about the two of them, but he was also feeling hurt because she hadn't said a word to him about it.

 

"She never said a word to me, about this." Rudy said, the hurt obvious in his tone of voice.

 

Eric frowned.

 

"Why would she?" He asked, outloud. "It wasn't anyone else's business."

 

"The hell it isn't!"

 

Rudy was really mad now, as he glared at Eric.

 

"You come into our lives and turn Seth's life upside down, and you're gonna stand there and tell me that this is none of my business?!" He shouted at Eric. "I'm like family to Seth! I had a right to know!"

 

"Come on, Rudy!" Seth exclaimed, trying to be the peacemaker in this situation. "Chill out, brother!"

 

Rudy turned away from the two of them, and leaned over the sink, again, looking out the window, his jaw clenched. After a second, he spoke, again.

 

"Do you know what the worst thing about this is, Seth?" Rudy asked.

 

"What?" Seth asked, now curious to know. Rudy turned back, towards him.

 

"You were able to trust Amy, with the truth." Rudy said, sadly. "But, not me. And I've known you much longer than either Eric or Amy, have. And that really hurts."

 

Seth, now felt rotten, for not telling Rudy about his feelings for Eric, sooner. He wondered what this would mean for his friendship with Rudy.

 

"I'm sorry, man." Seth said, shaking his head, now looking emotional. "I didn't know how you were going to react. And given how you just reacted to finding out about me and Eric just proves to me that Eric was right. That you're homophobic, after all."

 

Rudy shook his head.


"Really, Seth?" Rudy asked, looking disappointed. "I've been around many of your gay friends, in the past, and have never had a problem with any of them. So, if you really think I'm homophobic, then you really don't know me, at all."

 

"Then, why are you coming down on Eric so hard?" Seth asked him. "How is he any different than any of my other gay friends?"

 

Rudy sighed.

 

"Because he did what none of your other gay friends have been able to do." Rudy said, sadly. "He turned you from straight to bisexual in a matter of two days."

 

Eric's eyes widened, in shock. He couldn't believe how Rudy was painting him out to be.

 

"That is not true!" He said, feeling offended by Rudy's opinion of him. "That's not what really happened."

 

"Well then, enlighten me, Eric." Rudy said,. crossing his arms over his chest. "Because, I'd really like to hear it."

 

Eric looked over at Seth ,and, bringing a hand up to his shoulder, squeezed it, while looking up into Seth's eyes.

 

"You need to hear this, from me, too." Eric said to him. Seth nodded.

 

"Go ahead." He replied. "I'm listening."

 

Eric turned back to Rudy.

 

"When I met Seth, Rudy, it was at the Whole Foods market. I was there to pick up some snacks for me and Amy to eat, since we were both going for a workout at the gym. So when I had everything I needed, I turned to head to the checkout counter and someone bumped into me. When I bent down to pick up my things, Seth bent down to help me and that's when our hands touched, and when I looked up at him, that's when I saw him for the very first time."

 

Eric turned to look at Seth, and saw him, smiling back at him, both of them remembering that first encounter.

 

Eric continued talking.

 

"When I first laid my eyes on him, he took my breath away. I thought he was the most gorgeous man I'd ever laid my eyes on. We shook hands and introduced ourselves to each other, but we didn't get to chat long, because I was meeting Amy at the gym, so we said our goodbyes and parted ways. After that, I didn't think that I'd ever see Seth again, so when I talked to Amy about him, I couldn't help but gush about him. How handsome he was and how huge his muscles were. Amy asked me, then if Seth was gay and if I'd gotten his number. I said that I didn't know and that I hadn't.

 

Later that day, I came across the ad for a Farmers Helper in the newspaper, and called the number listed and talked to Deborah, who gave me directions to the farm to be interviewed for the job. So imagine my surprise when I got here, and met Deborah and she told me that her son, Seth Lombardo, would interview me, for the job. When, I heard the name "Seth" my heart started racing with excitement, but I was afraid to get my hopes up, because, I thought it could have been another Seth, altogether. So, when I came out to the barn and saw Seth, feeding the horses, and saw his white cowboy hat, tight jeans and that shirt he wore, hanging over a fence post, I knew he was the same guy I met at Whole Foods market. I never expected to see him, again. And I didn't know that this was Seth's family farm when I answered the ad, in the paper."

 

"Ok, so that's how you and Seth met." Rudy said. "But I'm more interested to know how, all of a sudden Seth goes from straight to gay, in only a matter of a few days."

 

"Not gay, Rudy." Seth chimed in. "I'm Bi."

 

"Whatever." Rudy said, rather dismissively. "Go on, Eric."

 

"Well," Eric said, thinking about the first day he had dinner at the farm. "I didn't know what Seth's sexuality was, and at the time, I didn't want to come out and ask him, because, the job was my sole focus, at that time. And I didn't want to put Seth, on the spot, like that, and risk losing the job or a good possible friend, in the process. So, I took time to get to know him. I was fully prepared to accept the reality that Seth was straight and that he was going to be my boss, training me, for the job." So, after he interviewed me and had me stack some bales of hay, to test my physical strength, I got the job. After that, Deborah invited me to have dinner with her and Seth. At first I refused, not wanting to impose, but Seth insisted that I stay, so I did. Then, after dinner, later that evening, Seth walked, with me, out to my car, and we had this moment between us."

 

Eric looked at Seth, again, and smiled as he remembered the look on Seth's face that night.

 

"We had this connection, at that moment. And the way Seth was looking at me, I just had the feeling that he'd wanted to kiss me, that night. Our eyes locked on each other, but before anything else happened, Seth stepped back and cleared his throat, and that charged moment, between us, was gone."

 

Seth looked Eric, in the eyes, and smiled back at him.

 

"That's when I realized that I felt something for you, that night." Seth admitted to him. "I just wasn't sure what it was that I was feeling, at the time."

 

Eric nodded, then turned back to Rudy.

 

"And after that night, Neither one of us could forget that moment, between us. We were both trying to make sense of it. I already knew that I was attracted to Seth, but I didn't know what his feelings were for me until after he won the wrestling match, with Joey Sloane. After, I confessed, to Seth, my feelings for him, I asked him, point blank what his sexuality was. And he told me that he was straight."

 

Rudy then threw out his hands in a "I told you so" kind of gesture.

 

"What did I tell you?!" Rudy said to him. "He told you that he was straight."

 

"Yeah, I did." Seth chimed in, again, then added. "But then I told him I always thought that I was...until I met him. And that's when I realized that I had genuine feelings for Eric. Feelings that I've never had with another man, before. And that's when I kissed him, for the first time."

 

Rudy frowned, as he got quiet, for a moment, trying to process everything Eric and Seth had told him. He still couldn't get over the fact that Seth, the young man he'd known since he was a young 10 year old boy, was now interested in men. The same young boy who'd had girls fawning all over him, as a 16 year old teenager all the way up to adulthood.

 

Rudy looked at Seth, not sure how he should react. But then, he had another question for him.

 

"So, how long has this been going on, between you two?" He asked, out loud.

 

"Not long." Seth said to him. "Like I said, it's only been a few days since we met."

 

Rudy nodded.

 

"And you are sure that this is what you want, Seth?" He asked. "To be in a relationship with Eric?"

 

"Yes." Seth said, putting an arm around Eric's shoulders. "I love him, Rudy. And I want to be with him."

 

Seth smiled at Eric, and Eric's smile mirrored his. Anyone who saw the two of them, like that, would know from the looks on their faces how much in love, Eric and Seth were with each other.

 

"And you are happy, Seth?" Rudy asked him, wanting to know it for sure.

 

Seth's smile just lit up his face. That was all Rudy needed to see to realize that Seth was very happy.

 

"I sure am, Brother!" Seth said, as he hugged Eric into him. "I'm happier than I have ever been, before."

 

Rudy's face softened and, slowly, a smile appeared on his face.

