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The Journey

Chapter 18

By Sunshine Boy

Dan woke up in Sam's arms. Taking a deep breath through his nose he inhaled Sam and held his warm body tight in his arms. He stayed like that for some time just trying to force his memory to retain every detail for he didn't know when he'd wake up with Sam again.

After a few minutes like that Dan sighed and rolled over so he and Dan were face to face... Dan wasn't sure if he was awake because he hadn't opened his eyes the whole time. Unsure but curious Dan leaned in close and gently touched his lips to Sam's, so gentle that it was hardly even a kiss but to his pleasant surprise Sam kissed back and opened his eyes.

"Good morning babe." Sam whispered.

Dan ran his fingers through Sam's hair... "Morning cutie." He whispered back.


"Beau, your father and I don't have a lot of money but I want you to know that we'll help you in anyway we can."

"Thanks mom."

Beau left the house to go pick up Tonya. They were going to look at an apartment they'd seen advertised in the paper.


Despite Dan's over whelming urge to release the brake and glide down the long hill at impossible speeds, he was acutely aware that he was towing a trailer with Sam on board and therefore he held his speed under control.

At noon Sam Dan used the very last of their change to buy ice cream in Cochrane, a small town not far outside of Calgary.

Sitting on a bench, eating ice cream and laughing; the boys attracted the attention of an old woman.

"How's the ice cream boys?"

"Best I've had." Sam grinned as he slipped his hand into Dan's.

The old woman didn't appear to notice, she simply smiled and walked away.

Dan sighed and squeezed Sam's hand.

"What's wrong?" Sam asked.

"Nothing... it's just... a little scary."

"What do you mean?"

"Sam, I love you sooo much. I wouldn't want to be any other way... it's just... I left here straight and in only a month... well this is a lot of change."

"I know." Sam squeezed. "It'll be ok."


Beau opened cabinets and explored rooms. He'd not considered the fact that the apartment would be largely unfurnished. He and Tonya had already seen 2 other apartments that day and this was the third and last within their price range and location.

"What do you think?" Tonya asked.

"We can afford this one. But I don't know what we're going to do for furniture."

"I agree."

"How much is the damage deposit sir?" Beau asked the grey haired landlord.

The landlord looked at the young couple in front of him. He'd seen their look before; first house and counting every penny. "I don't charge one. I trust you to take care of this place like it were your own."

"That's very generous. I promise we will." Beau said.

"So you'll take it?"

Beau turned to Tonya. "Well?"


Sam and Dan sat on the grassy riverbank in Bowness Park. Around them children played. Sam watched them intently. Dan watched Sam.

"Remember when life was that simple?" Sam asked in a whisper.

"Yup." Dan whispered back.

Beau parked the car and walked the riverbank until he saw Sam and Dan sitting close and dangling their feet in the river.


Dan turned quickly.

"Beau!" He shouted as his friend ran over.

"Dan! Oh hey, you must be Sam, I'm Beau."

"Hi Beau."

"Good to see you Dan. How was everything?"

"Great, lots of fun stories." Dan said as he glanced over at Sam. "I'm glad to be home though."

"Sooo, when do we find out who this lucky lady is?" Beau asked.


"The girl. The one you walked a thousand miles for?"

"Oh right." Dan was off guard and trapped in a moral dilemma, he might have to lie to his best friend. He quickly glanced at Sam for help.

"We don't get the analysis back for a couple of months." Sam rescued.

Dan glanced a thank you and Sam smiled. The eye language didn't go unnoticed by Beau; he just wasn't sure what it meant.

"Oh. I see. Well, would you guys like a ride?"

"Sure Beau, we have quite a bit of things to do though, and I'm not sure if the bike and trailer will fit in your car."

"No problem, I've got gas and my car has a huge trunk, we'll just stick it all in and tie down the lid."

"Okay. First we have to go to the office in downtown to fill out all our paperwork that says we completed our journey. Then we have to stop at the bank so Sam can get some money and we can then go to the bike rental shop and pay the rest of the bike and trailer rent."

"Okay, office, bank, rental place. Then there's something I want to show you."

"Sure. Where you parked?"

Beau pointed to the lot about 50 meters away.

"Can you take the bike and trailer and I'll help Sam?"

"Sure." Beau walked over to the bike and started pushing it toward his car. He paused for a moment to watch Dan help Sam to his feet, or rather, his foot. He watched as Sam stumbled and Dan caught him and held him for a moment. They walked slowly toward Beau, holding each other.

"What?" Dan asked when he noticed Beau was watching.

"Ts' nothing." Beau said. "Just thinking you guys must have some cool stories to tell."

"Oh yeah." Dan grinned.

Beau drove Dan and Sam to their destinations. At first Sam was rather shy to talk but he quickly got over it and soon Beau was listening to stories told for 4 words by Dan, then 4 more by Sam then back to Dan again. 'They seem to complete each other's sentences.' Beau thought.

Originally Beau was going to drop Sam off at his house before showing Dan his surprise but Sam seemed to be a good friend of Dan's so Beau figured it would be alright to take him too.

"Where are we going?" Dan asked.

"You'll see."

Beau pulled up at the apartment complex and led Dan and Sam in. Dan followed wondering whom they'd come to see.

Beau opened the door and stepped in.

"Tonya, I'm back and I brought company. Tonya? Guess she's out." Beau said as he took off his shoes. "Well, come on in."

"You approached Tonya, you're dating, and now you've got a key to her apartment all in one month?" Dan asked with surprise.

"Half right, I'm dating Tonya and this is our apartment."

