Derek’s POV
I had been relaxing all day. I really didn’t know what to do with myself. Rick has moved in with his
girlfriend Kathy and Samuel seemed to be focused on getting the Rec Center up to speed with its new
renovations taking place.
So, I spent most of the summer just relaxing, and enjoying myself. Samuel and I had an agreement that
one week a month; I can go off and travel around Texas to see if there were people in need. However,
after my last trip in early April, I felt it a lonely processes and not as fulfilling as it was originally. So, I
decided when the College semester ended, I would search for a career somewhere.  Rick pointed me in
the direction of Dr. Ronald Roark, the college counsellor. This last week, I met with him and we had a great
meeting. After hearing my unconventional experience, he brought me on to start after Independence Day. 
That’s when most of the summer students start needing the most help.
I got up and grabbed the mail, and other than a few things to Samuel regarding the Rec Centre, there
wasn’t much there that seemed important to me. Then I saw a letter to me. I opened it and inside was long
Dear Derek
I hope this letter finds you. It was hard tracking you down after you disappeared last year.  I
wanted to thank you in person for what you did for me. My daughter had been missing for a year and you
found her and brought her home to me.  I cannot thank you enough. Her story of how you found and
convinced her to return to me was inspiring.  Since she has returned, her whole appearance, attitude and
personality had been a positive change. She has enrolled in college again, and managed to make some
friends with the right sort of crowd.
It was a great feeling to see her after all of that time. The fact that she apologized to me for leaving
made the world to me. I had always believed I sent her away with my constant smothering and controlling
her life.
Thank you again. If you are ever in the area again, please come by.  Enclosed is a little thank you

Love, Sylvia

PS. Do not think of returning it.

