The Sailor's Stories

2053 Chapter seven – Book II

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The world right then was full of startling discoveries for a boy on the cusp of manhood. When Carl woke up several hours later, firstly, he found himself in near total darkness, he’d been asleep, that much was obvious…, but he had no idea for how long. A startling but not too unwelcome discovery, as his sleep the night before had been plagued by pain, and the bad dreams that can only be brought about by even worse memories. If not for the small but sharp blades of moon’s light, cutting strange and interesting paths through the boy’s window, and the soft incandescent glow of the electrical read-out on the clock, he would have been.

The second also not unwelcome, but far more curious, because he couldn’t remember how he got there…, was that he found himself on his and Dale’s bed wrapped snuggly in the soft comforter that normally lived at the end of it. Even though it’s not at all strange for a teen boy to have a nap in the middle of the afternoon…, or even to sleep away that afternoon till suppertime…, what was strange, was that the last thing he remembered, was that he was sitting at the desk taking some pain meds. Try as he might, he just couldn’t quite figure that one out. Slipping his way free of the warm comforter, he came upon the last piece of his current puzzle…, someone had stripped him down to his underwear.

Shivering slightly from the somewhat chilly room, followed closely by a yawn filled stretch, and the slight wince of pain because of it…, the dominant of his hands, came to rest on the top of his head for a well earned scratch. Looking around, still scratching he yawned again, this time deeper and far more satisfying, while he surveyed the room for the first time since he was pulled from slumber. He soon found out why he had been though, when his stomach let out a dull but loud roar of hunger. This alone caused a chuckle, when he thought about it…, knowing that Corey would have been well proud of his effort, if he’d been there at the time.

Hunger is indeed a great motivator in any young teenager, and Carl was no different. The first thing he needed to do though, before he could fix his immediate problem…, was to find his pants. He was half expecting them to be on the floor at the edge of the bed, knowing that if he had indeed taken them off, then that’s where they would be. Carl wasn’t a messy person by nature, he was just practical. After all, if he was only taking a nap, then there would be no need for a fresh pair later, so why not keep what he had close handy incase he had to move quickly.

Knowing that however, doesn’t necessarily make it so. Even still…, deciding to let his feet do the searching…, he slid over to the edge of the bed before kicking his legs out, so that his feet would fall on the floor right where they should be…, unfortunately in this instance, bare carpet was all he found, lending further strangeness to the situation. Now that his puzzle was not quite complete after all, he began to look around again in earnest, properly searching the room. It wasn’t until he did, that he finally laid eyes on the hoodie and pants that he’d been wearing earlier, neatly folded and hanging over the back of the chair. Must have been Dale…, maybe Cam…, definitely not Corey…, as like Carl, he would have just left his clothes where they fell…, nope, must have been his lover or his new dad that had put him to bed he decided.

A smile and a small step was all it took to close the gap, and one leg at a time he pulled his jeans on, before resting them just so on his hips. Fastening his belt, he then reached for the deep red coloured hoodie that was one of his favorites…, the fact that it was Dale’s was totally irrelevant…, before pulling it over his head. His tummy rumbled again, but all that moving around had brought on a more pressing need, a need that needed to be taken care of very quickly. Exiting the bathroom, having flushed and washed his hands, he saw that his sneakers had been neatly placed in the rack by the door. The plot thickens…, he thought, but only because he loved that phrase.

His stomach, making itself known for the third time in as many minutes, this time a little more aggressively…, forced Carl to put his musings on the back burner, and he made his way downstairs to the kitchen. It wasn’t until he was half way there, that he actually thought to look at the time. Upon seeing the lateness of the hour, he began to wonder why no one had called him down to dinner yet. But knowing that he would probably find out soon anyway, he put that too to the back burner as well. Finally rounding the last corner off of the stairs that led to the kitchen, he saw light creeping it’s way from under the door, so that at least was promising. Though when Carl pushed his way through the door, what he saw there was…, well it wasn’t unwelcome per say…, just not expected.

Sitting alone at the table, nursing a mug of something dark, sat Danny, all alone. To an outside observer, the scene that was about to play out would have been rather comical, but to it’s player’s the opposite was true. For his part, Danny knew who it was as soon as he heard the door open, being well aware at the time, that he was home alone with the boy that had caused him some serious grief. What he didn’t know was what he wanted to do about it. He had hoped that Cam and the twins would have made it home before the boy came down, that way he wouldn’t have had to deal with him alone. But sometimes for good or bad, fate has a funny way of spoiling any good plan, and these things just happen.