 

"Well then, I'm happy for you, too, Seth." Rudy said, finally. "I might not understand this, right now. But, seeing that smile on your face, how can I not be happy for you?"

 

Both Seth and Eric were shocked at Rudy's reaction to their relationship. He seemed to be taking it better then they thought he would.

 

"So, you're still my friend, Rudy?" Seth asked him, almost afraid to hope for it.

 

"I always was, Seth." Rudy said, then smiled, warmly. "And, I still am, now."

 

Seth let out a breath he hadn't been aware that he'd been holding in. And then, he stepped forward and grabbed Rudy into a strong hug.

 

"Thank God." Seth said, hugging Rudy tightly. "I didn't know what I was going to do if I'd lost your friendship, forever."

 

Rudy, hugged Seth back, just as tightly.

 

"That will never happen, Brother." Rudy told him. "We're family."

 

Eric stood there, watching them hug, smiling, as a tear ran down his face. He was overjoyed that Rudy had now accepted Seth's sexuality, and their relationship. But he also had to bring up Amy again.

 

"Rudy, I hope you won't be too hard on Amy for keeping the truth from you." Eric said. "She wasn't thrilled about it, but Seth and I asked her to keep it to herself until Seth was able to tell you, himself."

 

Rudy pulled back from his hug with Seth, and he looked at Eric.

 

"Don't worry, Eric, I won't be hard on her." Rudy told him. "I understand the position that she was put in. I can't deny that I'm still a bit hurt that she didn't trust me, enough, to tell me, but I'll deal with it. The last thing I want to do, is lose Amy. She really means a lot to me."

 

"Cool." Eric replied back.

 

Just then, Rudy's phone started ringing. He picked it up and looked at it. He then looked up at Eric and Seth.

 

"It's Amy calling." He said, before he answered the phone. "Hi, Amy!"

 

"Hi, yourself, Handsome!" Amy replied. "What are you doing, right now?"

 

"Oh, I'm just, here, in the kitchen, talking to Seth and Eric, right now."

 

Amy looked concerned at that moment. She didn't know that Eric had gone back to the farm.

 

"Eric's there?!" She asked, worriedly. "Is he ok?"

 

"Yeah, he's fine." Rudy said to her. "Are you still at the University?"

 

"Yeah." Amy said, as she was sitting at her desk, trying to focus on one of her homework assignments. "I'm trying to do some homework, in my dorm room, here, but I'm having a hard time, concentrating, because I'm so worried about Eric, and I could use the distraction."

 

"Say no more." Rudy said, looking over at Seth and Eric, smiling. "I'll swing by the University and pick you up. We have a lot that we need to talk about."

 

"Awesome." Amy said. "I'll be waiting for you, outside the University."

 

"See you soon, Babe." Rudy told her. "Bye."

 

He ended his call and put his phone back in his pocket.

 

"Well, I've gotta go and pick up Amy from the University." Rudy said to him. "We do need to talk, considering how we left things before."

 

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that, Rudy." Eric said to him. "Now that you know about Seth and I, everything will make sense to you about why I bolted, after you ran into the barn, earlier, to take care of whatever Eli was freaking out about, in there."

 

"Yeah, it does." Rudy replied, then said. "Don't worry about it now, Eric, it's ok."

 

Concerned, after hearing about Eli, Seth looked at Rudy.

 

"Rudy, is Eli alright?" Seth asked him. "What freaked him out, this time?"

 

Rudy looked over at Seth, smiling.

 

"Yeah, he's ok. I set up that mouse trap for you, earlier today that you wanted." Rudy pointed out, then said. "We finally caught that little troublemaker."

 

"Really?" Seth asked, obviously overjoyed by that news. "That's great!"

 

"The sound of the trap, snapping down on the mouse, is what freaked Eli out." Rudy explained. "So, when I ran in there, I had to calm Eli down, which took me having to take him out of the stall and tying him to the fence to do it. Then, I went in there and disposed of the dead mouse."

 

"Cool." Seth said, so we don't have to worry about any more freakouts from Eli, anytime soon."

 

"Hopefully not." Rudy said.

 

Rudy then took a good look at Seth, since he'd come downstairs, and noticed how good he looked.

 

"You're looking sharp, Seth!" Rudy said, checking out his attire he was wearing. "What's the occasion?"

 

"Thanks, man." Seth said smiling, then added. "I'm going, with Eric, to meet his folks."

 

"Oh cool." Rudy replied.

 

Eric looked at his watch, right then and noticed how late in the day it was getting.

 

"Yeah, we better get going, or my Mom's going to start worrying."

 

Rudy looked over at Eric.

 

"Give your father my condolences, Eric." He said. "Cancer is nothing fun to have to go through."

 

Rudy extended his hand out to Eric. Eric took it and they shook hands.

 

"Thank you, Rudy." Eric replied. "I'll give him the message."

 

Rudy nodded. Then, Eric turned to Seth.

 

"You ready to go?" He asked.

 

"Yeah, come on." Seth said, as he walked over to the kitchen counter and pulled his keys off of the wall hanger.

 

He turned back to Seth.

 

"We'll see you, and Amy, later, Rudy." Seth said as he was walking to the door, with Eric right behind him.

 

"Drive safe, guys." Rudy said, as Eric and Seth left the house.

 

Outside, Eric turned to Seth.

 

"You want to ride with me, in my car?" Eric asked him. Seth grinned.

 

"Absolutely." He said. "Are we going straight to your parents, then?"

 

"Yeah." Eric said to him. "And after that we'll swing by the University to pick up my things that I packed up when I left here, earlier."

 

"Not a problem." Seth said, as he and Eric were walking towards the car.

 

"Great!" Eric said, as he unlocked the car doors.

 

Eric opened the driver's side door and got into his car. Seth opened his door and joined him, on the passenger side. After they both buckled their seat belts, Eric started the engine and turned to Seth.

 

"Hey, Gorgeous, there's something I need to ask you." He said, as he laid a hand on Seth's thigh. 

 

Seth looked down at Eric's hand, on his thigh, and then back up at Eric, as his smile gave way.

 

"What?" He said, giving him a sexy look. "You up for some "car sex?"

 

Eric scoffed and rolled his eyes, but he couldn't stop the smile that appeared on his face.

 

"Man, I swear you have the libido of a fucking bull." Eric said, shaking his head. "Only you would be thinking of sex at a time like  this."

 

"Hey, you're the one placing your hand, ever so suggestively, on my leg." Seth pointed out. "It's not my fault that you can't get enough of me."

 

Eric's smile got bigger as he then slapped Seth's thigh, before removing his hand from it.

 

"You're so full of it, you know that, Seth?" Eric said, chuckling.

 

Seth grinned.

 

"What can I say?" He said, that cocky grin still on his face. "You bring out the "sexy muscle beast" in me!"

 

"Yeah, well keep him under wraps until we get back from my parents house." Eric said, and then pointed at him. "And don't be giving me any of your sexy looks or start teasing me with your pecs bouncing, otherwise, you're going to leave me with a raging hard on." 

 

Now it was Seth turn to roll his eyes.

 

"Oh, please, Babe!" Seth said, shaking his head. "The way you always stare at my ass, all the time, you'll have a hard on from that alone, before I even do any kind of teasing."

 

Hearing Seth talking about his big muscular ass made Eric wonder about something.

 

"Well speaking of your sexy ass, Seth." Eric said, as he looked over at him. "Will I ever have a chance to fuck it?"

 

Seth's smile left his face, as he took a moment to think about how to respond to Eric's question

 

"I've been thinking about that a lot, lately." Seth replied. "After fucking you, and seeing how much pleasure I gave to you, I've been curious about what it would be like to be the bottom, for a change."

 

Eric's face lit up.

 

"Do you really mean it, Seth?! He said, almost excitedly. Seth looked at Eric and smiled when he saw the cute smile on his face.

 

"Of course, I do." Seth said, to him. "If I'm going to keep you happy, I have to keep an open mind to the things that you like, sexually, too."

