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The Talon House

What's The Difference Between Me and You?

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What's the Difference Between Me and You?

Chapter 08 - By Nick

As they drove out of Modesto, Nick looked out the window of the giant truck that was fully loaded that Jim rented to move all of their things across the country to Virginia. He was overcome with sadness, but it was as if he could sense a feeling a relief that his father had, and it made him relax. Nick looked in the mirror that was on his side, and he could see their car, which they were towing, was still where it was the last time he checked.

"Are you alright buddy," Jim asked as they were getting on the freeway. Nick had to take a breath and think about his answer for a second. He didn't think he was all right just a few minutes earlier as he watched his papu waving goodbye to them from their house, and he sure didn't feel ok when he was giving him a final hug before they left. He could see the devastated look in his papu's eyes, and it broke his heart. He had tears streaming down his face when they were saying goodbye, but as always, his papu stayed strong.

"I'll be there for Christmas," his papu said. "I promise." That was enough for Nick. He knew that if his papu said he was going to be there, then he would be there.

"Yes sir," Nick finally answered. "I'm ok."

They stopped at Fosters Freezes, Nick's favorite place for a milkshake and got dinner, and then they were gone. Nick stayed awake long after the sun went down, but eventually he fell asleep. When he woke up, they were in a hotel room and Jim was just getting out of the shower.

"Where are we?" Nick asked.

"We're in Arizona," Jim answered. "We're going to spend the night then get back on the road early. Try to get some sleep, ok?"

Jim got dressed and laid down next to Nick and soon Nick fell asleep again. In the morning, they were back on the road. Nick spotted a Cracker Barrel, so Jim stopped for breakfast. For the rest of the day, they drove through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Somewhere between El Paso and San Antonio, Nick fell asleep for the night, but Jim drove until they got into San Antonio, where they spent the night.

Jim actually slept until the afternoon in San Antonio. The drive from Arizona to San Antonio took almost two full days. Once Nick woke up, he watched TV quietly and watched his dad sleep. He noticed that Jim was snoring louder than usual, so he knew that he must have been sleeping good. Once Jim woke up, they walked to a Mexican restaurant and ate, then they checked out and were back on the road. Jim drove through the night again, and when Nick woke up this time, they were still going. They stopped at a truck stop for dinner in Florida, but got back in the truck and drove until they got to South Carolina, where Jim finally started to get tired. Jim got a hotel room, and he slept a few hours, but Nick couldn't really sleep at all. He slept in the truck and wasn't tired, so again, he watched TV while Jim slept. Finally, the sun was coming out and Jim woke up.

They left the hotel and drove the rest of the way to Virginia, and once they were there, they headed east to Virginia Beach. Nick fell asleep a few times on the way, but he was so excited that he couldn't stay asleep. When they finally got into Virginia Beach, Jim took out his cell phone and called Tom and Linda and parked the truck. Tom and Linda drove up to the truck about 15 minutes later, and Nick hopped out of the truck to greet them.

"Grandma, grandpa!" he said as he ran toward them. "I missed you so much."

As they hugged and kissed on him, Jim had gotten out of the truck and for the first time, Nick realized that his dad looked worn down.

"He's been driving for a long time," Nick said, almost telling on him. Tom and Jim walked around the truck and talked for a while about what way they would drive back to Tom and Linda's house, and finally Tom climbed up into the truck with Jim while Nick rode with Linda. As Linda drove, Nick told her all about the trip. He named all of the states that they drove through and talked about the different hotels that they stayed in. Eventually, the conversation turned to California.

"I'm going to miss my papu," Nick said sadly.

"I know you will sweetheart," Linda said. "But he'll come and visit you, and I'm sure that you guys will go out to California to visit him too."

"We will," Nick asked hopefully.

"I'm sure you will, honey," Linda said.

"How come you and grandpa never visit out there?" Nick asked. Linda didn't answer. She just smiled at Nick.

"You know, I'm glad you guys are here now," she said.

"I am too grandma," Nick replied.

They got to the house before Tom and Jim did, and Linda took Nick upstairs to show him his room.

Nick looked around in amazement. It was a huge room, and it had a computer and a TV in it. This was a room he hadn't even bothered to look in when he was visiting the month before, and now it was his.

"Is my dad going to sleep in here too?" Nick asked.

"He has his own room," Linda answered. They walked down the hall to the room that Jim and Nick used when they visited the month before and Linda opened the door. All of the office stuff was gone, and there was an even bigger bed there than before. Nick smiled up at his grandmother who looked happier than he had ever seen her before.

