Copyright © 2020-2021 DouglasDD. All Rights Reserved.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 29
Blue awoke, yawned, and stretched. He stared at the ceiling of his bedroom, still not sure he believed where he was and how he got there. He was actually in his very own bedroom, lying in his very own bed, a king with not one, not two, but three big, soft pillows. He was between warm flannel sheets, with three blankets and a gorgeous blue duvet with red cross hatching. He knew if he rose from the left side of his bed, walked to the window, and opened the curtains, he would enjoy a view of Puget Sound, Bainbridge Island, and, on a clear day, the Olympic Mountains. He wondered what he had done to have gone from living in a dirty, noisy, homeless encampment on a hill overlooking Interstate-5 to a luxury house in one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle.
He thought about the night his life had suddenly turned around. It all started about seven months ago, in late May. He had been living alone after Eddie got picked up by some asshole social workers the day after his twelfth birthday. He remembered Old Man Gil and a couple of the other guys in the camp getting some booze and weed to celebrate Eddie’s birthday. Everybody got wasted, especially Eddie the birthday boy. Blue thought about how Eddie was so wasted he pissed in the sleeping bag a couple of times. It was a fucking mess.
And Blue remembered being so wasted he didn’t feel like turning tricks that night. He needed to find a way to get cleaned up before he could do anything; sleeping in a pissed-in sleeping bag was not going to help him get picked up by any johns.
The next afternoon he went with Gil, who knew his way around the city, to a park up on the hill that had a pond and a fountain. They waited until dark, sneaking hits of weed in the bushes as the sun went down. Blue then stripped and went into the pond naked where he finally got rid of the piss smell. He washed his clothes and laid them out on a rock. Gil had brought an old shirt and a pair of sweats that were too big, but good enough for walking home in the dark. He put his clothes in a plastic bag that Gil had brought, and they made their way back to their campsite.
When he got back to the camp, he learned that his friend and tentmate Eddie had been picked up by the social work Nazis but then Curt showed up—and so began a brief friendship with Curt. Blue thought Curt was a sweetheart and liked him very much. He also felt that Curt needed to find a home. Eddie was a feral boy, outgoing and wild, not only in bed but as an overall person. Curt was the one who needed outside help because eventually he was going to be hurt in camp. Blue could do his best to keep him safe, but he couldn’t be there all the time.
As it turned out, he wasn’t going to be there at all because of a night in early June when he was at his favorite spot turning tricks. The only two boys in the parking area where he usually waited were him and an older teen who he figured to be maybe eighteen. The evening was too quiet with little traffic. He was hoping to have a trick stop by soon; he needed the money to feed himself and Curt. He also knew that sometimes a hot spot would cool off as the johns became worried about possible police activity. Blue was about to leave when he saw a silver Toyota Camry turn into the lot. It slowed as it approached the older boy, who took a couple of steps toward the car. But the car passed the older boy and stopped where Blue was standing.
The driver opened the driver’s side window. “Good evening,” he said in a pleasant voice. Blue thought the man, who looked to be in his late forties or early fifties, was incredibly good looking. He was becoming adept at judging the ages of men. He hadn’t seen the man on the prowl before.
“Hey,” Blue responded in his well-polished nonchalant teenage manner.
“Are you interested in some fun?”
It wasn’t the most original of pickup lines, but the guy was better looking than most and didn’t look dangerous. “Sure, why not?” Blue got into the car and found himself engaged in conversation with a man who seemed genuinely interested in what he had to say. This was different than his usual pick-up, especially since they hadn’t discussed money yet. His rule was never get into a car until they talked money, but here he was in a car before doing it.
That was how Blue found himself in a nice house in the Magnolia District sitting on a couch sipping a Doctor Pepper and munching on a hot piece of pepperoni pizza. He kept waiting for the man, who introduced himself as Walker, to bring up sex. Instead he kept drawing out information from him. Since he went with the man for his money and not for his companionship, he decided he would broach the subject.
“I don’t think sitting around eating pizza with a kid is why you picked me up,” he said with as much politeness as he could muster.
“Why do you think I picked you up?” Walker grinned. He had wondered when Blue would get to the point.
“You asked if I was interested in some fun. I got in your car, which I think means my answer is yes, I want to have some fun.”
“You mean to tell me, Blue, that eating pizza and talking with me isn’t fun?”
“I guess I mean to tell you that it doesn’t pay me anything and I’m fucking homeless and I need the money. You picked me up so you could have sex with me, right?” He hoped his bluntness wouldn’t end the encounter.
Blue started getting antsy as Walker sat in his chair and quietly looked him over, still grinning at some kind of private joke. “You are a very perceptive boy,” he chuckled. “That is exactly why I picked you up.”
“Then why aren’t we in your bedroom taking care of business?”
“Because I like you.”
Now it was Blue’s turn to say nothing. Finally, he muttered, “What the fuck does that have to do with anything.”
Walker opened his wallet, pulled out a $100 bill, and dropped it on the table next to Blue’s pizza plate. “When I turned into the lot, I was going to pick up the other boy. I’d picked him up before and knew he was legal age. For some reason, a skinny boy in ragged clothes caught my attention and I decided to see what his story was.”
Blue shook off his daydream of the past and wondered if Walker was awake yet. Then he turned over in his bed and stared at the window as the morning light started to come through the blinds. He went back to thinking about that first night with Walker.
Blue pocketed the C note. “My story was I wanted to get paid for sex. Since you paid me, you can take me back to where you picked me up now.”
“You know, I’m still not sure why I chose you instead of John. Maybe because he isn’t all that good in bed. He also isn’t the brightest bulb in the drawer. His idea of a scintillating conversation is a series of grunts.
“Now that I’ve paid, however, I want to learn about you. So far all I know is you’re sixteen, homeless, and earn your food money as a prostitute. I know you are an incredibly handsome boy, even with your long blond hair in need of a good shampooing, your ragged clothes, and your strong teen boy smell. Maybe it’s those piercing blue eyes of yours, but I find you attractive, and I don’t mean it in a sexual way. I know you’re a well-spoken, intelligent boy and reasonably certain that you’ve had more than your share of bad luck in your life.”
“Look, thanks for the money and the pizza and the Dr. P, but I probably should go. Though, if I could take a shower, it would help me a lot. I mean, you did say that I stunk.”
“It would help you more than you can imagine. Whatever men wanted sex with you must lack a sense of smell.” Walker pulled out another C note. “You get your shower and this if you let me amuse myself by talking to you for a bit longer. You can pretend you’re enjoying steamy sex with me in the meantime.”
Blue shrugged. “Whatever floats your boat. But you are kind of a nice guy and I like you enough to listen for a tiny bit longer, then I gotta go.”
“Where do you have to be Blue? I was thinking more in terms of your spending the night. You can soak yourself in my jacuzzi as long as you want and my guest room has a nice, soft, warm comfortable bed. I’m sure it sounds better than where you’re going.”
Blue shrugged again. He wondered about Curt and decided that one night alone wouldn’t hurt him. Hell, if he was lucky the social work Nazis might find him and take him away from the camp.
“How about we go into the things I don’t know about you. Like what your real name is, since it obviously isn’t Blue.”
“I don’t tell people what it is.”
“So, pretend I’m an ogre instead of a human and humor me.”
Blue could feel his old fears rile his stomach. He didn’t want to ever go back where he came from, which is why he was just Blue. The only person in the camp who knew his real name was Gil because Gil was the only person he trusted. He had never told Eddie because he didn’t know what Eddie would say if he was ever rounded up by the authorities. “My real name is Pierce,” he finally uttered quietly. “Pierce Grayson.”
“Pleased to meet you Pierce Grayson.” Walker was as surprised as Pierce was that he had revealed his last name. “And how old are you?”
“I told you, I’m sixteen.”
“And a very young looking sixteen.”
Once again Blue brought his mind into the present. He wondered why he gave Walker honest answers to his questions. First his name. Ane then his true age, not the one he gave Gil and Eddie. He had told his tricks he was sixteen to make him seem bigger and tougher. He had told Gil he was sixteen, hoping the old man would be more likely to share booze and pot with him, not realizing until much later that Gil would be sharing the same goods with a feral eleven-year-old. And he told that eleven-year-old, who was Eddie, and Curt, another tween, that he was fifteen thinking they would respect him more if they thought he was older than he really was.
Pierce stirred restlessly - the morning sun was continuing to stream through his bedroom window. He wanted to get out of bed and get breakfast. Instead, his eyes closed and his mind again returned to the couch in Walker’s living room. He remembered telling Walker his age. It was one of the last things he said that night before totally falling apart.
“Fourteen,” he whispered. “I’m fourteen. My birthday is in January and I would have been in eighth grade at school.”
“Which tells me you didn’t start your eighth-grade year. Do you want to tell me what happened to keep you from starting school?”
“I can’t,” Blue said in his quietest voice yet.
“It hurts too much.” Tears started down his cheeks. Walker grabbed some tissues, moved over to the couch, sat next to Blue, and handed him the tissue. “You’re not going to molest me, are you?” Blue rasped.
Walker thought it was ironic that the boy who had stopped his car so he could get paid for sex was worried about being molested. “I will do nothing you don’t want me to do.”
Blue had kept so many emotions locked inside him for over a year that when he opened up the gates it was like a keg of dynamite had exploded inside him. He let out a howl that was primal in its agony.
Pierce couldn’t let his memory fade as he remembered Walker putting his arm around his shoulder and letting him blast his tears onto his shirt. He remembered telling most of his story in gasps. He let his mind bypass the telling of the story—instead, he remembered being shown his bedroom and bathroom and then showering. He remembered seeing the luxurious king size bed, the same one he was in as he thought about that first day with Walker. He remembered not wanting to be alone in it. And he remembered walking naked into Walker’s bedroom telling him he didn’t want to sleep alone.
Walker had pulled back his covers revealing his nude body, a body in top physical condition. “I understand, but I think it best we don’t sleep together in the nude.” He quickly pulled on a pair of lounge pants and dug out a pair of shorts, which he used for working out, from a drawer. “Here, these should be okay. Yank the drawstring tight and they should be fine for now. If they slip down, the world won’t come to end.”
Walker did not tell Pierce his body, even though it showed the effects of poor nutrition, was beautiful—again this was not the time, if there ever would be one. The young nude body could use some muscle, but he could see how the boy managed to satisfy the needs of men to make the money he needed to survive.
“Can you hold me please?” Pierce pleaded.
“I would love to, but I think tonight it would be for the best if I didn’t. But I’ll be close if you need me.”
The lights went out. Walker took his half of the bed and Blue curled up on the other half. Walker was not surprised when he awoke around three-thirty to pee that Blue was snuggled close with his arm draped over his bare torso.
Pierce woke with a start. He knew he should have gotten right out of bed instead of letting his mind wander back six months. When he daydreamed in the morning, he almost always fell back to sleep. He looked at the clock on his desk and saw it was past nine. He pulled back the covers and clamored out of bed.
He went into his bathroom, took a piss, and stepped into the shower. One advantage to sleeping naked is not having to take anything off in order to shower. After showering he took a close look at his face in the mirror. He was pleased to see no sign of zits but was hoping to maybe see the start of a whisker somewhere. On the other hand, his pubic hair was coming in thicker, his cock and balls were growing, and he was becoming a man in many ways.
He rubbed his left hand along his cheeks; his face was as smooth as Eddie’s and Curt’s had been. Well, not many fourteen-year-olds shave, he thought, so as long as the zits stayed away, he was happy. He slapped on some deodorant and a hint of cologne in case he should meet a cute boy during the day. Since school wasn’t in session, that was very unlikely, but it never hurt to be prepared.
As he dressed, Pierce wondered what had happened to Eddie and Curt. They had popped into his head more than once during the morning, making him wish he had an answer. He was never worried about Eddie, who struck him as a survivor. But Curt was a different matter; he was a sweet kid who was out of his element.
After donning a t-shirt and a pair of rainbow-colored lounge pants, he left his bedroom and went downstairs to the main house. His room was above the garage and was the only bedroom on the small second story. He loved it when the curtains were open—he could see downtown Seattle with a glimpse of Mt. Rainier out of the window on the east side, Puget Sound and the Olympics from the west side, and his neighbor’s garage from the north.
He saw Walker in the sunroom, sitting on an overstuffed chair while reading the morning paper between glances out the window at the sunny vista. The sunroom was on the west side of the house and had a panoramic view of the scenery to the west. Walker was wearing a long undershirt, which hid his midsection.
Pierce guessed he was wearing nothing underneath, or at most a pair of bikini briefs. The dress code was that there was no dress code. While Pierce usually had no problem being naked in front of Walker, he did feel a bit self-conscious about it when he had an erection, or even a semi.
“Good morning, old man,” Pierce grinned as he squeezed into the seat next to his guardian. “What’s for breakfast?”
Walker wrapped his right arm around Pierce’s shoulder. “Be careful who you’re calling old.”
Pierce tugged a small bit of hair on Walker’s temple. “My fingers are touching a couple of very gray hairs.”
“They weren’t there until you took over the guest room on a permanent basis,” Walker chuckled.
“And you know you’re happy I did.”
Walker gave Pierce’s shoulder a squeeze. “I’ve never been happier.”
“You still haven’t answered my question about breakfast.”
“You know where the cereal is, young man.”
“You’ve got the day off and you can’t cook breakfast?”
“Nobody said you had to sleep in until the crack of noon, either.”
“Hey, it’s not even ten o’clock yet.”
“Foraging on your own in the kitchen is good for you. It will put hair on your chest and maybe even add a decent amount of pubes.” Walker shifted his body a little. “This is getting to be a tighter and tighter fit.”
“Well, I have grown two inches since you kidnapped me and held me prisoner here.”
“The only reason I’m keeping you imprisoned is because of all the money you owe for the truckloads of food you’ve consumed over the last six months.”
Pierce wriggled in the chair to change his position slightly, and planted a long kiss on Walker’s cheek, enjoying the feel of his whiskers. “God, I love you Padre. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have somebody like you who’s willing to buy me truckloads of food.” He got out of the chair and started for the kitchen, stopping before he left the sunroom.
“So, what’s for dinner old man?”
“Are teenagers about nothing but food?”
“Almost, but there is sex, too.” Walker diplomatically passed on mentioning the bulge pushing out Pierce’s lounge pants, knowing Pierce was self-conscious about his spontaneous erections.
Walker watched the teen walk out of the room wishing he lived in a world where a man in his position could physically enjoy the love he had for a boy. He had worked hard to earn Pierce’s trust and he had no plans to violate that trust. That didn’t stop him from getting a hardon from looking at him, not to mention when he shared his chair with the teen. Before his thoughts could continue, Pierce reentered the room.
“Once again you didn’t answer my question. Is the old man getting to be a forgetful old coot?”
“I decided I’m not in the mood for cooking today. Where shall we go to eat dinner?”
“Why don’t we go to Luigi’s for pizza? We haven’t been there in forever.”
“That sounds like a plan. Just remember to remind the forgetful old coot about where we’re going and be very sure to remind him to take his wallet.”
Pierce smiled and headed for the kitchen only to turn around again and reenter the sunroom.
“What makes you think I want hair on my chest?” he asked.
“I was just visualizing a fourteen-year-old fantasizing about shaving and put two and two together.”
Pierce laughed and walked back out of the room.
<The Miller Family>
Chase looked at the sweet, innocent face of his little brother. He felt a couple of moments of guilt about what he had done to that sweet-faced boy the night before, then remembered that Logan had enjoyed every minute of it. As much as Chase would like to let his brother sleep in, they probably needed to get up and shower before their mom had breakfast ready. If Logan wanted to sleep in longer, he could have slept in his own bedroom after they’d had sex.
Their Mom and Dad had taken the week off, which meant they would be having a cooked breakfast. Chase gave Logan’s bare shoulder a light shake. “Hey, cutie, time to get up.”
“Uh,” the eleven-year-old mumbled. “What time is it?”
“It’s after nine and you know as well as me that mom isn’t going to hold off breakfast for us. She’s probably starting it up right now.”
Logan rolled over, his back to his older brother. “I’ll have cereal later.”
“Get your ass up, or I’ll drag it out of bed and onto the floor.”
“You didn’t say that last night. It was, ‘Ohhh, that feels so good, bro. Ohhhhhh, I love you so much bro.’ I even said if you wanted to sleep in you could go to your own room.”
“I love sleeping with my big brother. And dang, bro, you fucked me twice in a row. I mean twice in a row without your cock getting soft and leaving my butt. How did you do that?”
“It’s called being fourteen and full of hormones. It’s also called having a brother who has the tightest, cutest ass in Seattle and loves to have it fucked.”
Logan grinned and pulled back the covers, exposing his naked body. “Well, since you are saying nice things about me, I guess I’ll get out of bed.”
“I bet being hungry and thinking about one of Mom’s awesome breakfasts is a factor, too.”
Logan rolled out of bed. “I had three orgasms last night, that’s one more than you, even without all your hormones.”
“That’s because you don’t have to recharge your empty balls. It also is a testament to my awesome abilities in bed.”
The brothers showered together, dressed in t-shirts and boxers, and headed for the kitchen. Chase saw Eddie in the living room watching TV. His attire consisted of a t-shirt and gray boxer briefs. Curt had spent the night at his friend Duncan’s house.
“Good morning, bro,” Chase said.
“Hey, bro. Did you and the little bro have fun?”
“It all came out okay. You were invited to join us you know.”
“I know, but I wanted to jerk off thinking about the boyfriend I don’t have.”
“I thought for sure you and Curt would stay boyfriends.”
Eddie shook his head. “We became brothers, instead. And you know what? I like it better that way. I still love him and want to keep him safe, like when we were homeless together, but I like being his big brother, especially since the sex is still really good. I just need to get me a boyfriend is all.”
“I need a boyfriend, too,” Logan said as he entered the room.
“What’s wrong with Royce?” Eddie asked.
“He’s my best friend in the world and he sucks dick like a pro, but he’s going out with Gwynn Roberts, which says a lot. Plus, he won’t, you know, go all the way.”
“Chase, can you come to the kitchen please,” came Susan Miller’s voice from the kitchen.
“Coming, mom!” Chase knew his mom would ask why he hadn’t come to the kitchen to say good morning like Logan did. And he would say he didn’t know, and then get put to work. “Hey, one thing about you being Curt’s big brother is…”
“…I know, it’s that he’s five months older than me, but we both know I’m the big brother.”
Chase left to face the music from his mom. Eddie patted the spot on the couch next to him and Logan took it. “You and me need to put an ad online or something.”
“What would it say?”
“It would say, ‘Miller brothers, eleven and twelve, looking for boyfriends.’”
Logan giggled and leaned against Eddie. “You’re really going to be a Miller soon. It’s going to be so cool.”
“Just a few more weeks and I will be Edward Miller, sexy older brother of Logan Miller, who plans to give his older bro a reward in bed. Right?” Edward cupped Logan’s tight balls and soft little prick in his hand.”
“Right.” Logan smiled as he enjoyed Eddie’s attention.
Troy entered the room just as Eddie was releasing Logan’s junk. The brothers looked at each other and shared a grin. “Good morning, boys,” he said, knowing full well where Eddie’s hand had been. He was happy he hadn’t caught him in the act—it was much easier to fake ignorance this way.
“Good morning, Dad,” Eddie responded. “Damn, I like saying that to a Dad I like instead of hating his guts.”
“I have a question for you. Chase has given me his reply, now it’s your turn.”
“What’s the question?” Eddie asked.
“Your mom has been working hard all during your winter break—I think it would be nice to give her the evening off and go out for dinner.”
“Great, where are we going?” Logan asked.
“That would be a yes from Logan. Eddie, are you up for going out?”
“Well, yeah,” Eddie replied. “I thought the question was going to be about where do we want to go?”
“That’s what I’m asking now.”
“What did Chase say?”
“Your suggestions first, please.”
Logan looked at Eddie and said, “Remember that Daddy is a lawyer and is going to get the answers he wants when he wants them.” He turned to Troy. “How about Luigi’s for pizza or lasagna. We haven’t been there in forever.”
“I’m good with that. And yeah, it has been a little more than two weeks since we went there last, and that is forever for sure,” Eddie said.
“We did takeout that time. We just went in, said hi, watched dad pay, and helped take the pizza out.”
“That makes the vote 3-0,” Troy stated. “Even if Curt votes for something different, Luigi’s wins.”
“Curt likes Luigi’s just as much as the rest of us,” Eddie said.
“Boys, breakfast is ready,” Susan called out.
Troy left the living room for the dining room while Eddie and Logan rose from the couch. Before Eddie could move, Logan cupped Eddie’s groin, not surprised that his twelve-year-old soon to be brother had a boner.
“Who knows, maybe our future boyfriends will be at Luigi’s tonight,” Logan grinned.
“That’s not how it works, Logan, but it always pays to dream, I guess.”
Walker Bledsoe sighed as he watched Pierce walk up the stairs to his over the garage bedroom. He could not fail to miss the prominent bulge in the front of the teen’s lounge pants. On the other hand, Pierce made no effort to hide it. Walker rose from the chair and went to his own bedroom to deal with his own sexual excitement. He undressed and lay on his back on his king-size bed. He started to masturbate and stopped. Once again, he thought, how in a truly just world, when he and Pierce had erections caused by sitting cozily together in an easy chair, they should be able to take care of each other together as well.
He thought about how quickly the last six months had flown by. In that time Pierce had quickly changed from a problem to be dealt with to a person he loved with all his being.
Walker had enormous style. He wore expensive clothes, drove expensive cars, and enjoyed the finest wines and cuisines. But he was also a very down-to-earth man - he could enjoy a simple hamburger or pizza as much as the next guy. His home was decorated and furnished richly but quietly. With Walker, there was no bullshit - you knew where you stood. He was always good-natured, honest, and forthright.
Walker’s life had been his business and his gay social life. Suddenly, he had let a young teen into his heart and become responsible for the boy’s well-being. As he had gotten to know Pierce, with his help and the help of the professionals working with him, the boy had gained pride in himself and showed he was a very bright and very caring individual. It was these characteristics that endeared Walker to Pierce.
During his months on the street, Pierce had become very adept at understanding and recognizing honesty - and dishonesty - in a person. He had gone from being suspicious of Walker’s motives to loving him and wanting to do everything he could to make Walker happy.
Walker thought back to his early relationship with the boy who, despite his outward bravado, was obviously broken inside. Ten days after bringing the boy who called himself Blue home for one night, decision time had come. It was time for both to shit or get off the pot. After Pierce’s breakdown, Walker knew he could not just return the boy to the homeless encampment. He also knew that he didn’t want to turn him over to social services. He knew the boy needed somebody who could produce consistency in his life, especially after bringing his buried memories to the surface. Walker felt that if he could give Pierce a sense of home and acceptance that they could work together to produce that consistency. He also couldn’t help but wonder what the fuck he was getting himself into, but doing it just felt like the right thing to do.
Pierce came to his bed seven nights during those ten days. He cried himself to sleep five of those nights. He talked about his life as a street kid three of those nights, about school and playing baseball two of those nights, and about the horror he lived through the other two nights. Blue had nightmares all seven nights and would grab onto Walker hard afterwards, as if he were afraid of what would happen if he let go.
When Blue revealed his true name, Walker recognized the name, but couldn’t place where he had heard it. After hearing Pierce tell his story, although it was more crying and sobbing than telling, he wondered why he hadn’t been able to place it right away.
Walker ran his mind through the story one more time. Pierce had been an only child growing up in a nice house in West Seattle. His family looked like a well-adjusted, happy family from the outside. Pierce played baseball and soccer, although he much preferred baseball. He was a straight A student as a seventh grader.
But there were hidden problems in the family. His father had become addicted to pain pills after having back surgery. He went away to rehab, which didn’t seem to help. In fact, things became worse when he came home in mid-January. The day after Pierce’s thirteenth birthday party, Pierce’s father disappeared for three days. He went away to meet with a fellow rehab client where he was introduced to meth.
The next three months were hell for Pierce as he watched his father deteriorate into a hopeless pill and meth addict. He became physically abusive to Pierce and his mother. He sexually assaulted Pierce in his bedroom in early April. He installed a lock on Pierce’s bedroom door and would lock him in every night. Pierce was so afraid of being home that he set up a way to escape if he ever needed to by dragging his dad’s extension ladder up the stairs and into his bedroom and covering it with his dirty laundry. His room went from impeccably neat to a hovel, his grades started sliding, and he quit the middle school baseball team. He would have run away from home, but he had no idea where to go or how to survive. Up until six months ago he had lived a privileged middle-class life and now the wheels had come off.
His teachers became concerned and took those concerns to the principal who talked to the school counselor, who set up a meeting with Pierce’s mother. His father said the school needed to mind its fucking business and forbade his wife from going. He slapped Pierce’s face for being a “piece of shit son”.
The next night, April 22, Pierce lowered the step ladder out of the window like he did every night after his dad locked him in. He could hear his parents screaming, he could hear his father hitting his mother. Knowing he was next he pulled some clothes on and picked up his already packed backpack. He then took the allowance money he had been stashing away out of his underwear drawer.
That was when he heard the gunshot and his knees started buckling. He took a deep breath, stuffed the money into a pocket, held himself together, and clambered down the ladder.
“You’re next, you little asshole,” he heard his father scream.
He heard another gunshot and a whistling sound. “Get your ass back in the house!” his father barked. Pierce jumped the last few feet to the ground and ran out of the back yard to the street and took off, never looking back. He didn’t hear the last gunshot, the one that ended his father’s life.
For the next few days, the murder/suicide in the Grayson house was big news, as was the missing thirteen-year-old son. Somehow, even with his picture plastered in the newspaper and on TV screens, Pierce managed to stay out of the reach of the authorities. There was no way he was going back, even though he knew his father was dead. He had nowhere to go except far away.
Blue lived on the streets. Homeless men and other boys taught him how to survive. The money he had taken with him helped feed him for a while. He couldn’t beg for fear of being recognized. Jordan, a nineteen-year-old gave him shelter in his tent and taught him about sex. He then showed him how to turn tricks. When asked his name, Pierce simply said it was Blue, which had been his nickname in happy times at home because of his deep blue eyes.
By the time he turned fourteen in January, Blue was well known on the streets. He made the freeway encampment his permanent home. He knew how to hide and soon his shoulder length hair and thinner body changed his looks enough that nobody who knew the story would recognize him. With his earnings, he had purchased his own tent from a guy who said he was going to a group home. Once he put his grungy sleeping bag inside to claim it as his, he dared anyone to bother it. Nobody did. He turned tricks and showed others how to survive. He buried his old life to the point it was like it didn’t exist. His real life was the one he was living on the streets.
That life didn’t change until the March day when he started teaching Eddie Shaffer the ways of the streets. He had done that before, but this time something happened he hadn’t planned on. He fell in love.
Pierce’s voice broke Walker’s thoughts. “Hey, Padre, where are you?”
“In my bedroom.”
“Are you naked?”
“Yes I am.”
“Cool, so am I.” Pierce walked into the room. “I’m all showered, shaved, and my fangs are clean. I even busted a nut in the shower, so I won’t have to worry about boning up.”
“Since when did you start shaving?” Walker asked.
“I didn’t, but it sounds cool to say I did.”
“So, what can I do for you?”
“It might be cold out, but the weather is nice. How about loading our bikes into your pickup and heading out to Woodland Park or Green Lake for some bike riding?”
“I like how you think, sonny boy. Go get dressed and I will do the same.”
“Aren’t you going to shower?”
“Why shower when I’m going to be working up a pit trying to keep up with the likes of you?”