 

Unable to contain his excitement, Eric grabbed Seth's face and pulled Seth towards him, for a kiss. When he pulled back, Seth had a stunned look on his face.

 

"Wow!" He said, his mouth hanging open a bit, his breathing getting a little husky. "I think I might have to excite you, like this, more often, if you're going to kiss me like that!"

 

"Why?" Eric asked, that huge smile still on his face. "Did it turn you on?"

 

"Fuck yeah, it did!" Seth said, his smile giving way. "I'm gonna prepare something extra special for you, tonight when we get back!"

 

"Eric was now intrigued to know what Seth had in mind.

 

"Can't you give me a hint of what it could be, now?" He asked. Seth shook his head.

 

"Nope." Seth said. "You'll have to wait until we get back from your parents house, tonight."

 

Eric sat back in his seat and prepared to drive his car out of the driveway.

 

"I guess, I will." He said, as he shifted the car into reverse. "Let's get moving, then."

 

Eric backed the car up and turned it around towards the road. Then, he shifted into "drive" and started driving the car down the driveway towards the road. After stopping to see if any cars were coming, Eric then pulled out onto the road and started driving in the direction of his parents' home.

 

BACK AT THE SLOANE RESIDENCE...

 

In the garage, Joey was still caught off guard by Charlie's question about his feelings for Seth.

 

"Well, Joey, what's your answer to my question, Bro?" Charlie asked him. "Are you in love with Seth?"

 

Joey looked at Charlie, who was grabbing a set of dumbbells to do some bicep curls with.

 

"I don't know." He told Charlie, as he walked over and grabbed his own set of dumbbells to do bicep curls with, too. "I don't think I've ever been in love with a guy, before. Certainly not since--"

 

Joey trailed off, as he thought back to his night with Chris Richardson, 6 years ago, when he was a teenager.

 

"Not since, Chris?" Charlie asked, as he was curling his dumbbells.

 

"Right." Joey said, as he curled his dumbbells. "But, I don't think I was in love with Chris, either. I know I had real feelings for him, back then, but I don't think I knew him, long enough, to fall in love with him. Besides, he left for Palm Springs with his family. I haven't heard from him, since."

 

Charlie frowned.

 

"Didn't you two ever exchange your phone numbers?" He asked, Joey.

 

"No, we didn't have the chance to." Joey told him. "We only knew each other a few days." And then, after that, he and his parents moved to Palm Springs and I didn't hear from him, again."

 

"Well, have you ever tried to find him on Facebook?" Charlie asked, still curling his dumbbells. "He shouldn't be hard to find."

 

"No, I never searched for him on Facebook, 6 years ago." Joey replied, as he set his dumbbells down. "He and I weren't old enough for Facebook then. Besides, after a while, I put Chris out of my mind and focused on graduating high school, and getting into college."

 

Joey thought about what it could be like seeing Chris again. He didn't know if Chris would be happy to see him, again, or if he'd moved on and found someone else to be with. So many things, there, were uncertain.

 

"Well, you already know that he moved to Palm Springs." Charlie pointed out, as he finished his set and put the dumbbells back, on the weight rack. "Why don't you start there? Search for him on Facebook and see if you can find him on there."

 

Joey thought about it and realized that starting there couldn't hurt. But, first he had to make sure he found the right guy.

 

"I can try." Joey said, as he walked back over to the weight bench and sat down on it. "But I'm sure there's likely more than one Christopher Richardson, living in Palm Springs. There's probably a lot of them."

 

Charlie looked down at Joey, as he rested from his last set of weight lifts.

 

"You still know what Chris looks like don't you?" He asked Joey. "He can't have changed that much, in 6 years, right?'

 

Joey shrugged.

 

"Who knows?" He asked. "I know he's around 22 years old now, so he's the same age as me. But I'm not sure how his looks might have changed. The only way he could have changed is if he's gotten more masculine looking, I suppose. I mean he always had that cute look to him, but--"

 

Here, Joey trailed off, as he felt that familiar sting of deja-vu hit him, once again, as he remembered the pain he'd felt after Christopher had left that day. Joey, having been very sensitive, at 16 years old, hadn't taken his leaving well.

 

"You know what?" Joey asked, frowning. "Why am I even thinking about this? Christopher left, 6 years ago, with his family to Palm Springs, and I've never heard from him, since. That pretty much sums up how little I ever meant to him!"

 

"You don't know that, Bro." Charlie said, sitting down next to Joey, on the weight bench. "You said before that you two didn't exchange phone numbers. Maybe he couldn't get ahold of you.

 

Joey shook his head, his lips pressed together, in an emotional grimace.

 

"Or maybe he didn't want to get in touch with me." He said, kind of bitterly.

 

"I'm sure that's not true, man." Charlie said, trying to give Joey some kind of hope.

 

Joey turned to Charlie, his expression turning to anger.

 

"He knows where I live, Charles!" Joey exclaimed, a bit loudly. "Even if he didn't have my phone number, he could have tried to contact me, but he didn't!"

 

Charlie held up his hands, a bit taken aback by Joey's anger. He knew Joey well, so he knew not to get angry with him, because he knew that Joey's anger wasn't really directed at him.

 

"I'm sorry, man." Charlie said. "I was just trying to help. I'm sorry if I upset you."

 

Joey got quiet, at that moment as he thought about the way he was acting. There was a part of him that really wanted to reach out to  Chris, but the other part of him was afraid of being rejected if he did.

 

"No, I'm sorry, Charles." Joey said, turning and laying his hand on Charlie's shoulder. "I didn't mean to take out all of my hurt and frustrations out on you."

 

"Apology accepted." Charlie replied, looking at him. "But that's what best friends are for. You know I'm always here to listen, even if you need to let off some steam and vent."

 

Joey nodded, smiling again. He knew Charlie was right. They'd been best friends since the 5th grade, and out of everyone he'd befriended, over the years, Charlie was the one person who'd always stood by him, through thick and thin. They'd also had their many disagreements and fights, over the years, as friends do, sometimes, but their friendship always remained strong, leading up to today.

 

"You always are, my man." Joey said, holding out his fist to Charlie, and they fistbumped. "You know, you've been more of a brother to me, than my own brother, ever has."

 

Charlie gave Joey a sympathetic look. He knew about the history of Joey's and Jake's sibling rivalry, better than anyone. He'd witnessed it, first hand, over the years, during their childhood.

 

Joey's face grew grave, as he thought about his brother, Jake, wondering if things between them would ever be resolved.

 

"You know, despite everything I've been through, with Jake." Joey said, his voice, cracking slightly. "I still love him, very much."

 

"Well, of course you do." Charlie agreed. "You're his little brother. I know you've always looked up to him, growing up, despite the way he's treated you, whether you'll admit it to me, or not."

 

"Yeah." Joey said, quietly, nodding slightly, a far away look in his eyes. "I wish things could be better, between Jake and me, but I don't think that's going to happen, anytime soon."

 

Charlie frowned, at that moment, thinking about something.

 

"You know, maybe you'll have a chance to re-connect with your brother, sooner than you think." Charlie said.

 

Joey frowned, confused.

 

"What do you mean?" He asked.

 

"Well," Charlie replied, his eyebrows raised. "Your birthday is coming up, here, in a few days. Why don't we celebrate it, by having a pool party, at your place?"

 

Joey realized that, with everything he'd had going on, recently, he'd totally forgotten that his birthday had been drawing near. He sighed.

 

"Wow." He said, not very enthusiastically. "I'd forgotten all about my birthday coming up. But, it's probably just as well, since I won't be having a birthday, this year."

 

"What?!" Charlie was shocked, hearing that. "Bro! Your parents always throw you a birthday party, every year! Why would you not have one now?"

 

Joey, again, looked sad as he looked Charlie, in the eye.

 

"I'm not having one, this year, because my parents' aren't going to be here, to plan it." He said, sadly. "They're in Miami for the rest of the week, on an extended business trip."

