ShadowSoul 5-Facing the Storm

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Chapter 5: Facing the Storm

When I got out of the car to open the gate, I noticed that Joe Bob was pulling up behind mom.

I motioned for him to go through, then closed the gate behind us.

I saw mom waving at him as he drove around her car, then I hurried to get the gate closed before running back to join her.

"Mark, I'm so proud of you. From the expression you were wearing when we arrived, I didn't know what to expect when you met the family." Mom said as she pulled away from the gate.

"Well, I didn't know either. I had no idea what to expect, and that was kinda scary. But I really enjoyed meeting everyone." I said consideringly.

"Even Prissy?" Mom asked with a pained smile.

I chuckled and said, "She wasn't so bad, once I figured out where she was coming from."

"Then you're doing better than I am because I don't have a clue about what she's thinking. We grew up as best friends. People thought we were twins because we were so close. But when I was about fifteen, she started changing. She seemed to think that she was better than everyone else and that whatever she believed was the truth. Anyone who didn't believe the same as her was just an ignorant fool." Mom said distantly.

"You do understand her. She believes that she's right and as long as you play by the rules she's set up in her own little world, then you're accepted. If you go against? the stuff she believes, then you're a fool... or a heathen." I finished with a grin.

Mom chuckled and said, "Thanks for making peace with her. It was nice to see her happy. Even though I can't stand the sight of her, I still care about how she feels."

I glanced at mom to see an expression of peace.

It made me feel good to know that I had something to do with her being able to feel that.

* * * * *

After we had made the first turn off the dirt road, Mom quietly asked, "So what did you think of Joe Bob?"

"He was great. I think he's really an awesome guy." I said with a smile.

Mom grinned to herself and seemed to be considering what she should say.

I waited for a moment so she would continue, it looked like she was about to tell a secret.

"When we were growing up, I had such a crush on him." Mom said, then let a girlish giggle escape.

I couldn't help but smile at her timid expression.

"I think that when I met your father in college, the first thing that attracted me to him was that he reminded me of Joe Bob." Mom said in a quieter voice.

"Dad? My dad?" I asked incredulously.

Mom chuckled and said, "Yes. Back when we were in college, he was a lot more relaxed. Nothing seemed to bother him and he just had this... joy of life."

"My dad? The one in Michigan?" I asked slowly.

"Yes. Your dad. He's changed a lot over the years. He wasn't always the serious police detective who only thinks about his work." Mom said with a glance at me.

I thought about that for a moment, then said, "I'll just have to take your word for it."

Before Mom could respond to that, the ring tone of her cell phone came from her purse.

"I'll get it." I said automatically as I pulled open her purse and began to dig.

I really don't get it. What does anyone need with this much stuff? I mean, I carry a wallet with me and don't need most of the things in it. She has... I don't even know what most of these things are.

"Hello?" I said quickly, not quite sure if I'd caught it before the voicemail kicked in.

"Mark? I thought this was your mom's cell phone." The female voice said with confusion.

"It is, Mom's driving so I answered it for her, who is this?" I asked cautiously, I should probably know but the voice didn't sound familiar.

"This is Diana Arden, your mom and I went to college together. Is there any way I can talk to her? It's kind of important." The woman asked with a tone of urgency.

I turned to mom and said, "It's Diana Arden. She says it's kind of important."

"I'll pull over. Tell her I'll be right with her." Mom said as she guided the car to the side of the road.

"Just a sec." I said into the phone, then held it out for mom when she was ready.

Mom quickly took the phone and said, "Do you have some good news for me Di?"

A big smile came over Mom's face, then she gave me an eager thumbs up.

I remember seeing pictures of Diana when Mom and Dad would go through their albums and stuff, but I don't think I ever met her.

"When?" Mom asked quickly.

I looked at her with question. She seemed to be really excited.

"Mark, would you get my PDA? I need to get this down." Mom asked with distraction.

Shit! Another dive into the mobile junkyard that she carries with her.

"How good of a chance do you think I have?" Mom asked while I dug into the substrata of the purse to a fresh, heretofore undiscovered, layer of crap.

Finally I found her seldom used PDA at the bottom of her purse and quickly removed a cough drop that was stuck to the back of it.

"Thanks Mark. Go ahead Di." Mom said, then started typing something on the tiny chicklet keyboard.

"Got it. I'll call you as soon as I'm done and let you know how it went." Mom said happily as she handed the PDA to me.

