By Julien Gregg
Edited By Rob Hawes

Author's Note: This story does not endorse a way of life. It merely describes one. The reader is left to form his or her own conclusion and make their own choices. The characters in this story do not practice safe sex. I can't urge my readers enough to always be safe. Life is precious. Why chance it?

Chapter Eighteen:

"God I'm tired," Ian said as they got back on the bus after McDonald's. He made a show of yawning and everything. There was no way he was going to get locked into any conversations of the previous night's activities with Andy. He leaned the seat back as far as it would go and lay back against it, turning his head toward the window and closing his eyes.

He thought about all of the fun he'd had on the trip. He was still amazed that his parents had let him go. The fact that he hadn't been with them that long would have explained their refusal to let him go. He held back a smile when he thought about how they'd expected that he would go when he had thought they would say no if he asked. He decided he just didn't know them as well as he thought he did.

Then there was Alex. Being on the trip away from Alex for the whole time was refreshing. He had no one staring at him with hatred in his eyes and no one made smart remarks under their breath when he spoke. He liked that. Things had to change with Alex but he didn't know how to make them change. There wasn't anything that he could do about it as far as he could see. Alex was just set on hating him and blaming him for every little problem in his life since the day he'd come home. There was no help for that. The only one who could change the way Alex thought was Alex.

Ian's birthday was just days away and graduation was at the end of the month. There was plenty to keep him busy enough not to worry about Alex. He'd already decided not to go to the prom so that wasn't an issue. He was planning to attend the senior party though. Sebastian had been against his decision to miss the prom but he refused to accept that he wouldn't go to the party.

Then he felt Andy's hand on the side of his thigh. The seats were large enough that they weren't cramped together. Each boy had plenty of room so why was Andy's hand on the side of his thigh? From the feel it was the back of his hand as if he'd simply stretched out and accidentally touched him but the hand remained in contact. Then he felt a slight movement. It felt like Andy was rubbing his thigh with his thumb. What was going on?

First Andy wanted him at his house constantly. They'd held hands for a while and then started masturbating together and then each other. Then Ian had started to suck Andy's dick while Andy only masturbated him, and there was that embarrassing day when Ian had introduced anal sex to their routine. Then all contact stopped for half the semester. Next was the speech about his sexuality. Ian was doubtful that he had mistaken what was happening the night before but it was possible. With this latest development he was completely confused. What was Andy doing?

Ian was prepared to let him continue as long as it didn't get out of hand. He was well aware of the fact that others could probably see what Andy was doing so if he got too brazen Ian would stop it. So far it would look like he was asleep and Andy was making a fool of himself. Ian was fine with that. It was a little harsh but he was still a bit put off by Andy. Then the most remarkable thing happened. He actually fell asleep with Andy lightly rubbing the side of his thigh. The next thing he knew Andy was tapping him on the leg to wake him. The bus had reached the high school.

"Wow," Ian said, smiling at Andy. "I guess I slept through the whole bus ride."

"Yeah," he chuckled, but he looked nervous for some reason. Then Ian remembered him rubbing the side of his thigh.

"I'm starving," he said, pushing thoughts of Andy's confusing behavior away.

"Yeah," repeated Andy, looking away from him.

Then they were getting off the bus and collecting their bags. Ian now had two. One held all of the souvenirs he'd collected on the trip. He hefted both bags and quickly found his father waiting. Sebastian and Carl were already putting their own bags in the back of the van.

"Have a good time?" his father asked as he took one bag from him.

"I had a great time," he replied, smiling widely.

"I'm happy to hear it," said his father as they put his bags in the back. "Hop in, we're heading to the diner."

His mother and brother were waiting at the diner for them. Ian completely ignored Alex as he, Carl and Sebastian told them all about their trip. They laughed at how excited Sebastian said Ian had been at the amusement park and then they wanted to see the pictures he'd bought from several rides. He explained that they were in his bag in the back of the van but promised to show them when they got home.

