"When the visions around you, Bring tears to your eyes
And all that surround you, Are secrets and lies
I'll be your strength, I'll give you hope,
Keeping your faith when it's gone
The one you should call,
Was standing here all along."
- This I Promise You, N'SYNC
Sounds in the night mingled with the boy's dreams and he wasn't aware the noise was coming from outside his dreams until glass shattered on his bedroom floor. He jerked out of his sleep, heart pounding, ears ringing as he listened intently. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust somewhat to the darkness in the room, using the faint light of the street lamp to aid his sight.
A shadow of a figure was squeezing through his half open bedroom window. He always shoved a stick on top so it couldn't be opened any wider from the outside. His bedroom was on the second floor, so he'd never really worried about someone trying to sneak into the house this way.
The intruder accidentally kicked another item to the floor which hit with a heavy, solid thud, then swore softly as they worked the rest of their body through the half opening then tumbled in onto the floor.
The boy gasped sharp and grabbed for his lamp, his hands shaking. He fumbled for the switch but knocked the lamp over instead. It fell from the night stand with a loud crash and he whimpered, sucking back on the bed, his back pressing against the headboard as the intruder crawled to his feet and came towards the bed.
Just when the boy was about to scream for his parents, the newcomer whispered, "It's me."
The boy's pulse shuddered then slowly began to calm. "Patrick?" His voice shook from his sudden fright. "What're you doing here? How...how did you get here?" His voice was a bare whisper in the dark.
"I ran away." Patrick whispered. He crawled onto the end of the bed and the boy could make out his hooded sweatshirt, but his face was lost in shadows. There was a strain to his words that, for some reason, frightened the boy.
"Ran away from where?" he asked. "Where were you?"
Tears filled Patrick's voice. "My parents...they sent me to a place to...fix me."
"Fix you?" The boy frowned. "What do you mean? What place?"
"I'm..." Patrick started to cry. "I'm sick. I tried to get better but...but I can't. And my parents...they don't want me to come home until I'm not sick anymore."
Sick? Anger began to simmer then boil the boy's blood. Over a month ago, in school, Patrick had confessed to him that he was gay - and his church was getting him the help he needed to be healed. At that point he really had looked sick; gaunt features, pale skin. He'd lost a bunch of weight and was even throwing up at times. The stress and guilt and fear of what he was had taken its toll - not without the help of his parents and church who had thrust him into programs that were meant to 'heal' him, but which only seemed to make him hate himself more.
"You're not sick, Patrick." The boy insisted quietly, but he knew it was no use. Still he tried. "There's nothing wrong with you. You can't be fixed because you're not broken."
"Yes I am." Patrick cried. "My parents...hate what I am. God hates me." He choked on a hard sob. "I'm going to hell!"
The boy grabbed him and pulled him into a tight embrace, hugging him close, his face against his throat. "No, Patrick, you're not!" He hissed tightly. "God don't hate you. You're beautiful, and amazing, and so good. You're not going to hell."
Patrick sagged against him, crying, his body shaking. "Can I...can I stay with you tonight? Please?"
"Of course you can."
Lifting his face, Patrick gazed at the boy. This close, the boy could make out a glint of the blue in Patrick's glistening eyes. "I love you." Patrick whispered, choking on his words. "I always loved you. I know it's wrong...but...I can't help it."
The boy gently peeled the hood off Patrick's head then ran his fingers through the kid's soft wavy hair. "I love you too, Patrick." Before he thought about what he was doing, he was kissing the kid softly.
"I wanna be with you tonight." Patrick moaned through their light kiss. "I want us to..."
He didn't have to finish. The boy knew what he was asking.
With slow, gentle hands, he peeled the sweatshirt up over Patrick's head. He wasn't wearing a shirt underneath. The boy touched his bare chest lightly, tracing his fingertips over Patrick's skin. Patrick's hands covered his.
"Have you ever..." Patrick started, his voice soft, unsteady, then faltered.
The boy shook his head slowly. "No." he whispered. His throat felt tight and he wasn't sure why. His pulse was beginning to race, harder and faster, the longer he touched Patrick's skin. An ache crept through his groin. He'd felt attraction before, with certain boys in school. But it had never felt like this. He'd never been this close to another boy, so intimately. And the way Patrick was looking at him...no other boy had ever looked at him like that.