"Thank you for doing this. I realize that you're putting your reputation on the line for me. I'll make sure you never regret it." Mom said seriously.

Mom gave a small chuckle, then said, "I hope so too. I'll talk to you in a little while."

When she finally rang off, I accepted the phone from her and waited for her to tell me what was going on.

"That was my old college roommate Diana." Mom said, as she pulled the car back onto the road.

I knew that, but telling Mom wasn't going to get her to tell the story any faster.

"I called Diana before we left Michigan to see if she knew of any job openings and emailed her my resume so she could pass it around to any likely prospects." Mom said quickly.

"I'm guessing she found something for you." I said cautiously.

"She gave my resume to a friend of hers in the HR office of her company. The friend just called her back and said that if I call her for a phone interview right now, she might be able to work me in for an onsite interview later this week!" Mom said with joy as she turned the car onto the dirt road that leads to our house.

"That's great! You haven't even really started looking for work and you've already got an interview." I said happily.

Yeah, part of it was just me doing the supportive son thing, but seeing her so happy was kind of nice.

"This is why it's important to have a lot of friends, especially friends in whatever field you decide to go into. The days of finding a job in the want ads is over. Networking is the best way to find a decent job now."

It sounds like her motherly advice is for me to suck up to people who might be able to do something for me. I never really noticed what a manipulative person my mom can be before. I hope it's not genetic.

Since we were pulling up in front of the house, there wasn't time for her to give me anymore of her sage advice. But I wonder what it would have been? Don't marry someone who will hold you back from your career? Don't bog yourself down by having children?

* * * * *

As soon as we were inside the house, Mom quickly said, "I'm going up to my room to make this call. It's a phone interview, so it may take a while."

I thought about how much I needed to talk to Enoch, so I said, "I think I'll take a nap. I was serious about being tired."

"Okay honey. Have a good rest. I'll wake you up for dinner if you're still asleep when it's ready." Mom said gently, then hurried up the stairs.

I stood there for a moment, then walked to one of the large windows in the living room to check on the progress of the dust storm.

The reddish brown cloud that had been on the horizon seemed to be almost to the house now.

I turned to face the stairs.

The approaching storm seemed somehow significant.

I felt the pocket of my waist coat to confirm that I still had the picture that Allie had given me.

Did he love me or the person in the picture?

Was I somehow the reincarnation of his lost lover?

Did it matter?

After taking a deep breath for courage, I started up the stairs to face the storm.

* * * * *

I walked into my room and froze at the sight before me.

There was Enoch.

I could actually see his transparent body sitting in the desk chair.

It wasn't a feeling or a blur on the edge of my vision. I could actually see him.

"I'm back." I said in astonishment.

Enoch looked up at me and his glowing smile burned itself into my heart.

'No matter what, I have to make this work. I can't lose him.' I thought to myself.

"Will you come over and sit on the bed with me? I need to talk to you about something." I said quietly, trying not to sound too ominous.

Enoch looked at me curiously before getting up from the chair and moving to the bed.

He said something to me, but I couldn't hear his voice.

I guess I didn't need to. I could see his expression and I'm not sure if I read his lips or just knew what he was asking.

"Yeah. I can see you a lot better now. I can't hear what you're saying but I can make out your features... I'm glad I can see your eyes. I really like your eyes." I finished a little bit shyly.

Enoch seemed surprised by the statement at first, but eventually broke into a smile.

I reached into my pocket and felt the tin photograph that Allie had given me.

"Enoch, I need to show you something, then I'm going to lay down so we can really talk." I said quietly.

The look of concern on his face broke my heart.

"Please, just promise me that after I show you this, that you'll talk with me. I'm not mad at you at all. I just want to understand." I said as I looked into his transparent green eyes.

My explanation didn't do anything to diminish his fear, but he did reluctantly nod that he would promise.

"Okay. I met someone that knows you today. She gave me this." I said, then pulled the photo out of my pocket.

I held the photograph out beside me where Enoch and I could both look at it.

I glanced over at Enoch to find him frozen with an expression of panic on his face.

After a moment more to look at the photograph, I walked over to place it on the desk.

"Please Enoch, just talk with me." I said quietly as I toed off my shoes.

Enoch slowly turned to look at me and the devastated expression in his eyes tore into my soul.

"I'm not mad, just talk to me." I said gently as I scooted onto the bed.

Enoch was still sitting, mostly frozen in place as I lay back and closed my eyes.