 

"Aww, well that sucks, man!" Charlie said, sounding disappointed, but then his face lit up. "But, why don't we celebrate your birthday, anyway? Hell, I'll plan your birthday party! We'll kick back, have a few beers, hang around, by the pool, and check out the hot chicks! And maybe we'll even get laid later! It'll be a blast, man! What do you say?"

 

Looking up, at Charlie, and seeing the look of excitement, on his face, Joey finally caved. He shook his head, grinning.

 

"I know, I'm going to regret this, letting you plan my birthday party." Joey told him. "But, what the hell? I'm in!"

 

"Alright!" Charlie said, raising his palm up, he and Joey doing a high five. "Do you want to invite Seth to the party?"

 

Hearing that, Joey's face lit up. He'd been looking for a way to get closer to Seth, and get to know him better, and he realized that having Seth attend his birthday party, might be the best place to start. Even if it meant, he had to invite, Eric, too.

 

"Charles, my man! You're a genious!" Joey said, to him. "My birthday party might be just the opportunity I need to get to know Seth, a lot better. So, yes, I'd like to invite him."

 

"Cool. " Charlie said, then asked. "What about Eric? Will he be invited, too?"

 

Joey rolled his eyes.

 

"Well, of course, he's going to be invited, too." Joey said, sarcastically. "Seth may not come to my party if Eric isn't invited."

 

Charlie frowned.

 

"What's your problem with Eric, anyway?" Charlie asked. "I thought you two were friends?"

 

"We are." Joey said.

 

"Well it hasn't looked that way, lately." Charlie replied. "Especially after the two of you nearly came to blows, in the gymnasium, recently, which Seth and I had to break up."

 

"Well, Eric started that confrontation when he rubbed my defeat, at the wrestling match, with Seth, in my face, in the gymnasium."

 

"And what?" Charlie asked him. "You want to retaliate, now?"

 

Joey thought about that for a minute. He was still a bit sour, after Eric had humiliated him, after the wrestling match. He looked over at Charlie.

 

"I just want to teach that goody-goody, Shaw, a lesson, that's all." Joey said to him.

 

Charlie scoffed.

 

"Well, I wouldn't underestimate Eric if I were you, Bro." Charlie warned him. "Eric's a pretty smart guy, but I've also got the feeling that he's no weakling, either."

 

Joey, again, rolled his eyes. He wasn't intimidated, in the slightest, by Eric.

 

"Oh please, Charles!" Joey protested. "Eric's a total cream puff! His bark's worse than his bite. Besides, I could totally handle him. I'm a wrestler, aren't I?"

 

"Yeah." Charlie agreed. "But, do you really think that going after Seth, and getting Eric all riled up, is a good thing to do?"

 

"Relax, Charles!" Joey urged him. "I'm just having a little fun, that's all?"

 

"Oh!" Charlie said, now wondering something else. "So this whole thing about you wanting Seth and competing with Eric, has all been just some big game for you?"

 

Joey's face turned serious, at that moment.

 

"My feelings for Seth are no game, Charles." Joey said, the tone in his voice dead serious. "He's the first guy I've become very interested in, since Chris walked out of my life, 6 years ago. I think I owe it to myself to find out where things between me and Seth could go."

 

"Even though, he and Eric may still be together?" Charlie asked him. "What happened to respecting relationships? It sounds like you just want to destroy theirs."

 

"Well, in my eyes, as long as there isn't a ring on Seth's finger, he's fair game to me, Charles." Joey pointed out to him.

 

Charlie shook his head. He didn't like what Joey was implying, and it made him uneasy, for some reason.

 

"I don't like hearing you talk this way, Joey." He said. "Do you realize that if you ever did to me, what you're thinking of doing to Eric's relationship with Seth, that would be the end of our friendship?"

 

"But I would never do that to you, Charles, because you're my best friend." Joey tried to reassure him. "We've been friends for a very long time."

 

"Yes, we have." Charlie agreed. "And I'd like to keep it, that way."

 

Charlie looked down, at his watch.

 

"I need to get back to the University." He said. "I think we should call it a day. 

 

Joey looked at his watch, too, and saw that it was nearing 8:00p.m.

 

"Yeah, you're right." He said. "I gotta grab a shower, here, and then I'll head back as well."

 

Charlie turned and picked up his gym bag from the floor, next to him. Then, he turned back to Joey.

 

"I'll see you, tomorrow, buddy." He said.

 

"You too, man." Joey replied. "Goodnight."

 

Joey watched Charlie walk to his car and get in. He watched as Charlie started his car and drove out of the driveway and onto the street, heading towards San Diego University.

 

Joey sighed and turned to push the automatic garage door button. Once he did, the garage door lowered and closed. Joey then picked up his shirt off of a work bench, and shut off the lights to the garage as he headed inside the house.

 

Once inside, he headed towards his bedroom. Opening the door and heading inside his room, he shut the door behind him, and started stripping out of his clothes to take his shower. 

 

Now fully nude, Joey walked to his linen closet and grabbed a clean bath towel and washcloth out of it. With those in hand, he headed into the bathroom and set the towel on the towel rack and hung his washcloth over one of the racks in the bath.

 

"Now, it's time for a nice, relaxing bath to soothe all of my sore, tired muscles." Joey said, to himself.

 

He reached under the cabinet, below the sink and pulled out a bottle of Epsom Salts and another bottle of Dr. Teals liquid bath solution. He sprinkled a couple cups of the salts into the tub and turned on the water to a warm temperature. After the water was running, he poured a generous amount of the bath solution into the water and swished it with his hand to make it start bubbling up.

 

"There, that's done." Joey said , putting away the solution and the Epsom Salts. "Now, for the finishing touch."

 

He reached over and turned on the Jacuzzi jets in the tub and watched as the jets started shooting through the water and then, he got in and lowered himself into the warm, bubbling water. He moaned, in satisfaction, as he settled down, into a comfortable position, in the tub.

 

"Oh, man, this feel amazing!" He murmured, laying back and closing his eyes.

 

As he laid there, soaking away his aches and pains, his mind drifted back to Seth and how much he wanted to get to know him. Among other things.

 

Joey opened his eyes.

 

"Seth and I will have our time, together." He said, his voice full of determination. "Surely, he's not going to be able to resist me for much longer. And I'm not going to let anything, or anyone, stop it from happening."

 

MEANWHILE, AT THE SHAW RESIDENCE......

 

"Well, here we are." Eric said, as he pulled into the driveway and shut off the engine to the car. He turned to Seth. "Are you ready?"

 

Seth looked at him, sympathetically. 

 

"Yeah, I'm ready." He said. "But, the question is: Are you ready?"

 

Eric shook his head, his face taking on an emotional look.

 

"How is anyone supposed to be ready to deal with cancer?" He asked, laying his head back, against the headrest of the driver's seat. He looked up, at the ceiling, as he let out a huge sigh, trying to keep control of his emotions

 

Seth reached over and put a hand on Eric's shoulder, and squeezed it, gently.

 

"I don't know." He said. "But, I think the best thing to do is to take things one step at a time. Listen to what your Mom and Dad have to say and you all deal with what's to come. As a family."

 

Eric blinked back the tears that were threatening to fall.

 

"I hear what you're saying, Seth." Eric said. "But, how am I supposed to deal with my father's cancer, on top of the fact that neither one of them, knows about the letter I got from the Departments Of Corrections, about Tom's upcoming release from prison?"

 

Seth frowned.

 

"You haven't told them, yet?" He asked, shocked. "Don't you think you should?"

 

"I don't want to pile that on, on top of my father's cancer diagnosis." Eric said, his voice breaking. If I tell my father that Tom's going to be released from prison, he's going to be furious and his focus will be on trying to protect me, instead of focusing on himself and getting his cancer treatment, whatever it will be."

 

"That's why you have me, here, Eric." Seth replied. "I'm here to offer you and your family support. And if your father does get upset about Tom's upcoming release, and starts worrying about you, I'll make it clear to him that I will be here, to protect you."