Patrick leaned close and kissed him, hesitantly. His lips trembled and lingered. Heat spread down through the boy's body and pooled between his legs. He was getting hard. Harder than he'd ever been. And the ache was causing his eyes to water. He knew what to do...though he'd never done it before.
"Are you sure...this is what you want?" he whispered against Patrick's lips.
"Yes." Patrick was shaking and tears were forming, about to run down his face.
The boy rubbed his thumbs over Patrick's eyes, wiping away the tears before they fell. He kissed Patrick's eyes. "It's ok...to love me." he whispered. "It isn't wrong, Patrick. All love is beautiful. Not everyone understands that."
Patrick shuddered and cried softly, sagging against the boy, wrapping his arms around his neck. "I wish..." he choked on his words. "I wish I knew how to believe that. I wish...I didn't feel so...dirty and sick."
Tears rolled down the boy's face and he hugged Patrick tight in his arms. "Let me show you how beautiful it is." He kissed his hair then laid him down on the bed. Patrick didn't resist, but just gazed up at him with total trust and love. How could he think he was dirty, or disgusting? He looked like an angel, so pure and lovely.
The boy scooted down and began to softly kiss Patrick's chest, then up to his neck. Patrick moaned low and his eyes fluttered a bit then closed, his hands lifting and lightly touching the boy's back with his fingertips. His touch, even such a light touch, was like tiny electric shocks to the boy's skin.
His lips traced the curve of Patrick's jaw and found their way to his mouth. This time their kiss was deeper, promising. Patrick's arms went around the boy and pulled him closer, deeper into the kiss. The boy's body slowly slid over and covered Patrick's. Still, Patrick didn't resist, but rather clung to him, almost desperately. More tears slipped from his eyes.
"Make love to me." he was crying again, soft, and shaking. "I just...I want to know how it feels...just once...to make love."
The boy rubbed his hands over Patrick's warm, damp face. "Stay with me, Patrick." he whispered. "And it won't have to be just once. I want you with me always. It'll be okay."
His sobs intensifying, Patrick hugged him tighter. "It'll never be okay." he cried. "Not ever."
"Don't say that." the boy whispered and kissed him again. "It will be. I promise. It'll be okay, I'll make it okay, somehow."
"You can't." Patrick choked. "Don't promise. Please don't."
The boy started to speak again but Patrick silenced him with a kiss as his hands began to move all over his body, igniting emotions he'd only before read about, or heard about. His breath began to puff off his lips as his heart raced faster, harder and his body began to come alive in a way that both frightened and excited him.
He didn't know just when their clothes came off, but only registered their warm, bare skin touching. The boy startled himself by his own apparent skillfulness as he gently turned Patrick onto his stomach, used his own saliva to lubricate himself and Patrick's entrance, then hugged the kid in his arms as he very slowly began to enter his body.
Patrick sucked in a sharp breath laced with a whimpering cry. The boy kissed his shoulder, hesitated, then pushed in a little deeper. Patrick choked on a staggered cry and gripped the sheets. But when the boy paused, as if to withdraw, Patrick shook his head.
"No." he shuddered, crying softly. "Don't...stop...please."
The boy's eyes watered then tears were running down his face, dripping into Patrick's hair at the nape of his neck. His love for the kid exploded through him, rattling his heart in his chest. He'd always known he loved Patrick, even before he knew Patrick was gay. But it had never felt this overwhelming and consuming. He pressed his lips to the back of Patrick's head and cried as he shoved deeper inside the kid, his mind reeling, breath breaking and falling from his lips in shaky pieces.
"I love you." The boy trembled, sobbing, hugging Patrick tighter in his arms, feeling the kid's heart beating wildly against his palm as his hands flattened against his chest. "I love you, Patrick...I love you so much..."
His face pressed into the boy's pillow, Patrick cried harder - but not from the boy entering him. His cries were pushing up out of him by force, in anguish. It frightened the boy and he held Patrick even tighter, as if his embrace could somehow protect the kid from what was hurting him.