The next day at school everyone was talking about the trip. Ian was happy to be able to join into several different conversations throughout the day. Andy talked just as excitedly as everyone else, but Ian could see something in his friend's eyes that gave away the lie in his voice. Something was definitely up with Andy. The problem was the discussion they'd had after Andy had stopped talking to him for a while. Because of that discussion and what Ian suspected was Andy's problem he couldn't help him.

That night his father told him to invite his friends for his birthday. Ian told him that he didn't think he wanted to have a party, but his father insisted. When Ian didn't say anything his father told him that the party would be held at Evan and Jory's and that Alex had already been told to stay at Gary's. Ian thought about that for a few minutes. He supposed it wouldn't be so bad if Alex wasn't there to screw it up. Then he thought about how bad it was to feel that way about his own brother. Alex had done his own damage though. There was no getting away from that.

Ian told his friends about the party plans the next day at school. Everyone seemed happy enough about it. Even Andy said he'd come to the party. They talked about what kinds of things Ian would like for his birthday, but Ian told them all that he didn't want presents. Sebastian gave him one of his famous looks that said he was being silly and they all laughed.

Then it was time to start seriously studying for final exams. Graduation was just weeks away as long as they all passed their exams. Ian wasn't all that worried about his, but Sebastian and Carl needed to study. So the three of them met with the rest of the gang, including Andy, to study like crazy. Ian actually liked the study sessions because the entire gang was together. He didn't like the animosity between Paul Tate and Andy Morlin, but he knew there was no way around that.

Sebastian and Carl spent the night again that Friday night so they'd be there for the big birthday breakfast. That part of the day Alex would be a part of and Ian was worried about it, but he decided there was nothing that could be done about it. He couldn't demand that his brother not be at the table.

"So you'll be sixteen," said Sebastian as they sat around in their boxers on the family room floor. They'd watched a movie already and were supposed to be picking another one. There was a plate of snacks on the coffee table behind them and three bottles of water.

"Yeah," Ian said with a smile. "And I'll be a high school graduate a week later!"

"We'll all be graduates," Carl said with a smile of his own. "Then it's off to college in the fall."

"Hopefully," Ian said. "I haven't heard back yet."

"You will," said Sebastian. "We'll all get in I'm sure."

"The three musketeers roaming the hallowed halls of Whitmore University," laughed Carl.

"You've both applied at Whitmore?" Ian asked, shocked.

"Of course we have," laughed Sebastian. "It's a really good school and we both want to be close to home. My brother and I are the only family my mother has left in Bryarwood."

"I'm not itching to get out in the world just yet myself," said Carl. "Besides I knew my two best friends were applying there."

"Yeah," said Sebastian, smiling at Ian.

"You consider me to be one of your best friends?" Ian asked, looking at Carl with wide eyes.

"We both do," Sebastian answered instead. "Ian you have been a great friend all year. You showed us both that you can handle pressure and you aren't like your brother. We've spent a lot of time with you this year and we've both come to think of you as a best friend. I'm hoping that the three of us will get accepted to Whitmore and stay together for the next four years."

"Thanks guys," he replied, swallowing the lump in his throat. "I consider you both to the best friends I've ever had. I'm hoping to get accepted at Whitmore. Not only so I can be with you guys but because it's the only school I applied to."

They laughed about that and the sentimental moment passed easily. Ian was happy when he went to bed that night and excited about the party he hadn't wanted but was being forced to have anyway. He supposed that he shouldn't have tried to get out of it. After all it was the first birthday he'd have with his family since he was five. He certainly owed them a happy occasion. It was just sad that Alex had made such a problem of himself that he couldn't be there as well.

"Happy birthday, Ian!" cried Carl and Sebastian at the same time the next morning, waking him up. They laughed as he sat straight up with wide eyes. After a few moments he laughed as well.

After taking turns in the shower they each donned shorts, sandals and light t-shirts and headed upstairs for the birthday breakfast. His mother kissed him on the cheek when he came up the stairs and wished him a happy birthday. He beamed at her and thanked her as he sat beside Sebastian at the dining room table. Alex was already across from him with Carl seated beside him.

