Still Another Chance ~ Book Four of Another Chance

Chapter Sixteen: Who You Love

by Zarek A Dragon


Zac's birth-father showed up wanting to get money from Zac. That was the day before Zac's birthday. On Zac's birthday, Patrick rushed out of his room and accidentally broke a horse statue. Plans were made to try and fix it, but then Jake came running out and the statue shattered.

Sebastian got out of jail early and came to the Ranch as ordered. Will and Peter started to become friends, with maybe more. A boy named Tom Harper showed up at the home and asked to spend the night. His stepdad kissed him with tongue and it creeped the boy out.

Gate Separator

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Tom was the first boy to show up for breakfast. Joe asked him, "How'd you sleep?"

"Well, I was surprised with how comfortable the bed was. I slept great."

"Good, Sheriff Archer would like to speak with you while you eat."

Reluctantly, Tom spoke with Nick and told him everything. He told Nick about the hugging and kissing. When he was done, Nick replied, "It sounds like he hasn't broken any laws yet but might have been on the verge of it. I'll go talk with him."

Tom started to cry, "You do that, you might break up Mom's marriage."

"He should have thought of that, but I need to let your mom and him know where you are and why," Nick stated.

"Do I have to go? I don't want to see him again and I'm afraid Mom will be pissed at me."

Slowly shaking his head, Nick replied, "No Tom, for now, stay here. After I've talked with your family, I will let you know what will happen." Nick stood up, "If you don't feel comfortable living at that house, this Home is a safe harbor, meaning that as long as you stay here, you are safe. If you leave here, other than to go home, you will be classified as a runaway."

"Thank you for telling me. So far, I like the people here, so that's no problem."

Fence Separator

As Nick was driving to the home of Tom Harper's mother, a 9-1-1 dispatcher called him, "Sheriff, we have a report of a missing boy, age seventeen, by the name of Tom Harper. His mother reported him missing this morning."

"I am already on my way. I can report Tom is safe, but he gave some serious allegations against his stepfather."

"Understood Sheriff. I will let the family know that you are on your way but will leave the rest up to you."

Tom's mom, StephanieNick pulled up the drive to the farmhouse on the property. As he got out of his vehicle, a lady, obviously Tom's mom, came out of the house. "Thank God, you are here! I haven't seen my son since supper, I thought he went to bed, but his bed is still made."

"Is your husband home?" Nick asked. "I really need to speak to you and Ralph."

"How did you know my husband's name? Did you find Tom? Did Ralph do something to him?" The lady was becoming hysterical.

"Relax, Ma'am. I really need to speak with both of you, but Tom is alright."

The woman sighed, "Thank heavens, I will get Ralph. Would you like to come inside? I just made a fresh pot of coffee."

Fence Separator

Jim and Patrick were out at the barn when Sebastian showed up, "Am I running late?" Sebastian asked.

"No, Patrick and I started early. Patrick starts school next week and wants to start getting used to working early so he can help before he has to get ready for class."

"Kid, with that character, when you are old enough to run, I would vote for you as President," Sebastian chuckled.

Patrick questioned, "Even though I am gay?"

Sebastian nodded, "One thing that I have definitely learned from you guys, who you love shouldn't matter. What's inside, or your character should. Yes, Patrick… as long as you remain like you are, I believe you will be the best person for anything."

Patrick smiled, but Jim was the one to comment, "Sebastian, that was a very wise statement, and a great compliment to Patrick. I may be biased, but I agree with you."

"Thanks, and if you truly want to be friends, I would like that. Thanks to you, Joe, Zac, Chris and Patrick, I don't hate anyone just because they are gay. I still hate Wallace, but only because of what he did to me, but I want to forgive him. Dr. Bear said that by forgiving him, I will eventually find peace and start to heal."

"That is true," Patrick uttered.

A voice came from outside the barn, "I am glad to hear you say that." It was Bill Ziegler. As he came into the barn, he broke in, "Sebastian, I am recommending you for early release from your probation as soon as you finish reimbursement of the medical bills. From the start, I believed you were a good kid who just did something wrong. Hearing you talk without knowing I was listening, you confirmed that."

"Thank you, Bill, that means a lot," Sebastian cried. "I have another confession, if I may."

Bill looked surprised, as did Jim and Patrick. "Will this change my mind?"

"No Bill, I don't think so. Truth is, I have been thinking a lot. When I am at home, I have nothing else to do. What I have come to realize is, had Wallace not forced me to have sex, I might have enjoyed it. While I still consider myself straight, there are a few guys that I wouldn't mind trying sex with. Who knows, maybe I am really bisexual."