"Please don't cry, Patrick." The boy choked on his own sobs. "Please. It'll be okay. It will. I'll make it okay, I'll help you. I'll always be here for you."
Patrick covered the boy's hands with his own and pressed his body back against the boy. His inner heat surrounded the boy's member, squeezed him, urged him to take full possession. He began to move against Patrick's tense but willing body. Patrick shuddered and whimpered but began to move with the boy until they were in perfect rhythm and everything around them seemed to disappear and turn to nothing. For a short while, everything was perfect...heavenly. He felt the tension in Patrick fade away, sensed the kid's despair and hatred for himself dissipate. For that moment, while the boy held him, made love to him...Patrick knew who he was, loved who he was, and embraced it without reservation or shame.
In some ways it seemed like they were making love for hours, and yet it ended way too soon. The boy and Patrick both felt their bodies tighten almost simultaneously. The boy clung to Patrick as their breaths exploded out of them on broken cries and whimpers and they released together, hard sobs bursting free, shattering the darkness. Somewhere in the back of his mind, the boy wondered if his parents could hear them. But their room was at the far end of the hall. He didn't think they could hear.
His body shuddered and trembled, his breath hot and ragged against Patrick's damp shoulder. "Stay with me, Patrick." he whispered. "I promise it'll be okay."
Patrick didn't answer as they shifted and the boy pulled him into his arms. They huddled beneath the blankets and he caressed Patrick's back with light fingertips as the kid laid his head on the boy's chest.
"Thank you." he murmured as he began to sink into sleep. "Please don't...blame yourself...you loved me...when no one else did."
The boy frowned and started to ask what he meant, but the kid was already asleep. He made a mental note to ask him in the morning, then closed his eyes, hugged Patrick closer and let himself succumb to the Sand Man's tempting.
. . . . . .
The boy woke with a start, as if shaken awake, but there was no one there.
"Patrick?" The boy sat forward and rubbed his eyes. Outside the bedroom window, the sky was overcast and raindrops ticked against the glass. Had he dreamed Patrick being there? He shifted beneath the blankets and felt the sheets slide against his naked body. It hadn't been a dream. But if not a dream, then where was...
He shoved back the blankets and left the bed, grabbing his underwear and tugging them on. He slipped into a pair of jeans then went to the window and looked out into the dreary day. Why had Patrick left? Where would he go? He'd said his parents didn't want him home until...
Until I'm not sick anymore.
The boy's face tightened, his eyes hardening. What the hell was wrong with his parents? The church? God? Did they all really see something awful when they looked at Patrick?
"Patrick." The boy whispered, his throat tightening. His fingertips touched the cool glass as he watched the raindrops trickle across the surface like Patrick's tears from last night. "Where are you? Please come back."
The sudden knock on his bedroom door made him jump. He turned as the door opened slowly and his dad stepped in. The man's face was pinched with tension, his eyes glossy with tears - and terror seized the boy's heart and mind.
"Dad..." He was already shaking and didn't know why. He hugged himself but couldn't stop the chills that were suddenly coursing through him. Tears welled up before he even knew why he was crying. "Dad...what's wrong?"
The man just looked at him, deep pain resonating in his eyes. His tears began to slip free and run down his cheeks as his jaw tightened, flexing the muscles in his face.
"Dad...what is it?" The boy cried.
"It's..." His dad bit his lip as his chin trembled hard. He approached the boy on shaky legs. "It's Patrick."
The boy shook his head. He tried to back away but hit the window.
"He..." The man was crying openly. He grabbed the boy's hands. "He...killed himself...early this morning."
"No..." The boy shook his head harder, his jaw clenching, tears streaming. "No! You're lying! You're lying! Stop fucking lying!"
The man grabbed him and pulled him into his arms. The boy fought him, screaming and crying, but his father refused to release him.
"No-oo!" he screamed, choking on his cries. He grabbed onto the man and clung to him, his strength abandoning him. His knees gave out and the man held him up in his arms, hugging him tight, sobbing,
"I'm so sorry, son." he cried. "I'm so very sorry."
The boy shook against his father's trembling body, his eyes squeezed shut, images from the night before snapping through his head, and Patrick's last words like a ghost whispering in his mind.
"Please don't blame yourself...you loved me...when no one else did."