"Happy birthday, Ian," said Alex, but it sounded as if he were about to choke on the words as he said them.

"Thank you, Alex," he said, smiling at his brother. He was trying to be nice. Then he smiled at his mother as she placed a plate of eggs, hash browns, three slices of bacon and toast in front of him. They were followed by matching plates for Sebastian and Carl.

"Eat up," she said, smiling at him. "Your father will take you to the DMV to take your driver's test."

"I'm going to follow them, Mrs. Keller," said Sebastian. "Ian's going to take his test in my car."

"That's really nice of you, Sebastian," she said, sitting down with her own plate.

"Where is Dad?" Ian asked, looking over at his father's empty seat.

"He's over at Evan and Jory's helping them set up for the party," she said. "I'm supposed to call him as soon as you've finished your breakfast."

"Oh," he said with another smile as he looked down at his plate.

He traded silly jokes back and forth with his friends as they ate, making his mother laugh. Alex ate in silence and didn't laugh at any of the jokes. He also finished before them and headed out, picking up his overnight bag on his way out the back door of the house.

A half-hour later they were waiting at the DMV for a driving instructor to finish his inspection of Sebastian's car. Once he had pronounced the car in perfect working order Ian slid behind the wheel and began his test. He tried not to be nervous but it was impossible. Still he performed each part of the test perfectly and returned forty-five minutes later to be photographed. His friends patted him on the back as they joined him in the waiting area while he waited for his license. His father told him he was proud of him for passing the test and Ian smiled at him.

"Is it impossible for you to look anything but good?" Carl asked in an exasperated tone as Ian showed his friends his driver's license.

"I never thought about it before," Ian said seriously as he pretended to ponder the question until Sebastian clapped him on the back.

"Come on," he said. "You'll be late for you own party."

He was surprised when he saw the back yard at Evan and Jory's. Streamers were strewn over the fence and through the trees and there was a folding table set up against the back of the house stacked high with presents. There were three other folding tables set up throughout the yard with chairs for everyone. Most of his friends were already seated at one table or another.

"Happy birthday, Ian," Evan said, walking up and wrapping him in his arms.

"Thank you, Uncle Evan," replied Ian, holding his uncle tight. "Thank you for the party."

"Any time," replied Evan. "So you got your license?"

"Right here," Ian said, digging it out of his pocket and showing it.

"Perfect," said Evan, winking at Ian's father.

"We were actually a little worried," said Sebastian. "Your first gift wouldn't have gone over so well if you hadn't passed your test."

"My first gift?" Ian asked, looking from Sebastian to Evan and back.

Sebastian simply held out the keys to his Camaro and smiled wide. Ian just stared at him for a minute. Was Sebastian giving him his car? That couldn't be it. This had to be some kind of joke but the more he stood there gaping at his friend the longer the keys dangled in front of him.

"Take them," said Sebastian. "The car is yours."

"You can't give me your car," he said, still staring at the keys with wide eyes.

"I'm not," laughed Sebastian.

"Your mother and I bought the car from Sebastian last week," said his father, stepping up behind him. "Your insurance is paid for the next six months and the title is in the glove compartment."

"But . . ." He looked at Sebastian with wide eyes.

"I bought a car last week," he said, smiling. "When your dad said he wanted to get you a car for your birthday I sold him mine."

"Oh my God!" cried Ian, grabbing the keys and then turning to wrap his arms around his father. "Thank you!"

"You're so welcome, Ian," said his father. When he let go he saw that his father had tears in his eyes. "We didn't think we'd ever see you again. To be throwing you your sixteenth birthday party is the most amazing thing. We love you very much."

"I love you both, too," he said, hugging his mother as she came to stand beside his father.