Danny had never been a vengeful person any way,  not really…, though growing up in the foster care system has a way of toughening even the sweetest of hearts and he had at times, fought very hard for what he could call his own. Yet still on some level, in Carl, he thought he could sense a sort of kindred spirit, almost to the point that he felt that under different circumstances the two would have been good friends. After all, they were both after the same thing…, Danny had just waited longer. When the realization came, there was absolutely no surprise for Danny, that he hoped there was still some chance. What he most certainly didn’t want, was to alienate the boy any more than he apparently already had, until that slim hope had time to make itself happen.

Their first meeting, since Carl had made his promise, started out just like one of those schoolyard staring competitions. Even though the boy knew what he had to do, for some reason he still couldn’t quite shake off his feelings of mistrust. Several minutes went by, as they watched each other very closely…, neither boy, nor man, wanted to be the first to speak. Born out of some primal male urge, neither wanted to be seen to be the first to back down.

However, they could both see that the other was thinking, could almost feel the tension in the room, that they were creating…, but neither could quite discern what was on the others mind…, so much so, that they both started to jump to conclusions, the wrong conclusions. Carl’s face had a set of dogged determination, while Danny looked on in a state of bewilderment, with just a hint of fear. To be honest, the older of the two, was a little taken aback…, that fear was rapidly growing at what he thought was about to happen. He knew the boy was in no way an enemy, but he was an obstacle, and he started to steel himself for the fight that he was now sure was about to happen.

In fact, to both of their thinking, they were each of them opposing obstacles in the others way, or at least that’s what they thought. ‘Stalemate’ is a good term to explain the situation, ‘Mexican Stand off’ is another. But, as with all such situations there’s always a trigger that sets off the inevitable. Usually what happens, is someone makes the wrong move, which in turn causes a disastrous outcome. In this case, however, it was the loudest rumble yet that evening, from young Carl’s tummy. Loud and tremulous, so much so that the poor boy blushed ferociously from embarrassment, before both man and boy burst into raucous laughter. It wasn’t until they had calmed down that they noticed all the tension gone…

“Hi…” Carl said, timidly, still blushing.

“Hey…, you hungry?” Danny replied, with an almost too evil grin.

“Yeah…, um…, a little, I guess…, where are the guys?”

“Commander Green and his family were delayed, then diverted…, they went to pick him up and take him to his car…”

“Oh…”

“They should be home soon though…”

The hint of a smile played out across Carl’s face, when Danny indicated he should take a seat. Then he got up to go over to the fridge. Not quite détente, but it wasn’t far off, and a small kernel of hope began to grow deep inside of both of them. As Danny turned to ask what the boy felt like, he was met by a sudden sad kind of stare…

“I’m really sorry Danny…, I am…”

“What for?” He knew why, he just wanted the kid to say it.

“For…, for being a total dick…, seriously…, I’m really sorry…”

Danny eyed him suspiciously, even as good as it was going so far, this wasn’t at all what he’d been expecting. That’s not to say that it wasn’t welcome, but for a moment, as he held the boy’s gaze, he was temporarily lost for something to say. Begging for a little time, he rested his hands on the edge of the breakfast bar he was now facing, and dropped his head. All he could think about, all that was running through his mind, was he so desperately wanted this. This was his chance, but it was somewhat too sudden…, he just couldn’t decide if he should trust it.

He had no idea what had made the boy change his mind, but that hope that had started to grow inside of his very soul, forced him to act. Looking back up at the boy, he searched hard for any kind of duplicity. After what seemed an age, he realized he simply couldn’t find any…, this alone gave him the courage to continue…

“You know what…, I think I actually believe you…, dude I understand…, I know you’ve had it hard…, but so have I…”

“What do you mean…?”

“It’s a long story…, maybe one day I’ll tell you all of it…, but for right now all you need to know…, is that I grew up in foster care…”

“Oh…, then I guess you do know what it’s like to finally find something you want so badly…”

“I do now…”

This time it was Carl’s turn to do some searching. Starting at the tentative smile, he soon moved up to those beautiful eyes, that had captured his senses so completely the first time he’d seen them all those many months ago. They were totally enthralling to him, so much so that he almost got lost…, luckily for him, he hadn’t strayed to far, or he might well have been gone forever. Just like Danny, he too found nothing, his kernel grew just like the other’s had…, and he smiled.

Carl wasn’t that much different than Danny in most respects, for when he smiled…, he too could light up a room…, up until recently, he just hadn’t had too much to smile about. For Danny however, that smile was most certainly a defining moment. Elation rushed through him, and he felt like a conquering hero on the field of some great battle. But unlike that hero there was no maiden waiting to cook him a celebratory feast, nope that was one thing he had to do for himself…, sadly though, by this time he was well used to it. Opening the refrigerator, he looked inside, and with a not too subtle grin…, he said…

“Well…, let’s see…, we have pickles…, and we have sour grapes…, and oh look! … Humble pie…, just for you.”

