Castle Roland

Never Give Up

by Maxieplus


Chapter 15

Published: 8 Jan 15

Never Give Up

by Maxieplus

We did the one hour journey to the farm in no time. Everybody was there to welcome us. I hugged Mrs. L who was looking much better and shook Rob's hand. Got a hug both from Mike and Luke. Luke felt my hair.

He said, "That's better"

Mrs. L said:

"Dan, you're in your old room and Cody, the Barn's that way"

"What?" Dan said. "No Mum!"

"Only my attempt at humour son. You're both in your room, Bubbie. Which reminds me - Squirt, we have a date with quite a few photo albums"

I said. "Dan, can you settle me in? Your mum and I have a date"

"Settle yourself in Squirt. Mum, you can wait till later much later" She dropped her lip and said.

"Ok Bubbie"

He took me upstairs and then into the attic. It had been renovated beautifully. Large windows in the roof provided ventilation and a pot belly stove provided warmth. "God I've missed this place Codes."

He drew me in and started to kiss my face all over.

The only problem was the two single beds Dan pushed them together with a grunt.

"All sorted" he said.

We were both still getting over the Stewart incident. We held each other tight all day and all night. We had passionate sex when we could and bought little silly presents for each other. The Footy season starts in three weeks. Dan's training schedule is grueling - he's exhausted. We went downstairs I needed coffee but not before I blew him as he sat at his old school desk.

Mike said, "Pay up Dad"

His father handed over ten dollars.

"What's that about Mike?" Dan asked.

"We all wrote down how many minutes it would take you to move the beds together. I won."

"Fuck! I love this family" I laughed.


"My apologies again Mrs. L."

"I should bloody well think so"

I raised my eyebrows to her but said nothing because she was doing the same to me daring me to. I giggled loudly.

We sat around catching up.

Luke whispered to me, "Did Dan sort everything out?"

I said. "Eventually he got my point but it was so hard to do Luke, so fucking hard. It still hasn't left me. It feels like I have grey clouds overhead all the time. I hope you never have to go through it."

(When Luke rang I was in a rage he calmed me down, talked to me, hushed me, hugged me over the phone and caressed my mind. I only told him a small part of the problem, I didn't want him to know what an asshole his brother was being. I knew I couldn't leave Dan but I needed to let him know I could if I tried.)

Dan showed me the cattle. He took me out on the four seat quad bike down to the lower paddock. We kissed and played with each other under a big shady tree. He couldn't get enough of me. I just thought it was the new hairstyle Luke talked me into.

We had a great meal and I sat at the table with Mrs. L and her albums. Of course the boys started shoving photos at me.

"Look Codes - me on the bunny rug," Mike said. "Wasn't I cute and big wait till you see Dan's - he's cute and small!"

He wiggled his eyebrows at me I heard a thump under the table and a yell from Mike. "Mum, Dan kicked me."

"Well son you must have done something bad" Rob said. I saw Dan take a couple of photos and slip them in his back pocket.

Later on, after seeing hundreds of pictures of the family, Mrs. L said, "I can't find your bunny rug photos Bubbie."

Everybody started to look for them. I put my hand out and snapped my fingers.

"Give em up Dan"

"What?" he said. "They must have gotten lost"

"Give em up Dan."

"I don't know what you're talking about Codes"

"Daniel Lawrence you know exactly what I mean - the photos in your back pocket!"

"Oh Codes, do I have to?"

"Yes you do Daniel" His mum said.

He pulled five photos out and I took them. I fawned and sighed and made baby goo-goo noises cute little grunts. Then I looked at Mike and said, "You're right - he is smaller."

I wriggled my eyebrows.

"Squirt, don't do that to Mike - he's got health problems" Dan said.

"No I haven't" said Mike.

"Well you soon will have if I catch the eyebrow wriggling thingy again."

Again a round of laughter; Dan couldn't wait to get to bed that night he had dreamed of having me in his boyhood bed. He had me on all fours with my butt in the air, screwing me wildly. It didn't take him long to cum. "Fuck! You're tight, Codes. I couldn't stop cumming."

"All the exercises I do Dan"

Then he started to whisper kiss my neck.

"Codes, are you awake?"

"Yes, Dan."

"You wouldn't have dumped me would you?"

I turned toward him face to face and said, "No Dan I wouldn't have. Absolutely not an option"

"Oh, okay," he said.