The party got under way after that. Ryan and Jason got him a bunch of CDs and laughed when he remembered the CD player in the car. Paul and Dyllan got him a steering wheel cover and a bunch of extra stuff for the car. Carl got him five DVDs and a can of wax for the car. Andy handed him a gift certificate to Suncoast and smiled as he wished him a happy birthday. Evan and Jory gave him a season pass to Six Flags in Chicago and an envelope with fifty dollars.

"For the gas," laughed Evan as Ian hugged him.

There was music playing through the windows in the kitchen. Ian sat down to have a piece of cake with his friends, talking excitedly about his presents and thanking them profusely. They crowded Evan and Jory's living room to watch a movie after they'd had cake and ice cream. While they watched the movie Evan and his father were grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. His mother and Jory were in the kitchen dishing up potato salad and coleslaw.

"You'll have to drive me home, Ian," said Sebastian when the party began to break up. "My car is in the drive way."

"With pleasure," Ian replied with a smile as he and Sebastian walked out the front door.

"Wait for me!" cried Carl as he came rushing out the door behind them.

He kept thanking Sebastian as he drove from Evan's to Sebastian's house. Then he saw the Mustang in the drive way. Sebastian gave him a ride in the car while Carl sat on the porch with Dalton. Then he was driving his new car back to Evan's to pick up the rest of his presents and receive hugs from both Jory and Evan and more birthday wishes from the pair.

When he went to bed that night he was the happiest boy in the world. He couldn't believe they'd bought him a car. What was even better was that it was Sebastian's car! He'd been envious of Sebastian every time he'd rode in the car in the past. He couldn't believe it was his.

Finals were given on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Each of them expressed their worry over the tests after taking them. It had been set up to take two tests each morning and then they were free to go for the rest of the day once they were completed. They ended up at the diner each day after their exams and they were a silent crowd as they silently worried over their scores.

On Friday they had a huge celebration dinner at the diner after school to celebrate the fact that each of them had passed their exams. They attended the practice for the actual graduation ceremony on Monday afternoon, wearing their caps and gowns. Aubry James was the Valedictorian of the class. Ian had never met the sandy haired boy before. Sebastian had to tell him who it was when he came through the locker room in his crimson cap and gown.

Wednesday was the actual ceremony and the Senior Party was being held that night in the gymnasium. Each of them posed for pictures in their caps and gowns with their diplomas in their hands and big smiles on their faces. Andy rode back to Ian's with him after the ceremony to change for the party. He was going to spend the night that night because his parents had to leave town right after the ceremony.

"Ian," Andy said once they were both changed and standing in the family room. "I want to apologize for something."

"What?" Ian asked, looking him in the eye. Andy was actually shaking. Ian couldn't figure out what was making him so nervous.

"I lied to you about something," he said. "Actually I lied to both of us about something."

"What did you lie about?" Ian asked in confusion.

Andy looked at him for a long moment and then, shocking him, he sank to his knees in front of him. Ian nearly had a heart attack when Andy reached out and pulled the zipper of his shorts down. His dick was hard instantly when Andy touched it. He stood still in shock as Andy fished it through the fly of his shorts. Then he gasped as Andy put his mouth on it. He couldn't believe it was actually happening. Andy Morlin was sucking his dick!

"Oh my God!" cried the voice of his brother from the stairs. "I can't believe you're actually a fucking fag!"

Andy jerked his head away from Ian's crotch exposing his dick and sprang to his feet. He bolted up the stairs and past Alex in a flash. Alex came all the way downstairs and stood in front of Ian. Ian was trying to get his rapidly deflating dick back in his pants and come up with something to say to his brother. He didn't even see the blow coming until his brother's fist connected with the side of his head, knocking him over. The coffee table broke as he fell on it.

"You're a fucking fag!" cried Alex as he hit him in the head over and over again. "I know what fags like."

Then he was tearing Ian's shorts as he roughly pulled them down. Ian was dazed and couldn't think straight but when his brother's dick was shoved into his ass he howled in pain and agony. He tried to crawl away but the incredible pain in his left side paralyzed him. Over and over again his brother thrust into him, and Ian started to scream. Then his brother hit him in the side of the head again and everything went dark.

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