 

Eric looked over at Seth. He was really grateful to have Seth by his side, right then, because he had dreaded having to face his parents, alone.

 

"You really mean that, Seth?" He asked, as a tear made it's way down Eric's cheek.

 

"Of course, I do." Seth said, "Why wouldn't I want to protect you? I love you."

 

Eric smiled at him. Seth words warmed his heart.

 

"I love you, too." He murmured. "And, I can't wait to show you, when we get back to the farm, later."

 

Seth's sexy smile gave way.

 

"I'm looking forward to that, too."

 

Still smiling, Eric leaned over and gave Seth a tender kiss on the lips. After pulling back, Seth wiped Eric's tears away, with his thumb.

 

"Alright, handsome." Seth said, to him. "You ready to do this?"

 

Eric wiped his face, a bit more to dry it of the tears. Then, he nodded.

 

"Yeah, I am." He said. "Come on. Let's get this over with."

 

Eric opened his car door and got out of the car. Seth got out, too, and shut his door. Eric shut his door and pressed the lock button, on his remote. The car chirped twice, signaling the the doors were locked, and the car alarm was set.

 

Then, he walked up to the door of his parents home, with Seth right behind him, and opened the door and walked into the house.

 

"Mom?! Eric called out. "I'm here! And I've brought someone with me!"

 

Just then, He and Seth heard Elaine Shaw's voice, coming from, upstairs.

 

"Ok, Honey!" He heard her voice call out. "Your father and I will be down, shortly!"

 

"Ok, Mom!" Eric shouted out. "We'll be in the kitchen!"

 

Eric turned to Seth, who was looking around, admiring the house.

 

"This is a beautiful home you guys have, Eric!" Seth said, in a low voice.

 

"Thanks, Gorgeous." Eric whispered back to him. "I'm glad you like it. Come on, let's go in the kitchen."

 

Eric led Seth into the kitchen, and when Seth saw how big the kitchen was, his eyes widened.

 

"Whoa!" He exclaimed, as he looked around. "This kitchen is fucking huge!"

 

Eric grinned.

 

"Yes, well if you think this is huge, wait until you see the pool area."

 

Seth looked over at Eric, his eyes still wide.

 

"You're kidding me, right?"

 

"No." Eric said, shaking his head, grinning madly.

 

That did it for Seth. Now, he was beyond curious.

 

"I am SO seeing that pool area before we leave here, tonight." He whispered.

 

"Oh, I intend to show it to you." Eric said, grinning at him. "Because I have plans for us to use that pool when the opportunity comes for it."

 

Seth made an "O" face, at that moment.

 

"Ooh!" Now, I'm intrigued." He replied, then grinned, his sexy dimples on full display.

 

He then advanced on Eric and brought his arm around Eric's waist and pulled him, slowly, in closer to him.

 

"Tell me, more." He said, waggling his eyebrows, seductively.

 

"Ha ha!" Eric taunted him. "Down, Gorgeous! We can't be getting frisky, right now. My parents could be coming downstairs any minute now."

 

Seth narrowed his eyes, but he had that small teasing smirk on his face.

 

"Ok, fine." He said, letting go of Eric's waist and backing away. "But we will continue this "sexy time planning" later."

 

"Oh you bet we will." Eric whispered. "You can take that to the bank!"

 

Seth and Eric then heard footsteps coming downstairs, and as the two of them looked towards the stairs, Elaine Shaw emerged at the bottom of them and appeared in the doorway of the kitchen. A moment later, Eric's father, Derek Shaw, emerged from the doorway, behind her.

 

"Hi, Sweetie." Elaine said, coming over and hugging Eric.

 

"Hi, Mom." Eric replied back, as he hugged her.

 

When, she pulled back, she turned to look at Seth, and saw how good looking he was.

 

"And you are?" She asked him.

 

Seth extended out his hand to her.

 

"Hi, I'm Seth Lombardo." He greeted her, as they shook hands. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Shaw."

 

"You, too, Seth." Elaine said, smiling.

 

Then, she turned to Eric's father, who was standing behind her.

 

"This is my husband, and Eric's father, Derek Shaw.'

 

Seth looked over at Derek Shaw and noticed his brown hair, which was darker than Eric's. And he also noticed that he had the same eyes as Eric: That piercing blue color. Now, Seth knew who Eric got his eyes from. Derek was taller than Eric and probably stood about 6'1" and weighed around 215 lbs. Seth also noticed that he had a nice muscular build to him. Not quite the defined gymnast type body that Eric had, but he had a good looking chest, nicely toned arms

 

Derek Shaw stepped forward and shook hands with, Seth.

 

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Seth." He said, smiling warmly.

 

"You too, Mr. Shaw." Seth replied, as he let go of Mr. Shaw's hand. "Eric has told me a little bit about the two of you."

 

"Really?" Mr. Shaw, said, just before he turned to look at Eric. "All good things I hope, right Eric?"

 

When he turned to look his son, in the eyes, he could see that tears were beginning to run down Eric's cheeks.

 

"Eric?" Mr. Shaw asked, looking at him, in concern. "What's wrong, Son?"

 

Eric shook his head, as he began to lose his composure.

 

"My Dad has cancer, that's what's wrong!" Eric said, as he began to sob.

 

At that same moment, Mr. Shaw stepped forward and pulled Eric into his arms. Eric buried his face into his father's shoulder, sobbing, as he clung to him, tightly.

 

"Eric!" Mr. Shaw exclaimed, in a soft tone. "Come on, Son, don't get yourself worked up like this. Everything is going to be ok!"

 

Elaine Shaw, and Seth, both, stood there, watching Eric, crying, in his father's arms. Elaine had tears in her own eyes.

 

As much as his heart went out, to Eric, at that moment, Seth remained strong. He never really showed his emotions in front of strangers, growing up. He was more private with his emotions, usually, but Eric had brought out a lot of his sensitive side, since they'd met. And seeing the close relationship that Eric and his father had, just made him miss his own father, all that much more.

 

After a couple minutes, Eric calmed down and pulled back from his father's embrace. He wiped at his tear streaked face as he looked at his father.

 

"I'm so sorry, Dad." Eric said, as he tried to compose himself. "I guess I let my emotions get the best of me."

 

Derek Shaw looked at his son, and put his hand  on the back of his neck, smiling at him.

 

"You have nothing to be sorry about, Son." He said to Eric. "I know you're worried about me. It's ok to feel that way. Your mother is worried too. So, am I. But let's not worry about this until we know more about what I'm facing. Hopefully, the doctors caught it, early enough that it can be treated successfully, and if so, then I can make a full and complete recovery."

 

Eric was calmed down, enough now. He looked over at his mother, who was looking at him, her eyes filled with sympathy and compassion, over what he was feeling right now. She knew that her son looked up to his father. She did, also, for she had loved Derek Shaw since they'd been in high school, together. 

 

"Why don't we all sit down?" Elaine asked, in a quiet tone of voice. 

 

"That's a great idea." Derek said.

 

Eric and Seth turned and walked towards the kitchen table. They sat down in their seats on the side of the table, nearest to the kitchen window, while Elaine and Derek Shaw sat down across from them. The way they were sitting made it seem like they were board members at a board meeting, in a place of business.

 

"Is anyone hungry?" Elaine said, looking around at everyone.

 

"Well, I am, but I think I'll wait until after We talk about Dad's cancer diagnosis and his treatment options."

 

"That's a good idea." Mr. Shaw said. "Just talking about cancer spoils my appetite."

 

Elaine looked over at, Seth.

 

"Seth, what about you, Honey?" She asked him.

 

Seth nodded.

 

"Yes, but I can wait until after Eric and I hear what you have to say."

 

"Very well." Elaine replied. "Then we'll get started, right now."

 

Elaine sat up in he chair and cleared her throat to start talking

 

BACK AT SAN DIEGO UNIVERSITY.....