I looked at the letter again, and remembered the girl I found sitting on the bench eating garbage in the
middle of the night. She looked horrible, and so I wanted to see if I could help her. She resisted at first,
but she eventually opened up to me, and we talked into the early hours of the morning. She told me about
how her mother had been nagging her, as typically mothers nag their children.
When she was 17, she hopped on a Greyhound bus and went as far west as she could on the little money
she had. The next three years, she had been walking on the streets, begging for food. She ended up in a
shelter three months later. Around her birthday, she missed her mother, but wouldn’t give in, and
stubbornly left the shelter and headed further west, until she found herself here.
I convinced her that running away was never the answer. I explained how I experienced the same thing 
instead of facing the hard realities of life. I told her that while I was away my family looked for me, and in
the end I lost them, they died thinking I was dead.  That convinced her to return to her mother, and I even
drove her back home. All the way, we talked about what she could say and how to make the relationship
between Sylvia and her better.  
I looked at the letter, and I was glad, that things had turned out better. Then, I looked at the smaller
envelope that was with the letter. Inside it was a check. I read the amount and laughed as I pinched myself
thinking this had to be some kind of dream.
It wasn’t.  The amount said $100,000.  I couldn’t accept it, but I had to way of returning it. There was no
return address; and no phone number. I just sat down in shock.  It was at that moment Samuel walked in.
He looked exhausted from his day. I didn’t care.
“Hey, Lover,“ he said as a greeting. I just smiled at him, still in shock to speak. I just shook the letter at him.
He picked it up and read.
“That’s wonderful, Derek.” 
“Yeah,” I finally said. “Here’s the little ‘thank you’ she gave me.”  I showed him the check and it was his
turn to be speechless.
“I just wish I had her phone number to thank her and to return the money.”
“Return it?” he said to me. “Why? Lover, you brought her daughter back to her. She wanted you to have it.”
“It’s too much? All I did was talk to the girl.”
“Derek, when are you going to realize that your helping people changes their lives for the better. You
saved Corey’s life, you saved Kris and Matt, and that’s just the people we know.”
“But $100,000, just because I was there to talk to her.”
“Yes, I personally would have given you a million dollars.”
“Yeah?” I looked up at him, and he smiled at me.
“We are going to celebrate.”  I knew what that meant, and he took me by the hand as we proceeded to the
After our passionate love making, we proceeded to go out for dinner. We went to a little restaurant that I
loved and Samuel had Rick and Kathy join us.
Rick was all smiles when he heard the news. “So, what are you going to get me?”
I smiled and said, “The wedding of your dreams.”
“Really?” Rick thought I was serious.
“No dumbass. You get nothing.” I laughed.
Kathy, aware of the Rick and my almost father and son relationship, asked seriously. “Derek, have you
thought about what you would do?”
“Actually, I have. Two things have popped into my head.” I said, which surprised Samuel.
“Oh, what did you have in mind?”
“Well, I want to take half of it and put it away for me and you. I want it be seed money, so we can finally
have a kid,” I said it causal way. Samuel and I had been discussing kids for the past few months, and that
was one of the reasons the Rec Center was going under renovations; the new set up would allow Samuel
to work at home more, and give his assistant manager more the day to day operations.
Samuel kissed me hard on the lips, which meant that he loved that idea. Rick smiled, always happy to see
his uncle in love. Then he asked:
“What about the rest?” I had feeling he still thought he was getting something.
“I was thinking about a vacation. I really want to go back to Europe; this time on a family vacation, with all
of you.”
“That sounds awesome,” Rick said, and Kathy nodded in agreement. The rest of the dinner conversation
centered on what the vacation would be, and it was agreed we would do a Mediterranean Cruise.  I always
wanted to pay it forward and thought about Kris and his crew; maybe they deserved some time away.
I voiced my thoughts at the table, and Samuel pointed right behind me. I turned and looked; sitting around
the table was Kris, Matt, Corey, Colt, Scott and Jess.  I got up and went over to them.
“Look what the cat dragged in,” I said in greeting.
Kris got up and hugged me. “Have you been here the whole time?”
“Yeah, I didn’t see you guys either,” I answered when Corey got up and hugged me too.
Kris pulled up a chair from somewhere, and I sat down. He said, “We just got here. Matt used to have
dinner with his father here.”
I remembered that his father died recently. “Matt, I am sorry that I wasn’t there for the funeral; Kris told
me how great a man he was in the end.”
Matt smiled, “Yeah he was. It was hard to come here at first, but we decided to treat ourselves.”
“Ourselves?” Colt interrupted, “I thought Matt was paying.”
“Stop being a cheapskate.” Scott said. “Yeah, Derek, Jess and I missed the crew, so we came up to visit.
“That is awesome. I have some good news myself.” I told them about the check.
They all congratulated me, and I told him that I wanted to treat all six of them on a vacation.”
“What?” Matt said, “We couldn’t accept that.”
“Matt’s right,” Corey began, “You deserve the money, you should use it. Besides, the four of us are going
to Holland already.”
“Just one city?  Tell you what, think it over about your trip; and at the end of June, the six of you are going
to Europe, pick any city you want.”
I walked away before they had a chance to refuse. That night I slept really well.
We returned from the restaurant agreeing to meet at their new apartment. I entered, knowing what they
would say.
We discussed their Holland trip, and I could tell they wanted to go back. Scott and Jess missed out and
