Cryin' in the Rain
Chapter 1

Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Reluctant, Coercion, Tear Jerker, Cheating, First, 2nd POV, Violent, School,

Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 1 - No one knows the heartache No one knows the pain No one sees your tears When you're cryin' in the rain

A black cat moans, when he's burning with the fever.

A stray dog howls, when he's lonely in the night.

A woman goes crazy, with the thought of retribution.

But, a man starts weeping, when he's sick and tired of life.

God Damn that man can sing. This isn't even my favorite song from the album, but I keep playing it over and over and over again, because he knows what I'm feeling.

What I'm feeling is the deep down in your soul misery. I'm talking about the blues.

Okay you're laughing, now huh? You're shaking your head and telling yourself that I don't know anything about the blues. I don't know anything about the music or the feelings.

One of the things about the twenty-first century is that all of the old paradigms and stereotypes don't mean a thing. Another thing is that I don't understand any of what's going on. What the fuck is going on with all of these little white girls that are all about that bass, or who rap and sound like they grew up in the ghetto, but they come from places like Australia?

Okay, Music seriously has become an international language. It is no longer bound to any race creed or gender. So if this is true, why the fuck can't I feel the blues?

My life means nothing to me anymore. There are times when I feel not only like I just can't go on, but like I'm walking slowly towards a grave that I just dug for myself with a shovel made of my own heart and spine.

Today is one of those days. It's one of those days that I have to do something that I know will kill me. And the pain is already so deep inside of me that life simply has no meaning for me. That, boys and girls, is the blues.

Okay, I have a great career. I make a reasonable amount of money. I lived in a beautiful house with a woman I loved and have a lot of friends. I say loved because I don't think she's mine anymore. That's the blues.

The customized Mustang that I'm driving to my date with destiny has an engine bay that looks like it was designed by NASA not NASCAR.

My huge ball bearing supercharger emits the tiniest little whine at eighty five miles per hour. It's not even loaded at this pedestrian speed. The engine makes over eight hundred horsepower, so the whine is more like my pony is asking to be set free than it is being taxed by driving this slowly.

It's actually really difficult for me to drive this slowly, but why the fuck would I want to get there any faster? Like I said before, when you're driving to your own execution, why would you want to get there quickly? That is ... The blues.

"I keep on dreaming, dreams of tomorrow.

Feel I'm wasting my time, lighting candles in the wind.

Always taking my chances, on the promise of the future.

But, a heart full of sorrow, paints a lonely tapestry."

I'm sure that none of you really think that Whitesnake is a blues band. I can hear you now saying, "SHIT, Dylan; Whitesnake is one of those 80's/90's hair metal bands. That's not the blues."

Or "For heaven's sake Dylan, you've got your entire life ahead of you. Get over it. Move on!"

But how exactly do I move on, when my lungs have been ripped out of my chest while attached to my still beating heart and stuck on a plate right in front of me?

"The sun is shining, but it's raining in my heart."

I guess if you knew all of the facts in the story it would help you to understand my pain. I mean it doesn't make sense. If this was a fuckin' movie, I'd be about to ride off into the sunset on my faithful stallion, with the girl clasped firmly in one muscular arm. Her attention would be riveted on me, while I casually blew on the end of my smoking hot shooting iron to cool it off after sending a hot lump of lead squarely up the villain's ass.

But this is Michigan, not the old west. And the good guys don't always get the girl. Sometimes life just makes no fucking sense. Sometimes even when you love her far more than the other guy can possibly ever think of. Even when you do all the right things, say all the right things, make all the right moves ... You still don't ride off into the sunset with the girl.

And it's ten ... Make that twenty times worse, when you know that he's only going to fuck her over, and there's nothing you can do about it. How do I know so much about him and what he wants to do?

That's easy, you see, I grew up with him. We moved next door to each other. We were born within minutes of each other in hospitals that were more than a thousand miles apart. However, our families moved onto the same block within minutes of each other, into houses that were right next door to each other.

As if fate had decreed it, the two of us, each three years old, wandered away from the chaos of moving into new homes. And just as fate intended walked straight to each other. Two wonderful, young mothers simultaneously looked around and each discovered that they had not one, but two sons.

That's how close we were. If it is at all possible for twins to be born of different fathers and different mothers, then that's what Jimmy and I were. You never saw one of us without the other. There was no separating us, it just seemed odd.

After a while, our mothers even coordinated things like Christmas presents to make sure that there were no unfortunate incidents. Unfortunate incidents either resulted in money wasted or feelings hurt. Like the Christmas, when Jimmy got Laser tag and I got a Nintendo game system.

What ended up happening was Jimmy's mom, who's still to this day like my second mom ended up with her feelings hurt for a while. The woman went through hell getting him that laser tag set. It was one of the most popular gifts for boys that Christmas, and she was proud that she had fought her way through the crowds and lines in the store and emerged victorious.

The problem was that my Nintendo was something that both of us could play together. And we did, for literally hours at a time, while the expensive Laser gun and sensor sat there on a shelf.

Jimmy even started asking his mother for Nintendo games. "But Jimmy," she said. "You don't have a Nintendo game system."

"Yeah we do," he said in that totally sure voice-tone that only an eight-year-old can manage. "WE got it for Christmas."

After coming next door to watch us for a while, she realized her mistake and even told my mother about it. I don't think either of us noticed that the un-opened laser tag gun and sensor went back to the store the day after Christmas. But we both noticed when it was replaced by a host of two-player Nintendo cartridges.

And that was the way it worked, growing up. We did everything together. And the people around us adapted. I was a great runner, but Jimmy wasn't. But we were both on the track team.

Jimmy was the best starting offensive lineman on our high school football team. To keep him interested in football, they made me a tight end. Most of the time, Jimmy was double or even triple teamed by defensive players on the other team trying to get to our quarter back. Those mismatches meant that we really could have gone a player short, so my utter ineptitude, didn't matter.

Why, you wonder, didn't they put another tight end in? It was simple. They needed Jimmy. They wanted Jimmy. And if I got bored from sitting on the bench and quit, so did Jimmy.

It was the same thing in track. Okay, I was fast. Jimmy had all of the speed of an Ox among race horses. But he stayed on the team. Over time, our coach adapted. He made lemonade.

Jimmy, like most oxen, was slow. However, he was as strong as ... an ox. Jimmy became a great shot putter and started to pull his weight and then to excel. As a tight end, I also blossomed. Let's face it; I was fast, but I didn't have the hands to be a wide receiver. I also didn't have the toughness or the bulk to be a running back.

But in our third or fourth game of the first season, the big defensive guys from the other team got past Jimmy and our line. Our quarterback was about to get his ass handed to him, so he just threw the ball up. I guess he knew that he was about to get crushed if he didn't get rid of it, and our eyes met.

In practice, they never threw me the ball. I was one of those Brandon Pettigrew type of tight ends that are only good for blocking. It was like they bought me a special type of gloves with the butter already spread on them. I never, and I mean never, in hundreds of snaps in practice, ever held onto a single pass.

And I know what Greg's motivation was. Our quarterback decided in that moment of fear to make me the scapegoat for his fear and his fuck up. Let's face it. It was the fourth quarter with time running down. Our coach had us taking our time running out the clock. We were down by a point. All we had to do was get into field goal range and our dead eye field goal kicker, would win the game for us.

Greg had a habit of hanging on to the ball too fucking long. Our coach threatened to bench him for it. So Greg, in that high pressure situation, instead of getting sacked, or taking a penalty for intentional grounding, decided to throw a short yardage pass to Butter Hands. That was my nickname. It caught on, so naturally they shortened it to just Butter. It pissed me off when they put it on my letter jacket.

Anyway, his reasoning was that when I dropped the ball, it would become my fault not his if we didn't get into field goal range.

The rest of the guys on the team all groaned when he threw the ball. A couple of them ran towards me just hoping that I could do the best thing they expected of me. That would be to hold onto the ball long enough for it to be considered a fumble when I dropped it. In that case, they could fall on it, and we'd keep possession. It was third down so at least we'd be able to punt the ball into safe territory.

However, I fucked all of that up. For some reason, even I can't explain it, I caught the ball. It was as if someone had replaced the "butter" with superglue. I was shocked. It was like electricity went through me as the crowd, including our parents, all cheered for me.

Then time started up again, and I realized that I was in danger. I heard one of the huge linemen on the other team, grunt, "Motherfucker," as if he was about to decapitate me for daring to catch the ball.

At the same time, I heard my coach yelling words of encouragement from the sidelines. "Run Dumb Ass," he yelled. And that was the one thing I knew how to do. I took off for the goal line and with a few of the guys who were hoping I would fumble providing key blocks I made it clear, and no one on that field had my speed.

My first touchdown changed things. It even changed my nickname. I became "the bomb." They called me that because I was like the atomic bomb. I was the weapon you didn't want to use. I was a weapon of last resort. In practice, every time they threw me the ball, I would drop it. If they tried to use me for short yardage in game situations, I would drop it. But if the game was on the line, and they had no other choice; I was golden. I scored nine or ten dramatic touchdowns out of fear and desperation that season, including two in one game at the division championships.

Smart teachers and coaches found ways to use both Jimmy and I. James Jessie, which was Jimmy's real name and Dylan Marshall, was a pair. That was just the way it worked.

Literally, no one was surprised when we turned eighteen and went off to college together. No one was surprised when we ended rooming together even though the roommate draw was supposed to be by random chance.

Over the years, we had spent so much time together that it was ridiculous. However, college was the first time we had actually lived together. At college, we became fully formed adults, and it also exposed all of the amazing differences in our personalities.

Jimmy was far more socially adept than I was. But I was far better in school. It wasn't just that I was better in some classes; it was as if Jimmy had never learned to study at all. I think a lot of our differences boiled down to our togetherness.

Jimmy had never seen the value of actually attending school. Since we'd always taken the same classes at the same time. We had always done our homework and assignments together. Most of the time it seemed like I did the work and Jimmy copied it. There were years when I did two science projects, one for myself and then one for him. He actually got better grades on those projects because he was more comfortable speaking in front of groups of people.

I would always get better grades on the actual exams, and that would balance out the project grades. We would end up getting similar grades. Our SAT scores really brought the academic differences home. However, even there, most of our teachers were convinced that it was a fluke due to the fact that Jimmy didn't do well on standardized tests, and that he was nervous about the test after being told how important the test was.

But in the end, since we had already both been accepted at Michigan, our SAT scores didn't really matter. However, college did expose several weaknesses. I wanted to major in engineering. Jimmy did too, but he knew that he was never going to pull off the math and science requirements. So we had to sit down and figure out what we wanted to do in life.

I wanted to have our own engineering business. I wanted to design and modify cars. Jimmy liked cars too so he thought it was a good idea, but since we were both going to play football, he thought that even planning for it would be a waste of time.

I went to my classes religiously. Jimmy laughed and got extra sleep. When the first semester was over, I had earned a bunch of credits towards my degree. Jimmy had dropped several classes, but knew everyone on campus.

Jimmy also had something that I had never thought of. Jimmy had a girlfriend. During high school both of us had dated. But we had gone out with a host of girls, not limited ourselves to one. Having a girlfriend is a lot of fucking work. You have to spend time with them.

Jimmy's girlfriend Sarah was one in a million. It takes a special type of woman, not only to accept the fact that the two of us were joined at the hip, but to fit in and be that woman in the middle.

Another huge gulf between us became apparent that year too. Jimmy was no longer a virgin since he, and Sarah were having all kinds of sex. After one of their arguments that happened because Sarah had apparently discovered that Jimmy was cheating on her, an amazing thing happened.

WE, yes I said we, sat down to discuss what had happened between them. While Jimmy pleaded with Sarah for a second chance, she demanded to know why he had done it.

He explained that Sarah, whether she knew it or not, had been his first. He'd simply been curious to see what it would be like to have sex with someone else. If she gave him another chance, it would never happen again. It had just been an overwhelming curiosity. He turned to me and asked me if I understood what he'd gone through.

I was embarrassed and had to admit to both of them that I had no experience on which to base an opinion.

"You mean you've only had sex with one girl, right," said Sarah triumphantly.