 

Amy was sitting at her desk, doing some of her college homework, when she heard her phone make a chime sound. She picked it up and looked at it and saw that it was Rudy texting her.

 

Rudy: We need to talk. I'm parked outside, in the parking lot of the University."


Amy frowned, wondering why he hadn't called her. He'd just showed up, there. She then texted him, back.

 

"Alright, I'll be out in a minute."

 

Amy looked at the homework that she was doing and decided that it could wait and finish it, later. She grabbed her purse and put her phone into it. She picked up her keys from the table and walked towards the door. She exited her dorm room and turned to lock the door. Once the door was locked and secure, she turned and walked towards the University doors, to meet with Rudy in the parking lot.

 

In a few minutes, she came to the exit doors and headed outside, looking around the parking lot until she spotted Rudy, sitting, in his truck. She walked over and got into Rudy's truck. After closing the door, she turned to see Rudy, looking at her, his face serious.

 

"What's wrong, Rudy?" She asked him. "You look so serious."

 

Rudy looked at her and prepared to tell her what he now knew.

 

"I know about Eric and Seth." He said. "About their relationship."

 

Amy looked at him in shock. Then, the guilt started to set in, for her, for having to keep it from him. She didn't know how Rudy felt about it, but she was definitely going to ask him.

 

"How do you feel about that?" Amy asked.

 

Rudy shrugged. Seth's revelation had definitely had an impact on him. But, he knew that he had to support Seth, in his decision to be with Eric.

 

"It's definitely been a lot for me, to process.' He told her. "I still can't believe it. The same kid that I've come to love, like a brother, is now into men. He's always been into women for as long as I've known him."

 

"That hasn't changed, Rudy."Amy told him. "But what has changed, is Seth, discovering that he has feelings for Eric. I'm sure this hasn't been easy for him, because it's his first time, he's ever had any kind of feelings for someone of the same gender."

 

Rudy nodded, understanding what she was saying.

 

"I get it." He said. "But now..."

 

Rudy broke off, there, as he was looking very uncomfortable at that moment. Like he didn't know what he should do.

 

"Now....what?" Amy asked him.

 

Rudy looked over at Amy.

 

"How am I supposed to act around Seth now?" Rudy asked him. "Knowing that he likes men, now, I don't know how I'm supposed to relate to him, now."

 

"It's very simple, Rudy." Amy said to him, as she laid a hand on his arm. "You keep being the same Rudy who was there for Seth, when he was 10 years old. Let him know that you are there for him, and you will continue to love and support him, no matter what. Make sure that he knows that his sexual orientation doesn't change that. He is still, the same Seth Lombardo you met, as that sweet little boy, and the same one you watched grow up into the strong, confident man he's always been."

 

Rudy sighed, as he got quiet, for a moment. Amy took that opportunity to apologize to him, for her part in keeping the truth from him, about Seth and Eric's relationship.

 

"Look, I'm sorry that I didn't tell you about Seth and Eric's relationship." She told him. "They made me swear not to tell anyone, until Seth was ready to do it, himself. I hope you're not too mad at me."

 

"Don't worry about that." Rudy said to her. "I was a bit hurt that you didn't feel like you could trust me, with the truth, but I understand now, after seeing how hard this was, for Seth, to tell me. I understand that this wasn't Seth's secret, for you, to tell."


Amy sighed, in relief. She was so sure that Rudy was going to rake her, over the coals, for keeping something like Seth's sexuality, a secret from him. She looked at him, hopefully.

 

"So, you and I are ok?" She asked him. He smiled at her.

 

"Yes, we are." He said, putting his arm around her, and kissing her, on the forehead.

 

Amy leaned into his shoulder, smiling.

 

"I'm glad things worked out." She said to him. "I hated, having to keep something this big, a secret from you. But, I wasn't about to break a promise I'd made to Seth and to Eric, as well. What kind of friend would I be if I did that?"

 

"I understand." Rudy said, as he rubbed her  arm. "Thinking back on it, now, I would have done the same things for Seth, if he'd asked me to keep it, secret."

 

Amy looked up at him.

 

"Rudy, how did you leave things with Seth and Eric?' She wanted to know.

 

"Well, I told Seth that I'm still there for him, and that I always will be." He explained, to her, then added. "And, after that, Seth went with Eric, to meet with Eric's parents. I don't know when they're gonna be back."

 

A surprised expression came upon Amy's face when she heard that. And that was giving her some ideas.

 

"So, does that mean that we have that whole big farm house to ourselves?" She asked him.

 

Rudy looked over at her.

 

"Yeah, it looks that way." He said, then frowned. "Why?"

 

As he gazed at Amy, he saw a big smile appear on her face.

 

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking, right now?"

 

Rudy's smile mirrored Amy's, as he realized what she was getting at. He was starting to get the same idea.

 

"You, me, and a bed?" He asked her.

 

"Mmm-hmm." Amy said, nodding her head. "I know we just met, each other, and normally, I don't like to take things to the next level, with someone new, too soon, but with you, it feels right."

 

Rudy's eyebrows raised, in surprised.

 

"What are you saying?" He asked her.

 

Looking into her eyes, Rudy could see the desire there. He felt the same way that she was feeling, too, at that moment.

 

"It's time." Amy told him. "I don't want to wait anymore, Rudy. I want to be with you. In every way."

 

Rudy looked into her eyes and the beating of his heart quickened from the excitement that he was feeling, in that moment. He wanted to be with Amy, too.

 

"That's what I want, too." Rudy murmured. "Are you sure you're ready? I don't want to pressure you."

 

Amy shook her head.

 

"No, I'm ready." She replied. "It's the perfect time."

 

She leaned in and kissed Rudy, on the lips. And that kiss led to many more passionate kisses. Rudy pulled back, as his breathing started to get quicker.

 

"Well then, let's get back to the farm." Rudy said, as he put the truck in gear. "We're going to have the time of our lives."

 

Amy buckled her seat belt, as Rudy pulled out of San Diego University parking lot and started driving back to the farm.

 

BACK AT THE SHAW RESIDENCE...

 

The Shaws, and Seth were all sitting, at the kitchen table, eating some deli meat sandwiches, with a side of salad. They were almost finished eating.

 

"So, your father and I talked it over, before you two, got here, and we decided that we're going to go up to Palm Springs to a facility where your father will be getting his cancer treatments." Elaine Shaw said, to Eric, as she picked at her salad. "Are you ok with keeping an eye, on the house, while we're gone?"

 

Eric frowned, as he chewed on his salad. He swallowed before he answered his mother.

 

"Yeah, I'm fine with that. But why?" He asked. "Are you not coming back, for a while or something?"

 

He saw his mother look over at his father. Eric saw his father nod at her. Then, she turned back to look at him.

 

"We're going to stay in Palm Springs, for a while, until your father's treatments are over. They have one of the best cancer treatment facilities in the country, and your father and I could use a change of scenery, from the crazy L.A. traffic, for a while."

 

Eric turned and looked at his father.

 

"Dad, are you ok with that?" He asked, looking worried. "I know how much you hate hospitals."

 

"Yeah, Son, I do." Derek Shaw replied. "But it's not going to be inpatient treatments. Your mom and I will still be able to come and go as we please. And staying up there, for a while, will cut down, on the driving back and forth. After all, it takes over two hours to get to Palm Springs from San Diego. That would be an exhausting drive for you."

 

"It's not a problem, Dad." Eric told him, as he finished his last bite of salad. "I can handle it."

 

"But, Eric, I don't want you to have to "handle it." Derek insisted. "You have college classes to focus on, and you need to be here to do that. You can't be driving, back and forth, from San Diego to Palm Springs, and back, again. It's going to take it's toll on you, eventually, and you're going to burn yourself out. I don't want that for you, Son."

 

Eric was starting to get confused. He wasn't sure why his father was trying to persuade him not to come up to Palm Springs to see him, often.

