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Author's Note:

If you are offended by material involving sex between a man and an adolescent boy or between teen boys then read no further. If you are under eighteen then also, please read no further. This story is purely fictional and exists only in the mind of the author.

AUTHOR:
teentales@aol.com (TeenTales)

NOTE FROM CODY:
It was this story of Cody that first gave me the idea to write "The Adventures of Cody and TJ".   It has everythin that you want in a story and I hope thatya enjoy it.

The story is printed with permission of TeenTales.

You can write to him at: teentales@aol.com

Chapter Ten

I drove the surrounding areas all afternoon searching for Cody. I was totally devastated when the last light of Christmas Eve disappeared and I turned back to Vista Del Mar y Cielo. Hopefully, I searched the house and yard again calling through my tears for the boy. There was no answer. The silence was deafening. I called the Sheriff's department and reported him missing. I knew that this was a dangerous thing to do considering he was not a relative but I had to have help. In barely two months, I found myself lost without him. I sat up until well after midnight hoping the phone would ring. It didn't. At last, exhausted, I turned toward my room but went into Cody's instead. I threw myself on his bed and sobbed, the smell of his youth on the bedclothes intensifying my loss. At last I fell asleep.

Christmas day was awful. I just wandered around the house aimlessly. I called the Sheriff again. There was no word. I called Tommy.

"I'm really sorry Mr. Hastings," Tommy cried over the phone.

"Tommy, it's okay. Are you sure you haven't seen Cody?"

"No sir, I don't know where he is," Tommy whimpered.

"Tommy, if he's there, you've got to tell me! You're the only person I know who knows him," I pleaded.

"He's not here, Mr. Hastings. I swear! You're not going to tell my mother are you?"

My heart sunk. Tommy wasn't lying. He was just a scared, gay fourteen year old who was worried about himself. "No, Tommy, I'm not going to tell your mother. And what you guys were doing is okay too, do you understand me?"

"Yes sir," he cried not believing me.

‘Shit!' I said to myself. Here I am grieving over the loss of the most important person in my life and I've got another unstable kid scared shitless on the phone.

"Tommy, I want you to come over here right now!" I demanded. "Can you get away?"

"Why?" the boy asked.

"I want to talk to you. I won't tell your mother if you show up here in thirty minutes."

The phone went dead and in less than fifteen minutes, the doorbell rang and the sad beautiful teenager entered the house. I led him to the family room and we sat down across from each other. Tommy looked at his tennis shoes.

I was shaking with emotion. "Tommy, Cody has run away as you know. I'm so worried and scared I can hardly breathe. He's the most important thing in my life. I don't know why he ran, whether it's because I saw what you two were doing or because he was angry that I saw or whether he was embarrassed. I don't know. But I do know you're here and it's important for you to understand."

Tommy's glistening blue eyes met mine. "Answer a question for me," I said. He just looked at me. "Do you like boys? I mean instead of girls?"

The boy started to cry. He just nodded in the affirmative.

"Have you ever told anybody that?" I asked.

He shook his head ‘no.'

"Does Cody know?" I asked

"I don't think so," he said finally speaking.

"I think he does," I stated. "He likes boys too. Both of you guys are okay, do you understand?"

"It's not okay!" Tommy exclaimed.

"Tommy look at me!" I commanded. "That's why I made you come over here. You are okay and whatever happens to Cody or between Cody and me isn't your fault. We don't chose to be the way we are but we have to learn to deal with it. We have to learn to have a life built around the way we are. Okay?"

"We?" the boy asked.

"Yeah, you, me and Cody!" I confessed.

"Are you the guy in Montana?" Tommy sniffled.

I sighed. "I'll keep your secret if you keep mine," I answered, confessing nothing.

The beautiful youth smiled weakly and nodded agreement.

I put my arm around him and led him to the door. "Don't go doing anything stupid, okay. If you need somebody to talk to, call me. Right now I really need to worry about finding Cody and not worry about you. You've got to be a special kid if Cody likes you. He's the best there is."

"Will you call me when you find him?" Tommy asked.

"You bet!" I answered confidently not betraying that I was more concerned with "if" than "when." I looked at the boy squarely and smiled, "You hang in there ... dude!"

"Thanks Mr. Hastings," he said.

"Call me Jeff," I responded.

"Thanks, Jeff," he smiled.

Most people want Christmas Day to last forever but for me the day dragged on in torture. I was glad that I'd talked to Tommy. At least I felt sure that he wouldn't try to hurt himself. My stomach was in knots. I thought about drowning myself in alcohol but what if the phone rang and I had to drive. I was in total misery. I looked through the stack of photos of Cody, his gleaming eyes, his joyful grin, his wonderful physique. Would I ever see him again? Christmas day wandered into Christmas night. I slept in Cody's bed again. Boxing Day dawned and still no word. I called the Sheriff again but to no avail. I had the week off but this was pure hell. All I could do was wait. And the worst thing was that I might be waiting forever. Cody wasn't bound to me and as he had said, he was looking for someplace when I picked him up, he could do it again. God how I hurt.