* * * * *

"Enoch?" I asked into the darkness that surrounded me.

"I'm sorry." Enoch whispered from someplace out of my sight.

"Please Enoch. I need to hold you. I'm not mad. I swear." I said as I looked around.

A glow of light appeared before me and Enoch resolved into being.

The expression in his eyes was anguished and I wanted nothing more than to do something, anything to replace it with his happy smile.

"When you first arrived... I thought..." Enoch stammered.

"Come here." I said as I opened my arms to him.

A small smile of relief found it's way onto his face as he approached.

I pulled him to me and held him in a firm grip, trying to convey my love through touch.

"Thank you." He whispered into my ear.

I smiled and said, "Anytime."

The two of us stood there, holding and being held for an undefined amount of time in the unreal place where we found ourselves.

Finally Enoch said, "When you arrived, I thought it was Mark... the Mark that I knew."

"I thought so. You said that the passage of time is different here." I said quietly.

"I knew that time had passed, but somehow I made myself believe that I was mistaken and that you were the Mark that left me." Enoch finished in a whisper.

"I'm sorry he left you. Allie said that you were devastated when he left." I said quietly.

"Allie? You spoke to Allie? How is she?" Enoch asked quickly.

"She's fine. She must be over a hundred years old now. She's living with my grandparents." I said gently.

"Over a hundred..." Enoch said in wonder.

"When she saw me, she thought I was Mark James too." I said honestly.

"You do look just like him." Enoch said quietly.

"But I'm not him. You know that don't you?" I asked carefully.

"I suspected just after you arrived, but for some reason I tried to convince myself that he had returned to me." Enoch said quietly.

"But you know for sure now, right?" I asked carefully. I don't know how being in the in-between non-world where he ended up had messed with his mind and I wanted to be clear on the fact that I was not Mark James.

"Yes. I realized it in the water closet." Enoch said shyly.

I puzzled over the strange term for a moment, then realized that he meant the bathroom.

"But when you said that you wanted to reciprocate my actions... that's when I knew." Enoch said distantly.

"I don't understand." I said carefully.

"Mark, the other Mark, he would allow me to do things, to pleasure him. But he would never even consider reciprocating the action." Enoch said as his hold on me increased.

"Then he was a selfish fool." I said quietly as I also increased the intensity of my hug.

"It didn't matter. I loved him." Enoch said as his grip loosened and he pulled back a little to look in my eyes.

"I'm sorry he hurt you Enoch. You deserved someone who would love you in return." I said softly.

Enoch's hopeful look into my eyes said more than a thousand words.

"Yes Enoch. I do love you." I said in a whisper.

His expression seemed to be frozen for a moment, then he broke into a joyful smile.

I soaked in the beauty of his happiness for a moment, then moved in for a gentle kiss.

* * * * *

I don't know how long we were kissing, but it was the most wonderful, peaceful, complete feeling that I've ever known.

When we finally did pull out of the kiss, I quietly said, "I can't wait for the door to open again so we can do that for real."

Enoch seemed to be surprised by my statement, then said, "I examined the fracture while you were gone. Though the breach is quite small, it is beginning to open."

"It is? Where is it?" I asked with surprise.

"In the mirror. Come, I will show you." Enoch said and led me by the hand.

As we approached the mirror, I saw something that looked like a hairline crack made of light.

"From your side of the mirror it will look like a flaw in the glass. It will remain solid unless there is someone on both sides to cause it to open." Enoch said as we stood side by side in front of the mirror.

"Mark?" I heard in the distance. It was my mom's voice.

"It must be dinner time." I said with regret.

"May we talk some more when you return?" Enoch asked hopefully.

"Yes. I'll be back just as soon as I can." I said seriously, then added in a whisper, "I love you."

"I love you as well." Enoch said with joy radiating in his eyes.

"Mark!" I heard, and now she sounded closer.

"Give me a quick kiss, then I've got to go." I said with regret.

Enoch gave me a quick firm kiss, then the world seemed to dissolve around me.

* * * * *

"Mark? You must have really been tired." Mom said as she walked into my room.

"Yeah. I guess I was." I said as I blinked my eyes.

"Since we had such a big lunch, I made us a light dinner." Mom said as she looked at me with concern.

I slowly got up off the bed and noticed that my window looked like it was covered by something brownish red.

Mom followed my gaze, then walked to my window to look out.

"Your grandfather was right. This is a side of nature that we don't get to see very often." Mom said as she stared out the window.

