Chapter 22
Megan grabbed Joshua’s arm and led him away. She told him, “We need to find
Lorenzo so he can start going over some of your numbers.” Joshua looked back and
waved at Shade.

I walked over and gripped Shade’s hand. “I don’t like him,” I muttered angrily.

Shade squeezed my hand. “He is a little too young for the role of Captain Von
Trapp. We need a senior.”

“That’s not what I don’t like,” I replied.

Shade looked over and grinned. “Someone’s jealous,” he laughed.

“I am not,” I insisted as I pulled my hand away. I turned and headed back toward
the stage. Shade ran up and stopped me.

“Come on, Casey,” he smiled. He looked around to make sure we were alone
before he leaned in and quickly kissed me. “I’m not interested in Joshua or anyone
else.”

“I still don’t like him,” I pouted as Shade kissed me again.

I don’t know why, but Joshua gave me bad vibes. The instant Megan introduced
him, warning bells seemed to go off inside my head. I also didn’t like the way he
gave Shade furtive little glances. Maybe Shade didn’t pick up on his intentions, but
I did. Joshua would have to be someone I kept a close eye on.

I also hated to admit that perhaps I was just a little bit jealous. It took weeks for
Shade and me to express our feelings for one another. I was new at being in love,
and it was difficult to keep my emotions in check. Perhaps Joshua wasn’t a threat.
Maybe I was reading too much into his initial encounter. However, he was
extremely good looking. Shade couldn’t help but be flattered by the attention of
someone so attractive. Even I probably couldn’t resist his charm if he had shown an
interest me.

As if he read my mind, Shade squeezed my hand. “I think it’s cute,” he grinned.

“What is cute?”

He laughed, “You’re jealous, aren’t you.”

“No,” I pouted. “Why would I be jealous?”

He looked around to make sure we were alone. He then pulled me toward him and
kissed me. “I still think it’s cute.” He then grabbed my crotch, squeezed it and ran
across the room shouting, “Ball tag!”

“Hey,” I yelled as I tore off after him. “That’s not fair!”

We went out into the audience and sat beside Megan and Max. Lorenzo was
onstage rehearsing a number with Lane and the other three students who would
play the roles of the Von Trapp family. Since two of the other children were
younger and didn’t attend our school, they would rehearse later in the evening.
Megan had recruited the children of two teachers to play their roles. She said that
Lane would also have to spend many nights after school.

As I watched him on the stage, I don’t think I had ever seen him happier. He
listened attentively to Lorenzo, and then he did as he was told. I had read the
script, and I was worried that he may not be able to handle some of the parts.
However, as I watched him, I knew he would be fine.

A senior named Elisa Romero was playing the role of Maria. She was a beautiful
Puerto Rican girl. Shade told me she was extremely talented, and she had a
starring role in almost every play since her freshman year. She was also senior
class president and a member of the National Honor Society. I had heard her
singing several times backstage, and occasionally Shade and I would stand off to
the side and listen to her sing. With her in the starring role, the play was sure to be
a success. That is, if Joshua didn’t ruin it.

Lorenzo was going over a song, and he was showing them how they would have to
skip around on stage as Elisa sang one of her numbers. Lane closely watched
Lorenzo, and then perfectly mimicked him. In fact, he seemed to do much better
than the others. Once, he looked down and saw me sitting in the theater. He
grinned and waved at me. He beamed with pride when I gave him a thumb’s up. I
was glad that I had suggested him for the role of Kurt. He was going to be perfect.

Since Shade didn’t have to work, he offered to drive Lane and me home. When we
arrived, I invited Shade inside. On the way up the sidewalk, Lane giggled and
asked, “Are you guys going to kiss again?”

Shade glanced quickly over at me. I nodded my head to let him know that I had
talked to Lane. He grinned at Lane and responded, “Maybe, maybe not.”

Once we got inside, Lane said, “I bet you guys are.”

Shade grabbed Lane around the waist, and pretended as he was going to kiss him.
“Quit!” giggled Lane as he tried to wiggle away. I roared with laughter when Shade
actually kissed Lane on the lips. Lane pulled away and started wiping his mouth.