On the 28th of December, I was totally submerged in grief and resigned to the fact that I probably would never see him again. He was resourceful and he had shown he could manage on his own. Wherever he was, I hoped he was happy and safe. There was nothing else for me to do. Tommy called me every day. He was actually a sweet kid and I could tell he really cared for Cody too.

I was about to go out for the first time in three days. The afternoon was bright and lonely. I decided that I'd go down to Bully's and just get shit-faced. I could walk home if I had too. I got my wallet and was heading for the door when the phone rang. As I had every time it had rung, I sprang for the receiver."

"Mr. Hastings?" a female voice inquired.

"Yes," I exclaimed.

"I'm Deputy Wilson of the Highway Patrol in Indio. I believe there's someone here who would like to speak to you."

My heart leapt. "Jeff?" the young voice spoke.

"Cody! Cody?" I yelled.

"I'm sorry Jeff. I didn't mean to hurt you," he sobbed.

"Oh shit Cody, thank God you're okay," I cried.

Deputy Wilson was on the line again. "Are you related to this boy, Mr. Hastings?" she asked.

I swallowed hard and through my relief stammered that I was his uncle.

"Well sir," she continued, "Unless you want this boy to spend the night in Juvenile Hall you'd better come down here and pick him up."

"Oh thank you officer," I exclaimed, "I'm on my way."

I got the directions to the Highway Patrol office in Indio and was lucky I didn't get stopped myself at the speed I drove through Rancho Santa Fe to Escondido on to Temucula and scaring the shit out of myself on Highway 74 screaming down into Palm Desert.

I burst through the doors of the Highway Patrol and saw a forlorn small figure sitting off to the side of the lobby. As our eyes met, he didn't look anywhere near fourteen. He was a small boy desperately afraid. "Oh Cody!" I sobbed as we embraced each other. "Why? Why?"

He started to say something but I hushed him. "Never mind. Do you want to go home?" I asked.

"Back to your house?" he asked with worry in his eyes.

"Uh huh," I nodded wondering about his expression.

"Yes," he said the worry disappearing, "I want to go home."

I hugged him so tightly I almost squeezed the breath out of him. The deputy wasn't quite as easy to convince that we belonged together. After all, we didn't have the same last name and there were a lot of questions to be answered. With some foresight, I had taken copies of Cody's birth certificate with me along with his school registration card showing me as his guardian. Since his parents were dead and there was no one else to contact, we were finally released and I headed the car toward home.

We drove in silence for almost an hour. I didn't know what to say or ask and I was just relieved to have this wonderful boy sitting next to me again. As we dropped down the hill from Anza, Cody finally spoke.

"Jeff, I'm really sorry."

"For what?" I asked.

"For everything. For that thing with Tommy, for hurting you by being with him, for running away. I promise I'll never do it again."

I was crying again. "Cody, I always want to be there for you. I'm sorry I spied on you. It was wrong. I shouldn't have done it but it just happened."

"That's okay," he said, "I was mad and embarrassed but the worst of it was that I was doing something behind your back. I figured you'd never want to see me again."

I reached over and stroked his soft hair. "Oh Cody, I didn't know how I was going to live without you. You've become so important to me in such a short period of time. I don't know how I can tell you how much I need you. You've added more than you can know to my life. No matter what you do, you're always wanted. Do you understand?"

The boy leaned over and rested his head on my shoulders. I put my arm around him and we drove on quietly until we reached Vista Del Mar. "Welcome home," I said as we entered, tears of joy flowing freely.

"It's good to be home," he said hugging me.

"You'd better call Tommy," I suggested, "He's been almost as worried as I have. And by the way, you've got a pretty special friend there."

Cody looked embarrassed.

"Cody, it's okay for you to have a friend like Tommy. I've told Tommy too."

The 29th of December was Christmas at Vista Del Mar y Cielo. I watched with joy as Tommy and Cody hugged in reunion. I gave Tommy a hug too. I let them talk for a long while on their own. Tommy left in the afternoon smiling gratefully at me and lovingly at Cody. They shook hands at the door. Cody opened his presents and was visibly pleased with the gifts but then soon looked sad.

"What's the matter," I asked worriedly.

"I didn't get you anything," he said softly.

"Cody, you've given me the best present I could ever have. You came back home."

He smiled.

"I do have one other present you could give me though," I said.

"What?' he asked.

I handed him an envelope. It was a thick envelope and when he opened it, he pulled out a stack of papers. "What's this?" he asked staring at the legal looking documents.

"Cody, those are your adoption papers. If you agree, I want to adopt you."

He looked awestruck. Finally he said, "You mean you want to be my dad?"

I really hadn't thought of it that way. "Yeah, I guess that would make me your dad, huh?"

The boy was quiet for awhile. "What do I have to do?" he asked.

"Are you agreeing?" I asked hopefully.

"What do you think...Dad?" he grinned.

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