"Yes Dan"

"Do you really think he would have harmed you and Luke?"

"Oh yes, Dan. He was more than capable of hurting us."


"Yes Dan"

"What makes you think that?"

I waited forever to answer him and said, "He is the same type of person Susan Phillips was Dan. And she killed a beautiful boy I once knew for a minute. If not harming me you or Luke, Dan, he is still capable of causing heartbreak for many families."My tears were coming.

He put his leg over mine and whispered: "I love you Cody Mitchell."

"I love you too Daniel Lawrence."

I shook in his arms with bitter tears thinking of a beautiful boy, my disappointment in Dan, and then fitfully drifted off to sleep.

My nightmares started again that night. I got up around four a.m., made a cup of tea and went out to sit on the back porch hugging myself. I wept for Dan but I couldn't make him feel better. He treated me like shit and he knew it. Any attempt on my part to take some of the blame would be a backward step for me.

Luke came out about an hour later. I started to sob it felt like my heart was bursting through my ribs while I shook uncontrollably. He held me and caressed me with his voice again.

I said "Sorry I woke you Luke"

"You didn't Codes. I had a nightmare it wasn't very pleasant but it's all forgotten now."

I looked at him and said, "All forgotten?"

Eventually Dan came to look for me. He found me with Luke asleep on the porch swing.

He said, "Codes I'm so sorry I love you more than life itself, I did a very stupid thing. At first I was waiting for you to put a stop to it you are a lot stronger than me. Then when the alcohol took over I didn't realize what he was doing until it was too late." He started to cry. "I don't want your forgiveness Cody - I could never ask that of you. But I want your love even if it's a little bit. I can't live without you in my life Codes."

His head was in my lap his tears were real. I stroked him and whispered, "Dan, it's over we are still together and I will love you forever, I will never give up on us but you must remember – it's you and me first and foremost everything else is secondary."

Luke stirred and we went inside to start breakfast. I didn't leave Dan's side all day. Mrs. L noticed our solemn mood.

She said, "Bubby, can you help me collect the eggs?"

He said, "Okay Mum"

They were gone for an hour or so. When they came back Dan had been crying.

He hugged me tightly and whispered.

"I promise I will always protect us Codes – always!"

The barn was another fantasy. I got hay all over my butt it itched like crazy. When we were walking up to the house we heard Mike yell, "Mum, Dad! Dan and Cody have been doing it in the hay loft"

Dan took off yelling.

"Michael Lawrence, get back here!"

"Fuck! I love this family"


"Umm apologies, Mrs. L"

I talked for ages with Mrs. L. She was feeling a lot better since she came home and her Doctor was very confident the cancer was gone. She thanked me again for the help I had given her. We became closer that weekend. I could never give this family up. We helped Luke to pack and loaded up his Ute. He did ask about James. I said, "With all that's been going on I haven't seen him for a week but he is genuinely sorry Luke. It's up to you if you want to pursue a relationship." But I still had my doubts.

I sort of felt what would happen, because James couldn't get into Luke's pants he would pursue him until he could, then dump him. His ego wouldn't let him give up. I was so scared I might be right. But why am I also thinking he's so right for my Luke. After saying our sad farewells to the three we left behind, Luke followed us up the highway to the City. It wasn't far to the farm. He could go home anytime.

I got Dan to have security alarms installed in both apartments and a panic button in Luke's bedroom hooked up to a bell in our bedroom.

"It's insurance Dan - just in case."

"I understand Codes. I understand more than you think I do. And I thank you for the idea."

"Luke's going to be fine but I still want him to learn some self-defense"

"Cool Squirt, I'll leave it up to you"

Our weekend was over we helped Luke settle. He just loved the freshly-painted apartment and was looking forward to starting University. He will have seven years of study but he loved medicine so much I don't think he would get bored. They met me at the Players' room Monday night after work. We were going out to dinner at the little Italian restaurant. John and Matt were coming too.

James was there and Luke looked a million dollars. Dan was watching James like a hawk. His billboards had been unveiled and his bits were photo-shopped. You couldn't see anything except his incredible hard body minus the treasure trail that was cut out also; smoldering eyes and thick hairy legs. Fuck, he was hot but not in the same league as my farm boy. He kept looking at us and Luke. He must have gotten enough Dutch courage to come over.

"Can I join you Dan?"

Dan just growled and said, "Sure James what's happening?"

Luke didn't react at all.