Just then, they heard Jim and Tom pull up out front, so they went downstairs and watched while the men unhooked Jim's car and then unloaded the big truck. They put everything in the garage. With everything that Jim brought, there was no room for Tom and Linda to put their cars in the garage anymore, but they didn't seem to mind. When Tom and Jim finished unloading the truck, Jim motioned for Nick to come to him. Nick walked over and Jim turned him toward the house next door.

"Do you like that house?" Jim asked. Nick smiled and nodded at his dad. "Well, good thing, because that's where we're going to live when it's ready."

"Really?" Nick asked. "We're going to live next door to grandma and grandpa?"

"Yes we are, son," Jim said. The house was the same size as Tom and Linda's house, and just like theirs, it was brand new.

"Can we look?" Nick asked. Jim took him by the hand and they walked next door, followed by Tom and Linda. Jim opened the door with his key, and the first thing Nick noticed was a chirping sound that the alarm made whenever the door opened, just like at Tom and Linda's. It had an even newer smell inside than his grandparents' house had, and it was just as big. The carpet was white and the kitchen was bigger than Tom and Linda's kitchen. As they walked through it, Nick couldn't believe that this was where they were going to live. He walked up the stairs and looked down the long hallway. He had never lived in a house with an upstairs before, and he was really amazed by the idea that he would have to walk upstairs to go to his room. Just like Tom and Linda's house, this one had three bathrooms and four bedrooms.

"It's really ours?" Nick asked.

"Yes buddy, it really is," Jim said smiling. They walked back downstairs and back into the kitchen and Nick could see that it wasn't quite ready yet. There were cabinets on the floor and wires still hanging out of the wall, but other than that, it was a beautiful house.

"Are you going to make me pancakes everyday in our new kitchen?" Nick asked on the way out the door.

Jim laughed a little and said, "Sure, buddy. So do you like it?"

"I love it dad," Nick said as they walked side by side. Nick saw the for sale sign in the front yard had a sold sign on top of it, and he wondered to himself how much the house cost his dad, but he knew better than to ask.

When they went back to Tom and Linda's, Nick and Jim got in the shower, and then unpacked. After they unpacked, they went downstairs and ate dinner. While they ate, Jim and Tom talked about the house and what Jim wanted to do with it, especially the yard. Then they talked about Jims work, and how he would be working a lot of hours for the next month, just like he did in California. Then he would be starting at his new job, and in January, he would start school. Nick had questions about Jim's new job, but he didn't dare ask them, because he knew that he would be scolded by his dad if he did.

After dinner, they all sat down in the family room to watch TV, and soon Jim was asleep in his seat. Nick fell asleep shortly after his dad did. When he woke up, he was in his bed and it was morning. He might have slept longer, but he heard a loud jet flying over the house, and the noise was so intense that it woke him up. He climbed out of bed and went into his dads' room, but there was no one in the bed. The bed didn't even look like it had been slept in, so Nick thought that maybe Jim was still sleeping downstairs. He wandered downstairs and into the family room, but he wasn't there. He searched the rest of the downstairs area, but there was no sign of him.

Nick looked out the window and saw Jim's car out front, and he saw the large moving truck still out there, so he knew that his dad hadn't left to take the truck back. As he looked out the window, he felt a hand on his shoulder that made him jump.

"Are you looking for dad, sweetheart? Linda asked.

"Yes ma'am," Nick answered.

"I think he went across the street to Lori's to visit with her," Linda said. "Do you want some breakfast?"

Nick nodded and followed his grandma into the kitchen, where she made him a pot of cheese grits. While he was eating, Tom came downstairs, kissed his wife good morning, and then sat down with Nick at the table. Linda brought him a cup of coffee and they sat together at the table.

"How come you aren't drinking coffee, grandma?" Nick asked. Linda usually had a cup of coffee in the morning.

"I don't drink coffee while I'm pregnant," she said. Nick had almost forgotten that his grandmother was having a baby, and the idea actually had to sink in again.

"Do you want to know what grandma and grandpa are having?" Tom asked.

Nick grinned and nodded his head excitedly.

"We're going to have a boy," Linda said.

"What's going to be his name?" Nick asked.

"We haven't decided yet," Linda answered. "Maybe we'll name him after his daddy."

Nick watched Linda hold Toms hand and smile up at him, and Tom looked so proud.

"We'll see," Tom finally said.