"No," I said timidly. "I've never had sex period."

Sarah agreed to give him another chance but with the stipulation that someday she might need to vent her own curiosity. Jimmy said, "No."

He told her that he loved her, but there was no way that he would walk around on eggshells for the rest of his life waiting for her to cheat on him. He said that if he agreed to it, years later, down the line when they were married and had kids, she might just decide to take him up on it. That, he said would be far more painful and more devastating than what he had just done.

His mistake and that was what it was, a mistake, had been born of youthful curiosity during the beginning of their lives together. She could wait until they had been together for years or even married with children. And then it would be something that he might never be able to get over.

"But I'm not interested in anyone except you," she said. "I might not ever do it."

"But you might," he said.

"I can't just let you do this to me without some kind of penalty," she said. "What would stop you from doing it again?"

"You're right, Honey," he said. "I need some kind of punishment. But the idea of some other guy even touching you makes me want to throw up." She looked into his eyes and saw the pain written there and a lot of regret.

I looked at him and saw the same con game he had run on our parents, our friends, and our teachers over the years. However, even I was unprepared for what came out of his mouth next.

"It's painful for me even to say this," he said with what looked like real tears in his eyes. "Sarah, I want you to have sex with Dylan."

"Huh?" I exclaimed. I was totally in shock.

"Okay," said Sarah. Truthfully, I later learned that she had painted herself into a corner. The poor girl really loved Jimmy and had only wanted him to agree not to cheat on her again. However, she had let her mouth draw a line in the sand that she couldn't back away from without appearing to be a doormat.

"Wait a minute," I said.

"What," asked both of them at the same time?

"Isn't your first time supposed to be ... You know ... special. And with someone you love?" I asked.

"You see," said Jimmy. "That's exactly why I can't let you read those God Damned books! No more reading for you Dylan. Go get your library card and bring it to me. As a matter of fact, the library is off-limits to you." Sarah just sat there with a smile on her face, looking at me. She had a real glow on her face.

"Dylan, when you meet this perfect girl and fall in love with her, do you want to be embarrassed and ruin your first time together by not knowing what the hell to do?" he asked.

"Do you want her to laugh at you and then go back and tell all of her friends how inept you were? How fucking romantic will that be?" he asked. "You know what will happen then, right?" he asked. I was horrified and had no idea.

"You'll realize that I was right. So you'll start trying to gain experience with girls you don't like so the next time you run into a girl that you do like, you'll know what to do. You'll end up screwing ugly girls, or smelly girls, or old women, or fat girls. They'll ruin the experience for you. Shit, you may end up turning gay," he said. Jimmy was on a roll.

"The perfect person for you to start with, has to pretty," he said. "Is Sarah pretty?" he asked.

I didn't say anything. "Dylan, open your God Damned mouth, or I'll embarrass you," he said.

"Yes," I said. "She is." Sarah blushed. Jimmy was a major con man.

"You're too God damned timid," he said. "Sarah, Honey, after our first date, the first time Dylan saw you. I asked him what he thought about you. I asked him then if he thought you were pretty. He said you were beyond pretty. He thought you were beautiful, and I was lucky to have you."

"Jimmy," I said sharply! I was pissed that he'd told her that. I just got up and walked out of our dorm. "You guys work out your problems without me."

I walked around the block of dorm buildings. Jimmy knew that I lacked his confidence with women. I just didn't understand how my best friend could have embarrassed me that way.

As I walked I waved at several team mates, class mates and others that I knew. After a while, I felt better. When I returned to our building, I noticed that the beat-up car that Jimmy and I shared was gone. I figured that meant that he had taken Sarah back to her dorm. He and I were going to have a talk when he got back.

I walked into our dorm and took off my jacket. I grabbed a bottle of soda and sat down in front of my laptop. I figured I'd play a few rooms of the video game I was working on. Just as I got comfortable, I heard a voice from behind me that shocked the shit out of me.

"So, Dylan, do you really think I'm beautiful?" she asked. I was too shocked to answer. She was lying in my bed under my sheets. "Dylan, let's talk about this," she said.

"Dylan, do you know why I want to do this?" she asked. I shook my head. "First it's a good way to teach Jimmy a lesson without hurting him too badly. Second, I get back at him without having to be a slut about it. I know that you're a gentleman and aren't going to go around bragging or telling anyone about it. However, the real reason is because of what you said." She picked that moment to sit up. I saw her boobs for the first time. They weren't big. And one of them was bigger than the other. But they were the first real tits I had even seen in person.

"Do you remember the part about how your first time should be with someone special, someone you're in love with? Don't laugh but that's the way I felt about it too. And Jimmy was wrong. That special girl would be, if she is as special as you want her to be, perfectly willing to teach you what you need to do. However, since you haven't found her yet, I would love to stand in for her. I would consider it an honor and a privilege to be your first."

And then she pulled me in for a very gentle kiss. I don't remember when my clothes came off, but I remember her gasp when she got me naked. She seemed to love my dick as she played with it. That ended up being my first blowjob. And then she taught me how to return the favor. She showed me what she liked, and she seemed to get a lot of pleasure out of it.

We spent a lot of time exploring each other's bodies. We were rubbing each other and rolling over and over and then; I felt it. Somehow she had worked us into a position with her on top of me. She impaled herself on me and sank slowly down on my dick. It was the best feeling I have ever had. That first penetration made us both suck in huge gasps.

"Dylan, you have to go slowly, Honey," she squeaked.

"I didn't ... I'm not trying to hurt you," I said.

"Dylan, you didn't do anything wrong," she said. "But you're a lot bigger than Jimmy. It feels really good, but I don't want you to tear me apart."

She sank slowly down, moaning and shifting her hips all the way. It seemed to take a long time. I could feel her tight pussy gripping every inch of my dick as she descended.

"Oh God!" she hissed. "Don't move!" Then she slowly started to pump her hips forward and back. The look on her face was bizarre. She looked as if she was in excruciating pain. Her hands turned into claws and dug into my hands.

Her hips began to pump faster and harder. "Ooh, baby. Soooo good!" she said. "Dylan, I need you to flip me onto my back and take me. Instinct took over. I gently put her on her back. Her legs spread themselves apart, and she looked at me as if there was nothing in the world she wanted more than to have my dick back inside of her.

I pushed inside of her and felt that tightness envelope me again. This time I was on top, and I started slowly to pump her myself. "Faster, Dylan," she hissed. She seemed like a different girl. Her hips moved up to meet mine. She pulled me down to kiss her, and our tongues swirled around each other's mouths.

"Fuck me Dylan," she hissed. "Make me your woman." And I did we slammed together with such force and desperation that it seemed almost violent.

"Oh, Shit, shit shit shit," she screamed. "I'm gonna ... I'm there..." I had no idea what was going on. Were we done? After a few moments, she reached down and sucked my dick until I was done. She swallowed every drop. And then she wrapped her arms and her legs around me possessively.

She looked straight into my eyes. "Dylan, when you get a little bit of practice, you're going to be amazing. That was the best sex I've ever had," she said. "I totally lost control. Don't tell Jimmy about the things I said, please. I don't want to hurt his feelings."

I agreed and didn't say much. I was still reliving every second of what had just happened. She asked me if she could use our shower. And she looked at me weirdly.

When she came out, I walked her back to her dorm. "Dylan, why aren't you saying anything?" she asked.

"That was the most special thing that has ever happened to me in my life," I said. "I was trying to process it all. And I was thinking."

She smiled. She really was beautiful. Her eyes had a glow to them that was hard to miss. "What were you thinking?" she asked.

"That if you weren't Jimmy's girl ... I ... I love you too, Sarah," I said.

"Honey, never say that again. I'm your best friend's girl friend. Someday he and I are going to get married. However, if I wasn't his ... Boy oh boy!" she said. She looked at me strangely. "Dylan, are you crying?"

"No," I said turning around.

"This is so unfair," she said softly. She opened the door to her dorm and looked around. Her roommate was out. She pulled me inside and started kissing me. Before I knew it, we were in her bed and had started again.

By the time I got back to the dorm, feeling extremely guilty and also confused, I expected Jimmy to be there waiting for me and angry. He wasn't. I showered and went to sleep, still dreaming of what I had done.

Jimmy showed up at about two on the morning. He was smiling and woke me up. "How was it?" he asked.

"I'm sorry," I said.

"Please don't tell me you chickened out," he spat. "This is killing me. Why didn't you fuck her? Okay we'll do it again tomorrow. Do you want someone else?"

"You knew... ?" I said.

"Of course," he said. "I arranged it, remember? Dylan, you and I are supposed to be the same. If I'm not a virgin, you can't be one either."

"But Jimmy, she's your girlfriend and..." I began.

"Bros before Hoes," he said. "No bitch will ever come between us."

"But you're going to marry her and have kids with her," I said.

"Says who?" he asked, looking at me like I was silly.

"But you told her that today," I said.

"I just said all of that shit because women like hearing it," he said.

"So you don't love her?" I asked.

"I love fucking her," he said. "Go to sleep. We'll talk more tomorrow."

Over the next few weeks, things changed. I realized that I had fallen in love with Sarah. But in trying to be true to Jimmy, I avoided all contact with her. It didn't work for long. Jimmy started asking me to help her with her math and a couple of other subjects she was weak in.

Since he had no interest in studying, he left the dorm to give us privacy. I did everything I could to make her comfortable. I made her dinner. I massaged her feet while she read. However, I stayed away from her. And she noticed it.

Just before we went home for Christmas break, she came over. She waited for Jimmy to go out as he always did when we studied.

"Dylan, you're the best guy I've ever known," she said. "I've already told you, but this is so unfair. I wish so badly that things were different."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Dylan, you treat me like a princess. You're kind. You're considerate. And you treat me like you really do love me. I've been trying to give you hints that I would like a rematch, but as much as you want me, you haven't even tried," she said. "I really wish you had, but..."

"But you're Jimmy's girl," I said.

"Jimmy has been cheating on me since we started," she said. "I guess I'm his safety net. When he has no one else to fuck, he stops by and uses me. He uses you to keep me busy while he's sowing his oats and ... And you had no idea did you."

I just stood there with my mouth open. "But why," I asked. She came around the table to me.

"God, I wish I had met you first," she said. She was taking off her clothes as she walked towards me. We spent the entire evening and half of the night in my bed. We were both crying when she left. She left a note for Jimmy. I waited to confront him with it.

"Great," said Jimmy when he read her note. "That saves me the trouble of a messy scene in trying to get rid of her."

"You don't love her anymore?" I asked.

"God damn it Dylan," he said. "Get with the program. I was tired of her as soon as I fucked her. Why do you think I've been leaving her here with you? You kept her busy for me while I..."

That was when I learned one of the most important differences between Jimmy and I. To Jimmy only he and I were important. Jimmy had a new woman every week or two, and they all thought that they were the one he was going to marry.

"Jimmy, she loved you," I said.

"So fuckin' what," he smiled. "No one ever marries the first person they hook up with. She was a practice girl, dummy."

"A what," I asked.

"Dylan, you scored two touchdowns last week," he said. "We are headed for the NFL, with a bullet. If you weren't so busy wasting your time going to class, you would know that you can probably have any woman on this campus. One of the girls I'm screwing has the biggest softest boobs I've ever seen. Another one has an ass like a rap star's girlfriend. And both of them are prettier than Sarah."

I had no idea how to tell him that I loved Sarah. It took me months to get over her. And all during that time, Jimmy was throwing girls at me. When he wasn't throwing them at me, I actually met a few on my own, or rather they met me. As our football careers rose, people actually began coming up and talking to me.

I was still going to class and passing all of them. I was on pace to graduate right on time. Jimmy had gotten our coach to get him a deferred program. It was designed so he could carry a minimum class load in classes that were basically gimmes. Most of those classes were only one credit, with no tests and attendance as the only requirement for passing. Most of the time, he didn't attend but was given an excused absence because he was on the team.

And that was the way our first two years went. Our third year was different. It was more difficult for me to keep my GPA up because the team was vying for a division championship and trying to line up for a good bowl game invitation.