 

"Dad, what are you saying?" Eric asked, frowning, in confusion. "You don't want me to come up to Palm Springs and see you, as often as I can?"

 

Derek's eyes lowered, to the table. After a sad sigh, he looked back up at Eric.


"I think it would be best if you kept your distance, as much as you can, while I'm undergoing my treatment." he said. "I don't want you to have to be put through what I'm about to go through."

 

"Dad, come on!" Eric protested. "Don't push me away, now, before you've even started your treatments. You're gonna need Mom, and I, to support you and help you get through this!"

 

"Eric, I'm going to be alright." Derek tried to reassure him. "Your mother is going to be there, with me, every step of the way through this whole process! I'm not going to be alone."

 

"That's not the point, Dad!" Eric said, starting to get emotional, again. "You'll let Mom be there for you, but not your own son?!"

 

Derek looked at Eric, sternly. He didn't like seeing Eric getting so emotional over him, like he was the child, and Eric was the parent.

 

"Eric, that's not what I meant." Derek replied. "Of course you can come and visit with me, but I'd rather have your mother by my side through my chemo treatments. I don't want you to see me, at the worst of my treatments. I'll be throwing up, a lot, and you don't have the stomach to deal with that."

 

"No!" Eric said, shaking his finger, at his father, his lips clenched, and his eyes wide. "I see what you're doing, Dad! You're trying to protect me, like I'm still a child! Well, I don't need to be protected, anymore!"

 

"Eric..." Seth's voice was low, and firm. He wasn't comfortable, sitting there, listening to Eric arguing with his father. If anything, it took Seth back to a place that he didn't want to go, again.

 

"Eric, I am your father and I know what's best for you!" Derek Shaw said, angrily. "You have enough, on your plate, to deal with right now, with getting ready to graduate college! You should be focusing on that, right now, and not worrying yourself to death, about me! I'm going to make a full recovery from this!"

 

Eric shook his head, in exasperation. He knew the his father was trying to be strong, but Eric knew his father, well enough to know that he had to be just as scared as he was, and his mother was.

 

"You don't know that, Dad!" Eric exclaimed, as tears started trickling down his face. "Stop being so fucking stubborn!"

 

Derek Shaw opened his mouth to give Eric a word of warning, but it was Seth, who spoke up, first.

 

"Stop it, Eric!" Seth said, loudly.

 

All eyes turned on Seth, as that moment, including Eric, who was shocked at that moment. He could see that Seth was visibly upset, by the whole situation."

 

"Don't talk to your father, like that!" Seth continued. "Whether or not you agree with the choices he's made, regarding his cancer treatments, he is still your father and he deserves to be treated with respect!"

 

Eric, although shocked, by Seth's outburst, knew where Seth was coming from, and Seth confirmed it by what he said next.

 

"I was in this exact situation, with my own father, over a disagreement, about his health, and being defiant with him, just like you are being right now." Seth pointed out. "And now, my father is gone. He died before I could ever have a chance to tell him how sorry I was for disrespecting him. And I've had to live with that guilt, every day, since then. I've already lost my father, Eric. I don't want you to lose yours the same way, I did."

 

Eric, still frowning a bit, knew that Seth did have a point. He looked over at his parents, who were both visibly shocked over the news of Seth's father's passing. He then, turned back to Seth, who laid his hand on his shoulder.

 

"Now apologize to your father, while I go outside, for some fresh air." Seth finished, in a softer, more gentle tone, looking emotional, at that moment.

 

Seth then turned towards Derek and Elaine Shaw, who were giving him sympathetic looks, at that moment.

 

"Will you folks please excuse me, for a few minutes?" He asked, politely.

 

"Of course." Derek Shaw replied. "I'm really sorry for your loss, Son."

 

"Yes, Seth, I'm so sorry, Honey." Elaine said, in a very compassionate tone of voice.

 

Seth nodded, appreciating their sympathy and compassion.

 

"Thank you." He said, quietly. Then, he got up and walked out of the kitchen, towards the door of the house. He opened it and walked out, closing the door, behind him.

 

Once he was gone, Eric  looked over at his father.

 

"Dad, I'm sorry." He said, wiping the tears off of his face. "Seth's right. I shouldn't have disrespected you, like that."

 

Derek looked at Eric, and his face softened.

 

"It's ok." He replied, nodding his head. "I appreciate the apology. It's a hard time for all of us, right now. Apology accepted."

 

"Thanks, Dad." Eric said, sincerely. "The last thing I want to do, is upset you, and Mom, right now, by piling on more bad news on top of your cancer diagnosis, but given what I have just learned, today, I don't think I have much of a choice, right now."

 

"What are you talking about?" Derek said, frowning in confusion. "What more bad news is there?"

 

Eric looked at his parents, who were now concerned. He had no idea how they would react when they found out about, Tom Anderson, who was about to be released from prison soon .

 

"Ok, I'll tell you." Eric said, then added. "But, before I do that, let me go and see if Seth is alright."

 

"Sure, Honey." Elaine said, nodding. "I'm going to clean up the kitchen. When you two are ready to come back inside, join us in the living room."

 

"Ok." Eric said, getting up. "I'll be right back."

 

Eric walked to the door of the house and looked through the window. He could see Seth, standing on the porch steps, his back to him, looking out towards the sunset. It was starting to get late in the evening.

 

Eric opened the door and walked outside. He saw Seth turn around and saw that he still looked a bit emotional, but he wasn't crying.

 

"I'm sorry that you had to hear all of that, in there, Gorgeous." Eric said, quietly, looking up into Seth's face.

 

Seth shook his head.

 

"No, Babe, I'm sorry." He replied. "I shouldn't have snapped at you, like that. Hearing you arguing with your Dad just reminded me of the day I had that argument with my father when he had his heart attack. I just didn't want to see you and your father upset with each other. Stress is not good for your Dad, right now."

 

Eric nodded.

 

"I had a feeling that was where your head was, when you went off on me." He pointed out. "And I know that my father shouldn't be stressed, right now. But, I don't think that can be helped, right now, because I was just about to tell my parents what I know about Tom being released from prison, soon."

 

Seth's eyebrows shot up in realization, at what that meant.

 

"Oh!" He said, obviously shocked by Eric's admission. "You're gonna tell them, right now?"

 

"Yeah." Eric said, looking up at him. "I just wanted to check on you and see if you were alright, before I did that. They're waiting for us, in the living room."

 

"Yeah, I'm good, now." Seth said, then gestured towards the door. "Let's go back inside."

 

"Alright." Eric said, turning back towards the door of the house.

 

Seth followed Eric back into the house, and into the living room where Derek and Elaine Shaw were waiting for them. They were sitting in the twin recliner sofa, opposite the couch.

 

"We're back." Eric said to them.

 

Derek Shaw gestured to the couch.

 

"Have a seat." He ordered. "Your mother, and I, are definitely interested in hearing about what you have to say."

 

Eric looked at Seth, who looked back at him, and nodded, and then the two of them walked to the couch, and sat down, next to each other, across from Elaine and Derek.

 

Eric sat down on the couch,.and Seth sat down next to him. Looking at his parents, Eric knew that his news about Tom was going to be a shock for him.

 

"Mom? Dad?" Eric asked, then added. "I have some news of my own to share with you, today. It's something that you, both, really need to know."

 

"What is it?" Elaine asked, concern witten all over her face.

 

Eric closed his eyes, brought both of his hands to his face, and wiped then down it. Then, he looked up at his parents and then let the truth be known.

 

"Tom Anderson is being released from prison in a couple weeks." He revealed,. looking back and forth between both of his parents.

 

Derek and Elaine's concern, quickly turned to shock. They couldn't believe what they were hearing.

 

"What?!" Derek Shaw exclaimed, now looking angry.

 

"Oh my God!" Elaine Shaw, also exclaimed, holding her hand to her mouth.

 

Derek Shaw stood up from the couch, looking down at Eric. Both, Eric and Seth, could see that this news clearly agitated him. His hands were balling up into fists.