Just then, Jim walked inside and joined them at the table. Nick got up and hugged him, and asked, "Why didn't you stay?"

"I was visiting Miss Lori, son," Jim said. "I did stay until this morning."

Nick had a feeling that his dad was fibbing, but he didn't want to press the issue. So he took his seat at the table and went back to work on his grits.

After breakfast, Jim and Tom left to drop the truck off. Nick and Linda stayed home, since they weren't going to be long. While Nick was watching TV he heard the doorbell, and he walked his grandmother to see who it was. When Linda opened the door, it was Lori, who looked happy to see Nick.

"Hi Nick, how are you?" she said as she came in.

"I'm good, ma'am," Nick answered. "How are you?"

"I'm good, she answered. "I didn't think you would be here, but I'm glad you are. I missed you."

"I missed you too, Miss Lori," Nick said.

Nick walked back into the family room and sat in front of the TV. While he was watching TV, he could hear Lori and his grandmother gossiping about Jim. Nick didn't know what they were saying, but he could tell that they were both excited about it. It seemed like an eternity passed before Tom and Jim got back, and when they finally did, Nick got up and ran out the front door to find his dad.

"Dad, can I ride my bike around?" Nick asked.

"Well, I'll have to dig it out of the garage, son," Jim said. "But sure, you can. I'll get it out for you in a second, ok?"

"Thank you sir," Nick said as he walked with his dad and his grandfather back to the house. When Jim and Tom noticed that Linda and Lori were sitting at the kitchen table talking and smiling, Tom rolled his eyes sarcastically at Jim, who smiled and shook his head. Nick watched as Jim walked around the table, kissed Lori on the lips, and said, "Hi babe." Nick couldn't believe it.

"Did you guys find the place ok?" Lori asked as she smiled at him.

"We didn't have any trouble at all," Jim said. "I'll be right back, babe. I'm going to dig Nick's bike out for him."

While they were out in the garage, Nick worked up the courage to ask his dad about Lori.

"Dad?' he started. "Can I ask you a question?"

"Go ahead, honey," Jim said.

Nick hesitated at first, then he asked, "Is Miss Lori your girlfriend?"

"Yes son, she is," Jim answered. "Is that alright with you?"

"Yes," Nick said. He wasn't sure if Jim was saying that sarcastically or not, so he went with the safest answer he could.

Finally, Jim found the bike and Nick's helmet, which he almost never wore.

"I want you to put your helmet on until we know for sure what the streets are like here, ok?"Jim told him.

"Yes sir," Nick answered.

"Don't you dare go out on any busy streets," Jim added. "And make sure that you can find your way back here, ok?"

"Ok, dad," Nick said. "I promise."

Jim went back inside and Nick took off on his bike. As he rode around the neighborhood, he noticed a large patch of trees with a trail leading through them, so he rode his bike down the trail to see where it would lead. He ended up looking at a large golf course with carts riding around everywhere, so he got back on his bike and rode back up the trail to the road.

After a while he started to get bored, so he rode back home, where he made sure that he put his bike away in the garage so that Jim wouldn't scold him for leaving it outside. From the garage, he could hear laughing coming from the backyard, so he walked out there to see what was going on. Tom had the grill going and he and Jim were drinking beers while Lori was drinking a glass of wine. Linda wasn't drinking anything, and Nick figured it was because she was pregnant. Nick noticed that Lori was almost sitting in his dads lap and that they were holding hands. He came out to the backyard to join them and soon, lunch was ready.

Nick ate then got back on his bike and rode for the rest of the day. He didn't tell his dad about the trail he found because he knew that he would never get to ride back down it again. Jim was funny that way. If he knew there was some shortcut that wasn't out in the open, he didn't want Nick on it.

Finally, it was time for Nick to go home, and when he did, the first thing Jim made him do was shower.

"I want you to be nice and clean for your first day at school," Jim said as Nick tried to get out of having to take a shower. "Make sure you do a good job, son. I don't want to have to make you soak in the tub."

That was Nick's motivation to hurry up the stairs and take a shower. He made sure he washed every inch of his body as well as he could. When he got out, Jim was waiting upstairs for him in his room. He finished drying Nick off, then put his pajamas on for him, and finally he brushed his hair until it was dry and tangle free.

"Do you want to come downstairs and visit or are you going to stay up here until supper?" Jim asked.

"I'll come downstairs with you, dad," Nick said.

