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Brent continued to hold Lance tightly as Brent's emotions poured out. Even after the crying stopped, the fear of letting go remained. For the first time in several weeks Brent felt whole again. He didnt know why, but being around this younger boy made him feel safe and secure.
Over the course of the next 30 minutes, Brent's strong embrace of Lance slowly relaxed. The sweet smell of his hair and the feather light touch of his breathing on his neck provided an unexpected degree of comfort.
"Thank you", Brent softly whispered as he heard a click and turned his head away from the bright light burning his eyes.
A middle aged woman stood at the doorway. "Brent, are you alright dear?" The concern in her voice was matched by the furrow of her brow.
"He will be", Lance looked back toward the woman with a glare in his eyes that dared her to protest.
She lingered in the doorway for a moment before inviting them to join the other boys in the common room to play some video games. With a final thoughtful glance she turned and left.
"You going to be okay now?" He felt the feather like breath of Lance's words press against his ear.
Brent sniffed as he lifted his head from Lance's shoulder, "I think so. Im sorry for being such a baby."
"Youre not a baby. You had a lot of hurt in you that you needed to get out." Lance trailed his fingertips through Brent's light brown hair. "So, you going to show me around this place, or are we going to stand here until I have to go home?"
"Oh... no... yea..." Brent reluctantly relaxed his grip, "I guess we should do that, huh?"
Both boys giggled a little as Brent led Lance out of the room and down the hall. Their first stop was Brent's bedroom. In the room there were 3 single sized beds. A well tanned boy was lying on the bed against the far wall reading a comic book. He had short slate black hair, and looked to be about 10 years old. "Arvid? This is my friend Lance", Brent's introduction caused the boy to look up from his book, "Lance, this is one of the two terrors that claims to be my roommate."
"Stuff it Brent!" Arvid half-heartedly threw a pillow toward Brent before he returned his attention back to his comics.
The boys then went to the single most important location in the entire house, the kitchen, where Brent poured each of them a tall glass of milk.
The clank of empty glasses could be heard hitting the counter at nearly the same time as both boys rushed to be first to finish. Brent then led them to their final stop, the common room, where about 8 other boys were all very intensely involved in playing Halo on an Xbox.
Brent sat on the couch in the back with Lance following his lead. The other boys didnt seem to pay much attention to either of them, as they mostly seemed interested in pointing out on the screen where to shoot.
For the first 5 minutes Lance sat quietly next to his new friend, "What was his name?"
"Who?" Brent's face crumpled into a confused expression.
"The one you lost. The one you cried for." Lance spoke softly while placing his hand on Brent's knee.
Brent thought about the question for a few moments, trying to decide just how much he would dare tell. This was the same question that all the other adults had been asking him for the last two weeks. They wanted him to 'open up and reveal his inner most secrets and desires, but he knew better than that. He knew all about how kids who did not share the ideal beliefs of society were treated. How if what they expressed was different to the doctor and shrinks beliefs, they were usually immediately labeled as 'sick and in need of 'treatment to fix those beliefs. Now here he was; faced with this same question once again. But Lance wasnt an adult; he wasnt one of 'them. Not only that, but for some reason, he seemed to feel more comfortable being around him. With head bowed, he uttered one word, "Randy." His voice so soft that only Lance could hear him.
Without saying another word, Lance simply put his arm around Brent, as Brent ever so slightly allowed his head to rest on his shoulder, once again smelling the sweet smell of his hair. The two boys continued to sit like that for several more minutes as Brent realized even more how comfortable Lance was making him feel. He was pretty sure that he had not felt this comfortable around someone else since...
Suddenly, Brent sat back up and pulled himself away from Lance, as if he had been hit by an electric shock. Looking down at the puzzled, almost hurt expression on Lance's face, he stood up, and started pulling on his arm to get him to do the same. "Come on, it should be dry enough for us to be able to go out."
Both boys left the common room and headed for the side door to get some fresh air outside.
Outside, Brent led Lance toward the basketball hoop. There they noticed another boy already shooting hoops.
"Hello Arvid!" Lance recognized the nicely tanned 10 year old who he had met in Brent's bedroom earlier.