And it was during that third year that everything changed. For one thing, Jimmy was so sure that we were going into the NFL that he illegally signed with a sports agent. Under the rules, he was supposed to wait until he had declared himself eligible for the draft. Jimmy decided that having an agent help him plan out how to declare and when would be the best time to do it.

An even bigger shock was that the guy thought he was representing me as well. It did not go over well when I explained to him that I had no intention of leaving school before I graduated. Jimmy told him that he would talk to me.

It was one of our bigger arguments. Jimmy told me that football was a rough game. Every time we stepped onto the field, we risked a career-ending injury. We needed to get into the league and sign a fat contract as soon as possible. If we got hurt while in the league, our money was already set. If we got hurt while playing for our college team, we got nothing.

One of the things the agent did was to clean up Jimmy's act. He told Jimmy that a big part of signing with a team was his image. Teams wanted a clean-cut image and were willing to pay more for it. His agent suggested that Jimmy get rid of all of the strippers and ... Pretty much whores that he was juggling and get himself a nice girl to date. He could still have his big boobed bimbos on the side.

As usual, I went along with the program. There really wasn't much for me to do. I had no image to clean up. Away from the football field, I was pretty much invisible. I was beginning to make a splash among the engineering students. My grades were consistently high, but none of the professors even submitted me for an internship, because it was assumed that I would be playing football.

As a result of the agent's ideas, my life changed forever. It wasn't a thing that I was told to do; it was an indirect effect. One afternoon after practice, Jimmy went out and came home with Gretchen.

With his usual tact and charm, Jimmy brought her into our dorm room and told her to sit. He said it the way he'd give a command to his dog.

"Gretchen, sit," he said. Our dorm had a larger open central area, with two smaller bedrooms, one to each side. When I heard Jimmy come in I went out to speak to him and saw Gretchen for the first time. It was love at first sight; at least on my part.

She was a taller girl at five foot eight. She had milky skin with freckles and the reddest hair I had ever seen. Her eyes were so bright a shade of blue that it appeared, they glowed. And her smile lit up the room.

Her hair, those lustrous scarlet curls, descended to her waist.

"Hi," she said cheerfully. "I've seen you at the games."

I just stood there mute. I was too overwhelmed by her to utter a sound.

"You guys look so much alike," she continued. "Are you guys twins?"

"Yes," cracked Jimmy, coming out of his room wearing a different shirt. "We just have different mothers, different fathers, and different last names."

She thought about it for a second and then started laughing.

"You don't talk to much do you," she asked.

"He's the shy type," spat Jimmy. "I keep trying to get him out of it."

"Ooooh, don't try too hard," she cooed. "I think it's cute. Maybe someday, I'll spend a lot of time trying to hook my friends up with my cute but shy brother in law."

Hearing those words from her lips was like a dagger to my heart. I'm sure my face changed somewhat, and she commented on it.

"What was that look for?" she asked. "Don't you want me to marry your brother?"

"I think he wants you for himself," quipped Jimmy smiling. "You're going to have to wait a while bro," he said. He winked at me, and I knew exactly what he meant. He turned to Gretchen and asked her, "How long will it take us to get your sister transferred here from her school?"

It was exactly what I was afraid of. Gretchen as beautiful as she was would only be another Sarah to Jimmy. He had picked her simply because her clean cut, girl next door look would help his image and make it more likely for him to get a fat contract from teams who were becoming more and more afraid of loose cannon, football players.

I still hadn't gotten over Sarah. I remember how hurt she was. I also remembered how much I loved her and how pointless it had all been. I had no intention of going through that all again. Jimmy set us for a double date. He arranged for one of Gretchen's friends to go with me.

"I already have plans of my own," I said.

"Ooh, do I know her," asked Jimmy. Gretchen just looked disappointed. I never made eye contact with her and tried my best to avoid her. If I didn't get to know her, if I didn't think of her as a person, her fall would haunt me less. I had to think of her as just another one of Jimmy's fucks.

It was about a week later that I next saw her. I had just gotten into our dorm and was headed for the microwave and my computer when I heard a voice. "Why don't you like me?" she asked.

"What are you... ?" I began.

"I asked you first so answer the question," she said.

"What makes you think I don't like you?" I asked.

"Hmm," she said. "I've spent more time in this dorm than you have over the last week or so. But you are never here. The night of our double date ... You did have a date alright. Your date is still talking about it. She's sixty-three years old. She's the librarian at the engineering library. You brought her coffee and a carrot cupcake. She hasn't stopped talking about how nice you are since then. She even let you study past closing time." She was standing up and walking towards me.

"Dylan, do you know that half of the girls in the school are gushing over what you did for that woman? I think everyone who ever goes into that library has seen the pictures of her and her husband with coffee and cupcakes, on her desk. I heard about it from Nedra Brown, one of my dorm mates." I didn't say anything.

"You seem like a really great guy," she said. "I just want to know why you don't like me. Even Jimmy says you're acting weird when it comes to me."

"I guess I'm going through something, and I'm just not good company, right now," I said. "I don't want to mess things up for you guys by depressing you while you're happy."

At that moment, the door opened and Jimmy walked in. "Oh great you guys are talking," he said.

"Yeah and I got to the bottom of things," she said. "Dylan doesn't dislike me. He's just going through something."

Jimmy took one look at me and with a bond that was almost akin to what real twins feel; he shook his head. "God dammit, Dylan," he said. "You're still moping about Sarah aren't you?" In a movement that amazed me and made me even more sure of my theory. He told her. "Sarah, was ... Well, she was Dylan's first. She just moved away suddenly. It hurt him pretty bad. She just left a note, and then she was gone. I really hoped that he'd gotten past it. I guess not."

They decided just to give me time.

Later on when Jimmy came back to the dorm, he was ready to talk.

"What the hell is wrong with you Dylan," he asked.

"I don't want to have anything to do that woman," I said.

"Neither do I," he said. "She barely has anything you could call tits. Shit my chest is bigger than hers is after I do a set of heavy bench presses. And she has a white girl booty. I hate those fucking freckles. They just make her face look dirty. She looks like Rebecca from Sunnybrook farm. And she's so God Damned cheerful. She's also too damned clingy. As soon as I screwed her, she started talking about getting married. She's nuts. We just have to put up with her until we sign with a team."

"I'm not having..." I began.

"Yes you are," he said. "I'm already sick of her. Can you believe she doesn't do anal? I'm at the point where I would probably get more out of choking her to death than I do from fucking her. She never shuts up. She keeps asking me all of these moronic questions about where I want to live and how many kids I want. How the hell would I know?"

He sat down and pounded his fist on the table. "Shit, we'll probably live in the city we play for. And I'm not having any kids until I'm fifty. I really need your help here, Dill."

"Not gonna do it," I said in my best George Bush impression. "Can't."

"Dylan, yes you can," he said. "You like her. You know it. That's why I picked her. She's your type. All you have to do is keep her busy for me, just like you did with Sarah."

"I can't do it Jimmy," I said. He just waved me off. As if he already knew I was going to do it.

"And we have to figure out which one of us is going in the first round," he said. "If we both go in the first round, we'll end up on different teams. I think it's more likely that you as a tight end will go first. So I need you to remember that when you start doing interviews with teams, you should mention me. Our agent is going to try to sell us as a package, too. It'll be just like it was in high school. And I need you to leave those fucking books alone, dude. You could be a much better player if you spent more time at the gym or even on the track."

"Jimmy, I'm going to stay in school and get my degree," I said.

"And do what with it," he asked. "Stick it on the wall in your living room? You'll make sixty to a hundred grand a year as a grease monk ... I mean engineer. If you sign for only one point six mill a year, you would make more per game than you would in a year as an engineer. And we're looking for a lot more than that. You can be an engineer after we retire."

Two days later, our lives changed forever. I can still see that day in my mind. I remember being in the locker room with our coach and our team mates. I remember running out of the tunnel and seeing Gretchen on the sidelines. She stood up and kissed Jimmy as we passed by. The crowd went wild when she handed him his helmet. I thought it was so dramatic that it looked fake. But then Gretchen hugged me as Jimmy ran away from her. She was playing up the fact that the announcers were talking about Jimmy, and I growing up together and playing together for our entire lives.

I had known nothing about the hug, but it floored me. I swear I felt a spark when she touched me. Even when we got the ball, I could still feel the touch of her hand on my skin. I could still smell her perfume and her shampoo.

I was so busy thinking about Gretchen that it took my mind off of the game. That was actually a good thing. Our quarterback targeted me four times in the first quarter. I ran for two touchdowns in the first half and never dropped the ball once out of seven receptions.

Instead of worrying about holding onto the ball, I was thinking about Gretchen. At halftime, we were ahead twenty-one to three. Our coach just told us to keep doing what we were doing.

It was one word that fucked it all up. One very small word derailed the Dylan and Jimmy train that had been a lifetime in the making.

Both teams, facing their in-state rivals were on edge. While we were jubilant, our opponents were frustrated. It was a down year for their program, and their pride was on the line.

I don't even know how it started or what started it. But after a play during which I got another reception for fifteen yards, Jimmy called one of the other team's linemen, a fat bitch. A lot of trash talk goes on during a game from both sides. On the next play, as soon as the ball was snapped, that "fat bitch," who wasn't even lined up against Jimmy, dove at his knees.

A lot has been said about the bond between twins. Jimmy and I are not twins, but we share that same bond. Days later when I was shown the game film, I didn't believe it myself.

But when that three hundred plus pound lineman slammed into Jimmy's legs; I fell too. Perhaps it was a co-incidence. But I was almost thirty yards down field and facing the other direction trying to shake off a defender. I didn't trip over anything; I just hit the ground and grabbed hold of my own knees. The flash of pain going through me was so severe that they sent a trainer to check on me as well.

Things got weird after that. The other team scored and with momentum shifting to their side, the coach told me I was fine and to shake it off and get back out there. He told me that was what Jimmy would want. I ignored him. I took off my helmet and told him I was going to the hospital with Jimmy.

Our parents were on their way. I sat at the hospital with Gretchen. We sat in the waiting room holding hands and waiting to hear something. They got him stabilized. They did X-rays and CT scans of both knees. They had the top orthopedic surgeon at U of M medical center on the case.

Our agent wanted to talk about the game and my first-half stats. "We can talk about it some other time," I said.

"Look Jimmy's plan is different now," he said. "But this may work out in the end. It was going to be a tough sell, getting one team to take both of you in the same draft anyway. So if we get you a deal this year, and you do well. We can get your team to draft Jimmy next year if his injuries have healed."

For all of our lives, Jimmy had been the aggressive one. He was the one who put feelings aside and spoke his mind, but that day I had been pushed too far.

"Look Dickhead," I snapped. "You're Jimmy's agent, not mine. I am going to finish school and get my degree. I was only playing football because Jimmy wanted to. As of now all of that is up in the air. If you continue to pester me, I'll sign with someone else, if I actually end up playing again."

He backed off instantly.

The surgery went well. Jimmy was as cheerful as a character in one of those lifetime movies. He kept asking everyone when he could start his PT. His parents had decided to wait a few days before telling him.

In our day and age with the advances in medical technology and surgical techniques, we tend to believe that anything can be fixed. Every day we hear about athletes who return to their sport after injuries that only a few years ago would have crippled them.

Jimmy's right knee had an LCL tear. It was a tough recovery, but it was doable. His recovery and PT would take about six months, which means that he would be back early in the season the next year. One of the things the doctor was adamant that we understand was that sugary can perform near miracles, but surgeons aren't Gods.

He could make Jimmy's right knee functional again. In time, it would be strong enough that he might, with a lot of work, play again. However, the knee would never be as good as it was before. He would also always have pain in that knee.

It would probably be closer to a year and a half to two years before the knee was settled and fully functional enough that he didn't think about it every time he took a step.

What no one wanted to tell Jimmy was that his left knee would never be the same. The left knee was the site of the original impact, and it had been completely destroyed. The only possible option that would allow Jimmy to have anywhere close to a normal quality of life was a full knee replacement.

Jimmy, with a lot of PT would be able to walk again easily. In time, he would probably walk without a discernible limp. In fact, that fully replaced knee would actually heal faster than the ligament repair would. The problem was that Jimmy would never run again. His football career was over.

He took it calmly when they told him. I was so proud of him, but I felt his pain and wished that I could share it with him. I wished that it had been me and told him so.

The player on the other team was banned from college athletics. There was also talk of a criminal case against him. He was facing assault charges and a possible civil suit by the university and Jimmy's mom and dad.

The day after the game he was found beaten unconscious. Most of the players on our team were questioned and released. After a few days, warrants were issued for some of the members of his own team. He was due to be arrested on the assault charges upon his release from the hospital. Unfortunately, he disappeared before he was released.

Gretchen was there for Jimmy the whole time he was in the hospital. She and I were with him every step of the way as he tried to relearn to walk. One of the most painful things that we had to help him through was the mood swings and bouts of depression.

Jimmy had to rethink his entire life and future. Most of the things that he had hoped for and planned on were simply impossible now.

He glared at us and yelled at us and called us names. He ordered us out of his room, but we always came back the very next day as if nothing had happened.

Returning to school the following September was an enlightening experience. With his inability to play football, Jimmy's scholarship was gone. The University offered Jimmy a position as an associate trainer. The position would have paid his tuition, books, and room and board, just as his scholarship had. It was a really generous offer, and a sign that the school hadn't abandoned him.

Jimmy refused it of course, which meant that his parents had to foot the bill for his classes, books, and dorm fees. It was a foregone conclusion that I would quit the team since Jimmy couldn't play. In a way, it was a good thing. It gave me more time to study and made me eligible for an engineering internship.

Gretchen and I tried our best to help Jimmy with his classes. It was rough for him taking freshman level classes while in his fourth year in college. Even worse was the fact that he was still not doing well. His attendance was also spotty at best.

As it had been mentioned before, Jimmy and I had a bond. And within a few weeks, I felt a disturbance in the force. It took me a while to figure it out. I happened to watch Jimmy's reaction as one of the newer cheerleaders passed us as we walked home one day. Jimmy had his, "I fucked her," smile on his face. My heart went out to Gretchen, but I didn't say a word. I hoped that Jimmy would come to his senses and realize what a good thing he had going for him.

It was late October and halfway through a rough semester when Jimmy had his meltdown. After all of his midterm exams were in, it was clear that Jimmy was struggling in almost all of his classes. Gretchen and I helped with his homework, but we couldn't take the exams for him.

A couple of days later, I awoke to a huge argument with yelling and screaming between Jimmy and Gretchen. At the end of it, he kicked her out of our dorm and told her not to ever come back. They were done.

I got up to drive her home. "Where are you going," screamed Jimmy.

"Jimmy we can't let her walk. It's a cold night," I said. "And it's dark out there."

"I don't care," he said. "It's not your problem anyway. Dylan, don't go all Sarah on me. We have things to do."

Gretchen was in tears. I did my best to calm her down and soother her nerves. We stopped, and I bought her favorite coffee for her. "You know that he'll be back to normal, by tomorrow, right?" I said. "He's been through a lot."

"There are two of you," she said. "Both of you are equally good looking. Why did I have to fall in love with the fucked up one? And now when I need him the most he flakes out on me."

"He'll be fine. I'm sure of it," I said.

"Dylan, what did he mean by don't go all Sarah on me?" she asked. I didn't answer her.

As I drove back to our dorm, my intention was to have it out with Jimmy once and for all. It was time, past time actually to put my foot down. There was no way I could let Jimmy do to Gretchen, what he had done to Sarah.

I ran what I would say to him over and over in my mind on my way back. I used a lot of words like honor and gratitude. I wanted also to remind him that both sets of our parents taught us to be responsible and to treat others the way we wanted to be treated.

However, I was unprepared for what I would find when I walked into our dorm. Our suitcases and a lot of boxes were in the center of the living room. "Start packing, we're outta here as soon as the sun comes up," said Jimmy. "There's too much shit going on here. We need a break."

That started the argument. For the first time throughout our lives, a disagreement nearly came to blows. We finally went to sleep, vowing to continue the discussion the next morning.

I awoke the next morning to the sound of our beater driving away and a sense of emptiness that I had never felt before. I knew that Jimmy was gone. For a long time, I just sat in the dorm, not knowing what to do and unable to process being alone.

The ringing phone snapped me out of it.

"Hi Dylan. Has he calmed down," asked Gretchen?

"Uhm, things are a bit different than they were last time we spoke," I said.

"Well, that's a good thing," she said. "I woke up feeling really weird. I think I should go to the doctor."

"I'll be right over," I said. I borrowed a car from one of my former team mates and drove to Gretchen's dorm.

"Dylan, why are you here," she asked. "Where's Jimmy?"

"Gretchen, Jimmy's gone. I don't know if he's coming back or not," I said. "But I'll stand-in for him until he gets back. You're always saying we're just alike so..."

She picked that moment to run out of the room to vomit into her toilet. I followed her into the bathroom and gathered up all of that beautiful red hair to make sure she didn't vomit all over it.

"Flu huh?" I said. "Are you sure you'd rather go to the doctor instead of just letting me take care of you?"

She turned and looked at me and smiled again. "I sure can pick em," she said. "Two guys and I had to pick the worthless one." She stroked my hair.

"Honest, Gretchen, I've taken care of people with the flu lots of times," I said. "I can handle it."

"Dylan, I don't have the flu," she said. "I'm pregnant. And something doesn't feel right. That's why I need to get to the doctor."

I drove her to the campus clinic. We were referred to a specialist in female medicine, who referred us to the local hospital. We had both spent a lot of time there during Jimmy's injury.

They were very concerned with her symptoms and ordered several tests, including an ultrasound. They gave her a prescription for prenatal vitamins and told her to get as much rest as she could. I took her back to her dorm and helped her gather some of her clothes and then put her in Jimmy's room. I figured that when he got back, they'd be together to talk. However, until then, I was going to take care of her.

I think the hardest thing for me to do was telling our parents what had happened. I guess I took the easy way out in that. I just told them that Jimmy had gone off somewhere, and I had no idea where he had gone and how long he would be gone. I told them that he had become very depressed again once we'd gotten back to school. I guess I lead them to believe that it was still the loss of his football career that was driving him.

Both sets of our parents were very understanding. Both sets of our parents asked me about how my classes were going and told me to keep them informed of what was going on and when he came back. They also both promised to let me know of he came home instead of coming back to school. They both also told me that they knew that staying in school would be hard for me, but I had to stay.

The one good thing that came out of it was that both sets of parents realized that with Jimmy taking our car, I had no transportation, so both sets immediately wired money into my account, so I could buy another car. I ended up buying a used Mustang and was extremely happy with it.

Every morning, I woke up early and made breakfast for Gretchen. I drove her to her classes and went to mine. Even though she hadn't begun to show yet, I treated her like a glass princess. Every day both of us expected Jimmy to show up.

And everything between us was above board. I never tried to make any type of move on her. I did massage her feet every evening and her tummy too. I made sure she took her vitamins and ate healthy foods. I told her that I was only doing what Jimmy would have done if he'd been there.

In my mind, everything was fine. I think that I was taking lemons and making lemonade. I was a real glass is half full type of guy. I saw only good outcomes on everything. The way I saw it, Jimmy could come back any day, and I would be glad to have him back. His loss in my life was the hardest thing I'd ever had to bear.

On the other hand, the longer he was away, the more time I got to spend with Gretchen, and I was crazy about her. It was Sarah all over again. If Jimmy never came back, I would have been glad to spend the rest of my life with her. However, that bond of ours told me that Jimmy would be back.

There were a few things working against us. One was that Gretchen, like Sarah was a very popular girl. She had a lot of friends on campus. And those friends often came by to talk to her. Some of them were telling her things that I didn't want her to know.

I tried to steer her clear of anyone who had bad things to say about Jimmy, and I was partially successful in that regard, but she still started to question him. Some of those same people that I was trying to keep her away from had nothing but good things to say about me. "Gretchen, don't worry," they said. "He's gone and you ended up with the good one anyway."

As much as I wanted her, I didn't want her at Jimmy's expense. And I truly believed that the best thing for their child would be for him or her to be raised by both parents. I could be a doting, and dedicated uncle, perhaps even Godfather. But the best possible scenario would be for Jimmy to come back. Even though that would leave me broken hearted again. I figured that I had gotten over Sarah over time, I could get over Gretchen as well.

Things were going extremely well for us. We grew closer daily. Greta, as I called Gretchen for short was asking less, and less about Jimmy, and more about me. When we watch movies together, she had us sharing a blanket, and she put her legs across mine. Displays of affection like that did not escape the notice of her friends. I even heard her telling one of her friends that she really didn't care if Jimmy never came back.

But then trains always seem to be running fine just before they go off the rails. And so it was with our crash. It was a Saturday morning. It was about four a.m. We had fallen asleep upon the sofa together, while watching one of Gretchen's favorite movies.

I'm kind of a restless sleeper, and it was that fact that actually made things fare better than they could have been. During the night, as usual when we watched movies together, Gretchen had spread herself all over me. It was as if she was trying to lay claim to every square inch of me, but I didn't mind it at all.

I felt moisture, and it awakened me. I got up thinking that perhaps she'd had an accident while asleep. One of the things the doctor told us might be a possibility with some women was a loss of bladder control. I figured I'd clean it up and let her sleep. However, when I turned on the lights, I discovered that it was blood, not urine. I didn't bother to dress. Or even grab a coat. I still had on the sweats that I wore around the house. I just panicked and ran for the car.

During the drive, I did get Gretchen awake for a short time and realized that it was the dumbest possible thing that I could have done. As soon as she awoke, she screamed from the pain she was going through. While carrying her in the emergency entrance, I cut my feet several times on small pieces of leftover rock salt that had been put down to melt the ice from the most recent snowfall.

I actually carried her up to the desk and started half screaming, half crying to get someone to take care of her immediately. Luckily, we were at that hospital frequently and several of the nurses on duty there remembered us both from Gretchen's visits and from our time there with Jimmy.

After a couple of tense hours of me pacing on my cut-up feet, an extremely sorry doctor came out to tell me that Gretchen was stable. She was asleep, but she had lost our baby. I tried to explain to her that I wasn't the father but decided not to bother. It no longer mattered.

She led me up to Gretchen's room and told me I should stay around a while and talk to her and hold her hand. She told me that even while asleep Gretchen would know that I was there, and it would give her strength. She also told me that Gretchen had asked for me while she was losing consciousness from the med's they gave her to put her under.

It was stupid, but I had to know. "What's my name," I asked. "She asked for Jimmy, right?" The doctor looked at me crazily.

"I have no idea who Jimmy is," she said. "Is it your nickname? She called you Dylan." I was the happiest man on earth. I sat there next to her bed holding her hand, without a care in the world. I knew that she would need time to recover, and I was ready to be there for her. Whatever she needed; I would move heaven and earth to get for her. Finally at about two in the afternoon, one of the student nurses that had just come on duty to relieve the early-morning shift came into the room.

Her name was Patti, and she was both a friend and a classmate of Gretchen's.

"Dylan, have you been in here, holding her hand the whole time?" she asked.

I just nodded through my sleepy eyes.

"Dylan, she probably won't wake up for at least another two hours. Why don't you go home and get some clothes and some shoes? And let me take care of those cuts on your feet first," she said. "I swear; I'll call you if she wakes up before you get back."

I nodded, but Gretchen was holding onto my hand in her sleep. "That is so cute," gushed Patti. She brought a tub of some sort with warm water in it and a pack off those alcohol wipes. She had also gone to the hospital's store of clothing and brought me back a pair of shoes that were a size or two too big. I dipped my feet in the warm water and tried not to yell when the rock salt caused them to burn.

After prying my hands loose from Gretchen's I quickly drove back to my dorm, showered, put on fresh clothes and even grabbed a quick snack and my backpack with all of my books in it.

I was feeling refreshed and better when I walked back into the hospital. I still had my buzz on from hearing that Gretchen had asked for me, not Jimmy when it happened.

I had waved at the nurse on duty and opened Gretchen's door when a short, fat man came running out of the room and launched himself at me. He punched me in the chest and called me a son of a bitch. He had been trying to hit me in the face, apparently. However, the fact that I was moving and much taller than him had thrown his aim off.

I reacted instantly. I had been hit much harder, and actually punched harder while on the football field. So his blow rolled off of my chest and I just bull rushed him, like I was throwing a block on the football field. Tight ends have to block for running backs pretty often, so I was good at it.

Even though he outweighed me, I slammed him into a wall and took all of the fight out of him. I was standing over him, looking down at him, when the security guards separated us. He was still fuming and trying to get to me when they led us both away.

After speaking to the nurses on duty and the witnesses in the area the security guards let me go. They had explained to me only that the crazy man was Gretchen's father. They told me that her family had flown in order to be with her, and that they had arrived while I was at home changing clothes.

I was headed for the parking lot when I heard a voice behind me.

"Hey! Dylan! Where are you going?" He yelled. I turned and found the same crazy man running up behind me.

'Oh, shit, ' I thought. ' we go again.'

"Dylan, I need to talk to you. And Gret's asking for you," he said. "Sorry about what happened back there. You are one helluva kid." He just shook his head.

"You know; I thought you were the other one," he said. "You two are a lot alike. I only met him once, it was after one of your games, and he still had his helmet on. You have to understand. Shit, if some guy had gotten your daughter pregnant and ran off on her like a fuckin' coward, you'd be pretty pissed off too, right?" I just nodded.

"Well, the nurses and Gret told us most of it," he said. "Come on in. She wants to see you."

He led me into the room, where I found Gretchen propped up on pillows in her bed. She shook her head as soon as she saw me. "My knight in shining armor," she said. "Do you even realize what you did?"

"Uhm, hey, Hotstuff," said a voice from a chair near the window. "There are other people in the room."

I turned and looked, to find two other women, sitting on chairs beside the window. One of them was an older version of Gretchen. She was a little thicker, with bigger breasts and wider hips from age and child-birth. But when you factored all of that in she was easily just as beautiful as Gretchen. I realized that I was looking at what Gretchen would look like in twenty or so years, and I was on board with it.

The one who spoke was just slightly younger than Gretchen. She had those same luminous eyes and facial features, but her hair, while just as long, was straight instead of curly and blond instead of Gretchen's fiery red.

"You looked really funny in that security video," she said. "You ran in here, carrying her, covered in blood, with no shoes on in the middle of friggin' winter. You look like a serial killer who had changed his mind."

"Dill, other than the video they showed us, I have no idea what happened or how I got here," said Gretchen. "I remember we were watching the Princess Bride and then nothing."

Her mother, father, and sister were all smiling. Obviously, they knew something I didn't. I later found out that the Princess Bride was Gretchen's favorite movie to re-watch when she was happy. She favored darker movies when she wasn't.

"How'd you fall asleep during your movie," asked her mom.

Gretchen pointed at me. "Whenever he gives me those foot massages, I just drift off. The next thing I remember, I was in the hospital, and I had lost my baby." Her voice sounded sad, but resigned.

"Gret, I'm sorry that happened," said her mother. "But from what the doctors have told us, your pregnancy was problematic from the beginning. They've assured us that you two will be able to have healthy children in the future, when your lives are more stable, okay?"

"But Mom, Dylan and I aren't like that," said Gretchen. "We've never had sex. We've never even kissed." It seemed like her father was about to say something when the door opened, and a nurse came in to check Gretchen's vitals and do some other things. She asked us to step out of the room while she did it and told us we could come back in about ten minutes.

Gretchen's dad immediately cornered me. "When are you going to tell her," he asked.

"Tell who what?" I asked. I looked into his wife's twinkling eyes. Her knowing smile warmed my heart.

"When Bernie and I were younger; it took him years to tell me how he felt about me. I don't think he'd have ever said a word if the biggest douche bag in our town hadn't asked me out. I was going to say yes, just to make him get off of his ass, but he got so jealous that he stormed away from me, and I confronted him and made me tell me," said Gretchen's mom.

"Gret, did the whole thing backwards," said her dad. "She started up dating the douche bag. So you have to rescue her. Well, ya already did. Now you have to follow up."

"What are you talking about?" I asked. "We're..."

He just started laughing.

"Dylan, you aren't fooling anyone," he said. "As soon as you walked into that room the rest of us ceased to exist. And even I have to admit, seeing you in that video running into the hospital with no shoes on, covered in blood was incredible. You left your car running and the doors wide open. That is exactly what a father wants to see from a guy with his little girl. Nothing in the world matters more to you than her."

"And maybe you think that she doesn't feel that way about you," said his wife. "But that nurse Patti told me that Gret didn't ask for Jimmy when she was being put to sleep. She said "Dylan." And she told me that she had to pry her fingers loose from your hand so you could go home and change. Just give her some time. My daughter is no dummy. She knows what's good for her."

"No she doesn't," said Gretchen's sister. "Gret has always had a thing for bad boys."

"Yeah and look where it got her," said her father.

They stayed for about a week. Gretchen decided that she wanted to stay at school instead of going home. It was her senior year too, and she wanted her degree.

While she was in the hospital, I went to her teachers every day and got her assignments and the handouts they have for her classes. She e-mailed them with questions about things she didn't understand, and they answered her the same way.

Before they returned home, her mother and father exchanged phone numbers with me and made me promise to stay in touch. Her father especially wanted to be notified the second that Jimmy showed up, if ever.

If our lives had been a movie, Greta and I would have looked at each other, declared our love, and lived happily ever after. However, real life isn't like a movie. Things don't always work out.

Gretchen spent over a month in a very severe depression, she had to go into counseling. There were days when she never said a word to me at all. I cooked for her, took her everywhere she wanted to go, and kept the dorm clean. It was painful for me for us to be so close together and yet so far apart.

Her parents visited us a few times, and even they were baffled. Her therapist finally explained things to them and to me. Gretchen was emotionally and physically dependent on me. She needed to have me in her life to take care of her. But at the same time, she hated me because I reminded her so much of Jimmy. On another level, she resented me because even though I reminded her of Jimmy, I wasn't him and a part of her wanted him back. To that part of her mind, it should have been Jimmy doing all of the things for her that I did, but it wasn't; it was only me.

Her sister told me that I should get out. "My sister isn't the only woman on the planet," she said. "She's just the only woman in your heart. Maybe you should give someone else a chance."

"Abby are you trying to steal your own sister's boyfriend," asked her mom.

"Mom, she treats him like a thing," said Abby. "He deserves better."

In the end, it wasn't the therapist, time, or anything I did that brought her out of it. It was her friends, mostly. Several of them came to visit her or ran into her during the months after she got out of the hospital.

They told her about Jimmy. Greta had never known how Jimmy really felt about her, or that he had been cheating on her since they first started. A couple of women who were dating guys on the team even explained to her why he had begun dating her. Someone even told her to ask me about Sarah.

So one Friday evening on our way home from our last class. Gretchen asked me if I had any plans for that evening. She had never asked me anything like that before, and I got really nervous.

"We should stop off on our way and pick up some food," she said. "We need to talk and I think it's going to be a long one."

I was sure it was going to be the end of us. Greta arranged the two big chairs in the living room, so they were facing each other instead of the TV.

"Tell me everything," she said. "Don't leave anything out. Don't try to save my feelings. Tell me your entire God Damned life story. And I already know more than you think so don't lie to me."

So that was what I did, pretty much.

"So you and Jimmy lied to me about Sarah," she said.

"Not exactly," I said. "We told you the truth. We just told it in a way that didn't paint Jimmy in a bad light."

"Don't you ever fucking lie to me again," she said. "If we're going to be together, you have to put me first. Even over Jimmy." I nodded, but I'm not sure I felt it.

"So Sarah was Jimmy's girlfriend, but he made her have sex with you because HE decided that it was time for you to lose your virginity?" she asked. "What an asshole!"

"And you loved her didn't you?" I nodded.

"So why didn't you tell her how you felt?" she asked.

"I think she knew at the end," I said. "But she knew that I would never go against Jimmy over a girl, and she WAS Jimmy's girl."

"So you figured that she was better off with a guy who cheated on her and didn't really give a half a damn about her than she was with a guy who loved her?" she asked. I shrugged my shoulders.

"So, what about me?" she asked. "Why were you avoiding me when Jimmy and I first met?"

"Because I couldn't go through it again," I said, on the verge of tears. "I just figured that if I didn't know you ... If you hadn't become a person to me. It wouldn't be as painful."

"Why would it be painful for you?" she asked and she was smiling.

"How, did Jimmy really feel about me?" she asked before I could answer.

"He ... He lov..." I stuttered. Her eyebrow arched, and her eyes narrowed.

"He's just out of it from..." I began again.

"He didn't give a half a damn about me," she spat. "I spoke to some of the guys who used to play football with you two," she said.

"My tits were too small, I don't have a Kardashian booty, and he hated my freckles. He was going to dump me the second he signed his contract. He wasn't depressed. I told him that I was pregnant, and he ran out on me, the very next day. He was too much of a coward even to stay long enough to find out if I wanted to have the baby," she hissed. "I thought I told you not to fucking lie to me. I told you that you had to make a choice, Dylan and I meant it."

Her tone and her expression softened, then. "But you already made your choice; a long time ago didn't you?" she asked. "I felt something the first time we met. Dylan, you loved me from the first second you set eyes on me didn't you?"

"I ... Uhm ... I ... Jimmy just nee..." I stuttered.

She brought her face very close to mine. From the second our eyes locked, I was frozen in place. "Dylan are my tits too small?" she asked. I shook my head.

"Dylan, say it," she gushed. "My mother already told me, my father told me. Most of my friends told me. Shit even my sister told me. But I need to hear it from you, too. So say it."

"I love you Greta," I said. "I love you more than air. There is nothing I wouldn't do for you. I love everything about you, all five and a half feet of you, from that beautiful red hair to your tiny little feet. I love your freckles and the way your nose crinkles up when you smile. Your boobs are perfect. Your butt is perfect. Everything about you is perfect to me and..."

Her mouth planted itself on mine, and it was the sweetest nicest most passionate kiss I had ever felt.

"Dylan, I'm no longer Jimmy's girl," she said. "Never call me that anymore. From now on, there is no Jimmy. I'm yours. Jimmy has nothing to do with us." We spent a lot of time on the sofa that evening. We cuddled, and we kissed a lot. But that was it. It was a few days later that we finally made love, and it was spectacular for both of us.

It was also ironic that both of us had only been with one other person. Jimmy had been her first and Sarah, mine. However, that was when the fairy tale finally started. Gretchen's roommate got a new roommate and Gretchen, and I lived together in my dorm. The building was Co-ed so the arrangement really wasn't that unusual. The school's administrators understood everything about Greta's miscarriage and how instrumental I had been in her recovery. Besides that, there really wasn't much time left in the semester anyway. So nothing was said about our living arrangements.

After graduation, I was hired by the company I did my internship with. And Greta with her degree in hospital administration was hired to do medical billing in the same hospital she was treated at. We got married only two months after we graduated. It only took that long because we had to wait for Greta, her mom, my mom, and her sister to plan out the wedding. A big surprise was that Jimmy's mom helped out as well. Greta took a while warming up to Jimmy's parents, but they are great people who have always loved me. They loved Greta too.

We bought a small starter home, and both sets of parents visited us frequently. It just seemed to me that every morning I woke up and Greta was more beautiful. Our lives couldn't have been better.

Our work schedules were similar, and we always took our vacation time together. There were a lot of places we wanted to go. We usually split our vacation time between visiting one family or another and traveling. Our plan was to spend a few years building our finances before we bought a bigger house and started having kids.

I hadn't wanted to mention it. I was happy just having Greta. It was she who brought it up. Even after almost five years together, I didn't mention it. I didn't want to bring up bad memories.

I was, bringing her breakfast in bed one Saturday morning, when she brought it up. "Dill, I'm twenty six," she said.

"I know that, silly," I said. "But you're the one who asks for sprinkles on her pancakes."

"And you give them to me, right?" she smiled.

"Of course," I said. "I try to give you everything you want. Your father would kill me if I didn't."

"My father is sure that the sun shines out of your ass, Dylan," she said. "But what if I wanted you to forget about the sprinkles and do something else?"

"All you have to do is ask," I said.

"Okay, look in my top dresser drawer," she began. I crossed the room and opened it. "Take my birth control pills out of the drawer," she said. I picked up the flat packet and prepared to open it for her.

"Don't open it," she said. "Just throw them away."

I looked at her in surprise. "Are you sure?" I asked. She just nodded.

"I'm doing it for you," she said. "I don't want you to be married to an old woman by the time our kids graduate from high school. Besides think about how much bigger my tits will be after you knock me up two or three times. Don't think I haven't seen you checking out my mom's butt and her rack. I'm gonna give you something to play with to keep you from leaving me for her."

"I'd never leave you for anyone," I said.

"I'll bet you think you're telling me something I don't know," she said pulling me down for a kiss. "It'll take a month or so for the pills to work themselves out of my system," she told me. "But we may as well start practicing now."

I was the happiest man on the planet for the next three days. It was a fucking Tuesday that all of the air began leaking from my fantasy.

We had been fucking like bunnies every night, and as I drove my brand new, blacked out Mustang GT down the streets of our subdivision, it hit me. The feeling was so strong it almost hurt.

Gret looked angry when I walked into the house. She didn't leap into my lap and smother me with kisses the way she usually did. As she tried to figure out how to tell me, I blurted it out.

"Jimmy is back, right?" I said. She just nodded. "He called today just after I got home from work. He wants to come by and see us. I know that you want to see him. But I think you should call him and take him out to a bar or something. I don't ever want to set eyes on that bastard."

I just nodded. I called his parents to tell them what had happened. For some reason, he hadn't called them. I also called Gret's dad Bernie as I had promised.

"Kick his fuckin' ass in," he told me. "Don't even bother. Tell the bastard to have a nice day and then change all of your phone numbers."

As usual, I did what Gretchen wanted. I called Jimmy, and we met at a bar. The five years that we had been apart meant nothing. As soon as we saw each other our bond was back.

During the time apart, I don't think I changed much. I still run every day, so my weight hadn't varied by more than a few pounds. However, Jimmy looked a lot different. His clothes were shabby and had an odor to them. He had a full beard and had put on a lot of weight.

He also walked with a decided limp. "The leg with the prosthetic has aged differently than the repaired one," he said.

"Bullshit," I told him. "You're just out of shape. Lose some of that gut and you'll be dancing in no time."

We hugged and had a few rounds of beers and talked about everything under the sun except for the elephant in the room.

"Did you keep track of Gretchen after I left?" he asked finally. I realized that the message on our voicemail was the phone company's generic message. It didn't mention our names. He had no idea that we were together.

"Kind of," I said. His eyes flashed to mine. With our bond, he knew everything within seconds of looking at me.

"Holy shit," he laughed. "Just like the other one. What was her name? Sarah?"

He kept laughing. "What a softie," he said. "Did you take care of her until after she had my kid, or just until her family found out?" He laughed again.

"What did I have anyway?" he asked.

"Nothing," I said. "She lost the baby early in the pregnancy."

"Oh that's good," he said. "So there's no one coming after me for child support."

"So when was the last time you saw her?" he asked.

"About an hour ago. When I left the house," I said. "I married her." He really started laughing after that. I just stared at him. I suddenly realized that I didn't like Jimmy. Our time apart had changed us. I was an adult suddenly. I had opinions of my own, and I was no longer likely to go along with anything he wanted.

"Why the hell would you tie yourself down to one woman," he laughed. "Especially one woman with no tits."

"So are you ready yet," he asked.

"Ready for what," I asked.

"Our plan," he said. "Remember we were going to have our own business? We were going to modify cars. You were going to handle the engineering part, and I'd handle the business?" He smiled at me.

"Please don't tell me that you got so involved with my sloppy seconds that you didn't get your degree?" he asked.

"Of course, course I got my degree," I said.

"Well did you already start our business," he asked.

"No, Jimmy," I said. "I have a great job with a major automotive manufacturer."

"So in other words you didn't have the balls to go it alone, without me?" he asked. "Please tell me that you at least started saving some money?"

"Well yeah," I said. "But Greta and I..." He held his hand up for me to stop.

"Don't start telling me about what some woman wants," he quipped. "This isn't about pussy. This is about our lives and what we've always wanted."

For the rest of the night, I just listened to him and thought about what a loser he was. At about ten o' clock I just told him that I would pay the check, and then I had to get out of there.

"Well I was hoping to crash at your place," he said. "The place I'm at right now won't be available for much longer."

"Let me run it by Gretchen and see what she says," I told him.

"Why?" he asked. "I can get her to do anything I want. Shit, I had her convinced to do a threesome with the two of us. But you were acting so squirrelly about her at first. I really thought that you hated her. Does she still have all of that fucked up red hair? And those hideous freckles? If you're making decent money, I hope you got her a boob job."

"Gretchen is perfect, just the way she is," I said. "I love her Jimmy. There isn't a prettier woman on the planet." We were starting to get louder, and I was seriously thinking about busting Jimmy in his face, but he calmed down.

"Look dude, you're my brother," he said. "So if you're happy being married to some CHUD, it's fine by me. But don't expect me to want to look at her. And when I start bringing some prime pussy around, you're gonna be sorry. Go home and ... Hey when you can't sleep do ya try to count those freckles?"

"I'll give you a call," I said. Knowing that I had no intention of doing so. I left then. What I didn't know at the time was that Jimmy had as usual already made plans. And he knew far more about my life than I had expected.

Another thing that I didn't know was that someone sitting near us had not only heard us but had realized who we were.

I got home to find Gretchen waiting for me. When I told her about Jimmy wanting to crash with us, she looked at me as if I was crazy and said, "Hell no!"

We went to sleep after a particularly intense session of sex. I was sure that Gretchen was trying to make sure that I was on her side and not Jimmy's.

After a few promotions at work, I was making very good money. So good, in fact, that Gretchen had cut back on her hours. She had the next day off and told me that she was going to make all of my favorites for dinner.

"My favorite is what you gave me last night," I said.

"Burgers and fries," she asked.

"No, what you gave me when I came home from the bar," I smirked. "I want that every night."

"Okay," she said. She lifted her night gown and rubbed her own panty covered vagina. "It'll be hot and waiting for you as soon as you hit the door."

Even after being together for five years, I was still crazy about Gretchen. I thought I was the luckiest man on earth. So all day at work, all I could think about was Gretchen on her back, with all of that red hair spread out behind her like an angel's wings and me thrusting into the treasure between her legs. I got home as quickly as my Mustang would carry me. I opened the door to find Gretchen in the kitchen cooking something and Jimmy lying on my sofa watching TV.

"Hey bro," he said when I came in. "Surprise. I told you she would let me stay."

Maybe it was our bond. Maybe it was the fact that Gretchen hadn't said a word and couldn't meet my gaze. Maybe it was the little smirk on Jimmy's face, but I knew that he had fucked her. And from the way he was acting, getting her to break our marriage vows hadn't been much of a challenge.

"Get the fuck out of my house," I said sharply.

"What?" he asked. "She said I could stay."

"Forget it," I said.

I went past him up the stairs. "Dylan ... I..." began Gretchen.

My gaze withered her. She stopped talking and realized then now badly I was hurt and how badly she had fucked up. "But he said..." she began again. By that time, I was already at the top of the stairs.

"Give him some time, he'll be fine," said Jimmy.

I packed as many clothes as I could into a couple of suitcases. I grabbed my laptop and my iPad and headed back down the stairs.

"Dill, I need to borrow the car so ... Where are you going," he asked.

"Away from the two of you," I said. "Don't call me. I'll have someone call you when I'm ready to pick up more of my things."

"Dude we need to talk. This was just a misunderstanding," he said. "Since when don't we share everything? Remember Sarah?" he said. I dropped my suitcases and turned to him.

"Yeah, I do," I said. I stepped over to him and punched him in the mouth as hard as I could. Then I picked up my suitcases and with Gretchen screaming behind me, I left.

I checked into one of the nicer motels near the airport and the plant, I was working out of. My phone began ringing almost immediately. I didn't answer any calls from Gretchen's cell phone or the house phone.

Just after ten, I was watching TV when my phone rang again. I looked at the screen and answered it.

"What the fuck is going on," screamed Bernie. "I called to find out how badly you kicked that bastard's ass, and he answered the phone at your house. Then I get my daughter, who I trusted to your care crying hysterically because you left over some misunderstanding."

"No Bernie, she's the one who misunderstood things," I said. "She misunderstood that when we got married, she was supposed to stop fucking other guys."

"She didn't," he said.

"After five years of marriage, she still fucked him as soon as she saw him," I said. "Just a few days ago we were talking about giving you guys some grand kids and now I'm trying to find a lawyer."

"You don't need a lawyer to get rid of him," he said. "Just go home, kick his ass, and throw him out."

"I need the lawyer for the divorce," I said. "I loved her from the first time I ever saw her, but I guess she just settled for me when Jimmy..."

"When Jimmy got her pregnant and ran out on her," he spat. "I'm taking the first plane there tomorrow morning." Then he hung up.

The next morning at work, my secretary told me to call Gretchen as soon as I walked into my office. I told her not to take any calls from Gretchen, and if she took them not to tell me about them.

My boss, the director of engineering, had offered me a transfer to Florida recently. I had turned it down, because it was too far away from Michigan, where I grew up and went to school. It was also far away from Chicago and Gretchen's family.

As soon as he came in I asked him if the transfer was still available. He was going to be working in that plant himself and wanted to take some familiar faces with him. He told me that once I signed the papers, I couldn't change my mind. I pulled out a pen and signed them on the spot.

He told me the company would give me a relocation allowance and another sign on bonus. I had to be ready to go in a little over two weeks. I took the rest of the day off to find a lawyer.

As I headed for my car in the parking lot, I noticed both Gretchen and Jimmy standing by it. I got a couple of our security guys to make them leave the lot, so I could get out.

While I was sitting in the lawyer's outer office, waiting for my appointment, Bernie called me. He wanted to meet me, so we could talk. I told him I would call him as soon as I left the lawyer's office.

The appointment took longer than I thought. The lawyer was a woman, and she wanted to know all of the details about the case and our history. She told me that since I had no proof of infidelity other than my feelings, I should just go for a no-fault divorce.

I wouldn't need a reason or any proof. Since we had only been married for a few years, we could split everything down the middle and walk away. I could keep my car and my pension; she could keep hers. I might have to pay her a small amount of support until she could get on her feet again, but maybe not. We would have to sell the house and split whatever we got from our equity in it.

She told me that she'd be ready to have the papers served the following day. I went to the bank and withdrew some cash to tide me over. I also went to HR at work and switched the direct deposit of my next few checks into a new account that I set up.

Getting the cash was important because even though I wasn't going to stop working, all of our accounts were probably about to be frozen. The new account in my name only, wouldn't be frozen with the joint finances.

Later that evening, I met Bernie at the same bar, I'd spoken to Jimmy at, two nights before.

"Dylan, you have to talk to her," he said. "She's distraught."

"Yeah, I'll bet," I said.

"She said it was all a mistake, and that he tricked her," he said.

"How," I asked. "Did he pull a rabbit out of his ass? And it somehow made her fall into bed with him. We were married Bernie. She was the one who made me promise that if it came to it, I would pick her over him."

"Can you just listen to her?" he asked. "She's going to call you at 10. Take the call."

I went back to my motel. At 10 sharp, my phone rang.

"What," I said angrily?

"Dill, when are you coming home," she asked.

"Whenever you aren't there," I said. She started crying.

"It was a mistake," she said.

"No, Gret," I said. "It was balance. I never would have met anyone as special as you without Jimmy. You were his girl from the beginning. We only happened because he left. Now he's back to get you. I'll be out of your hair soon anyway."

"Dylan you don't get any of this," she said. "What do you mean you'll be out of my hair?"

"I've accepted a transfer to a plant in a different state," I said. "As soon as the divorce papers are signed and filed, I'm gone."

I heard the phone clatter to the floor and Gretchen crying in the background. I chose that moment to hang up. The sound of her crying always hurt me.