Jim lifted him off the bed and carried him down the stairs to the family room where everyone else was. While they were down there, Nick was sure to claim his spot in Jims lap. He was feeling a little jealous over the time Jim seemed to be spending with Lori, but he didn't have the courage to let his dad know that he felt that way. He certainly knew better than to say anything to Lori, because if he did, his dad would let him have it for sure. He was hoping that Lori was going to go home before dinnertime, but she never left. Instead, she went to the kitchen to help Linda with the food, and soon it was dinnertime.

While they ate, Lori asked Nick a lot of questions.

"So what grade are you in, Nick," she asked.

"Third grade, ma'am," Nick said

"Do you like school," she asked.

"I did in Modesto," Nick answered.

"Well, I'm sure you'll like it here," she said. Nick smiled politely at her and went back to his supper. When they were finished, Jim told Nick that he needed to brush his teeth and wash his hands and face. He finished doing what he was told, and as he was coming back down the stairs and he heard his dad say, "I just need to get him to sleep. I'll be over right afterward. You don't have to leave yet, do you?"

Nick knew that this meant that his dad was going to spend the night at her house again. Nick came downstairs and sat on the couch next to his grandma, and soon Jim walked into the living room.

"Hey buddy," Jim said. "I really want you to get to bed early tonight. You have school in the morning and we have to leave early so I can get you enrolled."

Nick's feelings were hurt. It wasn't even 9 o'clock yet, and Jim was sending him to bed. Nick knew the real reason why, but he didn't question it. Instead, he kissed his grandparents goodnight, then he followed Jim up the stairs to his room. When they got up there, Nick got brave.

"I'm not ready for bed, dad," he said, not moving toward his bed that Jim was standing next to.

"Come on, son," Jim said. "I already told you it was bedtime."

"But why?" Nick said, feeling a flash of anger run through him, especially across his face.

"Son," Jim said in an irritated voice that said he was running out of patience. "You need to do what you're told. Now get in bed."

"No," Nick said. It was almost as if he couldn't control what he had just said.

"What did you just tell me?" Jim demanded, not raising his voice but still looking forcefully at his son.

"No," Nick said again. Jim walked over to the door and closed it, then he walked up to his son and used his hand to grab Nick's chin and make him look up.

"You are going to say sorry," Jim said. "Then you are going to bed. Is that understood?"

Nick started to shake and tears were running down his cheeks, but he just shook his head.

"Son, I'm giving you one last chance," Jim said as he started to take off his belt. Nick knew that Jim meant business, but he couldn't bring himself to go to bed, so he looked directly at his dad and said, "I'm not sorry. I don't want to go to bed yet. It's not my bedtime yet."

The sting from the first hit was enough to make Nick cry, but he still refused to move. The second one felt like it was cutting his skin and he danced around a little as he cried, trying to get out of the way of the third one, which also found its way to his legs and finally, the spanking was over. Jim lifted Nick up by the arm that he was holding him by when he was spanking him and ran him to the bed, where Nick buried his head in the pillow and cried loudly. Before Jim could leave the room, Nick turned and looked up at his dad and yelled, "I hate you!"

Jim turned the light off and closed the door, and Nick just lay in bed and cried until he fell asleep.

* * *

"Son, it's time to get up," Nick heard as he felt someone shaking him awake. He opened his eyes and Jim was sitting on his bed.

"Good morning sweetheart," Jim said as he looked down and smiled. "It's time to get up."

Nick just blinked and stared at his dad, who he was still mad at. He kept his mouth closed though, because he figured that if he said anything about what happened the night before, he might find himself grounded, which was something he was hoping to avoid.

"Come on buddy," Jim said. "Did you sleep good last night?"

Nick didn't say anything. He was still furious about the spanking he got. He decided to try to get away with giving his dad the silent treatment for as long as he could. He crawled out of bed and avoided Jims hug. He started to walk to the door when he felt Jims hand on his shoulder stopping him dead in his tracks.

"Nick, if you're still mad at me that's fine," Jim said in a quiet voice. "But you will not ignore me or disrespect me. Close the door and come sit on the bed."

Nick closed the bedroom door and walked over to the bed, sitting next to Jim.

"Look at me," Jim said. "You earned that spanking last night. You were defying me, and you know better than that. Why, Nick?"

Nick just sat there and looked at his dad, determined not to talk. There were times before in Nick's life when he was mad at his father, and his way of getting back at him was not speak to him. He knew that it drove Jim crazy, and Jim would usually allow him to get away with it for a few minutes. Then he had to talk or face the consequences.