Chuckling to himself, at his little joke, the echoes of Carl’s own laughter in his ears, he pulled out all the fixings and began to put together several PB&J sandwiches. Within minutes of returning to the table…, hot chocolate and a sandwich in hand, boy and man started to talk.

*          *          *

Later that night, when the others got home, Cam took the boys into the kitchen and gave a long-overdue, long-winded, somewhat funny, lecture on basic security. Even though he’d heard it all before, Carl was somewhat mesmerized by the whole thing, that in and of itself was weird because he knew what he did for a living. But all the way though it, he couldn’t help but think that Cam’s intelligence was a bit masked by his somewhat understated appearance.  He wasn’t built to intimidate, nor educate, no…, he was something far more deadly. You see to Carl, he just had this ‘Silent death’ thing going on, like a ninja or something…, you know how they always say to look out for the quiet ones…, well that was Cam to Carl’s way of thinking. Even with all that though, he also had this way with words, a way that made his lecture easy to palate.

“Bigotry and prejudice is just like eye and hair color boys…, it keeps getting passed down from generation to generation…, we just need to keep our heads down till we can come up with a way to eradicate it.” He’d told them.

Cam wasn’t trying to scare them, but rather to suggest that they should always, always pay attention to the people around them. Close enough attention so that they would be able to describe those people if the need arose. At least in basic matters anyway, things like the person’s sex, size, coloring, hair, approximate age, and clothes.  He also wanted them to pay attention to peoples’ behaviors, and to move away quickly from anything or any person that made them even remotely uncomfortable.  He made a point of stating that they shouldn’t run and hide, that that would probably draw to much unwanted scrutiny, just move away quickly. While he was finishing his diatribe, he got up and made the boys some hot chocolate, before laying out some cookies and retaking his seat.

“Look guys…, I don’t want you to jump at loud noises…, or people looking at you funny…, I just want you to be aware that there’s people out there who’d like nothing better than to see you hurt…, you found that one out the hard way Carl…, I’m just really sorry we couldn’t get there sooner.”

“S’not your fault Cam…, if I hadn’t run off like that…”

“No kiddo…, it is my fault…, I’ve been pretty preoccupied lately…, and that’s meant you guys had to fend for yourselves…, I’m really sorry…, I almost lost you…, I…, I can’t loose any of you…, you know that right…?”

Cam had to look away right then, because if he didn’t he wouldn’t have been able to control himself. As it was, his tear ducts betrayed him anyway, and several stray tears streaked down his face. Thinking that he’d mastered himself, he turned back to the boys, only to find them both in the same state.

“I love you boys so much…” He said, tears flowing freely now as he reached out to take a hand of each boy in his own.

Later that evening as he lay in bed next to the boy he loved, whether it was his nap in the afternoon, or the images still running around in his head…, Carl just couldn’t get to sleep again. As soon as Cam had finished his lecture earlier, he and Dale had gone up to their room. They were both wrung out from the emotionally charged discussion. Carl was leaning back against his pillow, one hand behind his head, the other resting lightly over Dale’s shoulder and upper back tracing lazy circles in what can only be described as a loving fashion. Dale was in his usual position, head lying on his boyfriend’s shoulder, left arm resting on his chest, left hand snuggled between two buttons.

Soft shallow breathes was all Carl could hear from his lover, with maybe just the slight hint of a snore. In the position he was, he couldn’t quite tell whether Dale’s eyes were still open, but he pretty much judged him asleep anyway. For the longest time, it had amazed Carl, that Dale could sleep like that, and so quickly…, he just always seemed so content, and Carl wondered again why he didn’t feel the same way. There was no question in his mind that he loved the boy, and probably always would, but the last few days had brought into stark contrast, just what the two were facing.

“Dale?” Carl asked, sometime later.

Dale made a small stifled grunt against Carl’s chest, before rousing and looked at him.

“What do you think of Danny…, do you like him?”

Looking closer at his lover, deep into his eyes…, Dale couldn’t help but wonder what he had on his mind.

“Why wouldn’t I?” He asked.

“No reason,” Carl replied. “I guess I…, I already knew anyway.”

Dale took another long look at Carl still not knowing what he was thinking, before resting his head back onto the warm spot that he’d not long left on Carl’s chest. While he thought about it, he started to lightly tease the boys nipple, and was met with a soft moan for his efforts. With all that had happened lately, Dale still hadn’t had a chance to properly talk it all through, so took a chance…

“Are you still having problems with him being here?” he asked.

Carl didn’t look at him, just went back to staring at the ceiling while he thought about what he wanted to say. What he came up with, was at first startling, but as the thought grew, he knew that it wasn’t. He started to break it all down, how he felt about Danny, how he felt about Cam, the talk he’d had with Danny earlier…, that’s when it all started to come back together for him…, and it seemed like it did it all on it’s own. In the end, all he could think of, was that he’d found some level of piece with the idea.

