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A New Life

by The Eggman

Chapter 10 - Summer's Last Blast

This story is a work of erotic fiction involving teenage boys. All the usual rules apply. If you shouldn't be reading this now then don't continue on.

Copyright Notice - Please, this story is Copyright © by Eggman Enterprises and the author retains all rights. You may distribute, copy, print, staple or spindle this story however you like, provided this copyright notice remains intact and you do not change the story in any way. Also you may not charge any fee to anyone to distribute or access this story.

I woke up with the predawn sounds of birds. The first things I saw were the vague outlines of clouds above us. I closed my eyes for a few seconds and I imagined I was up there with them but I wasn't alone. Keith's arm was loosely wrapped around me. I turned my head and saw him lying on his side watching me, smiling at me. My universe unraveled momentarily when I looked in Keith's eyes. The same mind blowing shudder raced around and through me. I was amazed that his gaze alone could recreate the feeling in such detail and couldn't help but lean over to kiss him.

Running his hands through my hair, Keith guided our faces apart. He whispered, "G'morning baby."

"I love you," was all I could say. I'll say it a million more times to him if it's the last thing I do.

Stroking my stomach with feather light fingertips, Keith said, "I know baby." I shivered. "I'm glad your here with me. I've been waiting." He had to know what his touch was doing to me.

I sighed and lay back down mesmerized by the way some clouds seemingly would pass behind the crescent moon while others passed in front, blocking it from view as if the moon was hanging by a wire, sandwiched between layers.

"Whatchya thinkin'?" Keith asked.

"I can barely think. Everything's different, so perfect." Yes, I'm definitely going to have to find my first grade reader, I thought to myself and started chuckling.

"What? Come on, tell me."

Still looking at the sky, I answered, "I feel like... a high voltage wire, no that's not it, more like a bolt of lightning or maybe a nuclear reactor."

"Like there ain't nuthin' ever gonna tear us down. We're together, a part of each other." He said holding me a little tighter.

I looked over at him, radiating my love through the widest smile of my life.

Keith chuckled and asked, "Did I shine like that after the first time? I know I couldn't stop looking at you that day."

"I don't know what I look like but yeah, that whole day there was something in your eyes. I thought it was just my imagination." I answered. We lay there watching the sky quietly for a few minutes.

"What's the plan for today?" Keith asked. "I have to work at three, what can we do till then?"

Rolling over I reached for his dick. I loved his dick soft. He knew this and giggled while I tried to get a rise out of him. "I know what I wanna do till then." I said. Keith laughed and gently pushed my hand away. "What's this? Keith Hundser turns down a quickie! I don't believe it!"

"Yeah, well I'd rather not wake the neighbors or their dog." Keith laughed harder.

I blushed and said, "I wasn't THAT loud."

"Only because I covered your mouth. I think you sucked a few layers of skin off my fingers too. I loved it though. I love you, Prez."

Telling him I loved him wasn't enough. I kissed him deep and teased his tongue for a few seconds then rested my head on his chest to hear his heart beat. All these months I've been asking myself what it is I love most about him. The answer changed daily. Some days it was his mischievous ways, other days it was his sense of humor or the look in his eyes when he was thinking aloud about serious stuff. I swear it's not just his looks or the way we make love, it's everything we do together. Every minute I spend with him makes me love him more. "What would you like to do? Ya know Derrick and I have to work tonight. I have the orientation at school tomorrow too."

Keith nodded then said. "I was thinking maybe we'd wake up Mike and Derrick and all go to the beach."

"That sounds like a plan. I hope they're ok. Derrick was pretty stressed out last night."

"Yeah, Derrick didn't want to be touched for a while there. Mike was hurt by that, I could tell."

"That's the way Derrick gets sometimes I think. At work he's the lead busboy now that the college guys have gone back to school. When he gets his mind set to something it's a done deal. I think he's ok and he'll be sure to let Mike know it."

"What do you say we go check on them?"