I walked to her side and could barely make out the barren landscape being scoured by high winds and blowing dust.

"It's beautiful in it's own way." Mom said distantly.

The hazy half-light and blowing dust seemed surreal, like something you'd expect to see on a distant world. As I stared at the scene, I could see what she was saying. There was a terrifying kind of beauty in this violent force of nature.

"Come on. I've cooked us some tuna steaks and made a nice green salad." Mom said, as she draped an arm around my shoulder.

I turned away from the window and walked with her to the door.

* * * * *

"So how did your call go?" I asked when I sat down at the table.

"Well, I talked to a friend of Diana's in the HR department. Her name is Mandy and? we talked for a few minutes about what I was qualified to do. I guess I said the right things, because the next thing I knew I was talking to someone else, doing a phone interview." Mom said happily.

"That sounds good. Do you think you got the job?" I asked, then took a bite of my food.

"Well, it isn't that easy. I think I did well on this phase of the process, but I'm not hired yet." Mom said seriously.

"When will you know?" I asked curiously.

"After my phone interview, they called me back to set up an appointment for the on site interview. I guess they were considering three people for the position and one of them dropped out, so I'm a last minute replacement. This was set up over a week ago, and I'm really lucky to get this opportunity." Mom said evasively.

"So when is the on site interview?" I asked cautiously.

"I leave tomorrow morning to fly to Santa Fe." Mom said as she reluctantly looked at me.

"Okay." I said hesitantly.

From the expression on her face, she was about to tell me something that I wasn't going to like.

"Your grandfather said I could drop you off at their house on the way to the airport." Mom said, reluctantly.

I thought for a moment, then said, "So you don't trust me to stay in the house by myself."

"It's not that. But we've just moved here and I don't want you to be all alone in the house, twenty miles from the nearest neighbor or working phone." Mom said urgently.

"Grandpa is nice and everything, but I really don't know what I'd do over there all day. I would rather stay here and finish getting unpacked and get used to my new room." I said, honestly.

"But don't you think it would be better for you to have someone around?" Mom asked with concern.

"How long are you going to be gone?" I asked curiously.

"I'll? be back tomorrow night." Mom said quietly.

"So I won't even be alone for a full day. Mom, if you're going to be doing this job thing, you're going to have to trust me, at least a little." I said frankly.

Mom considered for a moment, then said, "I suppose you are growing up and don't need me to be watching over you every second."

I smiled at her and said, "It's nice to know that you care and I do still need you. But I can get by on my own for a little while, so you can do the stuff you need to do."

Mom got up from her chair and walked to me.

I stood so she could give me a hug.

"I don't know what your father and I did that was so right to get such a good kid, but I'm really proud of you." Mom said happily.

I returned the hug and felt a little relief knowing that I wasn't going to have to leave Enoch tomorrow.

* * * * *

"So what are you going to do, now that you've had a good nap? Are you going to spend the night unpacking?" Mom asked curiously.

"Yeah. At least I'll get started. I don't have that much stuff, but I want to take the time to get everything put up just where I want it." I said consideringly.

"Well, your room looks very nice. Walking in there is like stepping back in time." She said with a smile.

"Yeah. That's what I like about it. I think it's really comfortable." I said quietly.

"Enjoy your unpacking. I'm going to be fretting over every detail of what I'm going to be doing tomorrow. If I can pull this off, I may be able to get us on our feet a lot sooner than I had planned." Mom said happily.

"I didn't ask before, what kind of job is it?" I asked curiously.

"Basically, I'd be the assistant to the project manager for the entire four corners region. Even though the job would be a lot of hard work in the beginning, I would eventually be in line for the project manager's position. It's really a dream job." Mom said frankly.

"Four corners?" I asked cautiously.

"Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona." Mom said seriously.

"Where would we live?" I asked cautiously.

"The regional office is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico." Mom said hesitantly, watching closely for my reaction.

I stared at her for a moment, then said, "But I was just starting to like it here."

"I know honey. But don't worry about it yet. There are two other people going for the same job that I am and they probably have a list of credentials as long as your arm. And this is my first interview in almost twenty years.? There's a good chance that by this time next month you'll be so used to this whole process that you won't think twice about it." Mom said reassuringly.

I nodded slowly, even though I heard the words, I still felt like she was trying to uproot me again, just as soon as I found a place where I wanted to be.