"You are right, that didn't change my mind. As far as I am concerned, you can be gay, straight or a leprechaun and it wouldn't change my opinion of you."

Patrick laughed, "A leprechaun? Dad, catch him, so we can get his pot of gold."

"I'm not a leprechaun," Sebastian chuckled. "And I definitely do NOT have a pot of gold."

"What if I lend Sebastian the money to pay back the reimbursement?" Jim offered. "I'd have to talk with Zac first, but…"

"I appreciate the offer but being on probation with Bill as my PO isn't bad. I don't see anything causing me any trouble and Bill is working with me as far as me not having my own transportation. Besides, someone is supposed to take me to get more clothes today and I don't need the added pressure of paying off another debt."

Jim tried to explain, "Actually, I think it would relieve some of the pressure. Instead of paying the medical bill AND for the clothes, you would have just the one lump sum, and you already know we will work with you on it."

"If you accept their offer, I can probably have you off probation by the end of the month," Bill advised. "It's your call, but my advice would be to accept, but only because it would reduce the financial burden you will have."

"Fine, if Zac agrees, then I will accept." Sebastian conceded.

"Oh, there is one other thing," Jim grinned. "I don't lend money to friends, so until after we've lent you the money, we can't be friends. You can owe us and become friends, but…"

Sebastian couldn't control his laughter, "Fine, we can become friends tomorrow or the day after."

Fence Separator

Tom's stepdad, RalphieNick was sitting at the table when Mrs. Malloy and a boy not much older than Tom entered the kitchen. "My name is Ralph, Ralph Malloy, is this about Tom?" Nick noticed right away that Ralph had an English accent.

"It is; first, I want to tell you both that Tom is safe," Nick replied. "He said that he doesn't feel comfortable here and is at a Safe Harbor."

Stephanie Malloy couldn't believe her ears, so she asked, "Doesn't feel comfortable here? Why not?"

"He made an allegation against Ralph."

Ralph became agitated, "All I did was hug him and tell him that I love him as my son. I told him that I wasn't about to try and replace his father, but I hope we can be friends. What did the bugger say I did?"

"According to him, you hugged him, kissed him and said that you wanted him."

"To be friends, nothing more," Ralph swore, "he must have misunderstood what I said."

"I saw you kiss him, Ralphie," Stephanie admitted. "It looked like you love my son more than me, but as long as you don't sleep with him or have any sexual actions with him, I wasn't going to care. Now, he doesn't feel safe in our own home. What did you whisper to him?"

"At this time, you have not broken any laws," Nick stated, "so I am not arresting you, but after visiting here, I don't believe I can bring Tom back here, either. At least not in good conscience. Mrs. Malloy, you don't have to sever your parental rights to Tom, but I will recommend he stay where he is, and you can arrange visits. Ralph, for the sake of your marriage, and for Tom's wellbeing, I recommend you stay away from Tom."

"What if Ralph moved out?" Stephanie asked.

"I don't think it would matter."

"As long as Tom is safe and happy where he is, I suppose that is all that matters. Who do I speak with to talk with him?"

"I will arrange for you to speak with him and the person running the Home tomorrow at noon. The initial meeting will be in a conference room at the Sheriff’s Office. After that, if Tom wishes to continue meeting there, I can arrange that, or you can meet wherever Tom feels safe. I'll be honest, I don't care where you meet, I just care that Tom is safe."

With that, Nick stepped outside. He overheard Stephanie ask, "Did you tell my son that you wanted him?"

"Don't get me wrong, I love you very much. I very much enjoy our time in bed and you are teaching me so much, but I do enjoy both genders and your son is closer to my age. Yes, I would like to sleep with him, but not until he is eighteen. I'm not about to chance breaking any laws."

"Ralphie, I love you so much, but I don't know if I can live with you. You hurt my son."

"Stephanie, please don't leave me. If I must choose between you and Tom, I love you. I married you. Can we at least talk?"

"I'll see what Tom has to say, but if he says he will live with me if I leave you, I have to do what I think is best for Tom."

Hayes, England"I understand, and I am sorry. If it'll help, I will move back to Hayes. I love you, Mate."

"We'll see what Tom says."

Fence Separator

Chris was in the office, so Zac came out to take Sebastian to Jake's Trading Post, but Jim stopped him. He called Joe and asked him to come to the office. Once everyone was there, Jim told them what Bill had said to Sebastian. Chris asked, "Do you mean that WE pay off the medical bill for him shooting me and then Sebastian pays us?"