“I dunno…, not really…, not anymore…, they do seem pretty tight though don’tcha think…, I just wondered how you’d take that?”

“You know something I don’t?” Dale asked.

“No,” Carl replied, still looking up at the ceiling. “I don’t know…, really…, I just think they’ll be together soon.”

“That’s a surprise…” He said, rolling his eye’s, a grin forming…, “I mean…, that you think.”

Carl looked down at him like he was going to say something, but when he saw the smirk, he reached into Dale’s very ticklish underarm area instead. The reaction was instantaneous, as it always was, his lover tensed up and started giggling incessantly…, a giggle that turned out to be infectious…, consequently, Carl couldn’t hold his attack. A few moments later, he just pulled Dale closer, and held him in a tight loving embrace.

“You don’t see something there?” he asked.  “I do.”

“I can see it Carl…, I mean, from that first time I saw them together in Uncle Cam’s office I thought I saw some interest…,  I mean…, Jesus! … he’s gorgeous…, even rocks look twice when Danny goes by…, trees twist themselves out of shape to get another look…, Uncle Cam’s all normal with the boy-boy thing and I’m glad…, I mean…, he’s too young not to try again…, I like Danny a lot…, and I think he does too…”

Carl was staring straight down at Dale, his eyes were wide, and his mouth was open a little. At first he couldn’t quite believe that his lover would speak so brazenly about the man that his Uncle was undoubtedly falling for. But at the same time, he couldn’t stop himself from agreeing with the somewhat crass estimate either. In the end, he nodded, as if to tell him to keep going…, so he did.

“What I’m saying is this…, Uncle Cam’s been hurting and alone for so long it’s killing him…, even you can see that.”  Dale narrowed his eyes and looked at him, “Now don’t get all huffy…, I only meant that in the way that you haven’t been here as long as I have…, not that you don’t understand…, then along comes Danny…, and I think that he’s starting to get happy again…, that’s all good…, isn’t it?”

Carl held Dale’s stare for a moment, before his expression softened and he smiled.

“It is good…, really good actually…, I think I see that now.” He lost the smile, “Man I’m sorry I asked…, I feel like such a douchebag.”

“I don’t think that Babe…, I never did and I never will…, look…, I know it upset you and I think I know why…, but Uncle Cam loves you dufus…, and just like me…, he always will…, that’s never gonna change.” He grinned. “Any other issues…, or can you cuddle me back to sleep now?”

Carl snorted. “Nope…, I think I can do that…, well.., okay…, maybe just one…, you never really said what you think of all this.”

“I did too!” Dale asserted, as he snuggled down again. “I love you both…, and I want to see you both happy…, if that means that Uncle Cam starts dating Danny…, then so be it…, you think they will?”

“Yeah…, I think they will.”

“And you’re okay with that…, right?”

“Yeah…, yeah I think I am.”

“Kewl…” Dale said, as he drifted back to sleep, Carl following close behind.

*          *          *

In the next room, someone else was having a hard time sleeping, though not for the normal reasons. Usually the dream would come, and keep him awake, but not that night…, no that night was different. He could hear the voices from next door, and at first tried his best to ignore them, as he often did. Not being one to pry Cam had never liked listening in to what was usually very private and always personal conversations, but that night he couldn’t help himself once he’d heard the subject matter. Even though he still felt guilty for doing it, he soon found himself beaming with pride and happiness, a smile breaking out, and not a few tears leaking down his face.

Once again, his boys had proven their worth tenfold over his current estimation. So much so, that he thought that maybe he could make a go of this thing with Danny…, with his boys behind him…, he felt almost invincible…

Written by bigct/Octavius

July 22, 2010 at 04:33

4 Responses

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  1. Good one CT. I forgot how great pillow talk felt. Brought back some memories and maybe had a little motivation for me to try and find it again. Oh well. Keep it up. The chapter was well worth the wait.

    Dawngreeter

    July 22, 2010 at 07:51

  2. So THAT’S what “pillow talk” is! The only “pillow talk” I get any more is when the cat wakes me ’cause she’s hungry!

    I got all excited that I found another chapter posted when I got home from work. Now I’m bummed because I have to wait for yet another installment! That’s OK, though, because I know deep down that it will be well worth the wait, just like this one was!!!! Thanks ever so much again, CT!

    Rick

    July 22, 2010 at 13:02

  3. That was a really good chapter and I think it is Cam’s turn to be happy again. I am glad the boys think Danny is alright now. I think I see why Carl was so mad, it was because he thought he was going loose his new dad. But really he will get another dad if he lets it all happen. That’s two time’s the love, not just one. I really hope it all works out. Hugs JJ

    JJ

    July 24, 2010 at 07:51

  4. yeah only commenting now just to say this is a truly inspiring and amazing story.

    Flexy

    July 26, 2010 at 02:09


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