"Im not Arvid", the boy smiled with a light hint of frustration, "Im Dynal. Arvid is my twin brother, but you will never catch him dead doing anything sports related."
"I guess I should have mentioned that Arvid had a twin", Brent giggled, causing Lance and Dynal to giggle as well.
Without another word, The boys joined Dynal shooting baskets, as if the giggles were a secret language which only they knew. A language which not only asked permission to play, but also granted that request.
After about an hour of shooting baskets and attempting trick shots, Dynal finally got tired and decided to head back inside, leaving Brent and Lance outside alone. Although Lance noticed that Brent suddenly became more tense, he decided not to say anything, as they continued to shoot baskets for several more minutes.
"You think maybe tomorrow you would want to come over to where I live?" Lance attempted to break the uneasy silence.
"I guess", Brent shrugged his shoulders as he took another shot which completely missed the basket.
Lance ran and grabbed the ball and brought it back but held it tightly to his chest. "Did I do something wrong?"
"No" Brent's voice indicating a slight degree of impatience.
After a few moments of thought, Lance half-heartedly tossed the ball back to Brent before he turned and started to walk away. Brent caught the ball, but quickly let it fall to the ground once he saw what Lance was doing.
"Lance, wait!" Brent pleaded.
"Dont bother", Lance called back still not stopping, "Your just like everyone else, Im too much of a pain to be around."
Brent grabbed Lance, and forced him to turn around so that both boys were looking straight at each other. "Please, its not you", Brent tried to plead. Seeing that Lance appeared to at least be willing to listen, he took a deep breath before continuing, "Its just that earlier I felt comfortable around you... and.... I dont know.... I cant let myself do that."
"I get it." Lance sniffed, now forcefully pulling himself away from Brent, and continuing to walk away.
"Please stop!" Brent's voice trembled, as his legs gave out causing him to fall to the ground in tears, "Im not saying this right."
"Dont bother, I can take a hint." Lance's hurt and anger starting to show through in his voice.
"I Loved Randy!" Brent nearly shouted, "I cant hurt him by replacing him."
Lance stopped as if realizing what was going on, and turned around to slowly walk back to the now sobbing Brent. Sitting on the ground next to him, he softly whispered, "You loved him a lot, didnt you?"
"Im sorry for getting mad at you", Lance continued in his soft whispering voice, "I just thought you were mad at me, I didnt realize it was because of Randy."
Lance continued to sit with Brent on the ground, as he wiped away his tears. He didnt touch him, as he wanted to give him his space, but he still sat there so that he knew he was with him. After Brent had recovered enough to stand back up, Lance stood up as well.
"Its starting to get dark, I should probably get home." Lance stated as both boys reached their feet.
"Yeah", Brent agreed.
"Maybe we can hang out more tomorrow, just as friends?" Lance peered questioningly into Brent's eyes.
"Id like that", Brent answered with a nod which told Lance that he was serious.
With that, both boys parted. Brent went back inside, and Lance started to walk back to the home he was staying in.
Once inside, Brent went straight to his room and threw himself onto his bed where he promptly started to punch his pillow before burying his face in it, and letting out a few more silent tears.
"Hey Brent", Brent heard as he looked up to see Arvids twin standing near the door, "Dinners ready man, come on!"
As if by magic, Brent no longer seemed to be as upset. He allowed the smell of spaghetti to lead him to the dining room. After all, what kind of growing boy could ever resist the temptation of anything that had to do with food!
After dinner, for the first time since Randy had died, he played a few games of Halo with the other boys. He didnt do that well, since his mind was still elsewhere, but in a way he knew that just by playing he was taking a step forward.
After Brent was beat by one of the worst 7 year old players ever, he figured that it was time for bed, and decided to turn in a bit early.
Throwing off his shirt, and quickly changing into his sleep boxers, he quickly jumped into bed as the screeching sounds of the stretching bed springs could be heard. He left the light on since he knew that the twins would be going to bed soon as well, but he was so worn out from the emotional roller coaster he was on that day that even with the lights on, it only took a few minutes for him to fall asleep.