"Son, I'm not going to ask you again," Jim warned. "You will tell me why, or you're in big trouble"

Nick still refused to speak, and Jim sat silently with him for about two full minutes. Finally, Jim cracked.

"Ok, never mind," he said. "You're grounded for a month."

"No," Nick begged. "Ok, I'll talk to you."

"Then you better start now," Jim said. "And no attitude either. I mean it."

"I was mad at you because you just wanted me to go to bed so you could leave," Nick said starting to cry. "It hurt my feelings. You wanted to go to Lori's instead of being with me." Nick was sobbing as he spit the last words out, and he couldn't stop himself.

"I don't want you to go there and leave me alone here, dad," he cried. "I wish we could go home."

Nick felt his dad lifting him off the bed and into his lap, hugging him and trying to make him feel better.

"Why didn't you just tell me that, son," Jim asked. "I wouldn't have gone."

"I didn't want you to be mad at me, dad," Nick sobbed.

"I wouldn't have been, sweetheart," Jim said. "If it bothers you, just say so."

"It does, dad," Nick said, starting to calm down. "I'm sorry I was bad last night."

"It's ok, buddy," Jim said. "But you can't do that again, or I'm going to have to spank you again. You need to talk it over with me."

"Yes sir," Nick said.

"Come on, babe," Jim said standing up with Nick still snuggled in his arms. "I'll help you get ready for school."

Jim took Nick into the bathroom and while Jim was brushing his hair for him, Nick brushed his teeth. When he was done, Jim washed his face with a washcloth then they went back into Nick's room where Jim picked out an outfit for his son to wear on his first day. Finally, they went downstairs where Linda had a hot bowl of grits waiting for Nick. Nick ate, and then they were out the front door so Nick could be enrolled at his new school.

Nick watched sadly as his dad walked out of the office to the parking lot. He was nervous about being at a new school, and he didn't know what to expect. The Principal, Mr. Gregory, walked side by side with Nick to his classroom. When they got there, he introduced Nick to the class, who all said, "Hi Nickolas" together when the teacher told them to. Nick thought that was really creepy, but he quietly took his chair and followed along.

This was definitely not a school Nick had ever heard of. There was no recess, and lunch was actually not a time to sit in groups, like at El Vista. Instead, the entire class ate together, and they sat in order everyday, just like in class. When the bell rang at 2:40 to leave, Nick walked out the door of his classroom and looked for his dad, but he was nowhere to be found. Nick started to panic, but just as it started to set in for him, he spotted his grandmother waving at him. Nick walked as fast as he could to the car and got in.

"How was your day, honey," Linda asked as he closed the door. He felt like crying, but he didn't. Instead he just looked down.

"Is everything ok, Nick," she asked.

"I don't want to come back, grandma," Nick said as he fought back his tears. "I hate it."

Linda held his hand as she drove home quietly. Finally, they pulled into the driveway and Nick looked around for Jim's car.

"Where's my dad," he asked in an almost panicked voice.

"He's at work, sweetheart," Linda answered. "Didn't you know that?"

"He's usually home when I get home," Nick said. "He isn't coming home today?"

"I don't think so," his grandmother said. "He'll be home when he gets off work."

Nick went inside and sulked while he waited for his dad to come home. Tom and Linda tried to make him feel better, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, sometime close to Nick's bedtime, Jim unlocked the front door and came inside. Nick hopped off the couch where he was watching TV with Tom and Linda and ran to him.

"Hey buddy," Jim said as he hugged him. "What's wrong?"

Nick was crying and clinging to him, so Jim walked over and sat on the stairs with him.

"I hate my new school," Nick said. "We never have recess. I hate when we eat lunch too. We don't get to play outside after."

Jim wrapped his arm around Nick and let him cry for a little bit, then he gave him a firm squeeze.

"You're going to live, son," Jim said. "I don't want you to give up on your new school on the first day. Let's go upstairs and talk in my room for a little bit, ok?"

"Yes sir," Nick said as he followed his dad up the stairs and into his room.

"Sit down, son," Jim said. "I guess we needed to have this talk. Look, son, things are a little different for both of us now. We both need to learn how to adapt. It's not going to be easy at first, but we can do it."

Nick nodded his head in agreement with his dad, and Jim went on.

"Pretty soon, I'll be able to be home when you get home from school, but it won't before we move into our new house, ok?"

"Ok," Nick said.

"So did you make any friends today," Jim asked.

"No sir," Nick answered. "We just stay in our class all day. We never play outside."

"Hey buddy," Jim said changing the subject. "How would you feel about taking the bus to and from school?"