"Sure. I'll bet ya they're in the pool house." I said sitting up to find my shorts.

"You're on," Keith said. He found my shorts and his and we stood to get dressed.

While Keith was standing on one leg putting his shorts on, I asked, "What do I win if they're together?" He stumbled for a second laughing.

"I've got nothing you haven't already won but I think we can come up with something."

We got on our bikes and peddled down the brightly-lit streets. The sun was taking it's sweet time rising, another sign that summer was ending and autumn was just around the corner. We laid our bikes down on the grass when we got to Mike's house. We peeked over the fence and saw the pool light on. One at a time we scaled the fence, trying to make as little noise as possible. Keith took my hand in his as we walked around the far side of the pool. I felt nothing but his hand in mine. I had to look down to make sure I wasn't floating inches above the ground.

Keith tapped lightly on the pool house door.

"Who's there?" Mike asked from inside.

"It's Keith & Prez, dude." We heard them scrambling for clothes inside and I couldn't help but laugh. "I guess you win." Keith said.

Mike opened the door with shorts on but no shirt. He's pretty sexy. All three of these guys are sexy and it still amazes me that I've been brought into the fold. "Hey buds. A bit early for a dip in the pool, don't ya think?"

I whispered, "We were just a little worried about you guys."

"Come on in. Let's not wake up my mom and sister."

The lights were off but two small electric candles were lit up on the towel shelf giving a red glow to the wooden panel walls. There was barely enough light to see. Derrick was sitting on the bench trying to look a little too nonchalant but his smile gave him away. "Dudes! What are you doin' here at this hour?"

"Checkin' up on you, dude." Keith said as we took a seat on the adjacent bench.

"I'm fine dude. Really." Derrick said.

I wasn't about to drag my feet on this topic. "No man, I don't think so. My dad's like yours. I know how alone and different you feel."

"Different? He makes me feel pathetic just looking at me, when he does look at me. Mom and I eat dinner then after I've left dad eats. It's been like that all summer. I don't feel so alone though. Not with Mike and you guys looking out for me."

"We're always here for you, Derrick. What ever you need, whenever you need it, just say the word ok?" Keith said.

"None of us are alone. We're all the same." Mike added sitting close to Derrick, taking his hand.

"I wish there was some way, some how I could change their minds. Jeez it would be so much easier if I could just tell everyone, like I told you dudes, I love this guy over here." Derrick said.

"There is no quick solution to their kind dude. Maybe in time." Keith said.

"We can't change. They'll have no other choice but to accept it as part of living. Anyway, there are people you can tell." I said.

"Yeah, who else?" Derrick asked.

"How about my folks?" Keith said. "Just let it out dude. It would be way cool for you to have the freedom to, ya know, show a little that you know how to love."

"You could tell my mom too. She'd be cool about it." I said.

"Ya think?" Derrick asked, considering the possibility.

"That would give you three places where you can be you. We can't make it perfect for you dude but we can sure as hell try." Keith said.

"Derrick, you can't keep it bottled up. When you're ready, let it happen. We're all just learnin' the ropes." I said.

"It's an uphill climb, bud. Reach for the sky." Mike said to Derrick as if he were reminding him of something.

"You guys are okay then?" Keith asked

"Better than ever," Mike said, and started sucking on Derrick's ear.

"Oh yeah." Derrick whispered only half to answer Keith. You could see him relax under Mike's careful administrations. "I ain't gonna let any of you down, 'specially this horny bastard."

Keith and I chuckled at Mike and Derrick. I felt Keith's hand grip my knee and slide up my thigh. His touch was the best kind of magic. The shivers and thrills of all the new experiences of my life rushed through my body at once.

"Come on, dude. We got company here." Derrick whispered to Mike.

Mike came up for air and smiled at Keith and I. "I'm eating. Let them make their own breakfast." He said and went right back to work on Derrick's ear. Derrick just closed his eyes and held on to Mike.