"Chris, emotionally, you will probably be the most affected by this, which is why I want your input, but yeah, that is pretty much what it breaks down to. At first, Sebastian didn't want us to even consider it. He feels he already owes us too much."

Joe looked at Chris, "If Chris is alright with it, so am I, but if Chris doesn't feel right with it, then I have to say no."

Chris stated, "Thanks Joe, I feel like all of you will decide based on how I feel. I hold no ill will toward Sebastian; in fact, I think he has been torturing himself for too long as it is. I would say to just give him the money, but I don't think he would take it if we did."

"As I said, he was reluctant to accept it as a loan," Jim declared.

Zac nodded his head once, "Now that that is settled, I'm taking Sebastian to Jake's Trading Post, and we can stop to pay off the medical bill, so he can get off probation."

"There is one other thing that you may be glad to hear… Sebastian told Patrick that he no longer hates anyone just because they are gay. In fact, the only one he currently hates is Wallace, which I think is understandable. He said something else, but it's not my place to say what that is."

"Is he gay?" Chris asked.

"No, he said he definitely considers himself straight." Jim wanted to tell them that Sebastian might be bi but didn't know how Sebastian would feel about it. He felt that he may have revealed too much already.

Fence Separator

Nick sat with Tom and Joe, "Ralph admits that he hugged you. He didn't admit to the kiss, but your mom claimed to have seen it. Then after they thought I had left, I was standing on the porch and overheard him admit his feelings for you. He did say that he would never do anything sexual until you were eighteen. He claimed that if he was forced to choose, he would choose your mom. He even offered to move back to Hayes if that is what it took to make her happy."

"Mom stood up for me? She's not angry with me?"

"She's not angry with you. She wants to see you, so I said I would arrange a meeting at noon tomorrow. The decision to go home or stay here is yours, but I recommend that you stay here. Even if she leaves Ralph, he may be a part of your life."

"I love my mom, but I wouldn't feel comfortable living with her as long as Ralph is alive. Even if he moved back to England, what's to keep him from coming back here?"

"I've told you what I've found out and have given you my recommendation. Whatever you do is your decision. It sounds to me like you've made up your mind, and I think it's the right move to make."

Fence Separator

As Nick was getting ready to leave, he stopped in at the office of the Ranch, "Hey Chris, I just found out that Sebastian got out early and started working here. I just saw him, Zac and Jake getting in Zac's truck. How are you feeling?"

"To be honest, Dad, I was worried about how I would feel until I spoke to him," Chris admitted. "Once I spoke with him and saw how genuinely sorry he was, I couldn't help but forgive him. He even wants to be friends with everyone here. It doesn't matter if they are gay or straight. He's changed a lot, Dad, and I am happy that I get to see this side of him, so I am good. That could have been me without having you as my dad."

"I'm glad to hear that, Chris," Nick had a tear roll out of his eye as he saw the person Chris was becoming. "He tried to apologize the day he shot you, but I refused to accept it then. While I wish you hadn't gotten shot, I think that day proved to be very important in Sebastian's life. I am glad that he decided to go the correct route from that."

"He really is a good young man, Dad. And now, I would like to never hear about that day again. I want to move past it."

"In that case, consider the matter dropped, I am happy if you are happy. Enough said."

"I love you, Dad."

"I know you do, Chris, but I never tire of hearing you say it." Nick ruffled Chris's hair and left.

Fence Separator

When Sebastian got into Zac's truck, he looked at the little boy Zac was putting in the back, "You must be Jake. Your dad has talked a lot about you, so has Patrick."

"Yup, I'm Jake. Papa said that we are taking you to Jake's Trading Post, but I don't own it. That's another Jake."

"Yeah, I questioned that when they told me the name," Sebastian chuckled.

Jake looked serious, "Are you the one who shot Uncle Chris?"

Sebastian started to cry, "I am, and I am really sorry that I did."

"Uncle Chris said he forgave you, so I can, too."

Zac sat in the driver seat, "Chris suggested that we give you the money instead of lending it to you…"

"I won't accept it unless it is a loan, but I do appreciate the thought."

"Chris suspected that, and Jim confirmed it, but know that if you did accept, we would have given it to you."