"What did he say," asked Jimmy. "Let me guess. He wants to talk, right? I told you he'd come around.

"No," I told him. "He doesn't want to talk, Jimmy." I started crying then. I wondered how I had gotten myself into this mess. From the very first moment, I had seen Jimmy, years ago in college; I had fallen for him. I knew that he was not the kind of person I should be with, but there was just something about him.

I could remember how exciting it was being around him. Just his physical strength alone was enough to make him dangerous. And there was something else about him. He seemed to intimidate people around him, just by his dominant personality. That was exciting too.

But the thing I liked about him the most was something strange. For most of my life, men have always found me pretty. I'd gotten used to guys going gaga over me or doing stupid things to impress me. But Jimmy acted as if I was nothing special.

From the very beginning, it was me jumping through hoops to try to gain HIS favor, not the other way around.

Before I knew what was going on, we were in a relationship. And I liked it. Both Jimmy and his brother Dylan were going into the NFL. They were going to be rich and famous. And I was going along for the ride.

The one fly in the ointment was the fact that Dylan hated me, or so I thought. This was a big problem because almost every word out of Jimmy's mouth was either about football or Dylan. I knew that if Dylan, really didn't like me, I was history.

The funny thing about it was that when I told most of my friends about it, they laughed at me. They told me I had everything backwards. Dylan is a really good guy, they told me. They also hoped that Jimmy would change his spots for me, but he had a history of cheating on every woman he'd been with.

I was sure that I could change him. I was willing to try anything. Jimmy even told me that I might have to do a threesome with him and Dylan. It wasn't something I wanted, but I was willing to do it for him.

It never happened. The strangest thing to me was the fact that soon after Jimmy, and I got together our sex life waned. The first few weeks he wanted me every time we went out, and he got me. But after that it was as if he'd gotten bored with me.

After Jimmy's injury, things got weird. It was as if I was a member of his family. Even Dylan who'd gone to extreme lengths to avoid me came around. I began to realize that my friends were right about Dylan. He was a really nice guy. The problem was that I just wasn't really into nice guys.

Jimmy and I made plans for what we would do after he recovered from his injuries. We figured that he would have to wait a year to go into the NFL. It would take at least that long for his injuries to heal.

Then we found out that Jimmy would never play football again. Everything changed overnight. What amazed me the most was Dylan. Dylan took charge. Where Jimmy had always been the decisive one, Dylan switched roles with him.

In a move that was the greatest act of loyalty, I have ever seen, Dylan announced to their parents that he and Jimmy were going back to their first plan. They were giving up football and in a few years after they graduated, they would open their own business. Dylan simply walked away from football because Jimmy couldn't play anymore. He never looked back.

They figured out that there was no way that Jimmy was going to graduate. While Dylan had been majoring in Engineering, Jimmy had majored in football. He had almost no credits to show for almost four years of college. The plan was that Dylan, and I would help Jimmy with his school work.

It was a good time for Jimmy and me also. Our sex life picked up, and we made all kinds of plans for our life together.

I was so excited when I found out that I was pregnant. I rushed right over to his dorm to tell him. We got into the biggest argument ever. He claimed that the baby wasn't his, and that I had trapped him. He broke up with me and told me to get out of their dorm. He even got angry at Dylan for getting out of bed to drive me back to my dorm.

Dylan kept telling me that Jimmy would calm down and be fine the next day, and I believed him. After that night though I never saw Jimmy again until two days ago when he showed up at our house.

I guess over the years I told myself that I loved Dylan. And in a way I did. Dylan was a wonderful husband, and he loved me so much I could feel his love like little waves of warmth and protectiveness.

However, Jimmy was so exciting. He made me feel like I was on a great adventure. Dylan asked me what I wanted to do, and we did it. Jimmy told me what to do, and I did it. He was the one in control. I think it was comforting. It was almost like being a child again.

And there were other differences between them. Dylan seemed to have everything going for him. He had a job and a career, and he had pretty much mapped out our future. There were no surprises left. With Jimmy, the future was an open book. I had no idea what lay around the next corner, let alone years down the road.

Dylan always seemed to get lost in my eyes. He'd start out trying to tell me something, and I could smile at him, and he would lose his train of thought. I don't think Jimmy could tell you what color my eyes were, but he could talk me into doing anything he wanted.

That was how we got to where we are right now. I had the feeling that I had made a huge mistake, but I was stuck with it. Jimmy, hadn't started out trying to run our marriage. Jimmy hadn't even come back for me. He'd come back for Dylan.

For the last few years, his life had been hell. He had bounced from one woman to the next with almost nothing to call his own. He was completely dependent upon the woman he was living with for everything, and he was ready to build something. The thing he kept remembering more than anything else was their plan to start their own business.

That was something that Jimmy could do. With Dylan's engineering skills and Jimmy's people skills, they would be successful. They could make it work. But more than anything else, Jimmy missed Dylan.

Growing up they shared everything equally. I knew that was true. When I first met them, they were sharing a car and most of the things in their dorm seemed to belong to both of them. They never fought over anything, and I just couldn't understand that. Jimmy explained it to me.

He was flat out frank about it. He had no reason to lie. To the two of them and everyone who knew them, they were brothers. They were as close as any twins could be and closer than most. Growing up nothing came between them. They didn't argue because there was nothing as important to them than each other. Anything that tried to come between them was simply discarded.

Jimmy gave me two examples that hit home with me. The first was football. I knew about that. No one around us had even batted an eyelash about the fact that Dylan had simply walked away from the NFL and all of that money when Jimmy couldn't play anymore.

The second example was even worse. It was Sarah. I had heard Dylan's version of the Sarah story, but Jimmy filled in all of the things that Dylan hadn't shared. He also explained to me why Dylan hadn't told me the truth. The truth would have made Jimmy look bad. And I knew from personal experience that Dylan would never do or say anything that cast a bad light on Jimmy. There was that loyalty again.

Anyway, Dylan and Jimmy, away from home for the first time had settled in and got accustomed to the environment. Dylan had quickly gotten used to his classes and set up a study schedule. Jimmy had started out making friends and meeting people.

By the second week of school, Dylan was going around making sure Jimmy knew where his classes were and making sure he had books, and Jimmy was introducing him to people.

Three months later, Jimmy had met and claimed Sarah and had started having sex with her. He'd kind of used Sarah as a device to practice and develop his sexual skills and had grown bored with her. Sarah taught Jimmy a lot, not about sex, because she, like he had been a virgin when they met. But she taught him what he liked about women and what he didn't like. She taught him that no single woman would ever be enough for Jimmy.

Jimmy preferred slim but curvy women on his arm, but more voluptuous women in his bed. He couldn't be seen with the women he fucked, because image was everything to Jimmy. Jimmy fully believed that fat girls were like MOPEDs, they're a lot of fun to ride, but you wouldn't want your friends to see you on one.

But the most important thing that Sarah taught Jimmy was that he simply couldn't abide any major differences between himself and Dylan. As soon as he realized that Dylan was still a virgin, it started to nag at him.

He quickly rectified the situation in a way that was as brilliant as it was bizarre. In fact, it wouldn't have worked for any other two men I can think of. Jimmy convinced or more accurately told Sarah to have sex with Dylan, no matter what it took. And it took a lot. Dylan had a completely different view of women. Dylan tended to put women on a pedestal. But Sarah, persisted and they had sex.

Jimmy, was probably happier about it than Dylan was. It worked for Jimmy in two ways. He had gotten bored with Sarah and was already cheating on her, but he needed her. Sarah was a pretty girl. She could have had almost any guy she wanted.

Jimmy needed to keep her busy, while he did what he did. So Jimmy would typically pick Sarah up after her last class and take her back to his dorm. He'd start rubbing her up and getting her excited and getting himself excited too. Then Dylan would get home, and Jimmy would whisper, "Next time," to Sarah.

Sarah was, as mentioned, really pretty, but she wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Jimmy, as any good boyfriend should, would get Dylan to help Sarah with her homework or studying in some area. While they studied, he'd go out to party and screw other women.

The plan worked even better than Jimmy had hoped. Towards the end, Jimmy was sure that Sarah had feelings for Dylan too. Jimmy didn't find out until the end that Dylan hadn't been sleeping with Sarah regularly. Dylan wasn't the type to try to take anything away from his brother. But Sarah and Dylan had very strong feelings for each other. In Jimmy's mind, it was perfect. Sarah was Jimmy's girlfriend in public, but she slept with both of them. They shared her like they did everything else.

To Jimmy, it was perfect. It was the best possible geometric figure, the triangle. Jimmy got a public girlfriend, that didn't make any demands upon his time. And he got the ability to go out and screw other women whenever he wanted. He could also screw her whenever he felt like it.

Sarah got the status of being Jimmy's girl. Since both Jimmy and Dylan were on the football team that gave her a place in the school's social hierarchy that no matter how pretty she was she couldn't have gotten on her own. She also got to spend time with Dylan, who treated her the way she believed that she deserved. He was kind; he was compassionate, and he was always surprising her with little gifts and going places that she wanted to go. She had also loved having sex with Dylan, which didn't bother Jimmy at all. He had expected for them to continue and was surprised when he discovered they hadn't.

Lastly, it worked out for Dylan. Dylan, as Jimmy had expected, fallen for Sarah really hard. Having Sarah around made him happy and gave him someone to spend time with. It was a perfect situation for all of them. Or it would have been if Dylan had been able to get with the program and screw Sarah occasionally.

Dylan's inability to take anything from Jimmy or go behind his back was what ruined the whole thing. If Dylan had simply done what he wanted and had sex with Sarah, both of them would have been more fulfilled, and no one would have rocked the boat. If and when Sarah discovered Jimmy's other women, she wouldn't have minded because she'd have Dylan.

And that was why this time Jimmy had decided to do it the opposite way. Dylan and I were married. We could stay married. Jimmy would move in with us. When the time was right Dylan and Jimmy would start their business, and everything would be right with the world. The only difference in my life would be that I would be with both of them instead of just Dylan.

Of course on the surface, I would be Dylan's wife, but I would occasionally have sex with Jimmy too. They would share me like they shared everything else. Jimmy reminded me though that after a while, he would probably move on to other women, but that he and I would still get together occasionally.

He did predict that Dylan would be upset at first. But he told me that it was only because they had been apart for five years. It would take a while for Dylan to get used to having Jimmy around again. He also reminded me of something else. Dylan had loved Sarah. Even months after she left, when Jimmy met me, Dylan was still carrying a torch for her. But in the end, Dylan had stayed with Jimmy. Both of them would always pick each other over any woman. I guess that was Jimmy's way of telling me that I either chose both or neither. I either got everything or nothing. That was all it took for me to go along with the plan.

He also told me that he had nothing but regret about leaving me when I was pregnant with his child. But his leaving had nothing to do with us. He was still getting used to the fact that his football career was gone. He hated going to class, and school wasn't his thing. But he had to try to do it, so he could pull his weight when he and Dylan went into business. As hard as he tried, he couldn't force himself to study and his grades were horrible. He was looking at another four years in school. He had literally wasted his entire time in college.

There was also the fact that his parents hadn't had to pay for his schooling the first time around. Both he and Dylan were there on football scholarships. Dylan's grades were good enough that the school let him keep his scholarship. They were hoping that he would change his mind and rejoin the team. His internship with an automotive manufacturer also helped. Dylan did so well that the company underwrote part of his tuition and expenses. He even went to work for them after graduating.

Jimmy didn't have any of those advantages. The pressure on him was terrible. It was as if his entire life had changed overnight. Everything he had counted on and hoped for had been taken from him and replaced with immense pressure to do things that he had no interest in or skill at. Throwing a child and the responsibilities of parenthood that came with it on top of his already over-loaded shoulders was just too much. He had bolted to save his own sanity. He'd known that I wouldn't be alone. He had always known that Dylan would step in and act in his stead. And things had worked out even better than he had expected.