Keith's hand was teasing my balls and already hard cock through my shorts. I looked around the room and Keith kissed me deeply. There was an urgency I could feel in the way his tongue danced around mine. Keith pushed against me and I closed my eyes then slid down the wall. Keith's hand was under my shirt, teasing my nip the second I was flat on my back.

At first this was just another one of those situations where the four of us were together, paired up and making out. Very quickly it became clear that I wanted to please Keith now, not later. Leaving to go back to his place or my place, where my mom was home, was out of the question. To bathe him in all the love I could muster was what I needed. I was a bit torn by the idea that Mike and Derrick were in the same room with us but the strength to stop Keith was no where to be found. He was taking my T-shirt off and I sat up a bit to make it easier. Mike was kneeling on the floor nibbling on Derrick's thighs and working on freeing Derrick's erection from the confines of his shorts. When that puppy came into view I was amazed. There had to be at least seven inches of uncut teen meat right in front of Mike's face. Keith unbuttoned my shorts and slid them down my legs letting my boner spring free. Derrick glanced my way doing a quick double take with his eyes between my face and my dick. We had seen each other's dick maybe two or three times over the summer but never had we seen each other erect. He smiled and winked as if to say, "nice equipment bud," then turned his attention back to Mike. Keith hungrily dove into my crotch, sucking and softly mouthing the base of my cock. That was all it took to remove the image of Mike and Derrick from the scene. Over the last several months Keith learned just what to do to me and for how long before moving on to make me delirious with passion.

After a few minutes of gasps, moans and slurps from both sides of the room I heard Mike and Derrick moving around. Keith had moved up to my chest; my hands moved to unbutton his shorts. Keith pushed up off me, his shorts dropping to the floor. He took my hand and helped me up from the bench. As I stood, I caught a glimpse of Derrick lying on top of Mike on the floor then I focused right back on my lover. Keith lay down on the floor on his back and guided me down to lay on top of him.

I heard Derrick whisper, "I want you inside me."

"Nope. My turn." Mike softly insisted.

"You won, name your prize." Keith whispered in my ear.

An answer took no thought at all. I had to know if the feelings he created inside me earlier where repeatable but this time I wanted to face him. I was half tempted to roll him over on top of me and submit to him entirely but I thought it better to play it safe with Mike and Derrick around. I smiled, leaned forward and kissed Keith deeply then reached back for his cock, smearing his precum around my back door. Keith's hands were a blur rubbing from my thighs to my stomach and back down, occasionally tickling my balls and stroking my hardon. With his relaxing touch I slowly slid the first half of his dick into me then waited a good minute before sitting all the way down on him. The feeling of Keith's fat cock rubbing past my prostate had my atoms flying apart and slamming back together. It was made more intense by gazing into his sex crazed eyes. I ground myself into him and rode his cock like a bucking bronco. Keith kept trying to jack my cock but I was pushing his hand away, warning him I would lose it if he kept doing it. To Keith it was a requirement though. Stroking my rod tightened my ass around his cock making him shiver and moan with delight.

I swear the whole pool house was shaking as much as the four occupants. It's a wonder the damn thing didn't fall off its cinderblock foundation. Mike's moans where proof positive he was enjoying all Derrick was doing. Derrick was softly swearing to God and all the saints that Mike was now and would always be his only love. Keith and I were teetering on the edge of orgasm when he took my cock in his hand again, stroking me fast and furious. I knew he was going to shoot his hot spunk into me and I couldn't wait for it; I begged him for it, I demanded it. I shot my load onto Keith's smooth chest and tight stomach. The tension drained from his face as his love flowed into me. I leaned down and covered Keith's face with little kisses. "I'm hopelessly, passionately, head over heels in love with this guy," I thought as we drifted off to sleep in a warm embrace.