A short time later, Brent woke back up to a rather bright radiating light. At first, he thought that the twins still had not come to bed yet. As his head cleared, he realized that both of them were already sound asleep in bed, the door to the room was closed, and the house was silent. As the light grew brighter and closer, it slowly began to take the form of an angelic young man in his late teens standing at the foot of Brent's bed.
Brent saw that he had large golden wings, a bright golden halo, and a golden glow to him that shouted out only one thing. "Are you an angel?" he finally asked.
The boy smiled and nodded. "Hello Brent, My name is Saint Mikey of Urbandale, Protector of Gay and Abandoned Youth. And yes, you could say that I am an angel."
Brent was suddenly hit by a number of different emotions all at the same time. At first, he was shocked and surprised to actually see a real angel. The shock quickly became doubt and disbelief as he figured he must be dreaming. The disbelief then turned to bitterness and anger as he realized what this meant if it wasnt a dream.
"Why?" Brent asked which sounded more like a cry, "Why did you do it?"
"Brent, there are some things..." Mikey started to say before being cut off by Brent screaming.
"WHY DID YOU LET HIM DIE! Why didnt you protect him? He was everything to me!" All of the hurt and anger that was stored up inside of Brent seemed to pour out with his words.
"Brent?" A sleepy Arvid mumbled, "What are you doing?" Arvid looked up from his bed, and gasped with surprise at the sight of a glowing angel in front of Brent's bed.
"Im sorry little guy." Mikey softly said with his words full of kindness and compassion.
"Why does God hate me? Why have I been left alone?" Brent continued to shout and cry at the same time, as he ignored both twins who were now awake and starring at him and Mikey in disbelief.
"Hi bro", Brent heard a voice say from next to him which made his heart leap. Looking toward the direction of the voice, he saw Randy standing next to him, with a white glow radiating all around him.
Neither boy said a word as Randy sat down on the bed next to Brent. For a long moment, a teary-eyed Brent stared into the eyes of Randy. With caution, Brent lifted his arms up and gently parted the long strands of hair that were partially covering Randys eyes. Both boys smiled as Brent realized with that single action that it was really him.
"Oh god! Ive missed you so much!" Brent cried as he hugged Randy tightly.
"Me too bro, me too" Randy answered through tear filled eyes as well.
"Why did you have to leave me?" Brent sobbed.
"Actually, Randy has never left your side", Saint Mikey interjected softly, "The very first thing he did was to go to your side and try to comfort you. Hes been standing next to you constantly over the last 2 weeks."
"Why didnt I see you? How can I see you now?" A still sobbing Brent asked.
"You can thank Saint Mikey for that; he made it so you could see me." Randy smiled and nodded toward Mikey.
"Why did you have to leave me?" Brent asked, as the sobs went away and were replaced by sadness.
"It was my time, Im sorry", Randy answered softly.
"Brent, I know you have a lot of hurt and anger inside of you right now", Saint Mikey added with a gentle and soothing voice, "but know this, Our Father has not abandoned you. In fact, he has some very special plans for you, and he would never let anything bad happen to his children that would not lead to a greater good."
Brent let go of Randy to pay closer attention to the glowing angel before him, "How is Randy dying a good thing?"
Saint Mikey grinned a little, "I think a very wise little boy that I know quite well summed it up pretty nicely by saying 'Sometimes bad things have to happen so that the good things can happen.' He saved someone I care about's sanity when he came up with that."
"Besides", Randy added, pulling Brent's attention back to him, "This is way cooler! Now I can always be near you and help to watch over you and protect you!"
"I love you", Brent exclaimed as he once again hugged Randy.
"I will always love you Brent, no matter what happens", Randy replied, "But thats something else I need to talk to you about."
"What?" Brent's voice sounded a bit confused.
Randy gently pulled away from the hug so that he could look directly into Brent's eyes. "I know we both will forever share a special piece of each others heart, but you cant let that stop you from sharing your heart with others."
"I could never do that to you", Brent slowly shook his head.
"Nothing you do could ever replace the part of your heart that you share with me. Thats something that will always be special and unique to us. But your heart is big enough so you can share a different piece with someone else." Randy looked deep into Brent's eyes and waited for a few moments to see if what he was saying was making any sense. "Besides, I have a secret."