“Good point,” Pierce grinned. He walked out of the room making sure Walker got a good view of his bare ass.
Pierce and Walker spent a couple of hours riding around the park before stopping for lunch. After lunch, they rode some more and were home by two o’clock. While Pierce took his turn to shower Walker’s thoughts once again turned to Pierce’s history, starting with the tenth day of Pierce’s stay.
Walker had taken time off work to help Pierce settle in. Since he was one of the owners of a very prosperous software company that produced and marketed programs used in transportation, he could grant himself the time off. Most of what he needed to complete could be worked on at home. His agenda included buying Pierce new clothes, talking to his lawyer about what to do with the problem that he seemed to have brought upon himself, and procuring a tutor for the boy who had missed over a year of school, including the entire eighth grade.
But before any permanent decisions could be made, Pierce had to agree to some regulations. “You will need to treat people with courtesy and respect, and that includes me. You will need to take responsibility for your actions. You will need to work hard in school and do your best. I want to see you participate in functions outside of school. You’ll make your bed and keep your room organized and yourself neat and clean. You will always be honest with me and you will let me know where you are or will be at all times.” Walker knew his list seemed like quite a load of dues to pay but he also had a gut feel that Pierce was basically an intelligent and responsible boy and would not have any trouble complying.
“Damn, that’s quite a list,” Pierce acknowledged. “And if I don’t agree, what happens?”
“I guess you hope your friends kept your tent available for you.”
“When you talk about school in June, I guess that means I might be staying here for a while.”
“If my lawyer can make me your legal guardian, the answer is yes. In fact, I hope you can make this your permanent home.”
“And if he can’t?”
“Then we’ll help you find a home to stay in.”
Pierce shook his head. “Oh, fuck no. It’s you or the tent. If I’m gonna do all the shit on your list, it won’t be so I can go live with people I don’t even know.”
“My lawyer is a top lawyer in a good law firm. I feel confident he’ll find a way to make this work. Before you agree to all of this, is there anything you expect from me?”
“Yeah, give me lots of good food, let me sleep in my nice big bed, but let me sleep with you when I need to. I want to be able to be naked around the house except when we have company and shit. I want you to always be honest with me, too. I want a bicycle and a teddy bear. I want some bikini briefs like you wear, and I want to see if Curt is still living in my old tent. I kind of feel like I abandoned him. Oh, and I don’t want to be raped.”
“It all sounds good, with the proviso that I can also be naked and that when I say we put our clothes on there will be no arguing.”
Pierce held out his hand. “Shake on it.”
They not only shook on it, they hugged on it.
“By the way, having a bike I understand. Since I have one, it means you and I can go riding together. But a teddy bear?”
“I want it to keep me company and keep me safe from my dreams when I’m not sleeping with you.” It was indicative of the trust Pierce had developed in Walker that he could admit his need for a furry totem.
“What about having a pet?”
“Let me get used to what’s going on here first.”
My mid-July things had fallen into place. Walker had become Pierce’s legal guardian and adoption papers had been filed when David Wong, Walker’s lawyer, learned that Pierce’s grandparents from both sides of the family wanted nothing to do with raising Pierce and neither did his two blood aunts. He had Pierce undergo a full physical (he already had Pierce tested for STD’s since at his age Pierce didn’t need a guardian to approve—he just needed an adult contact).
Walker took Pierce to the freeway encampment in his pickup the day after their agreement, which was the least flashy of his three vehicles. He dropped Pierce off, telling him to call when he was ready to be picked up or if he needed help. Pierce insisted on going on his own. He didn’t think anybody would recognize him with his hair cut, and he was right. He was surprised that his tent was still there, but Curt wasn’t around. Pierce was about ready to look for Gil to see what he knew, when he heard two voices that belonged to kids. He hid behind a small makeshift shelter and saw Curt, which surprised him a little, and Eddie, who was a bigger surprise. When he saw Eddie, he felt better about leaving Curt. Pierce thought Eddie was a bigger survivor than he was and would see that Curt would survive as well. If anybody in the camp was going to recognize him, it would be Eddie or Curt. He worked his way out of the camp where he wouldn’t be seen. Walker was waiting for him—he thought of telling Walker to find help for Curt and then decided it was none of his business.
One of Walker’s most important moves was searching for a first-rate child psychologist, particularly one who specialized in young teens. He found just who he was looking for in Dr. Fredrick McGregor. Walker learned that Pierce had PTSD among other issues. Once again, he wasn’t surprised.
Walker also hired Martha Wilson, a retired middle school teacher, to tutor Pierce. One of the first things she did was test him. When she told Walker that Pierce ranked in the 95th percentile, he wasn’t surprised. After Martha worked with Pierce on finishing his seventh-grade work and starting what he would have studied at the beginning of eighth grade, Martha made her recommendation for the upcoming school year.