When we woke up later the pool house was like an oven. The sun had decided to rise and burn off the clouds after all. Mike checked his watch and asked if anyone else was interested in making the trip to the beach. On the last weekend before school Malibu was sure to be a mob scene so we took the 101 to Kanan Dune Road and followed it up the mountain, through the tunnel and back down to Pacific Coast Highway. Mike was being completely quiet for the entire trip. He wasn't even saying a whole heck of a lot to Derrick. I was getting used to this routine with both Mike and Derrick. They would talk to each other but only when pushed would they open up and say something to Keith or me. We knew how to deal with their silence if needed. The lack of conversation gave Keith and I another opportunity to make out in the back seat of the 442. The Zuma beach parking lot looked relatively empty so we pulled in and piled out of the car. The ever-present guitar, stereo and Frisbee came out of the trunk and we walked down the beach. How the hell did I ever live landlocked some six hundred miles from the Gulf Of Mexico? Everybody needs to smell the fresh salt air of the ocean often, daily if at all possible.

At the coast the morning marine layer still hadn't completely burned off and the lack of constant sunlight made it feel a little on the chilly side. Keith was tossing the Frisbee up in the air and catching it. With a nod of his head we went further down the beach for a game to let Derrick and Mike talk or get whatever was bugging them aired out. I learned just how sore my legs were from making love with Keith while chasing that Frisbee around. When we got back to them a half an hour or so later Mike was strumming his guitar along with tunes on the radio. When the song ended he put the guitar back in its case and lowered the volume on the radio.

"Dudes, I'm a little bit ashamed of myself for all that back in the pool house." Mike said. "Derrick and I were just getting started when you guys showed up. I was already really worked up and well, I'm sorry."

Keith said, "Don't be that way, Mike. It's not something I wanna do a lot of but it was a trip."

"I'm cool with it too. We could've left at any time. We just didn't want to and didn't feel we needed to. For me it was as if you weren't even there." I said.

"Told ya they'd be cool, dude." Derrick said to Mike

"Somehow I think it'll make us all a little bit tighter, ya know?" I added.

"I think maybe your right, baby." Keith said and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

Derrick laughed, "Don't get tighter or I'll shoot!"

Mike punched Derrick playfully in the arm. "You call me a horny bastard? You're at least as horny and twice as wicked with your mind always in the gutter."

Derrick gleamed at Mike and said, "You love me anyway, for all my faults."

"Yeah I do." Mike said licking his lips and showing off his tongue again. Derrick smiled, leaned over towards Mike and playfully chomped down loudly about two inches from Mike's tongue. Mike knocked Derrick backwards and they started rolling around tickling and grabbing each other. It was great to see them do this stuff, more so here on a public beach.

"AHEM! Are we gonna go swimming or just watch the itty-bitty waves of the great Pacific lake?" Keith said.

"Let's go." I agreed. Keith and I got up and jogged down to the water, leaving Mike and Derrick rolling around on the beach.

While Keith and I were swimming out I started thinking about Derrick and Mike. They were friends for about two years before they became boyfriends. Keith has known Mike almost forever. I couldn't make up for the years that these guys knew each other. The fact is I was jealous. Not raging mad about it, just sad that I wasn't here and there wasn't anyone in Texas I might have had a similar relationship with. I hated getting these feelings and thoughts, questioning my place in life. What did I have to worry about? Nothing. Keith and I did our fair share of wrestling and we didn't slip right into some sexual interlude because of it but it would be a lie to say we didn't get somewhat excited about it. I was so absorbed in these thoughts I swam about ten meters past Keith before I stopped to look around.

"Damn, dude!" Keith laughed. "I thought for a minute there you were heading for Honolulu or Tokyo."

I grinned and shook my head at my own absent mindedness then swam back over beside Keith.

"Where've you been today Prez? It's like your a million miles away."

I apologized as I kicked and treaded water to keep myself afloat two or three feet in front of him. I answered Keith's question about where my mind was wandering off to. His smile would wax and wane with my tale of clouds, overwhelming love for him and stupid jealousies and fears.