"Oh not much happens in my world Dan. I'm the youngest on the team. I don't get included much socially. I mostly help out at the family Pizza place when I'm not here and I study a lot"

'This is getting interesting,' I thought. I asked, "What are you studying James?"

"I want to be an Architect I go to night school two nights a week and do classes on the internet at home when I can get the time. It's going to take me ages to finish."

"Interesting James but what about your football career?"

"Well, Cody, I'm good at Footy but it's not my first love. And I also know it's not going to last forever, the modeling was just a bit of fun but it's really not me"

"So Jamie, between school, Pizza place and footy I'm guessing you don't do much else."

He blushed and said, "No I don't have a social life at all Cody, as a matter of fact you and Luke are the first gay people I've ever met." Then he dropped his head and said, "And I would give anything for Luke to look at me and show me his beautiful eyes again and forgive me for being so fucking stupid."

Luke looked up suddenly at him.

"Dan, can you help me get some drinks?"

"No, it's okay Codes. You can do that"

I lightly tapped Dan's foot with mine under the table.

"Oh, okay Squirt. I want to talk with Johnno anyway. Be back in five kids."

We went to the bar where I whispered to Dan, "He's perfect for Luke, Dan."

"What?" he roared.

"Did you hear what he was saying - he's doesn't sound like a stupid gay jock to me Dan."

He looked at me and said, "Don't forget - he had Luke's pants down."

"Yes Dan, but maybe I read it wrong, maybe Jamie's a clumsy virgin too"

"Look at them Dan they're perfect- at least they're talking."

He gave me a lost look and said,"Jesus you're weird Cody. What gets into that brain of yours? I don't understand you sometimes."

"Clearly you don't Dan"

And I wiggled my eyebrows at him.

He just grunted, got his beer and went over to talk with Johnno still staring at me but eventually started laughing to himself. He winked and gave me the thumbs up. He finally got it.

I gave Jamie and Luke ten minutes of speed dating then went back to the table.

"Everything okay here kids?"

"Yes Cody, I invited Jamie to come to dinner with us and he's accepted."

"Great!" I said. "We will go as soon as Dan can round up Johnno and Mattie"

Jamie said, "Oh are they coming also?"

"Yes James they are, but you and Luke can take a separate table if you like, you don't want to be hanging around us old folks all night, do you?" I winked.

He said, "Thank you Cody."

"Is that okay with you Luke?"

He just smiled at him and said, "Perfect Jamie."

We left for the restaurant in three cars. Jamie went with Luke.

"Dan don't say anything but they want to be alone, so I suggested they get a separate table so they can talk and Jamie doesn't know about John and Matt."

"Okay Codes whatever you want"

"It would be like a first date," I said.

"Yeah like ours Squirt?"

"What - in the players box on the oval?"

"Uh uh?"

"I made a date with you on that night. I deliberately cornered you"

"Why Codes?"

"Because I had watched you weep in that same box before and I loathed seeing you like that. I was in love with you and wanted to make you better."

"Well squirt you do that every minute of every day. I love you so much Codes."

"I love you more Dan."

"Hey Codes - can we just go home?"

"No, Dan, not an option."

"Oh, okay."

We all arrived together and Franco showed us to a table up the back. Dan said to him, "Franco we want to talk business, can you find a nice quiet corner for the kids but within eyesight so I can watch them?" He was looking at Jamie. I'm sure he made a small growl.

"Did you just growl Dan?" I said.

"Uh? God you are weird tonight Squirt."

We had a great meal they stuffed themselves stupid. The boys talked football I watched Luke and James. They were doing a lot of talking,Jamie had at one stage taken Luke's hand, and Luke pulled back instantly. But when I looked again they were touching fingers. It was so sweet. Guess I'll never try to second guess anyone from now on. Well, you really don't believe that do you?

It was eleven before we left the restaurant. Luke said he and Jamie were going back to his place for coffee. "Then I'll drop him at the club to collect his car."

"Okay Luke see you in the morning goodnight James, take it easy."

He just said. "Yes easy does it for me."

I'm sure he had a boner in his pants. Those Italian puppy eyes were glued to Luke's face, I think he would have followed him anywhere.

"Dan, go to sleep." We had made love and were just playing with each other, Dan was unsettled.

"He has the panic button so take it easy let's sleep."

"Maybe I should go check Codes" he said.

"Dan, go to sleep."