'Moving a bit too fast maybe?' Dan thought as he stepped into the apartment and glanced over at Sam who gave him a 'hold my hand' look. Beau was in the lead so Dan put his hand in Sam's and gave it a squeeze, it occurred to him then that Sam was still a shy boy, and this, in Dan's mind, was cute.

Beau read a note on the counter. "Gone to Mum and Dad's house to look at some stuff for the apartment." He said glancing over to Sam and Dan who both quickly dropped hands and luckily Beau didn't seem to notice.

Dan looked around with Sam following him; always within touching distance. Then they sat on the living room floor (there was nothing else to sit on) and Beau told the story of his month with Tonya.

"I'm gone for a month and you've become a grown up." Dan said grinning.

"I guess so." Beau smiled. "So, what are you going to do now that you're back?"

"I decided to go to university, I'm going to be a teacher."

Beau smiled then turned to Sam. "You did this to him didn't you. I don't know how you did it but good job."

"Actually I didn't, it was this guy we met named Sandy but that's a long story."

"Cool. Well you'll have to tell me that one some other time, you guys should probably be going home so you can say hi to your parents."

"Already?" Dan asked.

"It's 6:00." Beau said. "Here take my keys and wait for me in the car. I'll give you guys a ride but first I have to write Tonya a note."

"Sure." Dan took the keys and walked quietly out the door with Sam. As soon as the boys were a few steps down the hall they broke into a run and sped all the way to the car where they kissed and held each other.

"You have my e-mail address, we'll talk as much as we can there. We'll get though this." Sam said.

"Yes we will and we'll see each other as much as possible."

"I promise."

"I love you baby."

"Oh Gawd I love you Dan."


Sam's house was in the far south of the city, about 30 or 40 km from Dan's house. It was just outside the city limits.

"How much further?" Beau asked Sam.

"Not much, just over this hill."

"We've been on this highway for almost 5 minutes and I haven't seen a single car, or building since we turned onto it." Beau commented as the car approached the top of the hill.

"That's because it's not a highway…" Sam trailed off. Dan glanced over at Sam who nodded his head forward indicating his house which had now come into view from the top of the hill. "…It's my drive way." He said as Dan and Beau both looked at the huge house, three stories tall and about as wide as 8 of Dan's houses. Dan's jaw dropped.

"Nice place." Beau said when they pulled up in front of the mansion.

Dan helped Sam carry his stuff to the door but Sam wouldn't let him help him walk.

Sam's Aunt opened the door. "Sam." She said cheerily then she saw Dan. "Oh and who are you?" She asked with the slightest trace of a sneer forming on her mouth.

In that instant both Dan and Sam's Aunt formed opinions about each other that sadly, would never change.

'Nice to see you too bitch.' Dan thought then said, "My name's Dan McKinnon, I'm one of the people your nephew traveled with. I just came to make sure he got home okay, he hurt his leg you see."

"Oh well thank you Dan. I can take it from here."

"Okay. Talk to you soon Sam."

"Yeah. See you."

The words were so simple, so cold. Dan's heart ached to hold Sam, to feel his warm body in his arms. As he walked to the car he heard Sam's Aunt say, "Do you like him?"

"Yeah we're friends."

"Sam." She said his name disapprovingly and closed the door as they were now in the house.

Beau tried to make conversation for the long drive home but he quickly stopped, as it was obvious Dan was in no mood. Eventually he turned on the radio because the silence had grown uncomfortable. When they got to Dan's house Dan thanked Beau for the ride. "Dan?"


"Umm…it's nothing, I just hope you feel better after a good night sleep."

"What do you mean?"

"You seem a little low."

"Yeah I guess so. Thanks Beau. See you tomorrow?"

"Sure, I'll need some help moving in."

"I'm there."


Dan lay awake, it was his bed so he should feel great on a real mattress in his own room but his arms were empty. He felt more alone than he could ever remember in his life. Occasional tears slipped from Dan's eyes and ran down his face as he thought about Sam and how far away he was. In an attempt to take his mind off of things, he rolled onto his back and started thinking about Beau who was all grown up now. He was happy with his girl and his new house and his best friend's return. Dan was happy for him. Sighing, Dan started to think more about his situation…he had to tell Beau the truth about Sam but he didn't know how.

When Dan got home that night his parents were very happy to see him and asked him all those small talk "did you have fun?" Questions. Dan answered and smiled but inside he felt paper thin and artificial. There was a deep dark secret in his heart, black as the night and as big as the world. So big in fact that he couldn't spit it out.

'Could I just not tell?' Dan wondered as his mind processed the probable outcomes then concluded it would eventually get too awkward.

'I need to tell Beau first, he has to know. Beau will help me.'


It was decided that since the apartment had no furniture, both Tonya and Beau would sleep in their own houses that night. Additionally, it was decided that they're relationship was moving so fast to begin with that it should definitely not be accentuated by sleeping together. Both would have separate sleeping places in the apartment, the decision was mostly Tonya's with significant influence from her father, but Beau understood that she didn't want to take that step yet and he was able to accept that. Honestly he wasn't sure if he was ready to be this deeply in a relationship either. So much had changed so fast.

Beau lay on his back staring up at the roof. He was thinking of Dan. His mind was forming a picture with all the pieces that he'd observed that day and all the smaller clues he'd received throughout the year. He knew Dan had something important to tell him but he didn't know what so he thought it best to just wait and let Dan tell him in time. He was afraid of what Dan would tell him, not that he feared what Dan said, he feared that if Dan told him what he thought he might, then that would make Beau a very poor friend for not seeing it sooner. 'How could I not see this coming? Tonya knew before she even met him. But I didn't.'

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