Keith's eyes were at half-mast, looking very much like they had while we were making love a short while ago. He swam closer and gave me a short but sweet kiss on the lips. It's so awesome to have someone know you so well that the most boring and silly thoughts seem to have so much meaning. I knew all there was to know about him and he knew as much about me. Some of what we knew was funny, some of it was sad and thanks to our parents, some a little embarrassing but we still loved each other. There we were, treading water some one hundred yards from the beach, making love with our eyes. We didn't even notice Derrick and Mike until they were right there next to us.

"They're at it again." Mike teased.

"Yeah, maybe we could tie them together as a human buoy?" Derrick suggested.

"We can't tie 'em up. They'd like that too much." Mike laughed.

Keith and I glanced over at them very briefly then right back at each other. What this day meant to me and Keith they probably understood and had gone through themselves months ago.

"It's hopeless." Derrick said.

Mike smiled and said, "Are you dudes gonna make goo-goo eyes at each other till the current takes you to Mexico? It's almost 1PM. You guys gotta work today so let's jet."

Seemingly without effort I was tele-ported on to the beach walking back to the car with Keith by my side. We were so close our shoulders were rubbing while we walked. Even those brief touches filled my heart with joy. Mike and Derrick were a few paces in front of us whispering and laughing.

We got in the car and headed back up the mountain towards home. Keith and I were holding hands and sitting so close our legs were touching. Derrick and Mike were whispering in the front seat again.

"What's with you two today?" Derrick asked.

Keith looked at me as if to ask permission to tell them. "I'll tell you if you two tell us what all the whispering and laughing is about." I said.

"That's cool." Mike said.

"Today was the first time I had Keith inside me," I confessed.

"Oh wow!" Derrick exclaimed. "Now I understand."

"I thought you guys had done that way before now," Mike said.

"Well, I've been inside Keith but today was my first time."

"It's an outrageous experience, huh?" Derrick asked.

"I only wanted to please Keith. I had no idea it would feel so good."

"Now you guys tell us what the big secret is," Keith said.

"Ok. Umm, Prez. I never would have guessed you were a screamer dude," Mike said.

"Am not!" I objected.

"Yeah ya are bud," Derrick giggled.

"Uh huh, I see. And that thumping your leg was doing, was that a rehearsal for 'Tank' or what?"

"Hey!" Derrick laughed, "I thought you said we weren't even there?"

"Ya do get kinda loud now and then baby." Keith whispered in my ear.

"Don't you start. Remember a certain blood-curdling wail at Big Bear?" I said.

Derrick and Mike fell apart in hysterics. Mike turned around in the front seat and gave Keith a surprised stare. Keith giggled and hid his face on my shoulder.

Mike said, "I'll bet there's a hell of a lot more to THAT story. I guess we've all learned a little bit more about each other today." He turned forward in the passenger seat.

"Maybe more than we needed to know but the jury's still out on that." I said.

"At least we know that none of us is into whips, chains or small furry animals." Derrick said.

We all laughed then bombarded him with a three-man out-of-sync chorus of "Shut up, Derrick."

At the corner of the 101 and Kanan Road we stopped at McDonald's for a few drinks and an ice cream sundae for Derrick. Derrick got out of the car moving to the passenger seat and Mike climbed over the center console into the driver's seat. Everyone was taking lunch break and the exit from 101 on to Kanan was jam packed with cars. In the car in front of us was a slightly balding middle aged man singing the old Tears For Fears song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". Both his car and ours were stuck trying to exit the McDonald's parking lot long enough for the four of us to clearly hear the guy's singing. Mike looked at me knowingly from the rear view mirror and I nodded my head. The guy could sing pretty well. As our cars finally made it onto Canwood Street, Derrick leaned forward to find the radio station the guy was listening to but after two trips up and down the dial we never found the station. While we waited for the light at Kanan Road, the opening guitar riffs to "Revolution" by the Beatles blasted loudly into the street. The guy belted out the scream and went right into the first verse like he'd been doing it all his life. As he turned right onto Kanan Road, Derrick and I stood up in the car and applauded the guy's performance. He looked back at us surprised as we turned left to get back on the 101.