"I appreciate that and all that you guys have done, but I feel that I need to pay this debt. To be honest, when the judge sentenced me to work for you, I was really against it, but agreed because I said I would accept whatever punishment," Sebastian wiped his eye, "now, I am glad that was my sentence."

"I know you kind of resented it at first, but I like that you are a man of your word." Zac gave him a quick glance, "Sebastian, no matter what anyone says, we will have your back."

"I sense that. So, did Jim tell you anything about me?"

"He said that you no longer hate people just for being gay, but you do still hate Wallace, which is understandable."

"He didn't tell you that I might be bisexual?"

Zac shook his head, "No, unless you gave him permission, he wouldn't tell anyone. It's not his place to out you."

"I guess that is true, and I am thankful he didn't betray my confidence, but at the same time, I wouldn't have minded. Truth is, if he wasn't married, I'd be interested in Jim, that was part of why I tried getting him to suck me in school."

"I suspected that, but you claimed to be straight."

"Well, I am glad that he didn't give in. At the time, I thought all gay people would sleep with anyone. Boy, did he prove that wrong."

"Well, I trust Jim with all my heart, and he trusts me." Wanting to change the subject, Zac asked "So, what do you think of the house you are living in?"

"For one person, it is big. I do have a friend who said he would move in with me, but he can't until the first of the month."

"That's cool. What's his name?"

Oliver"Oliver," Sebastian stated. "I almost lost his friendship when I went to jail."

Zac didn't sound happy, "Not much of a friend if he dumps you for going to jail."

"Truth is, going to jail wasn't why he almost called off our friendship. I didn't know it until last night, but he is gay. He was there when I got out and asked if it was true that I hate gays."

"And you told him yes," Zac surmised.

"Initially, yeah, I did, and he walked away. Last night, I called him, and he wouldn't answer the phone, so I left a voicemail. I simply apologized and said I hoped I didn't ruin our friendship."

"I take it, he called you back."

"Yeah, Zac, he did. I told him about working with you and how I've come to understand that homosexuals are people just like us, only they love their same gender. That was when he told me that he is gay, and I started crying and apologized again, and I told him that I thought I might be bisexual. He asked if he could come see me, and when he first got there, we kissed… I mean we really kissed, like you and Jim probably do. If I could be turned gay, he would be the one to do it. That really made me think I might be bisexual."

"Well, you know we've been telling you that you can't be turned gay. So, Oliver moving in on the first?

"Well, after we kissed, we went inside, and he saw the place. He said his lease was up at the end of this month, and he wanted to know what the chances were of him moving in."

"That is totally your choice. So, are you planning to experiment with Oliver?"

"I'm game for it. I mean, it will help me understand better whether I am straight or bisexual, right?"

"Probably, but it might leave you wondering even more. I can't tell you how to figure out if you are gay, straight or bisexual. I can suggest different things, but everyone is different. I can also tell you for me, it was the fact that I was never attracted to girls, and when Jim came along, I knew he was the one I wanted to marry. I didn't even know if he was gay or straight at the time."

Sebastian pondered, "But doesn't the fact I want to have sex with Oliver suggest that I might be bisexual?"

"At this time, you could be just curious. You may try it and find out it's definitely not what you want. If you do experiment with Oliver, make sure he is aware that you are experimenting, trying to figure yourself out. That way, it's less painful if you are in fact a hundred percent straight."

Zac took Sebastian to pay the medical bill first, then they took the receipt to Bill, so he could start the paperwork to get Sebastian off probation. Bill smiled when Sebastian handed him the receipt. "I'm glad you took them up on their offer. Several kids your age get messed up in the system, especially if they don't have a caring PO."

"But I have you, and you care," Sebastian argued.

Bill nodded his head, "That is true, but what if one of my parolees gets mad and shoots me tomorrow? What if my replacement messed with you, trying to get you caught up? I do care and that's why I want you off probation as soon as possible. You are always welcome to visit me, though."

"I see your point and thank you. Had you not suggested I accept the offer, I probably wouldn't have."

Bill let Sebastian read the report he was sending to the judge recommending his early release. "What if the judge doesn't go for it?"

"Then you'll see me once a week until you are released, and I will fill out the reports saying that you did, but usually, when a judge sees something like this, he goes with the recommendation. In about a week, you will stand before the judge who sentenced you. He will ask you some questions. If you are honest with him, I believe he will release you."

"Thanks, Bill. I'm glad I had you as my PO."

"I am, too, Kid."