"Tomorrow?" Nick asked nervously.

"No, not tomorrow," Jim said. "But soon, I think. I don't want your grandma and grandpa having to pick you up everyday."

"I guess I can," Nick said. He was really nervous about taking the bus, but he decided that if his dad wanted him to do it, he could try.

The next day Linda took him to school, and picked him up when school was over. The next day Jim was off, and he walked Nick to the bus stop. As he stood there with his dad, Nick looked around and saw a boy he recognized from his class, but he didn't know his name, so he didn't say anything to him. Finally, the bus came and Nick quickly hugged his dad before he got on. As he made his way to the back, the boy from Nick's class moved over in his seat.

"You can sit with me if you want, Nickolas," he said. "I'm in Ms. Fritzens class with you."

Nick smiled and sat down. He was feeling better about riding the bus now, so he turned and talked to the boy.

"Call me Nick, please," he said. "What's your name?"

The boy smiled and answered, "Taylor."

Nick smiled back at him and they rode to school together. During school, Taylor asked the teacher if he could sit by Nick so he could help him with his math work. Nick couldn't believe it when she let him sit across from him.

That day they had outdoor activities, which were nothing like recess was in California, but it was outside, so it was good enough for Nick. They stayed outside until 2:30, and then they went inside to spend the last 10 minutes getting ready to leave. When the final bell rang, Nick followed Taylor to the bus and they sat together on the ride home, chatting the whole way. When they got out at the bus stop, Jim was waiting. Nick was still talking to Taylor though, and after a few minutes, they decided to meet up and ride bikes together.

Nick was excited as he was walking home with his dad, and he told him all about his day.

"Wow," Jim said. "What a difference from yesterday, pal. I'm glad you didn't give up on it."

"Me too dad," Nick said happily. "I can't wait to ride bikes this afternoon."

Nick ran inside once they got home and took his backpack upstairs, then he went to the bathroom, then he grabbed a snack and ran outside. He got his bike out of the side door of the garage and rode it to the trail, where Taylor was waiting on his bike. They rode together through the woods toward the golf course, but Taylor took a turn that Nick didn't know about and soon they were in a different neighborhood. They turned a corner, and Nick followed Taylor to a townhouse. There was a tall man standing out front, and he greeted Taylor when he rode up.

"That was fast," he said as Taylor slid his back wheel to a stop in front of him. Taylor took his helmet off and smiled.

"Hi dad," he said. "This is my friend I was telling you about, Nick."

"Nice to meet you Nick," the man said holding out his hand for a shake. "My name is Charles. I'm Taylor's dad."

Nick smiled as he shook the man's hand. "It's nice to meet you sir," Nick said. Just as Nick was shaking his father's hand, Taylor hopped back on the seat of his bike and took off, so Nick took off right behind him. They rode back through the woods and almost to the end of the trail that led to Nick's street when Taylor stopped.

They got off their bikes and walked them through a large wet section of ground, and soon they got to a small creek that was running. Taylor sat on a rock and Nick found one that he could sit on right across from Taylor. As Nick studied Taylor's face, he noticed how cute he was. His hair was blonde, but it had dark streaks running through it, and his face was soft looking. His skin was light, but not too light. Taylor looked up, smiled at him, and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a small pocketknife and started playing with it, carving the ground with it.

"Cool," Nick said. "Where did you get that?"

"From my dad," Taylor said. "I wanted it so he got it for me."

"I wish my dad would let me have a knife," Nick said.

"They're cool," Taylor said as he stood up and flung the knife into the ground. The blade stuck in the dirt and Taylor looked back at Nick and smiled. Nick almost had to look away when he made eye contact with Taylor. Taylor bent over to pull his knife out of the ground, and Nick watched him the whole time. As he pulled the knife out of the ground, Nick looked at his butt. It wasn't the first time Nick had checked out another boy's butt, but this time was certainly special. The site of it gave Nick the chills, and he didn't want to take his eyes off it. It was round and it stuck out just the right amount, Nick thought. He could see the shape of Taylor's butt cheeks through his pants, and when Taylor looked back and smiled again, Nick was in heaven. He got to look at Taylor's cute face and his cute butt. He watched as Taylor picked the knife up and flung it back into the ground again, once again bending over to pick it up.

"I'm bored," Taylor finally said as he walked back over to his bike. "What else can we do?"

Nick thought about it for a second, then he got an idea.

"Hey, I know," he said. "Do you want to see my room?"

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