It was almost two in the afternoon when we piled out of the 442 in front of Mike's house. Derrick asked if we would stick around for a few minutes while he and Mike passed pieces of his drum kit over the back fence to us. When we got the bass drums, tom-toms and snare Derrick yelled a thank you over the fence and told me he'd pick me up at my apartment about 3:45. Keith and I shouted our good-byes over the fence, got on our bikes and headed back to his house.

Mr. and Mrs. Hundser were sitting at patio table in the back yard reading the Sunday newspaper. They welcomed me as warmly as ever, we made some small talk about where we had been then Keith excused himself to go take a shower. I started to follow him in the house but Mrs. Hundser reminded me that Keith had been able to bathe himself for quite a few years before he had me to help him. Embarrassed and frustrated I collapsed into an empty chair at the patio table. I picked up the Entertainment section of the paper to check for new movies or concerts coming to town.

"You're quiet today Preston," Mrs. Hundser said. "Is everything okay dear?"

"Everything's great." I said convincingly. "I didn't want to interrupt your reading is all."

"Oh. Did you boys get things talked out last night?" She asked.

Ah! She was drilling for information. "Well, yeah we talked about a few things last night. We talked some more today at the beach too." I answered trying not to divulge more than was necessary.

"How's Derrick?" Mr. Hundser asked.

"He's fine now. The news articles hit a sore spot is all."

"Preston," Mrs. Hundser said, "we heard Derrick last night. We already had some ideas that maybe things weren't too comfy for him at home."

I sighed. "We're trying to help him out every way we can."

"That'll help. Try not to interfere but be there for him. It's a difficult balance." Mr. Hundser said.

"How bad is it for him?" Mrs. Hundser asked.

I thought for a minute about telling them. "It's pretty bad I think but maybe it would be better if Derrick told you the details."

"That's fine." Mrs. Hundser said. "As long as you boys support each other I think everything will work out well."

Keith came out of the house showered and ready for work with his dad's car keys in his hand. "Can we drop off Prez at home dad?" He asked.

"Sure, put your bike in the back of the Suburban Preston and we'll be on our way." Mr. Hundser said.

I said goodbye to Mrs. Hundser, loaded the bike in the back of the truck and watched Keith look at the keys, then me, debating whether he should get some practice time in behind the wheel or some back seat time with me. Mr. Hundser smiled and took the keys, making up his mind for his son. During the ride to my place, Keith promised he would either call me after work or meet me in front of the school tomorrow afternoon. All too quickly we were pulling into the parking lot in front of my apartment. Keith and I kissed each other goodbye, I said thanks and goodbye to Mr. Hundser and got my bike from the back of the Suburban.

I stepped into the apartment and found my mom in the kitchen.

"Hi ma, what smells so good?"

"Hi stranger." My mom said with a crooked smile. "Chicken and noodle casserole. I thought you might like a good meal before work."

I thought for a second or two remembering the last time I ate was at work almost 20 hours ago. "Yeah, sounds great. When will it be ready?"

"In about fifteen minutes."

"Cool. I'll grab a shower and get ready for work first." I said before walking back to my bedroom. When I finished up with my shower and went back to the kitchen, Derrick was sitting at the counter eating a bowl of casserole. I glanced at the clock.

"Hey bud. You're here early." I said as I started to sit on the stool next to him. "Where's my mom?"

He swallowed what was in his mouth and said, "Think she went to the toidy, dude."

I nodded my head and got up to serve myself. Before I could sit down, Derrick had inhaled the entire contents of his bowl. "Ya want some more man?"

Derrick batted his eyelashes, smiled and nodded. "That's really good." He said as I filled his bowl.

"Yeah it is. It's easy to make and I tried it once a few weeks ago but added too much pepper or something. Guess I'll stick to burgers and tuna fish sandwiches."