“Pierce is a very bright boy and is working very hard. But, making up an entire year’s work in less than two months isn’t going to happen. I recommend that Pierce start the year as an eighth grader.”
Walker agreed with the recommendation and Pierce made sure to voice his objections to the recommendation. But Walker, Martha, and Dr. McGregor patiently worked to break down his objections and he ended up promising to start school with an open mind.
On Martha’s recommendation, Walker enrolled him in Whitney Middle School, an unaffiliated private middle school in the Wallingford District. They had programs geared to bright students who lagged behind for whatever reason. One plus for Pierce was the school guidance counselor recommending that Pierce take the high school geometry class that was offered first period. It was taught by Marvin Lewis, a math teacher at Sherman High School, an unaffiliated private school located in Ballard. Lewis started his day at Whitney and then commuted to Sherman.
As much as Walker didn’t want him to, Pierce had to meet with the police regarding what happened April 22 of the year before. Walker told the police that there would be no meeting without his lawyer and Dr. McGregor present. While the meeting was traumatic for Pierce, he came nowhere near the kind of breakdowns he had suffered when he first started living with Walker. The only thing new the police learned was what had happened to Pierce during the 14 months he was missing. They didn’t understand how Pierce had slipped through the cracks for over a year. One thing they did not learn was what Pierce had done to earn his money.
Pierce enjoyed a three-day camping trip to the Olympics with Walker. He turned out for and made a soccer team. He liked his school and made friends there and on his team. He was happy for the first time since his dad had gotten hooked on drugs. Now what he needed was a best friend who could maybe be more than a good friend. Walker was happy because Pierce was happy.
<Luigi’s Pizza and Pasta Restaurant>
The Millers walked into Luigi’s and were warmly greeted by Luigi’s wife, Marne. She sometimes worked as a waitress, and Friday was often one of her working nights. Susan had called to let her know they were coming so she could put two of the central tables together, enabling the six of them to sit with one another. Luigi’s was a small restaurant with seating for around forty diners. There were three open tables, one with two chairs and a four-chair table.
“Susan, how wonderful it is to see you and your lovely family,” Marne gushed.
“It’s always a pleasure to eat here, Marne.”
“Tell Luigi the lasagna boy is here,” Troy said, referring to Logan.
“He will make it just like Mr. Logan likes it,” Marne assured him. “And he’ll make sure there will be room left for a slice of pizza or two,” she added conspiratorially. “I will be right back with the menus. I could almost write your order without them, but your new sons keep ordering something different each time.”
“That’s because you have so many good sounding pizzas, we have to see which we like the best,” Curt said politely.
Logan removed his coat, hung it on the back of his chair, and zipped over to the back table next to the counter where two handsome dark-haired boys were busy doing chores. Antonio, known as Tony, was eleven, and his brother Marco, known as Mark, was nine. “Hi, Tony,” Logan grinned.
“Hey, Logan. I was so busy polishing the silverware, I didn’t notice you come in,” Tony grinned.
“It’s cool. Having your back to the door didn’t help you much, either.”
“I should have been looking. Mom said you were coming.” Tony and Mark were Luigi’s sons. While Luigi DeLuca was the chief cook, his father, Luigi Sr., still ran the business end of the restaurant.
Logan said hello to Mark, and then he and Tony started chatting nonstop. Tony was very outgoing, and Logan showed none of his shyness when he was around him.
Logan and Tony had struck up a casual friendship over the past couple of years. When Tony was helping in the restaurant, Logan gravitated to him. They talked about sports, school, traveling with their families, their siblings, and whatever else came to mind. While they never saw each other enough to strike up a serious friendship, they had developed a genuine liking for each other and wished that they lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same school, or played on the same sports team.
Logan and Tony didn’t realize that the casual nature of that friendship was about to change. Tony asked Logan a question that would start the change rolling. “We never get to see each other much, Logan, and I’ve been doing some thinking. Would you like to spend the night at my house sometime?”
Logan’s eyes opened wide and he flashed Tony the killer grin always that made Tony’s groin stir. “Would I want to spend the night? How about we do it yesterday? But what does your mom think about it?”
“I already asked and she gave me what days would be okay before school started back up, which was only three.
“For real? You mean, we could be doing an overnight this week sometime?”
Tony nodded and grinned, a grin that gave Logan the same feelings Tony was receiving from his grin. “What are the days she gave you?”
Before Tony could say anything, a noisy disturbance broke out at the Miller table.
Next: Old and New Friends.
For those of wanting to learn more about the story that inspired Drake to come up with the name Lincoln for his soon to arrive little brother, it is “Lincoln, the Family I Never Expected” by Lindon Wetzler.