We then heard Luke's car start. It was hotted up and had a great rumble to it. We listened while it left the apartment block and I'm sure Dan listened for it to come home. I just went to sleep; I knew everything would be all right.

We couldn't wait to see Luke in the morning. We waited til Dan finally said, "Let's go down."

I said, "No we can't Dan."

Finally there was a knock at the door. Dan opened it and Luke stepped into the apartment glowing, I instantly knew he was in love.

"Well done Luke" I said as I hugged him. He gave me a funny look.I whispered, "You're glowing Luke."

He blushed.

"Well. Luke" Dan said. "What happened?"

He looked startled. "Nothing happened Dan."

"Something happened Luke he didn't leave till two a.m."

"What Dan you stayed awake?"

"Yes we stayed awake just in case the bell went."

"And did you have your baseball bat at the ready, Dan?"

"No, Luke, but I'll get one today. That's a good idea."

"What's for breakfast? I'm starving!" Luke said.

Dan said, "You're starving and do you feel the need to have a lazy cigarette also?"

"Dan, stop it," I said.

"Did you have a good time Luke?" I asked.

"Yes thank you Codes. I had the best time. We talked at dinner. We talked over coffee and we talked in the shower."

"WHAT?" screamed Dan!

"Got ya', Danny boy. As if I would jump into bed on the first date Dan. God you must think I'm easy and shallow."

"Of course I don't think that Luke," Dan replied.

I put the food on the table and they sat down I listened to the brothers trading quips and insults.

"Don't worry about Cody boys he's gone out" I said.

"Uh?" Dan looked around.

"No you haven't Squirt you're still here."


Luke had breakfast with me and the chief inquisitor then he said he had to go do some washing and he would see us later. He thanked us for the food.

He couldn't help himself - Dan piped up and said, "Among your washing is there a pair of dirty sheets and skanky underwear?"

Luke turned and said, "Yes Dan there are actually, would you like them to do some DNA testing on them? Bye Codes bye Dan, have a wonderful day!" he said as he floated out the door.

I later went down and had a chat with Luke. They had just talked,Jamie spent the whole night apologizing. He told Luke he had no experience and thought Luke had after watching the show at the bar. He also told Luke he couldn't take his eyes off him at the Ball and at the club.

"So he read you wrong Luke, I'm sorry I had a hand in that one"

"Don't worry Codes now that I know about it I think I'll try it again next time I'm there, but there will be a different reaction this time. We didn't get intimate Codes, neither of us are ready for that yet but we did do a lot of pashing," he giggled. "It was awesome when we finally figured out how to do it properly. He's so gorgeous, Codes, and gentle. I know he won't hurt me again."

"I'm so happy for you Luke. When are you seeing him again?"

"Codes he's staying the night tonight,oh not like that Codes - just kissing, cuddling - but I hope to get a grope!"

"Lucas Lawrence! You sly devil you!"

"Sorry Codes I have waited so long for this to happen but he is coming for dinner and staying the night despite what Dan says."

"Okay," I said. "I'll keep Dan busy."

"Umm you do that Cody."

We had a giggle. Luke also told me Jamie was out to his family. He had told them when he was fourteen. They are just now okay with it. He promised them he wouldn't become mainstream gay like saunas, clubs, and warehouse parties. And he told them the first guy they will meet will be the love of his life. I teared up a bit at that comment because Dan had done the same although he didn't know it.

We said our goodbyes and I went into work. There were not a lot of bookings as they drop off when autumn and then winter begins. It's still nice but can turn nasty at any time. Cyclones, floods, and bush fires are always a threat. So my workload nearly becomes non-existent. I dreaded the last winter - it was hard to survive with not much money coming in. Now I really don't have to work. I could get a better income from my investments but I really wanted them to build up. It's my lifeline in case something happens.


What was I fucking thinking? Cody was beautiful on the inside and outside, I loved all of him. And I wanted him to feel like he could be himself anywhere at any time. I just sat at a table in the Players Bar and observed my team mates. I didn't notice it before maybe because I only have eyes for Cody. I looked at them in their Tank tops, T-shirts, upmarket shirts; then I noticed their jeans, belts, and bracelets. Some had hipsters on that showed their cracks and underwear; some had shorts that dropped to their hips. I had never noticed before but today when I was dressing to come meet Codes I looked at the free stuff I had in the wardrobe. There were clothes I had never worn, good labels; shorts, jeans, all sorts of things. I usually settled on things I was comfortable in but today I thought, you know what? Fuck 'em.