Derrick smiled at my lack of skill. "I'll have Keith turn up the heat and watch you cook!" He whispered.

I blushed and giggled, "Umm... let's save that talk for later." Two seconds later, the bathroom door opened and my mom came back into the kitchen.

She noticed Derrick's full bowl. "What's the matter Derrick," she said, "is the casserole too spicy?"

"No, it's great." Derrick said digging in.

"That's his second bowl, mom."

"Oh!" She exclaimed smiling. There's no better way into my mom's heart than to wolf down a meal.

Derrick and I ate and talked about some songs we were working on and other's we wanted to try while my mom was in the room. When we were done eating we said goodbye to mom and headed off to work. At the end of the night Derrick dropped me off back home.

When I walked into the apartment my mom was relaxing with her feet up on the sofa wearing her pajamas and light summer robe watching TV.

"Hi ma." I said closing the door behind me.

"Hello sweetheart. How was work?"

"Good. There was another big party tonight. The tips were great." I said sitting on the opposite end of the sofa. She started to move her feet to make room for me but I held them and returned them to their original position.

"Have you thought about changing your work schedule during the school year." She asked.

"Umm, no. I only work about twenty hours on four nights a week. I don't think it will cause a problem."

"Okay." She said uncertainly.

"It'll be fine ma."

"You've got so much going on Preston. I don't want your grades to suffer."

"They won't ma. I promise to make any adjustments I need to."

"I talked with Mrs. Hundser earlier tonight." She said.

Oh God. What childhood disease or other embarrassing personality traits from when we were toddlers were they talking about now? "Oh? About what?" I queried.

"About you, Keith and the school year." She answered. "I think we need to set some ground rules."

I was getting nervous. "Ground rules?"

She smiled at my shaking voice saying, "Don't worry so much, Preston. You'll give yourself an ulcer before your twenty."

"What kind of rules are we talking about then."

"The Hundser's and I think that it would be best to limit the sleepovers to weekends during the school year. As long as you boys maintain your grades there will be no need to change anything else."

I had to think fast here. Two 'sleepovers' a week sounded just way too lonely after a summer of sleeping with Keith almost every night. "Can't we..."

"We can adjust things if we see that you boys are keeping your grade point average. That means both ways Preston. If either of your grades slip you might not have the two nights. If you both do well then we can talk about an extra night here or there."

I whined thinking about Keith. He had probably gotten the same from his parents and wasn't going to call tonight.

My mom spent the next half-hour reminding me of how long my days would be with work on two school nights. She also said she expected to see some afternoon study sessions. I heard every word she said and my logical brain was fighting my emotions to a brutally painful stalemate. I excused myself to get out of my greasy work clothes and take a shower. Usually a hot shower does a world of good but not tonight. After I rinsed off I stood there under the spray and realized I had gotten maybe three or four hours sleep last night. That was the first reason for my headache. The other reason was I honestly hadn't been thinking about how I would juggle school, my boyfriend, band practice, work and any other social activities. A few short months ago school was all I had to worry about. I toweled off; slid on a pair of shorts and pulled a T-shirt over my head then went to watch TV with my mom for a little while before bed.

It took me a long while to get to sleep that night even though I was beyond exhausted. There were too many new school worries, too many "how do I juggle it all" ideas and no Keith to talk with or snuggle up to. Before I knew what happened the alarm clock was blasting in my ear. I reached over and hit the snooze button. A few minutes later mom was reminding me of orientation and asking me to please eat something before school. I got up and tried to make myself presentable for my first day of school. Keith had picked out this shirt for me and I really liked it when I bought it but today nothing looked right. Mom knocked on the bathroom door to tell me to get it in gear or I'd be walking to school. Figuring it was just gonna be one of those bad hair, bad shirt days I gave up and exited the bathroom. I grabbed a Sunny D and a granola bar before following my mom out the door.

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* Some browsers may require a right click instead