Fence Separator

Friday, 19 August 2016

Joe had Tom at the Sheriff's Office just before noon. Stephanie walked in a few seconds after they did. She walked up to Tom, hugged him and kissed his cheek. "I am glad to see you are fine, Tommy."

"I'm not fine, Mom," Tom wept. "You have no idea how Ralph made me feel. And I am not a little kid anymore. Will you quit calling me Tommy, I prefer Tom."

"Shall we go into the conference room?" Joe suggested. Nick led them to the one he had reserved.

As they sat in the conference room, Stephanie spoke, "Tommy… er, Tom, I know that Ralphie made you feel weird. I understand that. I want you home, but I also want you to feel safe and happy."

"As long as Ralph is a part of our lives, I can't feel safe or happy. Even if he moved out, I would have that fear." Tom reached for his mom's hands, "I love you, Mom, but I can no longer live with you."

"What if Ralphie moved back to England?"

"What’s to keep him from returning?" Tom argued.

Stephanie took a breath, "I totally understand how you feel…"

"Do you, Mom? I don't," Tom interrupted.

"Baby, I love you and wish you could feel safe at home, but I understand why you can't. For that reason, I am happy that you are at a place where you can. Can I visit you there?"

Tom looked at Joe with a slight smile. Joe handed a card to Stephanie, "You can visit Another Chance Boys' Home as much as you want, except when the boys are in school. Just do not bring Ralph with you. I recommend you wait a week for your first visit to help Tom get used to living there."

"I love you, Mom, and I'll see you in about a week."

"I love you, Tom."

Fence Separator

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Classes were beginning, and Patrick was looking forward to seventh grade and seeing his classmates at school again, especially Scott. He hadn't seen him since the camping trip. Since his family moved to Cody, Patrick Henry would be joining his class, too. Jake was excited about going into the first grade. "I'm going to school just like Daddy and Patrick," the boy cheered.

Jim was starting his classes, too, but his first class wasn't until eleven. Chris was now in his senior year, so that left Zac and Sebastian at the Ranch. Zac was doing most of his classes online, and he had no set schedule. He did some of them from the office but took breaks to take care of business when needed.

Sebastian stopped in the office, "All the horses are taken care of. Is there anything else I should be doing?"

"When Jackson owned the ranch, he always told us that riding was as much a part of the job as any of it. When nothing else was needed to be done, honing your riding skills was a good way to pass the time."

"So…" Sebastian wasn't sure he heard right, "you want to pay me to ride?"

Zac chuckled, "That is about what it amounts to. Or, how are you at teaching others to ride?"

"I know the basics and can teach others. I'm not an expert, but I can get a new rider started."

"You have a new rider, what's the first thing you would want to do?" Zac inquired.

Sebastian replied, "I would want to get to know them, see what they actually know. Then I would teach them about the different tack used. Once they had a basic knowledge of the tack, I would help them pick out the perfect horse for their riding skill. Before I would even let them get on the horse, I would teach them about pre-riding grooming."

Zac smiled, "I have a lady coming today at noon. I thought I was going to have to forward calls to my cell so I can teach her, but you told me what I needed to hear. Would you like to train her on the basics?"

"Seriously? Do you know her skill level?"

"She's never been on a horse before. In fact, she and her two children just moved to Cody from California."

"Yeah, I can start her with the basics, but once she's mastered that, someone else will need to take over," Sebastian warned.

"Mainly, all we teach here are the basics, then they hone their skill by riding. Just be warned, your next pay will be different."

Sebastian became worried, "How so, you pay different for instructors?"

"Yeah," Zac laughed, "you'll start making a dollar more on the hour. I'll make that retroactive to include your time yesterday."

"Sweet!" Sebastian hollered. "By the way, Oliver has everything moved into the house, I hope you don't mind that I let him start moving in so that on the first, he can just hand his current landlord his keys."

"Well, it's not me that you really have to worry about, but I know Peter won't be upset."

"I didn't think he would. He seems like a good kid. Part of me would like to adopt him and his brothers."

"Three years age difference with three boys," Zac winced, "that might not be easy to pull off. They were concerned about Jim and me adopting Patrick with us already having Jake. Patrick is six years younger than Jim."

"I said a part of me would like to. Besides, they probably would not let me adopt with having a criminal background," Sebastian averred. "but I wouldn't mind acting like a big brother to the three boys."

"If you are serious, I can check into it. Jim wanted to be Jake's big brother, which is what led to us adopting him."

Sebastian looked Zac dead in the eyes, Zac could see the moisture forming, "Would you, please. I really do like Peter and I believe I could be a good influence on him."