“Ew,” he said as he wiped his mouth again with his coat sleeve. “You’re nasty.”

Shade asked Lane, “You know what’s really nasty?”

“What?” Lane stepped back when Shade approached him.

“This,” laughed Shade as he lightly hit Lane in the nuts. “Ball tag!”

Lane grabbed his crotch, and Shade went running downstairs. Lane giggled as he
chased Lane around the room trying to hit him in his nuts. I shook my head and
headed into the kitchen to fix us a snack.

I grabbed a bag of chips, a box of Oreo cookies and three sodas. When I went
downstairs, Shade and Lane were sitting on the sofa watching a cartoon. Both had
their hands in their laps protecting themselves.

I laughed and asked, “Who won?”

Lane replied, “We called a...” He asked Shade, “What was that word again?”

Shade said, “Truce.”

“Yeah,” giggled Lane. “We called a truce.”

I sat beside Shade and handed them a soda. I passed the cookies to Lane, and
Shade and I ate the chips.

Everything felt comfortable. All the pieces of my life had finally fallen into place.
Weeks earlier, I felt like my life had crashed down around me. My mother had
kicked me out of the house, and I didn’t want to live with my father.

However, somehow, happiness had crept into my life. It began with Lane. He
greeted me into his world unconditionally. He instantly became the family I missed
having. Then, Shade appeared. Each day I was falling more and more in love with
him. When I reached out and held his hand, Lane looked over and noticed. He then
took Shade’s other hand in his.

I rested my head on Shade’s shoulder, and I was almost asleep when Lane rose
and said he was going to his room to play a video game. He asked Shade if he
would like to play, but Shade said he would stay downstairs with me. As he started
to leave, a mischievous smile appeared on his face. He took a step, reached down
and smacked Shade in the nuts before he had a chance to protect himself.

“Ball tag!” Lane squealed as he ran from the room.

I looked over at Shade and said, “You’ll regret playing that with him.”

“I know,” replied Shade as he rubbed his crotch.

I reached out and cupped my hand over his. “Aw, do they hurt?” It surprised me
when he removed his hand and stretched his legs out. He smiled at me as I
continued to rub my hand over his stiffening cock. I looked over at the stairs to
make sure that Lane wasn’t watching.

He didn’t resist when I started to unzip his pants. In fact, he lifted his hips so I
could pull his pants down slightly. His erection was straining to escape his blue
bikini underwear. As I stroked him through his underwear, a spot of precum began
to appear.

Shade rested his head on the back of the sofa and closed his eyes. He moaned
lightly when I lifted his underwear to expose his cock about an inch. It was red and
swollen. He lifted his hips and I pulled his underwear down, exposing his full
erection. He was about six inches long. Drops of precum were emerging from the
narrow slit. I pinched some in my fingers, and rolled it around with my finger tips.
He moaned softly as he reached over and felt for my erection.

My heart was pounding as I leaned down and placed my lips about an inch over his
cock. He gasped and thrust his hips forward. I let my mouth engulf his entire cock.

“Oh God, Casey,” he moaned. He grabbed the back of my head as I continued to
suck him. A minute later, his body went rigid, and he blasted his cum into my
mouth. I let it fill my mouth until his body went limp. I jumped from the sofa and
ran into the bathroom. I spit it into the toilet, flushed and watched as it
disappeared. On the way back, I grabbed a towel off the towel rack.

Shade still had his head back and his eyes closed. His cock was beginning to soften.
He looked over when I sat down, took the towel and started wiping his cock clean.
I looked up, smiled and asked, “Feel good?”

“Mmmm,” he purred. “I knew it would feel good. I just didn’t know it would feel
THAT good.” He leaned forward and kissed me.

I giggled and said, “It was fun.” I started rubbing his cock again to get it hard.
“Want me to do it again?”

“No!” he replied as he pulled up his pants and underwear. He leaned in and kissed
me again. “I’ll take a rain check.”

“Deal,” I replied. Shade rested his head on my shoulder and sighed.

“That was wonderful,” he whispered softly in my ear. He then kissed me lightly on
my cheek. When he reached down and started rubbing my erection, I grabbed his
hand and stopped him.

He sat up, looked over and asked worriedly, “What’s wrong?”

“Today, I wanted to make you happy,” I replied. I looked over at the stairs. “We
may be pushing our luck if we do anything more.”

“But I want to make you feel good, too,” he insisted as he reached inside my pants,
grabbed my hard cock and started stroking it. I didn’t resist when he started to
unzip my pants. However, just then, we heard Lane open his bedroom door. We
quickly sat up, and seconds later, he was hurrying down the stairs. He ran over and
jumped on the sofa beside Shade.

He asked, “Whatcha doing?” Suddenly, he noticed the towel on the floor. He
grinned mischievously and said, “I know what you’ve been doing.” My face turned a
bright red.

He smiled at me and said, “I won’t tell anybody.” He puffed his chest out and
proudly informed Shade, “Men don’t tell when they make the white stuff come out.”
I nodded a sigh of relief when he looked over at me.

I couldn’t believe it when Shade reached down, grabbed the towel and tossed it
into Lane’s lap. “Here,” he laughed, “Then take care of this for me.”

“Ew!” squealed Lane as he tossed it back. “That’s nasty.”

When he jumped up from the sofa, Shade reached out and hit him lightly in the
nuts. “Ball tag!” For the next few minutes, Lane wrestled with Shade on the sofa as
he attempted to return the tag.

I asked Shade to stay for dinner, but he said he had to go home. I walked with him
to his car. Before he pulled off, I leaned down and jokingly asked him if he was
going to tell his mother what I did to him.

He winked and replied, “Men don’t tell when they make the white stuff come out.”

As he pulled off, I yelled, “You’ve been hanging around Lane too much.”

                                                  * * * * *

The next day at school, Rodney was waiting for me outside my history class. As I
walked out, he approached, grabbed me by my arm and walked me down the hall.

I asked, “What’s wrong?”

He replied worriedly, “Mike’s back in school.”

“Did you hear anything?”

“No,” replied Rodney. “But if he tries to pull any shit, give me a call.”

“I don’t have a cell phone.”

“Here.” He pulled a phone from his coat pocket. “I borrowed it from a friend, so
don’t make any calls on it unless you have to. I’m going to talk to your dad tonight
and see if he will get you a phone. You need one.”

I held the phone and examined it. “You sure he won’t mind.”

“She,” he grinned. “I got it from an old girlfriend.” He patted me on my shoulder
and started to trot down the hall. He turned, made a motion that he was talking on
a phone and hollered, “Call me if you need me.”

I was nervous the rest of the day. I looked for Mike at lunch, but he didn’t come
into the cafeteria. Rodney and Curtis ate at the same table as they normally do
with their friends on the baseball team. Rodney sat facing me. I think he was
worried that Mike would show up.

I felt safer in seventh period. Besides Shade and Megan, there were also a number
of other students who would come to my aid if I needed them. The drama
department is a close-knit group, almost like a separate community within the
school. Because of my close association with Shade, all the students immediately
accepted me.

Several of us were busily working on one of the mansion walls when Joshua strolled
across the stage. He immediately headed towards Shade. He put his hand on
Shade’s arm and said, “Shade, Darling. Megan told me to ask you to assign
someone to do my makeup.” I stepped closer and stood beside Shade. Joshua
noticed, and he rolled his eyes at me.

Shade walked over to the table to get his clipboard. Joshua followed, stood closely
beside him and looked over his shoulder. I know it was childish, but I walked over
and stepped between them. Shade was so busy looking at names on the clipboard,
that he didn’t even notice.

He looked over at Joshua and said, “I’ll assign Charlotte to do makeup for you.”

Joshua frowned and replied, “A girl?” He touched Shade lightly on the arm. “Can’t
you do it?”

Shade laughed and said, “I don’t do makeup.”

Joshua stomped his foot on the ground like a spoiled brat. “Okay.” He looked
around the stage. “Where is this Miss Charlotte?”

Shade asked another student standing nearby to take Joshua and introduce him to
Charlotte. When he left, I stated angrily, “I don’t like that boy.”

Shade laughed and replied, “He’s a diva.”

“Well,” I huffed. “He can diva my ass.” Shade laughed and gave me a quick kiss.

Since Megan had now cast all the parts, rehearsals started quickly. She sat with
them in a group and had the cast members reading over their parts. As I worked
with Shade on the set design, I watched as she paid careful detail to how they read
their parts. “She’s great,” I said with admiration to Shade. He looked over at the
table where they were sitting.

“Wait until you see the final production,” he replied.

I was surprised when Rodney came up from behind and asked Shade if there was
anything he could do to help. I knew he really wasn’t interested in theater. His
interest was focused on Megan.

Shade handed him a paintbrush. “Here,” he said as he pointed to an unpainted
section of the wall. “You can help Amy paint.” Rodney nodded, took the brush and
went over to where a girl was standing. He introduced himself, and she instructed
him what she wanted him to do. Every time I looked over at him, he was watching
Megan.

I jokingly said to Shade, “He’s got it bad.”

Shade glanced over at Megan. “Not as bad as her. She really likes Rodney.”

I looked at both of them and replied, “They do make a cute couple.”

Shade brushed his hand against mine and said, “Not as cute as us.” I leaned in and
gave him a quick kiss. I glanced over at Rodney. He smiled and shook his head.

Lane and I walked home. Shade had to go pick up his mother. There was a
rehearsal at six, and he said he would pick Lane and me up at five thirty.

As we walked, Lane grabbed my hand and held it. He was quiet for a few minutes
before finally speaking. “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure Little Brother,” I replied as I squeezed his hand. “Shoot.”

He hesitated a minute, then he finally said, “I’m getting all these things in my
head, and I don’t know what they mean.”

I stopped and looked worriedly at him. I was afraid there was a serious problem.
“What kind of things?” I asked. “You mean like headaches?”

He shook his head. “No,” he said. “Nothing like that.”

“Then what do you mean?”

He turned and started walking as he still held my hand. “Well,” he replied. “When
  
I’m trying to make the white stuff come out, sometimes I think about girls.”

I wanted to laugh, but I managed to suppress it. I took a breath and tried not to
giggle. “What do you mean, you think about girls?”

His face started to redden. “One time I saw a girly magazine that Rodney had
under his bed.” He started giggling. “They were naked.”

“Okay,” I replied. I felt that I shouldn’t say anything until Lane had finished.

“So sometimes when I play with myself and make the white stuff come out,” he
continued,  “I think about those naked girls.” He stopped and looked up at me. “Is
that wrong?”

I started laughing and pulled him into a hug. “Little Brother,” I laughed. “There is
nothing wrong with you. Besides, what brought all this on all of a sudden?"

He asked, "Promise you won't get mad?"

"Of course, I won't get mad," I assured him.

"Okay," he explained. "Remember yesterday when Shade kissed me?" I smiled and
nodded my head. "I didn't like it."

"You didn't like it? So you and Donnie have never done anything like that?"

His eyes widened, "Ew, no! We don't do nothing like that."

I put my hand on Lane's shoulder and said, "You've got to do what you feel is right."

Tears welled up in his eyes as he mumbled, “But I want to be like you.”

I pulled him into a hug and embraced him tightly. “You can’t be me, and I can’t be
you,” I whispered in his ear. “You’ve got to be who you are. Okay?”

He asked worriedly, “So you won’t be mad if I like girls?”

I pulled away and held his shoulders. Looking down, I replied, “I’ll love you any
way you are.” He hugged me tightly, and then we continued walking down the
street. Lane held my hand and skipped happily beside me.

After we had gone about a block, I stopped and faced him. I told him, “Someday
we have to have a sex talk.”

He giggled and asked, “You mean about the birds and the bees?”

I gave him a surprised look. “Who told you about that?”

“No one,” he giggled. “But I’ve heard Rodney and Curtis talking about what they
want to do to a girl. It’s nasty.”

I put my hand on his shoulder and replied, “That may not be the best source for
you to get your information. We’ll sit down sometime with some books.”

He giggled again and asked, “Will they have pictures of a girl’s virginia?”

I shook my head and continued to walk. “We do need to have that talk- and soon.”

He grabbed my hand, started skipping and replied, “Okey, Dokey.”

Since we didn’t have a lot of time, we made a quick dinner- spaghetti. I let Lane
make the garlic bread. He was learning quickly, and I didn’t have to keep an eye
on him as much as I had a few weeks earlier.

Rodney came through the door whistling, while Curtis headed to his room and
slammed the door shut. Rodney muttered, “Asshole,” when the door slammed
down the hall.

Lane asked, “What’s wrong with Curtis?”

Rodney shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Beats me. He’s stuck on stupid all the
time.” Lane started giggling as he took the bread from the oven.

I was disappointed because Dad arrived later than he normally does. I wanted to
speak to him, but I only had about fifteen minutes before Shade would pick us up.
When he finished eating, I asked him if we could talk for a few minutes.

“Sure, Casey,” he replied. “What’s on your mind?” I looked around the table as
everyone stared at me.

“Can we talk in private?”

He looked at Karen and gave her a puzzled look. It was the first time since  my
arrival that I had asked to speak to him. He rose from his chair and said, “Let’s go
to your room.” I nodded and got up from the table.

As we descended the stairs, I heard the doorbell. I asked my father if he could wait
a minute while I ran upstairs. Shade was waiting outside the door.

I stepped out and asked him if he could take Lane to school, and I would have my
father bring me a little later. “Is anything wrong?” he asked worriedly.

“No,” I assured him. “I just need to talk to my father about something.”

He agreed, and after telling Lane to put on his coat, I told him, “I’ll see you in a
little while.” Lane came outside, and they walked to Shade’s car. I waved to them
as they pulled off, and then I went inside to talk to Dad.

He was sitting on my bed when I arrived. I shut the door and sat beside him. I
knew what I wanted to ask, but I didn’t know how to begin. He noticed my
nervousness and spoke first. “Is something bothering you, Casey?”

“Kinda,” I replied.

“Well,” he laughed. “That’s a start.”

I took a deep breath and faced him. “Are you going to send me to college?”

A puzzled look appeared on his face. “Yes,” he said. “But I didn’t think we would
talk about it until next year when you are a senior.”

“Can we talk about it now?”

“Sure,” he replied. “Have you decided where you want to go?”

“That’s just it,” I said. “I don’t want to go.”

“Now, Son,” he responded. I could tell he was getting ready to lecture me on the
benefits of a college education.

“No, wait Dad,” I said. “It’s not that I don’t want to go to college. I do, but I want
you to use the money for something else instead.”

He looked puzzled as he asked, “Like what?”

I took a deep breath and said, “I want you to use the money to help Shade.”

He asked, “Does he need money to go to school? If he does, I’m sure there are
grants and scholarships he can apply for.”

I shrugged my shoulders and replied, “I don’t know what he plans to do.”

Dad shook his head. “Casey, this isn’t making much sense.”

“Okay,” I said as I took a deep breath. I then spent the next few minutes telling
him what Megan had said about Shade’s mother needing money to try to get his
father out of prison. He listened without interrupting. “So I’d rather you give my
college money to Shade’s mother.”

He looked thoughtfully at me. “You’re serious about this, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Sir,” I said. “Shade means a lot to me.” I didn’t exactly want to come out to
my father about our relationship, but if it helped Shade, then I was willing to
explain my motives.

He just looked at me and replied knowingly, “I see.”

“So you’ll help?”

He sat back and looked thoughtfully at me. Finally, he said, “I’m not going to
sacrifice your college education.”

I started to get angry. I stood and asked, “So you’re not going to help?”

He patted the side of the bed. “I didn’t say that, did I?” I shook my head. “Give me
a few days to deal with this. I have a couple of lawyers who work for me. They
mostly handle issues dealing with corporate law, but they may be able to advise
me on this. Okay?”

He stood and looked down. “Put on your coat and I’ll take you to school.”

I rose and hesitated before I put out my arms and hugged him. He at first seemed
surprised, but then he wrapped his arms tightly around me and returned the hug.

I whispered softly, “Thanks, Dad.”

He replied, “You’re welcome, Son."

                                                     * * * * * * *

                                          
 Chapter 23      Return to TMJ
Birds Don't Sing
   Before a Storm