Randy moved himself closer to Brent's ear and whispered, "I was able to take a peak into the Book of Life, and I know that its going to be a long time before you join me here, and it would really hurt me if you let yourself continue to feel empty the entire time. So do this for me, please babe?"
After taking a few moments to think, Brent nodded his head indicating that he would, and both boys gave each other another hug.
"Brent, could you come here for a moment", Saint Mikey gestured with a loving smile.
After getting an approving nod from Randy indicating that it was okay, a very timid Brent got out of bed and walked toward the tall angel. Mikey reached his hand down, and put it in front of Brent's eyes. Brent was forced to close them tight as there was a brief moment of very bright light. When the light went away, he questioningly looked back up toward Mikey.
"Our father has allowed me to give you a very special gift Brent, because of all pain and hurt you have had to go through so far. Randy will now have the ability to become visible to you whenever he needs to." Mikey was unable to finish what he was saying before a very happy Brent nearly leaped into Randys arms, and both boys bounced up and down with joy. After the boys settled down a little, Mikey continued, "However, you will be the only person who will be able to see or hear him."
Brent nodded and threw his arms around Randy once again. "Thank you Saint Mikey, thank you!"
After a few more moments of hugging, Randy whispered to Brent, "I have to go now."
"Why?" Brent asked, "You just got here."
"Randy has a few things that he needs to learn about his new position. Since he has refused to leave your side over the last 2 weeks, he is way overdue for his appointment at the pearly gates."
Noticing the slight hint of concern on Randys face, Brent gave him a smile and a reassuring nod. "Go on angel boy. Hurry up and learn how to be an angel so you can come back and visit me."
Both boys giggled, and after a final hug and kiss Randy walked over to the outstretched hand of Saint Mikey. "Oh!" Randy said as he stopped in his tracks, and looked toward Brent, "That Lance kid is really cool. I looked into his soul, and he has a lot of love for you and really needs to feel the love of another. Just so you know, I approve."
"Thanks Randy", Brent softly replied as he stood there and watched Randy and Saint Mikey slowly fade away. Within seconds, the room was completely dark.
"WHOA!" Both twins said in unison as they had both been awake and were watching the entire time.
By the time Brent woke up the next morning, he could hear that the twins were awake whispering back and forth to each other.
"I had this really weird dream last night", one of the twins started, "I think it was some kind of angel or something that came and was talking to Brent."
"Really?" the other twin answered with a bit of surprise, "I had the same dream, and there was another boy in here too. I think Brent called him Randy or something."
"Whoa!" Brent said with surprise as he jumped out of bed, "You two really saw that?"
Both of the twins nodded.
"Sweet", Brent shouted with excitement, "I was thinking that might have only been a dream!" With that he bolted out of the room.
"Um, arent you forgetting something?" Arvid called out.
"Oh yeah", a now blushing Brent said as he ran back in the room, grabbed his clothes and darted back toward the bathroom.
Within 10 minutes, Brent had set a new worlds record for the fastest shower ever, and was out in the kitchen grabbing something to eat that would pass as breakfast. He had finished breakfast and was rinsing out his bowl before any of the other boys sleepily started to make their way to the kitchen as well.
"Good morning Mr. Curtis", Brent cheerfully exclaimed as he ran into the office where the main care giver that was on duty was stationed.
"Well, this is a pleasant surprise seeing you all cheery today", the middle aged man replied with a smile.
"Could I sign out to go visit Lance at the Ford Home?" Brent pleaded.
Curtis was so pleased to see that he was finally starting to act like a boy again, that he was more than happy to sign him out, but only after he had made sure that Brent knew to watch for traffic between here and there, and letting him know that he would call ahead and let them know to expect him.
As soon as Brent was out the door, he started running the entire 3 blocks that it would take for him to get to the childrens home that Lance was staying at.
Brent arrived at the Ford Home only to find that Lance was sitting outside on the porch steps. Other than a quick glance to see that it was Brent, Lance kept his head down as he watched a few ants wondering around near his sneakers.