I felt guilty about what we had done. And it wasn't just because the sex wasn't as good. I knew, deep down in my heart that I had hurt Dylan. No matter what Jimmy had told me, I knew that I had hurt Dylan. I told Jimmy that we needed to tell Dylan and ask him to forgive us. He just laughed at me and told me that as soon as Dylan walked into the house and looked at either one of us, he would know. He told me that Dylan would be pissed off and would probably go off and sulk. Then he would think about things, and he would want to talk about it.

In the end, Jimmy assured me that things would be fine. And mentally, I liked the idea too. Together, they were the perfect husband; Dylan's compassionate, near worship, combined with Jimmy's excitement and decisiveness, plus Dylan's bigger dick and ability to give me orgasms, combined with Jimmy's hardcore fucking. It would be awesome.

"So what the fuck did he say," asked Jimmy loudly. His voice snapped me out of my thoughts and back to the present.

"He said he's divorcing me, and that he's accepted a transfer to a plant in another state," I said.

"You are fucking kidding, right," he said. I shook my head.

"That would be bad for you," he said. "How long have you two been married?"

"About five years," I said.

"Shit, you two didn't waste much time," he said. "What did he do, propose to you as soon as I left?"

"We got married about a year after you ran out on me," I spat.

"That isn't going to do you any good," he said. "You aren't going to get much if this divorce happens. You'll probably get twenty percent of his salary for a year, maybe two. Dylan makes about sixty K, right?"

"Eighty," I said.

"So you're gonna get about sixteen thou a year," he said. "We can't live off of that. And knowing Dylan. He'll get a loan and pay you a lump sum. Wait a minute how much equity do you two have in this place?"

"About twenty thousand," I said.

"Can you afford the mortgage?" he asked.

After thinking about it, "Probably not," I said. "If I could get enough hours at work to go back to full-time and even swing some over time, I could maybe pay the mortgage, but I wouldn't be able to pay the other bills or even buy food."

"I think Dylan is probably going to just sign over the mortgage to you and give you six grand in cash. If you sell the house and move into something you can afford, you'd end up with a nest egg of twenty six grand and half of your checking and savings accounts or whatever's left of them once you pay your bills off," he said. "We'd be okay for a while. But the cost of finding and moving into a new place would eat into that heavily."

"If you got a job too, we'd be okay," I said.

"Gretchen, are you high?" he asked. "I don't want a relationship with you. You're not my type. I've already told you how things need to work. You either get us both, or you get neither. We need to block this divorce. And you should also know that I am not the marrying type."

For the next couple of weeks, Jimmy came up with plan after plan to get Dylan to sit down and talk to either us or him. None of them worked. We tried calling, but he had blocked our numbers. His secretary refused to accept calls from me, or Jimmy and wouldn't take messages either.

We tried showing up at the plant he worked at. However, after the first time he'd had the guards remove us from the lot, we were unable to wait by his car anymore.

That day proved interesting to me. As soon as Jimmy had gotten a look at Dylan's car, he had fallen in love with it. "I love this car," he'd gushed. "I can't wait to drive it."

"It's never going to happen," I said. "The only thing Dylan loves more than that Mustang is ... was ... me. He's never let anyone drive it."

"Well, you can bet your ass that doesn't include me," he smirked. "Watch!"

Over the time that we had been scheming, I had begun to notice a few things. Jimmy and I could barely stand each other. I wondered how and why Dylan had put up with him for so many years. He took, not borrowed; he took my car every night to go out. He told me he was out looking for Dylan. I guess he thought that I was stupid. He came back smelling like liquor and sex and had no idea that I knew what he'd been doing.

He even had the balls to ask me for money. I could tell the nights that he hadn't gotten lucky. On those nights, he wanted to fuck me. He was really romantic about it too.

"Come on we've already done it," he said. "Dylan can't be any more pissed at you than he already is. And your only chance to get back with him is through me."

He fucked me like I was some sort of whore. He just slammed it in and kept slamming until he came. Then he got up grabbed a beer from the fridge and watched TV until he fell asleep.

My father, my mother, and my sister had all flown into town to try to help me regain my sanity. Jimmy actually hid whenever my family was around. He actually had the gall to talk about my family after they were gone.

"Your mother is an older, dried-up version of you," he said.

"Dylan, loves my mom," I spat.

"Dylan probably loves seeing what you're going to look like when you're older and have at least SOME tits," he said. "But your sister is a hottie. She has nice hair, not that curly mess you got. And her skin is clear. She even has a nice little body. I might have to spend some time with her. How the hell does the younger sister get the boobs and butt?"

"My father would shoot you if you even spoke to her," I said. "He keeps hoping to catch you here. That's why he never calls before he comes by."

"How the hell did he even know I was back?" he asked.

"Dylan told him, they get along great," I smiled remembering all of our holidays together as one huge family. Even Jimmy's parents came to some of them.

"None of this shit is working," he spat. "We're gonna have to gamble."

"I'm not giving you any of my money for gambling," I spat.

"What I meant was that we're gonna have to take a risk to get to talk to him," he said.

I was desperate. I had nothing left to lose. I had spoken to Dylan's mom the day before hoping that she would help me arrange to talk to him. We had ended up talking for more than a half-hour and, she had told me that no matter what happened, I needed to stay out of the middle.

"If you try to come between the two of them, you'll lose," she told me. "They rarely argue. But when they do they eventually talk and whatever they were fighting over is eliminated. If they can't share it, they just throw it away. Either both of them have it or neither of them wants it." It sounded just like what Jimmy had told me, and my heart thudded in my chest.

"So what do you want to do?" I asked Jimmy.

"He wants to serve you the divorce papers before he leaves town," he said. "So far they haven't been able to find you. Even when they come here, I answer the door. Why don't you call that shitty secretary of his and tell her that if he brings them himself and talks to you for ten minutes, he can give you the papers and get the divorce started."

"But I don't want a divorce," I said.

"And I don't want to be tied to a titless fire-crotch, but life is tough, and sometimes we don't have choices," he said. I went down the street to a store that had a pay phone. I called Dylan's office. As soon as she heard my voice, Dylan's secretary started her usual routine about how he didn't want to talk to me and didn't want any messages.

"Dylan will be really upset if you don't give him this message," I said.

"What's the message?" she asked.

"Tell him that if he sits down with me for only ten minutes. I just want to let him know how sorry I am about the way things ended and work out a few financial details to keep us out of court. If he does that, he can serve the divorce papers, and we can get this useless process started," I said.

"My judgment is really suspect when it comes to making decisions," she said. "But I'm gonna tell him."

"Dylan always told me you were a great assistant," I told her. "What makes you think you have bad judgment?"

"I liked YOU didn't I? That clearly shows a lack of judgment." she said and then hung up.


So here I am walking towards doom. My goal is simply to walk in and handle this as calmly as possible. No histrionics, no emotions, and no hysteria. I listen to what Gretchen has to say and then hand her the papers that will end our marriage. Bernie told me that she misses me, and that she's been miserable since I walked out. I can't help thinking that somehow Jimmy brainwashed her into doing what she did. However, that's probably just a dream. What do they say? A dream is a wish your heart makes. Maybe my dream was just to go back to before Jimmy showed back up.

God I thought I loved her. Maybe I did love her. However, I was only fooling myself. She was never mine. I just stepped in and took Jimmy's place until he came back to claim what was his. So maybe the papers I hold in my hands, the papers that will end my marriage and break my heart more completely than it has ever been broken before are only my way out of this. Time for the show to begin.

The door opens before I knock. Bernie wanted to come with me. I guess he thought that he could help to tame his out of control daughter. But she asked for ten minutes to talk to me. I intend to hold up my end of the deal. I guess my last memory of my marriage will be finding out what Jimmy offered her that I couldn't.

"Dylan, I've missed you so much ... I love you so much ... I don't want a divorce. I know what I said, but I'm not signing those fucking papers ... Not ever! We're going to be married until the day we die." The words all gushed out of her at once. It was as if she was trying so hard to convince me that she wasn't even thinking she was just letting everything inside of her out.

"Exactly!" he said. "Bro, you totally over reacted." He stepped out of the kitchen, even as I turned to look at her.

"You ... You said that you wanted to talk!" I glared angrily at Gretchen.

"I'm sorry," she wailed.

"Dylan, listen to me," he said. "She had no choice. I told her to do it. I needed to get you here so we could talk. You are completely out of control over nothing. Okay, I fucked her. Big deal. You owed me one anyway. I let you fuck Sarah didn't I? Shit, I arranged it so you had plenty of time to fuck her as much as you wanted. It's not my fault that you didn't take advantage of it." He was saying all of the things that he thought made sense.

"Dill, we've always shared everything," he continued. "How the fuck was I supposed to know that you had feelings for this one? If it bothers you that much I won't fuck her anymore. She isn't that good anyway. And you know she isn't my type. No tits and those fucking freckles. How the hell can you stand to look at her?"

I was too angry to talk. I was counting in my head. I was doing math. I was trying to calculate vectors for points. I was trying to do anything other than listen to his bullshit. The thing I was doing the most though was trying to figure out how I ever called this lump of shit my brother.

"Dylan, you have to snap out of this funk you're in," he droned on. "Remember the rules. Bros before hoes. Is little red here really more important to you than we are? She's just pussy. I have never once put some chick ahead of you. You wanted Sarah, and I gave her to you. And I didn't want to own this one; I just wanted to share her with you. The three of us could have something really special. It could be better than what we tried with Sarah and this time we'd all know about it."

That was when I hit him. Unlike the first time, I didn't stop. His eyes widened in surprise, and then he fell.

"What the fuck, Dill?" he blurted out. He tried to get to his feet. I pushed him back down again and straddled him. He reached up for me, and I punched him again and again and again until he just stopped resisting. Then I continued to punch him.

Gretchen dove on me and dragged me off of him. I was sure that she wanted to protect him. Even after all of the terrible things he'd said about her. Even with his utter contempt for her, she was still under his spell. Fuck her. Fuck them both. They deserved each other.

There was blood all over my hands, and Jimmy was unconscious. Gretchen looked at me as if seeing me for the first time.

"I can see that you've made your choice," I spat. "As usual, usual you chose him over me. Fuck you both. You two deserve each other. Just sign those papers, so I can get the fuck out of here."

"No Dylan, you don't get it," she screamed.

"Just sign the papers and I'm gone," I said.

"No, you have to stay," she screamed. "Just help me get him..."

"He can fuckin' die for all I care," I said. "Gretchen papers or not, I'm leaving. I will never set eyes on either one of you again."

I turned and walked out of the house. I was angrier than I had ever been in my life. It wasn't me. It was her. I had once over heard her sister describing Gretchen. She said Gretchen had a fixation with bad-boy types. Well, she had her bad boy now. They deserved each other.

As I walked back to my car, a thousand thoughts went through my mind. This wasn't the way this was supposed to end. In every movie I had ever seen, it never ended like this.

In some movies, the strongest guy got the girl. In others, it was the fastest, or the best fighter, or the smartest. In a very few movies, the nice guy even got the girl. Well, I was all of those. I was the strongest and the smartest and the best fighter. I was the one who loved her and told her that. I was the nicest. I was the one who's picked up the shattered pieces of her broken heart, and none of it meant a damn.

For most of my life, I had supported Jimmy and put up with his shit. I had cleaned up his messes and made everything right. And none of it meant a damn. The worst part of it was that Jimmy clearly didn't even want Gretchen. He'd just wanted to prove that he could take her away from me. He'd shit on her from the day they met. I had spent the last five years loving her with all of my heart, and none of it meant a damn.

I just wanted to find somewhere to crawl into and hide, but I kept walking. The people I walked near, had no idea what was going on. As I left the house and walked across to the parking lot and my waiting Mustang, huge tears came from my eyes. Suddenly, it started to rain. Even with the sun high in the sky, huge rain drops fell on me.

I decided then and there to put it all behind me. I would start a new life without them. I refused to let them beat me. That day would be the first day of the rest of my life. A life without cheaters or emotional drama.

As I hit the freeway, with my Mustang's beefy growl muted by the windows that were closed against the increasingly intense rain, I thought about Coverdale, and I heard him singing in the back of my mind.

"No one understands the heartache. No one feels the pain."

"No one ever sees the tears. When you're crying in the rain."

"When you're crying in the rain."

"Crying in the rain..."

To be Continued... ?

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