I looked at a pair of denim washed hipsters tried them on with a pair of white briefs they didn't look half bad on me. Not that I dressed down all the time. But I just didn't feel the need; Codes had been trying to get me to wear something like this for weeks now. I put a really snappy T-shirt on did my hair, aftershave. Looked again and said 'here goes nothing.'

But when I got to the bar and observed the other guys they were all nearly dressed the same. I thought fuck it and called Larry over, he sat down and we talked for about twenty minutes. I said to him eventually.

"You know Larry; I've got something to tell you. It might shock you, so I don't want you to do a runner."

He said. "Okay Dan what's the problem you gonna come out to me at last?"

I was dumbfounded.

"What the fuck! Larry"

He said. "Don't sweat it Dan we all know your gay and now at fucking long last with Squirt."


"Well Dan we suspected it awhile back when Squirt worked behind the bar, you couldn't take your fucking eyes off him. It took you a long time to hook him though we were getting a little worried you might just chicken out. Don't know what the fuck Susan was doing with you, but I knew you weren't an item. It's okay Dan we are all very happy for you and Squirt you know how much we love him. We don't have a problem with it. Oh by the way Dan, it's just us seniors that know nobody else."

"Well I'm shocked am I that obvious?"

"Well no Dan you're not in the least girly and neither is Squirt, but your eyes betray you; they light up when he walks into the room. Your song was aimed at him also we picked up on it, but no one else did. What's the big deal? You're a great Footballer; Squirt's our friend too, we are all happy there's no problem. Now all we have to do is get the other two assholes to out themselves and all will be sweet."

I knew who he meant. He went back to the other guys and they all raised their glasses.

"Cheers, Dan!!"

I just sat there with my jaw open. Not long after Cody came in he also got a round of cheers.

"What was that all about?"

"Tell you later Squirt. I'll get you a beer."

I went to the bar and spread my legs, dropped my keys and slowly picked them up showing bum for miles. I heard another rousing shout of Cheers and clapping. "Well done, Dan! I'm proud of you," Larry said.

I looked at Squirt his jaw was open I grabbed the beers and walked back I closed his mouth. "Dan lets go home, you look so awesome."

"Sorry about that Codes I just outed us."


"Only to the seniors but all's cool - we don't have to hide anymore and we are surrounded by the best bunch of guys ever, I need you to be comfortable everywhere we go"

I just said. "Dan I love you so much."

"I know Cody It's the hipsters that are making you say that"

I spread my legs in the chair showing my hard cock to him.

"Please Dan, let's go home."

"Okay we finish this and maybe you can talk me into screwing you."

"Okay Dan" Squirt said in a dream-like state.


When we got home I spied Jamie's car in the car park but Dan didn't. We got inside and were both naked in no time. God, what we did that night is unprintable. We had two orgasms before we went to sleep we couldn't get enough of one another we spooned for ages afterward basking in our glows.

"Dan how did you out us to the boys?"

"Umm Codes, I just collared Larry and told him the facts. He said, 'All's good - the team has known about us for some time now."

I said, "They knew about you?"

"Apparently they were sweating on us getting together sooner and they were glad we did."

"Well, what do you know surprise after surprise."

I said, "Dan?"

"Yes Codes?"

"You looked so fucking hot tonight did you deliberately drop your keys?"

"Cody, you know I'm not a cock teaser."

"Okay Dan - you are and you did."

"Oh, okay Codes."


"Yes Codes?"

"Can I fuck you?"

"No Codes but keep asking - you never know when you're going to get a yes from me."

"Okay Dan - Goodnight."

"Goodnight Codes."

No not over yet it seems.

"Codes have you seen Luke today?"

"Yes Dan. He's having dinner with Jamie"

"Oh okay Cody."

I continued, "Then he's staying the night."

"Okay goodnight Cody."

"Goodnight Dan I love you"

"I love you lots more" he said.

"Dan, you awake still?"

"Yes Codes"

"You're not mad that Jamie's staying the night?"

"No Cody he's gonna be okay and they really like each other"

"Oh okay Dan." I snuggled in.

Dan added, "Jamie asked me today if I would mind and I told him I would run his car off a cliff if he so much as touched Luke's ass."

"Oh nice Dan that's good."

"Night baby."

"Night Dan."