"Hi Lance!" Brent called out in a cheerful yet slightly out of breath voice, "Im sorry about how I was acting yesterday."
"Dont worry about it. Im use to it by now." Lance told his sneakers.
Brent sat down on the steps next to Lance, and started to watch his own sneakers as well. "I know you will probably think Im a baby and all for saying this, but yesterday when you were there for me and holding me, you made me feel safer and more comfortable than I ever felt before. Not even... well... being around Randy didnt even make me feel as safe as you did."
Lance stopped looking at his sneakers and started to look toward Brent with a puzzled expression.
"Dont get me wrong", Brent continued as he tried to keep his composure, "I loved and still love Randy with all my heart. We really loved each other. But the way you were making me feel yesterday scared me a lot. I was afraid that you would end up replacing him."
"Id never try to do that, I know how special he was to you", Lance whispered softly with the concern in his eyes clearly visible.
"I know", Brent agreed, "I picked the wrong words yesterday and I was being a real baby about it. I know now that the part of my heart that belongs to him could never be replaced, and if... well... you know... you and I were... well ever to be closer, you would be sharing a different part of my heart."
Several long seconds passed as both boys looked at each other, taking in what Brent had just said.
"Lance, I dont really know what Im feeling just yet, but I would really like to be closer to you. That is, if you can take me acting stupid and like a baby sometimes." Brent's words trailed off as he waited for some indication of what Lance was thinking. Just as Brent figured that his words had done enough damage, and that it was probably time for him to leave, Lance reached out and hugged onto him.
"Id like that, I really would", Lance whispered while fighting to hold back his tears, "Ive never let myself get close to anyone before, but being around you makes me feel different, like its okay."
After a few minutes of hugging, Lance pushed away from Brent and jumped to his feet. "You want to come inside and meet everyone else?" Lance asked in a cheerful voice.
"Lets go!" Brent answered as both boys went racing into the house.
Inside, Brent could immediately tell that this was a group home. Although the outside looked a lot more like a normal 3 story house than his group home, the inside was a lot smaller. Most of the floors were hard tile instead of carpet, however the overall atmosphere seemed the same.
They walked through a very small archway that had hooks and cubbies to put coats and shoes and other items in, then they walked into the main common room where there was a small color TV that a few boys were watching cartoons on. There were a few other boys that were playing board games or cards. The sight of two boys playing cards in the corner of the room immediately caught Brent's attention.
Walking closer, he noticed that the cards they were using didnt seem to look like normal cards, and one of the boys didnt seem to be looking much at his cards, but seemed to be starring into space more than anything.
"Ah! I see you found the rug rats", Lance giggled as he walked over to join Brent. "The blond hair boy is Douglas, and the cute little red head with the freckles is Greg."
"Shove it Lance!" A now blushing Greg called out in Lance's general direction, followed by a few giggles from Douglas.
"Greg lost his vision when he was just a baby", Lance stated as a matter of fact.
"How is he playing cards then?" Brent pondered.
"Sometimes I think he can really see and is just faking it. But that kid does not let anything at all stop him. He can even play t-ball a little", Lance beamed with pride, "Hes playing with a special set of cards that let him feel what the cards are, and Douglas calls out what cards hes playing as he goes."
"The two couch potatoes over there are TJ and Martin", Lance continued as he pointed at two boys. Martin looked like he was about 6 years old. He had nicely tanned olive skin, very short spiked black hair, and deep brown eyes. TJ looked like he was 12. He had a thin slender build, light skin, sandy blond hair, and sparkling blue eyes.
"Pokémon", Brent exclaimed with a grin as he quickly recognized what cartoon the boys were watching.
"Yea, whats wrong with that?" TJ asked defensively glaring toward Brent.
"Oh nothing", Brent quickly replied, "I think Pokémon is cool. I even have the game on my game-boy."
"Really?" Martin called out as the mention of the game-boy caught his ears, "Which one do you have?"
"Sapphire", Brent answered.
"Oh sweet! Ive been wanting to play that so badly!" Martin was bouncing so hard he nearly bounced himself off the couch.