"Yeah, I think you would, too. I will try, and Ms. Davies is here."

Sebastian walked out to his new student, Zac could hear him chatting, "Good morning, Ms. Davies. I understand that you have two children. Will they be learning to ride, as well?"

"Most definitely. When my car broke down, it was a boy living in the Home that helped us, so when my kids expressed an interest in learning to ride, I thought of your ranch first."

Sebastian kept the conversation cheerful, "Excellent, and I understand you have zero experience with a horse. We plan to change that, but I hope you don't expect to be riding right away. I do believe you will be on a horse before the day is done, though."

Zac couldn't hear any more as Sebastian moved to the barn, but when he came back out, he was carrying tack and explaining what each piece was and how it was used. Zack worked on his classwork while watching and listening. He was pleased with what he saw and heard.

Gate Separator

Friday, 26 August 2016

Sebastian's hearing was scheduled for three in the afternoon, so Chris could attend. Chris wasn't happy about having to go, but the judge wanted him there. When Sebastian's case was finally called, the judge looked at him, "Young man, I believe I sentenced you to six months jail time and three years of probation. You only served two months, almost three of the jail time and now you are seeking early release of the probation?"

"If I may, Your Honor. I was released from jail due to overcrowding and good behavior. Since then, I have been working at Another Chance Ranch as ordered. I am thankful that you ordered me to do that. It wasn't my idea for the early release, but that of my PO, Bill Zeigler. He overheard me talking with Jim Bolt and his son, Patrick, telling them how, thanks to everyone at the ranch, I have learned that homosexuals are people just like me. If Your Honor believes I still need probation, then I have no problem with fulfilling the terms, but I wanted to let you know, it wasn't me requesting it."

"I am aware of that, young man," The judge stated, stoically. He looked at Chris, "How do you feel about this young man getting off probation early? You are the one he shot."

"Truthfully, Your Honor," Chris replied, "my brother offered to lend Sebastian the money to pay off the medical bill. At first Sebastian refused, feeling that he already owed us too much, but his PO recommended that he take our offer. Then, my brother talked with me, his husband and my other brother. We unanimously agreed to lend Sebastian the money. We did it hoping Sebastian could get off probation and hopefully forgive himself. So, you ask how I feel about it. I believe nothing you can do will ever compare to how he has already tortured himself."

"I see," the judge turned toward Sebastian. He saw the tears flowing as Chris spoke. "Punishment is meant to do two things. The first is to teach the offender a lesson. Listening to you speak, I believe that you have learned the lesson intended." Sebastian nodded slowly, not wanting to interrupt… The judge continued, "The second purpose of punishment is to deter a person from committing the crime in the first place, or if they had, to deter them from being a repeat offender. Will I see you back in my courtroom for shooting another person?"

"No, Your Honor. Unless it is in self-defense, I will never aim another firearm at another person."

"I rarely give early release to someone shortly after they've just started probation, but after reading what your probation officer wrote, hearing not only what you had to say, but also how you said it, and listening to what Chris had to say, I am granting your early release. Be warned, if you are ever seen in my courtroom again for a hate crime, I will sentence you to the max."

Sebastian sobbed, "Thank you, Sir, and you have my word, I will never commit another hate crime, ever."

"Yes, I remember you giving your word, and wanting to break it, but you didn't. I believe you. This hearing is adjourned."

Chris walked up to Sebastian and gave him a hug. Nick held out his hand, "I do accept that apology you gave me in the hospital, now. I'm sorry that I didn't accept it then."

Sebastian didn't take Nick's hand but wrapped his arms around the Sheriff instead. He whispered, "I totally understand why you didn't. If I were you, I wouldn't have either."

"I'm heading back to the Ranch; if you need a ride," Chris offered, knowing Sebastian didn't have a vehicle.

"No thanks," Sebastian politely turned him down, "My boyfriend Oliver is with me, and he has his car."

"Boyfriend?" Chris couldn't believe it.

"Yeah, I still like girls, but I realized that I love Oliver, too. I think deep down, I have always loved Oliver. I guess I am bi."

"As long as you are happy," Chris chimed, "it shouldn't matter who you love."

"You got that right," Sebastian remarked.

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I hope you enjoy the story and that it draws you in, wanting more. If you have any suggestions or concerns, don’t hesitate to email me.  Thoughts and suggestions are always welcomed and may or may not be implemented. Concerns will be considered and addressed as much as possible.

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Ranch Separator

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