* * * * *

I walked into my bedroom and felt peace wash over me.

Enoch was standing by the mirror looking at it closely.

"How's it going?" I asked quietly.

He gestured to the mirror and walked across the room to join him.

I wanted to see what it looked like in my world.

It was just like he had said in our shared dream. It looked like there was a slight flaw in the glass, like a faint ripple.

"My mom is going to be leaving tomorrow to go to Santa Fe for a job interview." I said distantly.

Enoch looked at me with question and concern.

"Don't worry about it E. She says that she probably won't get it, but she has to go just in case." I said with assurance.

Enoch had a surprised expression on his face, then he broke into a fond smile.

I played my words back through my mind and realized what I had called him.

"I hope you don't mind that I called you E. I didn't even think about it." I said shyly.

Enoch moved close to me and I could see the love in his eyes.

I automatically opened my arms to him and felt him as he pressed into my chest.

"I'm glad I can see you now. It makes this a lot better." I whispered as I moved in to give him a light kiss.

The kiss was brief, but very nice.

"I need to finish unpacking my stuff. You can help me if? you want." I said quietly.

Enoch pulled away and looked at me with question.

"I don't have that much stuff, but I'd like it if you could tell me where you think things should go. It'll make it more like *our* room if you'll help me decide.

Enoch smiled and nodded happily.

"Good. Thanks E." I said as I moved to the foot of the bed and picked up the box of my stuff that I'd left laying there the night before.

"How about this?" I asked as I pulled my one and only trophy out of the box.

Enoch looked at me curiously, then pointed at the trophy, then back at me with question.

I smiled and said, "A couple years ago my parents sent me to summer camp. While I was there I learned how to use a bow and arrow. In the last week of camp we had competitions and I won the archery contest."

Enoch smiled at me proudly, then bent down to look at the trophy more closely.

"I think this would look good on top of the closet thing over there." I said as I pointed.

Enoch seemed to consider for a moment, then nodded his agreement.

I walked across the room and placed my trophy in the center on top of the tall cabinet.

I stepped back to look at it and asked, "What do you think?"

Enoch walked to my side, then looked at the trophy consideringly.

He walked to the cabinet and reached up.

I watched as his insubstantial hand pressed against the trophy and it very slowly started to move.

After a moment, Enoch stepped back beside me again and looked at the trophy again.

I followed his gaze and noticed that now it really looked centered.

"Yeah, now it's perfect." I said with a smile.

* * * * *

It went on like that through the rest of my box of mementos and junk.

With both of us deciding on every single thing that was taken out of the box, it took a lot longer than it probably should have, but it was fun.

A knock on the door interrupted our decision on where I should put a picture of Mom and Dad and me.

I opened the door and stood aside, silently inviting Mom to come into my room.

Her eyes were immediately drawn to the oil lamp which was the only light in the room.

She felt beside the door absently, then turned to look when she didn't automatically encounter a light switch.

"There's no electricity in here." I said timidly.

She looked at me with surprise, but didn't comment.

"Are you all ready to fly out in the morning?" I asked curiously.

"I think so. I just wanted to let you know that I talked to your grandfather and let him know that you'll be staying here by yourself tomorrow." She said as she looked around my room curiously.

"I hope he wasn't upset because I didn't want to stay at their house." I said quietly.

"No. I explained that you wanted to get settled in and he understood completely. But mom insisted that you come over for dinner tomorrow night. I doubt that there's any way you're going to be able to get out of it." Mom said with an apologetic tone.

"That's fine. I don't mind going over and visiting for a while, I just didn't want to spend the whole day over there." I said with assurance.

Mom smiled and said, "Good. Then you should probably expect Dad to be over here about six tomorrow night to pick you up."

"Okay. I'll be ready." I said as I studied her expression, trying to understand what she wasn't saying.

I guess Mom noticed, because she looked away from me for a moment before saying, "Joe Bob called me and told me some of what you two talked about."

"Did he say how his talk with Jim Bob went?" I asked curiously.

"He said that he told his kids about you being gay. Beau thought it was really cool but the other two didn't really give any reaction." Mom said quietly.

"And..." I said, prompting her to get to whatever was bothering her.

"Well, I know you probably wanted to be alone tomorrow, but Joe Bob is really worried about Jim Bob and we got to talking about it and I... kind of... said it would be okay if they came over to spend the day with you." Mom said reluctantly.