"Oh gawd! Now youve found 2 more friends for life. TJ and Martin are the worlds biggest Pokémon freaks." Lance stated causing both TJ and Martin to blush slightly and earning giggles from everyone else.
"Finally, the 3 guys playing monopoly over there are Sterling, Todd, and Bradley." Lance stated as all 3 boys, who seemed to be between 10 and 11 looked up and waved toward Brent.
With introductions out of the way, Lance and Brent were starting to wonder what they were going to do first, when Martin walked up and pulled down on Brent's shirt. "You want to see my Pokémon cards?" Martin asked excitedly.
"Sure", Brent answered as he smiled and picked up Martin. Brent was very surprised at how light the small boy was especially for being 6.
Martin pointed Brent up stairs and to his room with Lance following quickly behind. After spending 30 minutes looking at the nice sized card collection that Martin had, and Brent pointing out which cards were the really rare and special cards, they went back down stairs to find that several of the other boys were heading outside.
Brent was really surprised at how much all the boys made him feel that he belonged there. Even the older boys that were closer to his age made him feel welcome. Outside everyone played on a set of monkey bars for about an hour before one of the care givers called everyone in for lunch.
Once lunch was finished, Greg and Douglas started to play a game of monopoly, and they asked Brent and Lance to join them. Although Brent noticed that each of the cards seemed to be bent or chipped in a certain way, he was really amazed at how well Greg was able to play the game. The only real thing he had to do was to have everyone else tell him what he rolled. He always seemed to know exactly where his piece on the board was, and moved it around as if he could see fine.
As the game was finishing up, the main care giver, Mr. Derek walked over to where the boys were playing. "Hey boys, since you all seem to be getting along with your guest so well, you think we should invite him to spend the night?"
All the boys around immediately shouted their approval with Martin going a step further and running over to Brent and asking him if he would. Although Brent was very surprised at the offer, he looked up at Mr. Derek with a puzzled look.
"Its okay Brent", the man smiled, "Ive already called over and talked to Mr. Curtis about it. He was so pleased that you were actually having a good time for once that he almost insisted on it. As long as the boys and you dont mind?"
Brent looked around the room at everyone waiting for his answer. Seeing the pleading look in Lance's eyes made the question a no-brainer. "Sure! Thanks!" he said finally.
"Okay", Mr. Derek smiled, "You guys hurry up and finish your game and get ready for dinner. The meatloaf is almost done."
As the boys were getting seated at the table, the conversation quickly turned to trying to decide which movie they were going to put on for their guest after dinner.
Brent noticed that everyone had a plate and was digging in except Greg. A few moments later an older woman came out of the kitchen and set a plate in front of him. "Potatoes at 10, Veggies at 2, and meatloaf at 6", the woman said as she ruffled Gregs hair a bit before returning back to the kitchen.
Noticing the very confused look on Brent's face, Lance leaned over and whispered, "Thats how Greg knows where everything is on his plate. The numbers are like numbers on a clock."
Satisfied with the answer, Brent found himself quickly involved with the rest of the conversation that the boys were having.
After dinner, Brent decided that he would help Lance clean up, since it was Lance's night to help with the dishes. The rest of the boys would go get the movie ready, which everyone decided was going to be 'Home Alone.
After Brent had finished helping Lance with the dishes, Lance grabbed him and started taking him upstairs.
"Aren't we going to go finish watching the movie with everyone else?" Brent asked.
"Yea, but if you are going to spend the night, we need to get your bed ready." Lance answered, "We don't have any more beds, so you will need to use a sleeping bag."
"Thats cool, I love camping! I use to go camping a lot with..." Brent cut himself off in mid-sentence as both boys realized what he was about to say.
Lance grabbed a large fluffy black sleeping bag from the hall closet and then took Brent to one of the 5 bedrooms. "You can sleep in here with Douglas and Greg. They both seem to like you so Im sure they wont mind."
"Im not sleeping in your room?" Brent asked with a hint of hurt in his voice.
"Trust me; you wouldnt want to sleep near me." Lance stated as a matter of fact.
"I thought we had already settled this earlier?" Brent replied as he thought that Lance might have forgotten the conversation they had had that morning.
