The boys climbed into the back and Becky climbed into the passenger side.
"Becky, could you . . ., would you mind driving us there? I don't see as good as I used to at night."
"Sure," she slid over and Gladys climbed into the passenger seat. Becky started the engine and they rolled to the end of the drive way. "Which way do I go, I don't know the way?"
"Oh, that's right. Go left down to 81 and we'll take that to the right and stay on that until you see the signs for the hospital."
It was quiet in the cab and dark outside. Becky could hear the subtle sniffling which told her something was very wrong.
"You want to talk about it?"
"I couldn't tell him." She sucked up air and sobbed out. His Daddy is dead and his Momma ain't goin' to make it through the night. And he just lost his Grandma, oh how do you tell'em. The preacher is on his way to meet us there."
"Oh that poor boy. Well at least he has Andy. And us, we'll help him through it. Andy knows how it feels. I can't imagine it. 3 key family members in as many days."
"We're going to have to stop for gas, we're runnin' kinda low."
"We'll stop at the Sinclair station Right at 81. It's just a couple miles up on the right, just before the ramp."
Becky pulled into the gas station. The boys jumped out when the truck came to a stop.
"I got to use the restroom," Tad announced as he sprinted for the back of the gas station.
"I'll pump the gas Mom." He unscrewed the gas cap next to the driver's door."
"Put the high test in, we can't afford to have this thing sputteren." Aunt Gladys said as she turned away to hide her tears."
"Tell me what's wrong." Andrew asked.
"Look Andy, it's bad. It's worse than you had it when your Dad died. He's really going to need you."
"Tell me quick before he comes back."
"Honey, his Papa is already gone and his Moma, well, we're hurryin' as fast as we can."
"Andrew's eye's started to well up."
"Hey, there's no room for that. He's going to do enough of that for all of us. Right now I need for you to be strong. The reverend is waitin' to tell him about his Papa. If you're cryin' he's going to know you know. So dry'em up. Here he comes."
Becky handed Tad $40 from her purse. "Here go pay would ya?"
"Sure" he took the money and sprinted to the window.
Andrew finished the gas and put the cap back on and climbed back into the bed trying not to think about the horrors the night held yet for them.
Tad slapped the side of the truck, signaling Becky to drive on and he climbed back in next to Andrew. Andrew covered them both with the blanket and snuggled in and laid his head on Tads shoulder.
Tad turned his head and kissed Andrew's hair and lay his head against his. They pulled the blanket up over their heads as the truck entered the highway. And they slouched down closer to the bed of the truck to cut the wind and the truck noise.
"Andy, this feels really bad. Aunt Gladys . . . her eyes, I've never seen them like this. It's bad, I can tell."
"Worryin' won't help any. Hold me and tell me you love me some more."
"Alright, I love you."
"What kind of question is that? I love you more than anything, you know that."
"Ya, but I really like to hear you say it. Without you I have nobody."
"What do ya mean, nobody. You have your Mom and Aunt Gladys. You have plenty of people who love you."
"That's different, Parents . . ., parents go away. And then you're alone. Your kind of love for me, shines through the pain when I think about my Dad. It's the kind of love I have for you too. You know the difference."
"Well ya, I don't fuck my parents."
"No, that's just an expression of passion. The love I'm talking about is the kind I felt when you kissed me beside the fence that first night. Or when you kissed the tears from my eyes and told me no one ever cried over you. That has nothing to do with sex. You replaced a hole that I had inside of me for a long time. I had nothing to live for. I was just going through the motions. You sparked life into me again. . . I really love you Tad. What ever tonight brings, don't forget how much I love you and need you."
"Alright. Andy, I'm scared."
"I know. I am too. At least we can be scared together. For right now, just hold me, and love me. When I lost my Dad, I was alone. Mom had her own grief and I was left by myself. That was the hardest thing. And I was alone until I met you. No matter what happens tonight, I'll be here for you, you're not alone."
The hospital was crowded. It looked more like a refugee center from a war zone than a hospital. It had that hospital smell to it. Bleach and strong disinfectant. Tad just froze when he came through the door. The injuries around him yet to be seen were bad. And the worst of them had already been seen. If this was less than his parents injuries then they were in trouble.
Aunt Gladys went up to the window and spoke to the lady. She looked around Aunt Gladys directly at Tad and then spoke quickly to Aunt Gladys and pointed to a door over on the side, a door that said chapel and then she disappeared into the back. Aunt Gladys ushered them across the waiting room into the chapel. They went in and sat down. It was a small room with an alter and a few candles were lit. The light was very soft here and it looked very much like a very small church. Tad didn't need coaching. He went to the alter and knelt. Everyone went with him and followed suit. Even Andrew knelt and prayed. The door opened and the reverend came in and laid his hand on Tad's shoulder. Tad looked back and read what the preacher had not yet said.
"Which one." Tad asked.
"Both, I'm afraid son. Your father died in the crash. You're Mother just a few minutes ago. I was with her when she went. She was concerned for you. She never gave herself a thought." He took him in his arms and held him as he sobbed. After a bit, the reverend asked, "Would you like to see her? Understand that she was in a pretty bad wreck and the doctors worked feverishly to try and save her."
"Yes, please. They stood up and walked towards the door and he stopped and turned to Andrew. Don't leave me, . . . please."
`I'll never leave you. I'll be right here unless you want me to come."
"Yes," He turned to the Reverend, "He can come too, can't he?"
"Of course he can."
Andy gently placed his hand on his shoulder as he was led out of the room and into the emergency room where his mother lay. She looked like she was sleeping. The nurses had cleaned her face up and neatly folded one hand over the other. Tad walked up beside the bed and leaned over and kissed her lips and gently stroked her hair before he sat beside her bed and cried softly.
"Andrew and the reverend stood outside the room. What about his Dad, can he see him too?"
"Best not, he was pretty badly mangled. I don't think he is recognizable. They I.D.'d him from the wallet in his pants. That usually means they couldn't tell . . . otherwise."
"Well they aren't sure yet but somehow a car lost control and slid in front of a tanker causing it to jack-knife and roll into the median. It exploded just as the bus went by. It blew half the side of the bus away and blasted the rest 40 yards into a wheat field. Most of the fatalities were instant."
"Look, his Mom said Andy and Tad must stay together no matter what. Those were her very last words. Are you that Andy?"
"Yes. We're lovers."
The Reverend just squeezed his shoulder as they looked on. "He's going to need you a lot I think in the coming months. You have no idea what he's going through."
"Oh, I think I do. Reverend, will you see to their personal items? Rings, glasses and things?"
"You have been here before, . . .I'm sorry. Yes. Do you know where they want the bodies sent?"
"No but Aunt Gladys can probably tell you. Not too many choices out where we are. I'll take him back to the chapel. He has a sister, did you call her?"
"No, I had the home address and had the operator call the farms on either side. One of them directed me to you folks. Can he stay with you? He shouldn't be alone right now."
"Sure, he's been staying with us for a while now. His parents were returning from his grandmother's funeral."
As Andrew left the company of the reverend, he heard him say, "Oh, dear heavenly father. This boy has lost so much . . ."
Andrew walked into the room and took Tad by the arm and lifted him to his feet. "Come on, there is nothing left here but a shell."
The doctor was in the chapel when they returned.
"Hi Tad, I'm Dr Campbell. I am so sorry for your loss. We did everything we could to try and save her but her injuries were just too severe. I've talked to your Aunt Gladys and she says you can stay with them. I've given her some medication to help you sleep and some to take for depression. I want you to see your Doctor in a few days. You've been through a lot. There is a lot yet to go through. I'm so sorry. I have to get back, the reverend will stay with you. Stay as long as you need to.
"Tad honey, what's your sister's telephone number?" Aunt Gladys scribbled the number on a small piece of paper and went to the reverend. He pointed to a phone in the corner.
"Would you like for me to call?" I'll be glad to; I understand how difficult this is for every one. I never get used to it either. I dearly hope I never do. I think I'll be making a lot of calls tonight however."
Yes please reverend. I'm no good at these things. Just tell her he's fine, or at least as fine as someone can be at a time like this. But tell her he has been with us for a while and he'll be next door at my place. Thanks reverend.
The reverend made the call while Gladys went back and talked to the others.
"Boys, why don't you get your things together and head for the truck, I'll be out in a minute?"
"Wait, I want to see my father."
"Honey, ya can't. I'm so sorry. He was not recognizable. They said he died instantly though so he wasn't in pain."
"How can they possibly know that? Have any of them ever died before?"
"I know you're upset Tad, what can I do to . . ."
"Nothing, I'm sorry Aunt Gladys, I . . . , I didn't mean to snap at ya. Please forgive me; I just don't know what's to become of me. Where do I go from here, what do I do?"
"Well, right now honey let's go home. The reverend is talking to Hester now. I'm sure she will be here soon. You just stay with us like you have been. We're your family for right now OK? Everything is going to be allright. You can stay with us as long as you need to."
"Come on," Andy said taking his arm and pulling him close to him, "Let's go wait in the truck."
"Wait, what about Momma? What'll they do with her? Do I need to sign something or do something?"
"No honey," Becky stepped in. "The hospital will take care of her for a bit until the reverend at the church calls them and then the funeral home will come and take her to her resting place with your Papa. All you can do has been done for now. It's all being taken care of. Just go with Andrew and we'll be out in a moment." And she kissed him on the forehead and hugged him. He burst into tears.
"My Momma, she's gone. Papa too. We fought when we last talked."
"Shush now, come on." Andrew put his arm around Tad's waist and ushered him out to the truck.
As Andy guided the dazed Tad lazily to the truck, the reverend returned.
"Well she took it pretty hard. She was concerned that Tad was with them when it happened. I assured her he was fine and in good hands. She is going to catch the first flight out and she'll come directly to your place. She asked that I thank you for taking care of her little brother. Ms Harter, if there is anything else I can do, here is my card. Feel free to call me if you need to."
"Thank you so much Reverend, you have helped so much. Keep us all in prayer would ya please? I think we are going to need it."
"Of course, please drive carefully on the way home. It's easy to get distracted when your emotions are running high. Go with God."
Becky and Aunt Gladys walked out to the truck together. They knew it was going to be a rough couple of days ahead.
Tad and Andrew were nestled into their spot in the back of the truck when they got to it. Andrew was sitting up and Tad was laying down on his side with his head in Andrews lap as he gently stroked his hair. The redness of his eyes told them he too had been crying.
Becky stopped for a moment as Aunt Gladys got into the passenger seat.
Becky looked at Andrew, "Hey there, how you holding up?"
"I'm . . . alright." He said softly as he wiped his nose on the sleeve of his coat. Becky reached inside her purse and retrieved a pack of tissues and handed it to him. "Thanks Mom."
As Becky climbed in the driver's side and started the truck Aunt Gladys got out and reached over the side of the truck and tucked a small flask in Andrew's hand.
"Here, it's likely to get cold on the way home, it's a bit of the recipe. Go easy on it but I `spect he could use a drop or two right now."
"Thanks," Andrew said through a smirk that said, "If I say more, it'll be through tears." With a subtle wink she retreated to the cab of the truck.
Andrew opened the flask and took a sip. It burned all the way down. He took another sip and sniffed. "Here Tad, take a hit off of this. It'll warm ya up."
Tad stepped back into reality from where ever his mind was and took the flask and drank from it hungrily.
"Hey go easy on that. It's got to last us all the way home." Tad handed it back to him and sat up leaning his head on Andrew's shoulder.
"I didn't even get to say goodbye to her."
"Shush, she knows you were there and she knows you love her."
"What makes you say that? How do you know?"
"When my Dad died, I thought the same thing. He came to me in a dream that night; the night they told us. He told me he loved me and he showed me that he could see us there. It was weird, like he could play an instant replay in my mind only the view was from near the ceiling instead of from the bedside where we really were. He smiled and kissed me and placed that gold chain around my neck and then he just faded away. I woke up with that chain around my neck and no clues how it got there. It had to be more than a dream."
"Then, I'm wearing some ghost's chain around my neck then?"
"Don't be silly, that was just how he showed me the dream was real. It was how he showed me he loved me. And it turned into me showing you how much I love you."
"When you told me your Dad gave it too ya you never said he was dead when he did it."
"Of course not. I didn't want you to think I was crazy. I just met ya. Besides, I never told anyone about it. Not even Mom."
"I wonder how they're doing back there, can you see anything?" Becky asked Aunt Gladys.
"Can't see a thing. Black as coal out there. I gave them a bit of the recipe. I figured they might take a nip and then maybe sleep would come easier. I bet they're asleep right now."
"Well we'll be home in just a few minutes anyway, I figure we're about twenty minutes away from the house. I think Andrew will be good for Tad right now. If anybody has a clue as to what's going on inside of Tad its Andrew. I can't explain it but the day after Chuck died Andrew was pretty much fine. He was a wreck when he went to bed but when he woke up he said he knew that his Dad was alright, he was . . . just dead!"
"Land sakes, what a thing to say. Kid's minds can be wonderful sometimes the way they find a path through things like this. And overnight you say."
"Yep, just like that, he stopped crying. I think he's revisiting it though tonight. His eyes were pretty red when I got in the truck. He was almost in tears again when I asked him how he was holdin' up. I think if he had to utter one more syllable, he would have been bawlin' his eyes out. But he got through it, I'll bet he can help Tad get through it too. We'll all get through it." She finished with a sigh.
"Here we are. I'll get the boys off to bed, you want to make a pot of coffee?"
"Coffee? I was thinkin' a bit of the recipe myself. But if you'd rather have coffee I'll make a pot."
"A woman after my own heart. Skip the coffee, let's get shit faced."
"You're on." Aunt Gladys said as the truck rolled to a stop and Becky shut off the engine.
"Andrew why don't you and Tad head up for bed. I think you guys have both had a pretty trying day. Rest is what you need right now I think."
"Sure Mom. Here, can you give this to Aunt Gladys? We finished it about half way home. Think we can get a cup of tea, I'm frozen and I'm sure Tad is too."
"Well Tea will probably keep you up let's go see what Aunt Gladys has."
As they collected their blankets and headed into the house Becky was already explaining to Aunt Gladys.
"Andrew, Tad why don't you take your blankets upstairs and get your clothes on for bed. I'll refill your flask and bring it up in a minute. That'll warm you right up and help you sleep. We can call it medicinal."
The boys smiled and went up to their bedroom and pitched the blankets on the floor. Aunt Gladys was right on their heels.
"Here you are boys," she said quietly as she handed them the flask with renewed contents.
Tad took it from her and smiled, "Thanks Aunt Gladys, I don't know what I would do without you." And he kissed her on the cheek.
"It's alright Tad, think nothing of it. We've been family for a lot of years now. So you two climb into bed and tomorrow will be a brighter day."
"Thanks but I think if you don't mind, I'm going to have a sip of this here fine recipe and then I'm going to soak in a hot shower for a bit just to get warm and maybe git the smell of that hospital off of me."
"Sure, that'll be fine. You just go right ahead and do what ever it takes to get comfortable and get through this night. One day at a time right now Tad, just one day at a time. G'night."
"Goodnight" the boys said together.
"Mmmm, this here recipe tastes pretty good tonight. Come on let's go jump in the shower." He looked devilish as he unscrewed the top of the flask and took a second pull off of it.
"Tad, are you sure you wouldn't be better off just getting a quick shower and then turn in? I mean, you've just been through a lot!"
"Look, I know what I have just been through and pretty much what's to come. Right now my head is so tight with stuff that I can't think about it any more or it will make me go insane. What I need right now is to forget about the world, if only for a little bit, ya know?"
Andrew looked into those red rimmed sorrowful eyes. "Ya, I do. Come on, let's go." He took the flask out of his hand and took a big drink. It took his breath away. "This is a bit stronger than the last stuff I think." He said weakly through his missing voice looking at the flask.
"Ya that stuff she gave us in the truck was watered down a good bit. You better lay off of it or you won't be able to get it up." Tad said kiddingly as he shoved Andrew towards the shower and closed the door behind them.
The boys slipped off their bibs and shed their shirts and climbed into the tub. Andrew bent over and turned on the water. He held his hand under it testing the temperature. Tad had his own ideas of testing the temperature of things and stepped in behind Andrew. Andrew, feeling tested, responded by directing the water from tub to shower blasting Tad with the left over water in the shower head which as always, was ice cold followed by piping hot. Tad screamed when the ice water hit him and stepped back.
"Oh you shit you! That was fucking cold."
"Ya, well I can warm ya up no problem," Andrew said as he stepped into him and slipped his arms around his waist and pulled him into a solid embrace. Their love stalks rubbing against each other and both standing quite tall.
Tad wrapped his arms around Andrew, as he looked into his eyes and pulled him into a kiss that lasted quite some time as the hot water cascaded down on top of them.
"I love you Andy. I don't know what I would do without you. Where would I be right now if it weren't for you?"
"Let's not even consider it. I'm here and I'm not going anywhere. I love you and I'm here for you. Now shut up and turn around, I have something for you. I promise it will take your mind off your troubles."
"Ya? Well suppose you just turn around and I'll take my own mind off it for a while?" Tad laughed as he started a little slap and tickle. Andrew kissed him as he pulled him in closer again and then spun around in his arms. Andrew placed his ass directly where it needed to be to receive Tad's fullness. Tad hugged him from behind and started kissing his neck and rubbing his huge manhood against his ass.
Andy moaned as the kisses worked their magic bringing him to an exponential height. His tool ached from being stretched so taut. He turned his head and kissed him on the cheek then pulled him around front again and hugged him as he gently pumped his manhood against Tad's. More kissing.
Andy moved down to Tad's neck and ravaged him while Tad searched his ass crack with his fingers finding that tender spot where he entered and found his manclit. He rubbed it gently causing Andrew to moan and gasp for breath. Tad kissed him and worked it some more until Andrews breathing became rapid. He maneuvered behind him and Andy bent over slightly against the shower wall offering his small tight ass to him. And Tad took it. He ran the tip of his head across Andrew's hot and hungry hole. He flinched at the scalding heat of his sizable member.
As Tad entered, Andy came up and reached back and pulled Tad forward by his neck, pulling him in behind him. He turned his head and kissed Tad as Tad kissed him deeply he pressed forward another inch, causing Andrew to stand on his toes to try and escape the huge intruder that felt like it was shredding his insides. He pulled on Tad's neck again and reached his other hand over his head to feel the soft wet hair of his lover. Tad kissed him deeply and ran his hands down the front of this fully stretched out teenager.
His left hand reached around and felt the washboard flat of his now muscular stomach while his right hand searched tenderly by gentle touch until his fingertips grazed his nipple. When he brushed against it again, Andrew gasped as his manhood arched and throbbed hitting the back of Tad's left hand still laying across the smooth flat pubic plate. Coming to rest just above the base of Andrew's love mound.
Andrew writhed in pleasure driving Tad's white hot manhood in further causing ripples throughout his body. His muscles massaged Tad's bone causing him to moan loudly.
"Oh, Fuck I love you so much. Take the rest," he whispered and he pushed his engorged member all the way home. His mound was nestled tightly between Andrew's love nest while he danced more trying to get out of reach.
Tad hugged him tighter as he started moving in and out. Smoothly at first, then sometimes jagged like his breathing.
Andy's tightness was only surpassed by the passion with which he drove his vertical frame to grasp and squeeze Tad's rock hard messenger.
Tad whimpered and pulled him in as he thrust it forward and brought his other hand down over his abs. His finger tips causing his muscles to involuntarily contract as he reached for Andy's rock hard post. Andy gasped and his muscles rippled at his touch. The ripple motion of his muscles translated directly into more shuddered compressions against Tad's wholeness, making him almost mad with lust. He responded by slamming into him like a hundred and sixty-five pound jackhammer.
Andrew responded in kind, gasping and moving to more of Tad's touches until they were in a race to see who could get to their height of orgasm first.
Tad blasted his scalding hot love sauce into Andrew's begging hot ass, triggering Andrew into a milking frenzied bucking, that emptied Tad's last drop. Andy just moaned and tightened up.
"OH, SHIT, I'm going to cum!" he cried out.
Tad spun him around and dropped to his knees and drank him in to the hilt as Andrew began to fire. He could feel the scalding hot joy juice left by Tad trying to escape. The searing heat running out of his so quickly vacated hole triggered another onslaught of firing.
Tad worked it top to bottom as Andrew bucked and pulled him down on top of his engorged meat, he let loose with what felt like a gallon of scalding sweet boy jam. It oozed out of his mouth as he blasted faster than he could swallow.
Spent, Andrew dropped to his knees kissing Tad as they both fell into a slump under the steamy hot shower.
It worked, for a short time. Neither of them were aware the world existed.