It was full on in the morning shower. I managed to get a finger into Dan's ass. He blew straight away I lifted my eyebrow.

He said. "It's still no."

Then he got down and dirty with me, Luke came for breakfast and was just looking adorable.

Dan said, "Have a good night Lukey?"

"Yes Dan awesome!" He winked at me.

"Did Jamie touch your bum, Luke?"

"Dan why would you ask that?" He flopped down into a chair.

"Well, he stayed the night I hope."

"Oh Dan -you know?"

"I didn't say a thing, Luke," I said.

He replied, "I know he found out another way Codes"

"Well - as a matter of fact, Jamie asked me if I minded if he stayed the night," Dan said.

"He did?"

"Yes," Dan said. "I said I didn't mind but he'd better not play with your ass"

"Oh my god Dan you didn't?"

Luke put his hands over his face and started shaking his shoulders, he was weeping.

Dan said, "Oh Lukey - I'm sorry I was only looking out for you"

Luke said. "He didn't touch my bum all night I thought he didn't like it, so I asked him this morning he said he didn't want to see me again. I thought there was something wrong with me, Jamie went home crying and now I don't know what to do"

Dan hugged him and said. "Luke you have a great ass don't think like that."

"Okay Dan can you find out from him why? He talks to you we hardly spoke last night. We kissed and we played with each other's dicks, but he didn't touch my bum"

Luke sounded really upset.

Dan said, "You touched his dick?"

"Yes, Dan I had to - I couldn't get it in my mouth so I had to guide it in"


"It wasn't good, Dan. I wanted him so bad to play with my ass."

Then he looked up and said, "And Jamie was so pleased his car was still there this morning. Got Ya' Sucker!"

"I fucking love this family!" I screamed laughing.

I nearly wet myself at Dan's face. Luke and I just wailed with laughter. Dan's face was so red I thought he might have a stroke. He was furious. When I calmed down I said again, "I love your fucking family, Daniel Lawrence! I just love them!!"

Luke and I high-fived each other.

Luke said. "Did you like that performance Codes?"

"Yes I fucking did, you nut case you nearly had me for a moment."

He looked at Dan and said, "Dan, we are taking it slow but I don't ask about you and Cody's sex life, can you stop with the threats? He's not going to do anything I don't want him to do - OKAY?"

"Okay," Dan said.

Then he slapped Luke on the head.

"Fucking asshole."

We finished breakfast and Luke was going into Uni to look around and get his schedule for his classes and maybe meet a professor or two.

I said, "Dan what do you want to do today?"

He said, "I need to get to a Chemist and buy some lube and condoms."

"Whatever for Dan?"

"For Jamie - he's gonna need them very soon I think."

Luke looked at Dan and said.

"You're assuming Jamie's a top Dan, are you sure of that?"

Dan was just lost. "Come on Codes let's go for a ride I need some sanity in my life."

"See you later Luke." I high-fived him again.

"Sick. So sick."

I was still laughing when I got into Dan's car.

"Where we going babe?"

"Well, I thought we could go for a ride up the mountain, find a quiet spot and make-out."

"Sounds good to me Dan lead on."

We did manage to do some making out, but it was a nice day, so really we just sat in the car and took the view in.

"Footy season starts soon, Squirt. You got your season ticket organized?"

"Yes, Dan all done. I will be at all the games unless work requires me. I've instructed our Accountant to send me a cheque each month to supplement my wages. I'll stop it when I start getting busy again."

"What are you going to do with all your spare time?"

"I thought I might dedicate it to you, Lover, and keep you happy."

"That's sweet Codes. Can we go home now?"

"Okay, Dan. I can see you're a bit excited about that."

We went home and spent the afternoon in bed. It was very satisfying for both of us. Dan went off to a Training meeting and I potted around tidying up the apartment. That night we drove to the club. The usual ladies' gallery was there. Luke and I just waited for the boys to finish up. I saw Greg and asked about Luke joining his classes. He was glad to have him onboard. He said, "I will work out a fitness programme for you also, Luke"

We thanked him and went back to our bar-watching. I noticed a man I hadn't seen in there before. He was looking directly at me. He also looked familiar. I got a little edgy, but really didn't think too much on it. Luke was talking about his classes and what he had to take. He had a list of books and they were quite expensive.

"Luke, have you got enough money for them?"

"Dan's taking care of my expenses Codes. He offered to put me through school."

"That's really generous of him. I guess he can afford it, Luke. I really have no clue what Dan's worth."

He said. "Codes, I think he makes more a year with his modeling than his Footy"

"Well, anyway, he's a great guy for doing that for you. If you need extra, just ask me. You're my family too."

"Thanks Cody"

Dan and the boys finally came in and he made a beeline to us he squeezed my shoulder and said.

"Beer anyone?"

Luke said yes but I declined.

"You not feeling well Codes?" Dan asked.

I said. "I'm okay Dan. I only wanted the one. I'll end up with a big belly if I don't cut down."

"Oh okay, Codes do you mind if I have one?"

"No Dan - go ahead."

I watched him as he leaned on the bar - no spread legs this time, but the butt was pretty bloody nice. The man I noticed earlier went over and started to talk with Dan. He was doing a lot of talking actually. Eventually Dan looked at me and waved me over he introduced me to him.

"Squirt this is Kevin Lawson, Stewart's father." My heart dropped.

"How do you do, Squirt? I've heard a lot about you - all good I assure you. I'm really here to talk to both of you about the appalling way Stewart treated your friendships"

"How is Stewart?" I said trying to be polite but not wanting to be.

"He's good, we have him at home with us now and he's a lot better. My wife and I wanted to apologise to you both personally, but she was called interstate at the last moment, so here I am. Stewart has had a drinking problem since he was fourteen, we tried everything but were at our wits' end by the time he enrolled in University."

He continued, "You see, he was apparently abused by a family member when he was thirteen. We didn't know about it til he broke down and finally told us when we took him home. The family member who did it is in jail but for other offenses. He won't be let out anytime soon. He told us about you both and how he tried to break your relationship up. He was extremely remorseful. Dan, he figured you both were gay the first day but he was hurting and he did admit he was also gay. He's having intense counseling and we hope for a full recovery. Whatever problem he had with you Squirt he never told us; maybe in the future. But I do apologize and thank you for letting us know what was going on in the flat." He just shook both our hands and left.

Dan and I went back to our table. Jamie had joined Luke.

"Well that ended well Cody"

"Yes Dan hopefully he is getting the help he needs, let's just leave it for now, we can revisit it another time."

"And how are you Mr. James?" I said in a happy voice.

"Great Cody got the supplies today for Luke to use and I'm looking forward to tonight. Luke do you want me on all fours or up against the wall sweetie?"

"I think the first time I would like to take your ass on the balcony - maybe give the upstairs neighbors a show!" Luke laughed.

"Ok babe we can do that."

We all laughed even Dan. (as if they even would consider it) but when we got home Dan kept looking down to Luke's balcony.

"Dan! It's too bloody cold out there, come inside, dinner's ready."

"Oh okay Codes, I'm there."

I had a wine with dinner, but I am really considering giving alcohol a miss for a while. I have one major addiction – that's Dan and I think that's all I want for now. We had a shower, played a bit. I wasn't in the mood - my grey clouds had moved back I just wanted to hold Dan to me and stroke him.


'Be strong Cody and never give up,' I thought to myself, I knew what was coming. "Yes Dan."

"Codes, if Stewart was gay why did he act so awful?"

"I don't know the answer Dan," I said.

"Cody why did he try to push a wedge between us?"

"Dan it was you."

Silence then.

"What do you mean Codes?"

"He wanted you Dan. He was trying to get rid of me, he was obsessed with you. He didn't think for one minute we were together".

"But that can't be right Codes - he never said anything he didn't do anything."

"He slept in our bed while I slept in the guest bedroom. He monopolized your time away from me. He insulted, ignored, and belittled me in my own home. He came to my club and dismissed me like I was a piece of stinking dog shit on his boots." I could feel the rage building up inside me again. "You stood there and accepted it, you nearly killed me Dan, and everything we ever had by keeping silent. He would have made his move after I left and you turned to him for comfort. He would have tried to convince you I was no good for you Dan."

Long silence, I could feel Dan's tears falling on my chest, I felt so sorry for him. There was nothing I could do - I couldn't say it was all right. I couldn't say it doesn't matter. I could just hold him while it all sank in and I could pray it doesn't happen again. I went into a deep sleep.

Dan did try to wake me later on but I was too mentally exhausted to care. I turned him over, spooned him and said,

"Go back to sleep my beautiful friend. I'm still here. I adore you and that's all that matters."

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