Lance jumped up on one of the beds, and then hugged his knees close to his chest and started crying. "Its not that", He managed to get out between sobs.
"Tell me please?" Brent softly begged as he sat down on the bed next to Lance and put his arm around Lance's shoulder. Lance didnt answer, but continued to cry into his knees. "You were there for me yesterday, please let me be here for you today. I wont laugh or hate you or anything else, I promise."
Lance's cries subsided long enough for him to look into Brent's eyes and see that he was telling the truth. "You know how I said I get moved around between homes a lot?"
Lance looked up again into Brent's eyes as if looking for strength to continue. "Well, one of the reasons is that sometimes at night, I...", Lance paused briefly, "I sleepwalk."
He started to cry even more before Brent lifted his chin and forced him to look directly into his eyes. "Lance", Brent stated as lovingly as he could, "Thats nothing to be ashamed of at all. Its something you have no control over."
"It will freak you out though, and I dont want to loose you." Lance sobbed.
"When I used to sleep at one of my other friends house, he would walk in his sleep as well sometimes. Its nothing to be ashamed of. In fact I think it was kind of cool." With that, Brent hugged Lance even tighter before whispering in his ear, "Please let me sleep in your room tonight, I swear I wont get freaked out or upset if you do anything."
Lance leaned his head against Brent's shoulder. "You promise?" He questioned with uncertainty.
"I promise." Brent answered with conviction. With that, Lance grabbed the sleeping bag, and took it to another room that only had a single bed in it.
A few minutes later, Brent and Lance were back downstairs watching the rest of Home Alone with other boys in the home. When the movie was over, all the boys headed back upstairs to go to bed.
When Brent was back in Lance's room, Lance closed and stood by his door. "Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked.
"Please let me be here for you." Brent replied in a pleading voice that seemed to re-assure Lance that he was telling the truth.
Lance seemed to accept Brent's answer because the next thing he did was to turn out the light. A moment later, Brent was a bit surprised to feel Lance hugging him. "Thank you", Lance whispered softly.
With that, Lance jumped over to his bed. Both boys stripped off their shirts and giggled as they realized they both shared the same night-time ritual. After saying good night to each other a few times, they both quickly fell asleep.
Brent woke up later when he thought he heard the sound of a door opening. After taking a few seconds to get his bearings, and to remember where he was at, he looked over to see that Lance's bed was empty and that the door to the room was open.
Realizing what was going on, he jumped out of bed, and went into the hall where he found Lance looking for something in the hall closet.
"Lance?" Brent asked, "You okay?"
Lance seemed to mutter something that Brent could not understand, as he continued to look around in the closet for something.
Brent walked over to Lance, and gently hugged his shoulder. "Come on buddy", he said softly, "Lets go back to bed."
Lance let himself be turned around by Brent. Looking in no particular direction, he mumbled, "I have to find it".
"I know", Brent replied in a reassuring voice, "Lets go back to bed for now, and we can find it in the morning."
Immediately Lance seemed to become completely comfortable in Brent's arms, and allowed himself to be guided anywhere Brent led them. Brent closed the closet door, then led Lance back into his room, and closed the bedroom door. After the door was closed, he gently guided Lance back to his bed, and helped him sit down. "Can you get back in bed for me?" Brent asked softly.
"Yea", Lance answered after taking a few seconds to think. He then lifted up his legs to turn himself around and lay back down, while at the same time pulling Brent to lay down with him.
Brent was mildly shocked by this, but knew that subconsciously Lance was doing what he felt most comfortable doing. If Brent tried to pull away now, he could cause Lance to get agitated, or wake up. Neither of which were good things to have happen to a sleepwalker, so he allowed himself to continue to lay with Lance, thinking that he would go back to his bed after Lance returned to a more peaceful sleep.
Lance's subconscious seemed to have other plans, however. Moments after both boys were lying down, Lance moved himself closer to Brent, and hugged him in a protective embrace, as if trying to protect him from something. Brent couldnt remember feeling this close or comfortable around someone else before. He didnt know how to explain it, but what Lance had done, just seemed right to him, as if that is how things were meant to be. Moments later, both boys had returned to a nice, peaceful sleep.