wanted to head to the European continent.  So, we spend the next few minutes brainstorming locations
they wanted to see: Athens, London, Florence, Rome, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid and for some reason
Scott wanted to go the Prague.
After hearing their suggestions, a plan finally took form.
“So, here is what we’ve decided:  Matt and Corey will spend some romantic time Paris; Colt and Kris will
head to Rome, and Scott and Jess will go to London.”
“Sounds like a plan, what about you guys? How’s the cruise going to work?”  Matt asked.
“Well, it starts in Spain and heads to France and Italy, then does a circle and ends up in Rome.”
“Cool.”  We had a few beers and chatted more about the trip. I still cannot believe I had met each one of
them before they met each other. I still couldn’t believe these guys actually becoming friends. The powers
that be must be working overtime to have me happen upon almost all of them, then, the shock of my life,
when Rick surprised me that Christmas after their first semester.
Now, the guys seem perfect together. Matt and Corey are so much in love, and Scott and Jess seem to be
enjoying their relationship. I am so proud of Kris, and Colt is such a good guy, too.  They all deserve some R
and R before their junior year begins.
So, I left them to have fun, and Matt and I began making the arrangements, since it was Matt who booked
everything for their Holland trip.
Time passed quickly, I was so excited for them, and for me. I had one final surprise for them.
We arrived at the airport; the planes were all leaving roughly at the same time; the nine of us decided to
have a quick lunch.
At the restaurant outside Southwest Check In, I was smiling at all my friends. Rick was happy for Kris and
his gang again. He loved Kris to death, and even admitted that he could have tossed him out in the first
semester, but pulled some strings to let him stay.
After the meal, I made my last surprise known.
“So, guys:  We all know where we are headed right?”
They all nodded, Samuel smiled because he knew what was up my sleeve. “I decided one city wasn’t
enough for you all.”
“So, all off you are going to Rome, and we are going to meet up on the last day of our cruise and go home
together. Kris and Colt, since you wanted to go to Rome, your first stop will be Venice.”
Samuel, Rick and my plane was the first to leave, while the rest left about 30 to 45 minutes later than us.
They were all nice enough to hug each one of us at the gate as we boarded the craft.
As the Southwest plane took off Samuel smiled at me.
“You really are a great man, Derek.”
“Thanks, it was nothing, though.”
“Yes it was.” Rick piped up. “I love you, Derek. Now you both kiss already. I know Sam wants too.”
Samuel hit Rick on the side of the head, and kissed me with passion.
After few more kisses, I feel asleep as the plane reached cruising altitude.
Matt and Corey were the next to depart from their gate and promised the guys that we would fuck
everywhere they could in Paris. Matt really wanted to see the artwork in the Louvre Museum and Corey
agreed to take him there, as it was kind of an upgrade on their first unofficial date, where Matt invited him
to go the little art gallery for his project the first year. Corey wanted to see the Eiffel Tower so much. And
climb the top of it.  They were staying in modest hotel that was in heart of Paris. So, everything they
wanted to see was within walking distance.
As they buckled into their seats, Corey got his barf bag ready; he was not really the best flyer as Matt
learned on the way to Holland.
“I am glad Derek did this for us,” Corey said
“Yeah, and now we get to be by ourselves in the most romantic city in the world,” Matt kissed Corey.
“So, true. I am a little worried though.”
“Why, we don’t really speak French that well?”
“I am sure we will manage.”
With that Matt got a little excited, and tried to calm his boyfriend down, by rubbing Corey’s groin under
the blanket.
Kris and Colt were next to leave the Dallas airport. Kris had never thought he would enjoy Venice; his
heart was set on Rome. All Kris knew about Venice was a lot of canals and those canoe things. Colt on the
other hand was excited and intrigued about Venice; Chase told him it was mysterious place.
So, they go buckled it and Kris was as excited as ever so that he couldn’t stop fidgeting.
“Jesus, Kris keep still and let a guy rest, will you?”
“You can rest when you get home. I just hope there are nice Italian girls there.”
“You plan on getting laid?” Colt smiled.
“Yep, but by a girl this time.”  Kris knew Colt and he would have sex somewhere, but he really wanted to
try a nice girl out. He loved how they looked in Holland. Kris was fucking guys so much, that he really
hadn’t met his yearly pussy quota.
“Kris get off it. You’ve had plenty of pussy this year?” Colt observed.
“But they were all American,” Kris smiled.
Colt just rolled over and tried to get some sleep instead of arguing, as Kris put on his headset to enjoy the
movie that was on.
Scott and Jess were left and they had to wait 15 minutes more until it was time to board. Jess was so
excited, he looked like Kris. Scott on the other hand was nervous. Scott had never been on a plane before
and didn’t know what to expect. Jess promised to take good care of him.
They were called and finally got on the plane. Scott kept asking Jess about the British people.
“Do they all have bad death? Does it rain all the time? How come they have the funny accent?”  Jess
laughed at those questions, and knew that Scott was making jokes to cover his nervousness. As the plane
took off, Scott and Jess held hands and kissed.
The flight was going smoothly and Scott was telling Jess about his family some more to pass the time, but
before  he could talk about his sister Sammie. The captain’s voice was heard and over the intercom and
Scott swore after the announcement.

Hope you enjoyed this story as written by Andy...    Comment below if you would like!!

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