 

"When did you find this out?" Derek asked his son.

 

"When I was here, with Mom, earlier and we were going through the mail, together, I found the letter from "The Department Of Corrections" in it." Eric explained to them."

 

"What?!" Elaine Shaw explained, shocked at Eric's admission. "Honey, why didn't you tell me?"

 

Eric looked over at her, now feel bad for not telling her sooner. He knew how much his mother loved him.

 

"I'm sorry, Mom." He said. "You had just told me about my father's cancer, and you had enough to worry about without me having to pile this on, on top of everything else."

 

"Sweetie, I'm your mother!" Elaine you exclaimed to him. "It's my job to worry about you! I'm not going to stop being a parent just because you're fully grown now!"

 

Eric rolled his eyes and shook his head, but he was smiling.

 

"I never once thought that, Mom." He said, stepping forward and hugging her. "And I love you, and Dad, both, for caring, but I'm not that little boy that needs protection anymore."

 

"Are you sure about that, Eric?" His father asked.

 

"Yes, Dad, I am." Eric said, as he pulled back from his embrace with his mother. "When, I first read the letter that Tom.was being released, I was scared, at first. Just the thought of seeing, Tom, out on the street again, made my blood run cold. But now, after seeing him, at the prison, and seeing what's he's become now, I'm not afraid of him, anymore."

 

"Whoa! Wait a minute!" Derek exclaimed, looking at Eric, in shock. "You went to see him, at the prison? Eric why? Why would you even give that sick bastard, the time of day?"

 

Eric knew that he was going to have to bring up the panic attacks that he'd been experiencing. There was no getting around that.

 

"Because Dad, the panic attacks that have plagued me, ever since after Tom raped me, have come back again, recently." Eric explained. "And I thought that perhaps they were coming on because of my own inward fear of seeing Tom, again. So that's why I felt that I needed to face him and put my fears to rest."

 

Derek Shaw clenched his teeth and clenched his fists tighter, obviously still filled with anger, over what Tom had done to his son.

 

"Every time, I think about what that bastard did to you, Eric, I just want to strangle him with my bare hands!" Derek said, in a very angry sounding tone of voice.

 

"You and me, both." Seth agreed.

 

All eyes were on Seth now, including Eric's.

 

"You know about this?" Derek Shaw asked, in shocked surprise.

 

Seth nodded.

 

"Yes." He revealed to Derek and Elaine. "Eric had to tell me, after having another panic attack, on what was supposed to have been his first day, working for me, as a farm hand."

 

Hearing that, Derek Shaw looked at Eric, in confusion.

 

"You're working a job, as a ranch hand, Son?" He asked Eric, in surprise. "Why? You don't need a job, right now. You should be focusing on school."

 

"I am, Dad." Eric said to him. "Working for Seth is supposed to be a part of my college essay I'm doing for one of my classes. I chose to write my essay on farms, and I needed to find out more about it, so my friend, Amy, suggested I work on a farm to get hands on experience. So that's what I'm doing."

 

Seth then chose that moment to reassure Eric's father that Eric's college education wouldn't suffer, because of the job.

 

"Mr. Shaw, I made it very clear to Eric that his college education has to come first, before this job." Seth said, looking back and forth, between Elaine and Derek, as he spoke to them. "He knows that if he has anything important, such as an exam, or whatever, that he's to let me know, immediately, so I can grant him the time that he needs to study and keep his grades up."

 

"Well, I appreciate that, very much, Seth." Derek Shaw said, his appreciation genuine. "My son has worked hard to get into college and I don't want his hard work to have been for nothing."

 

"It won't be." Seth reassured him. "I know how important a college education is. I never got to go to college because my parents couldn't afford to send me, right after high school. We weren't in the best place, financially, then. And ever since my father died, last year, all I can focus on right now, is my family. Namely, my Mom."

 

"I understand." He said. "And I appreciate your honesty, Seth, and your willingness to be flexible with Eric's job scheduling."

 

Seth nodded.

 

Eric chose that moment to excuse himself, from the room, for a moment.

 

"Will you two keep Seth, company, while I run upstairs to the bathroom?"

 

"Sure, Honey." Elaine replied.

 

Eric turned to Seth.

 

"I'll be right back."

 

"Ok." He said, softly.

 

Eric then turned and walked towards the stairs and walked up them, to use the bathroom. When, he was gone, Elaine looked at Seth.

 

"Seth, come and see some of our family photos." She said, smiling at him, warmly.

 

"Sure, I'd be honored." He said, smiling back at her, his sexy dimples on full display.

 

She turned towards the mantle and pulled down a family photo and handed it to Seth. Seth took it and looked it over. He smiled when he saw Eric, standing to the right of Derek and Elaine Shaw, wearing his cap and gown. It was from Eric's high school graduation day.

 

"Great family photo." He said, to her, as he studied it.

 

"Thank you, Seth." Elaine said, to him.

 

Seth frowned when his eyes fell on another young man, who was standing to the left of Elaine Shaw, in the photo. The young man, looked to be about the same age as Eric, as well as about the same height and weight. His hair was also dark brown, like Derek Shaw's, and his eyes were also blue.

 

"Who's this young man, standing next to you here, Mrs Shaw?" Seth asked as he turned the photo towards her to show her.

 

Elaine looked down and noticed the man that Seth was referring to.

 

"Oh, that's Eric's brother, Ethan." She revealed.

 

Seth looked up at them, completely stunned.

 

"Brother?" He asked, an expression of shock on his face.

 

"Twin brother, actually." Derek Shaw said, smiling. "Ethan was born, 10 minutes before Eric was, so technically Ethan's the older brother."

 

Seth looked down at the photo again to look at both Eric and Ethan. He could definitely see the resemblance between them.

 

"They're not identical looking twins." Seth said, once the shock wore off.

 

"Oh no." Derek said, laughing a bit. "Ethan and Eric are fraternal twins. They are nothing alike, in looks and personality, but you can definitely see that they're related."

 

Seth was quiet, still frowning at the photo. That is until Elaine spoke up.

 

"Is something wrong, Seth?" Elaine asked him.

 

Seth looked up at her.

 

"Oh no, Mrs. Shaw, everything's fine." He said. "I'm just a little shocked because Eric never told me that he had a brother."

 

"Hmm." Elaine mumbled, frowning. "I wonder why not? Eric talks about Ethan all the time."

 

Before Seth could answer her, someone's phone started ringing. Elaine recognized it.

 

"It's my phone." She said pulling it out of her purse. She answered the call. Then after a few seconds, she looked over at Derek.

 

"It's an important client." She said, to Derek. "I need to take this."

 

"Ok." Derek Shaw said, as he sat back down in his seat

 

Elaine walked into the kitchen to talk to her client. When she was gone, Derek turned to Seth.

 

"I have to go upstairs and start packing up for our time, in Palm Springs." He said, to Seth.

 

"I understand, Sir." Seth said, nodding, slightly, smiling at him.

 

Derek Shaw, again, extended his hand out to Seth, once again. Seth took it and they shook hands.

 

"It was a pleasure to meet you, Seth." He said.

 

"You too, Sir." Seth replied. 

 

'Take care." Derek said, lightly slapping Seth's shoulder, before he walked towards the stairs.

 

After, Derek Shaw was gone, Seth walked to the mantle, and set the family photo, back on the shelf.

 

He frowned, still wondering why Eric hadn't mentioned Ethan to him, but he'd made up his mind that he was going to bring it up to Eric when he came back downstairs.

 

After a few more minutes, Eric came back downstairs and walked back into the living room.

 

"Well, what did I miss?" He asked Seth, as he looked around.

 

"Oh, not much." Seth told him. Your mom was just showing me some pictures of her family."

 

He then looked at Eric and then decided that he was going to ask Eric the million dollar question.

 

"Eric?" Seth said, frowning in confusion. "How come you've never told me that you have a brother?

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