I chuckled before saying, "Joe Bob already asked me about that and I said that I wouldn't mind if they came over. Beau is great and I think Jim Bob is probably okay, he's just so quiet it's hard to tell. I don't mind them coming over."

"There's one more thing." Mom said reluctantly.

I looked at her with question.

"Well, I trust you. I really do. But I don't want three boys left unsupervised all day..." Mom trailed off.

"Who's going to watch us?" I asked hesitantly, not liking any of the answers I could come up with.

"Joe Bob Jr." Mom said quietly.

I thought about the answer for a moment and considered, finally I said, "I guess I can see why you wouldn't want us to be here alone. I don't know Joe Bob Jr., but I like his dad and his brothers so he's probably okay."

"Have I mentioned what a good kid you are?" Mom asked as she pulled me into a hug.

"You might have once or twice." I said with a smile.

"I'd better get to bed now. I don't want to go into the interview with bags under my eyes." Mom said as she released me from the hug.

"I hope everything goes well in your interview." I said as she walked to the door.

"Thanks honey. I'll call your grandfather and let him know how it went as soon as I'm finished." She said, then slipped out the door.

* * * * *

I turned to find Enoch staring at the door with a sad look in his eyes.

"What's wrong?" I asked him quietly.

His only response was to slowly close his eyes and slightly shake his head.

I looked around the room and decided that I had done enough unpacking for one day.

"How about we get into bed so you can tell me about it?" I asked quietly.

Enoch looked at me for a moment with a speculative look in his eyes, then hesitantly nodded.

I quickly skinned out of my clothes down to my underwear, then walked over to the oil lamp and blew it out.

When I turned to face the bed, I was surprised to see Enoch's glowing body reclined, looking at me with interest.

"Wow, I can see you even better in the dark." I said as I slowly got into the bed beside Enoch.

His gentle smile sent a tingle of happiness through me.

"I want to tell you this in the real world so neither of us can ever say it's a dream..." I said as I looked into his creamy green eyes.

Enoch waited, devoting his full attention to me.

"I love you E. This thing with my mom and moving to Texas and everything else would be making me crazy if you weren't here. Loving you is the only important thing right now, the rest is just background noise to me." I said softly.

Enoch smiled and brought his insubstantial hand up to caress my cheek.

I closed my eyes and soaked in the tingling sensation of his ghostly touch.

In a voice that was little more than a whisper I heard him say, "I love you too Mark."

My eyes snapped open and I looked at him with wonder.

He gave me a shy smile and whispered, "Sleep with me."

I nodded, then lay back to let sleep take me.

* * * * *

As soon as I appeared in our dream place, I felt Enoch's arms come around me and hug me tightly.

"I wish we could stay like this. I miss you so much when I have to leave." I said as I held him close.

"I too wish we could remain together. But you exist in the real world and must attend to your real world obligations." Enoch said quietly.

"Will you tell me about what was bothering you earlier, you know, when my mom was here?" I asked quietly.

There was a long moment of silence, then he quietly said, "I was just reminded of my own mother. I miss her."

I nodded as I thought about what little I knew of his mother.

She had died three days before Enoch arrived in Texas.

He didn't get a chance to say goodbye.

Then I remembered something that Allie had said and asked, "Do you think it would make you feel better to visit her grave?"

He pulled back and looked at me with surprise.

"I just thought... You haven't seen it for a while and maybe..." I trailed off quietly.

Finally I continued in a whisper, " might help."

Enoch seemed to be considering the idea, then quietly said, "There is no way for me to do that. If I were to venture out into the darkness to find her, I might not be able to find my way back here."

"I thought I could find a way to take you. Allie said something about a family graveyard and I figured that that's where it would be." I said carefully.

"Thank you Mark. I would like that." Enoch said quietly.

I moved in and gave Enoch a gentle kiss. The kiss didn't have anything to do with passion, it was about comfort and a desire to share the pain he was feeling.

When the kiss broke between us Enoch whispered, "Thank you."

"I love you E. Let's go to sleep." I said quietly.

Enoch kissed me gently on the cheek, then everything seemed to fade into nothingness.

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

What a beautiful love story this is. Mark is really in love with Enoch, isn't he And Enoch is in love with Mark. I hope somehow they can find a way to be together. I don't know how Mark is going to take it if he and his mom have to move away and he has to leave Enoch. Well, I will just rely on MultiMapper to do the right thing and help our two lovers to find each other the best possible way.

This has been another great chapter. Thanks MultiMapper.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher