Chapter 18 – Undertone


Zack pulled into the parking lot of a small motel in the middle of nowhere with a flashing sign that read vacancy. The place looked as empty as he felt. He was drained, both emotionally and physically. It had been a hard few days. Days he wished he could do over. After paying for and then entering his room he collapsed onto a worn out mattress and a pair of sheets that smelled like they hadn't been washed in weeks. But somehow that didn't bother him since one more motel room meant one more day closer to his brother.

His cell phone went off and he noticed the name on the caller ID. Mitch and Tom had been calling nonstop since he left California. But he couldn't bring himself to answer the calls. He fisted the sheets in his hand, anger invading his senses when he thought of what that detective had said. In his heart he knew that Cody would never leave him. But in his mind he couldn't help but wonder, because if he hadn't, than what the hell was that letter all about. He needed to find him, if only to know the truth.

His phone rang again and he was tempted to smash it, but instead he noticed his aunt's name and decided that it was time to suck it up and answer the phone. "Yeah?"

"Zack where have you been, we've been worried sick."

"Around."

"Around, around where?" she asked rather sternly.

"What do you want?"

"Don't use that tone with me."

"I'm sorry Aunt Mel, I'm just tired. I've been driving."

"Driving where?"

"Let's see California, Arizona, now I'm somewhere in New Mexico. After awhile all these towns and places seem to run together. So your guess is as good as mine."

"I want you to do something for me."

"Mel I'm not going back. If I have to crisscross the entire map to find him I will."

"Or you could let me give you an exact address."

"What?!" Zack would have fallen off the bed if he hadn't brazed himself.

"You really need to answer your phone more often. Tom and Mitch have been trying to get a hold of you all week. There have been some surprising new developments that you might be interested in."

"The only development I want is that address." Zack pulled out a piece of paper and a pen from one of the drawers near an end table.

"Before I do, I think you need to understand what you are getting yourself into."

"Cody needs me."

"Zack he may not need you in the same way anymore."

"I don't believe that."

"You may not have a choice. He's confused and depressed and from what I gather heartbroken."

"And he needs me."

"I think you should come home first and…"

"Please, I'm pleading with you. I need that address."

"Alright, but first, let's talk."


In a small way the room felt calm and soothing. And Cody was comforted by that. This transition hadn't been an easy one for him. Leaving everything and everyone behind was a devastating ordeal and he didn't quite know how to feel about the change. Doing his best to clear his mind he adjusted his body so that he'd feel more comfortable within the folds of the leather couch he was currently lying on. Taking the doctor's cue he deeply inhaled while he listened to the soft tone of his voice. His eye lids slowly drooped and suddenly felt very heavy. Before he knew it he was exploring the hidden corners of his mind.

"Now Cody take me back to the first time you began having these feelings for your brother."

Cody sighed. He couldn't really pinpoint the first time. These feelings had been in his memories as long as he could remember. At first it hadn't been something that he could easily explain away. And even after that it had been something he tried to ignore, thought it was unnatural, just a phase that would fade with time. It never did.

"Take your time." The doctor instructed as he adjusted the tape recorder on his desk. "I'm here to help you, not to judge. I just need you to be honest. I know how hard this must be so take a deep breath and let your mind travel back."

Cody was silent for a minute trying his best to recall each smile, loving glance, the slight sway of his blond bangs, the warmth of his arms, the concern and care in his stance, the gentleness in his touch…his soft lips as they trailed kisses across his sensitive skin. When he exhaled realizing his mind was headed in a dangerous direction he immediately began to back track. "He knows me in a way that no one can."

"That's not unusual. Most twins do tend…"

"No it's more than that," Cody interrupted. How was he supposed to explain something he didn't quite understand himself. "He can anticipate my wants and needs. He can read my thoughts, understand my feelings. He knows when I need to be held and when I need him to back off. I know when he is hurt without him saying a word."

"Cody that could describe a lot of relationships."

"But this is different."

"How so?" The doctor waited patiently while his patient contemplated his response.

"It just is."

"Okay. Let's go back to my original question. When did you first realize you were attracted to your brother?"

"Those are two different questions."

"Ultimately they can both be answered the same way."

"No, the first one is about how I feel. The second is about my attraction."

"Alright, then I'd like you too answer them both," he replied not really understanding the distinction.

"He is so wonderful, with such a beautiful soul. I couldn't help but fall."

"And I take it you fell hard." The doctor's voice had a soothing quality to it that made it hard to keep in the present. So Cody's mind drifted off to a time not too long ago when he was crossing the bedroom to lay down beside Zack. No words had to be said. His lover simply pulled back the covers in invitation and he crawled beneath them and let his warmth enfold him.

"How did that make you feel."

"Like we were the only two people in the world, I felt safe, wanted…loved. I could have stayed in those arms forever." The smile that adorned the young man's face was one of pure bliss.

"I see," he stated writing something down onto his yellow pad.

"He held me all night. I didn't even have to ask. But then I never had to with Zack. He just automatically knew when I needed him."

"Was that the first time you had intercourse?"

"No this was years before." Cody replied. "On cold nights, or crazy days I would crawl into bed with him and we would share something much more intimate. It's not just about a physical connection but an emotional one. About knowing, that no matter what happens in the world, I'll always have him. He'll always be waiting. He'll always find me."

A thought instantly popped into the doctors mind but he readily pushed it aside not quite sure how to address it or if he even wanted too. He continued his questioning. "Tell me about the years you spent at the hotel. You mentioned earlier that is where you first consummated your relationship."

"Yes."

"Tell me about it. I recall you telling me that you spent three years there."

"Some of the happiest I've known."

"Can you recall a time when you and Zack weren't together?"

"I can recall several."

"You misunderstand me. Any instances of separation where something significant occurred?"

"None that I can think of," Cody replied.

The doctor looked over his notes for a few minutes and decided to change his tactic. "Cody tell me about Amber." Silence filled the room and the young man tensed up a bit. He thought maybe it would be a good time to bring him back, but decided against it when he began to speak.

"She's with him now."

"And how does that make you feel?"

"They don't belong together. She's no good."

"What do you mean by that?" he asked a bit curious. "Has she done or said something?"

"He can't see it."

"What can't he see?"

"Their plotting, their lies." The doctor wrote a few more notes before continuing.

"Their?" he asked urging the young man to be a bit more specific.

"She doesn't love him."

"Zack?"

"Yes Zack," he snapped. It was obvious that the girl was a sore spot. "She can't make him happy the way I can."

"Cody you mentioned their plotting, their lies…who do you mean by that?"

"Amber and Carey."

"Carey…you mean your mother?"

"She once was."

"But not anymore?" he surmised. "I sense a lot of anger and resentment toward her."

"She's no good."

The doctor scribbled something down in his notepad and looked at his watch. Another patient would be arriving soon and so he decided to finish the session for today.

"Alright I'm going to bring you back. When I do, you will feel more relaxed. Sure of yourself and your surroundings. You will remember everything we have discussed this session. I will count to three and then you will awaken. One…two…three."

Slowly Cody began to stir and a minute later he opened his eyes to a gray room and the doctor standing over him. Instant recognition took hold and he remembered where he was and why. Also what he had just revealed. "I know you don't understand but I loved him. I love him still." Cody paused for a minute to collect his thoughts. "I now know that's wrong. Even if at the time it didn't feel that way."

A small knock sounded at the door causing the doctor and Cody to look over. "Come in." One of the orderlies walked in informing them both that Ms. Carey Martin was waiting in the lobby to speak to her son. The doctor thanked her and released Cody until they could meet again the following afternoon.


Zack had driven all night and a good portion of the next day in order to make it into New Mexico before his mother. Sitting in his parked car just outside the facility but far enough away to avoid detection he waited. His aunt's words still ringing in his ears. All this time, all these weeks and months he'd searched and prayed for some kind of news. Some kind of information that would tell him where Cody had gone too. All the nights he stayed awake worried that he had said or done something to drive him away. In all that time, his mother knew the truth. He had asked her over and over again if she knew where he might be. Over and over again she lied to him. Any sympathy he might have harbored for her left him that morning and he was ready for a fight.

Sitting in his car he read the words that were etched on the plaque overlooking the main building, A Straight Path to Healing, Healing my ass, he thought. Cody wasn't sick, therefore he didn't need to be healed from anything. Why hadn't he listened to Cody's various warnings? He felt like such a fool. If only he'd taken him seriously. Well he now knew the truth, therefore he needed a plan.


Cody and Carey sat on a nearby bench overlooking the grounds. Its peaceful gardens, vibrant colors and perfectly manicured lawns staring back at them were supposed to be a welcoming sight. Paradise on earth was how one of the therapists described it. Cody wasn't so sure. But then he wasn't here for the scenery was he. He remained quiet choosing to close his eyes and mind to the woman who sat beside him. All her words slurred into small sounds that he couldn't quite grasp and didn't want too.

"Cody are you listening to me?" When Cody still didn't say anything she reached out a hand and placed it on his shoulder. "How have things been?"

"I'm sure you know. After all everyone here keeps you pretty well informed."

"That's not fair."

"Life's not fair."

"Cody."

"What do you want Carey?"

The sound of her name on his lips still made her flinch. "I asked you not to call me by my first name. I am your mother and I will not be disrespected that way." Cody would have laughed if he had the heart too.

"What do you want?"

"What I always want. What's best for you."

"And what exactly is that, mother?" Cody asked sarcastically. "You seem to be the expert. So why don't you fill me in."

"I know you hate me now. But in the long run you'll realize I did this all for you. Zack will realize it too."

Although Cody tried to hide it, his interest had just been peaked. "How is Zack?" Carey looked into the two hopeful eyes of her youngest son and for a moment thought about telling him the truth. Filling him in on how miserable Zack was. But then that would defeat the purpose, so she lied.

"He's doing great. Still working and still with Amber. In fact they've been talking about possibly moving in together." Cody's face fell and he stood up. "Are you okay?"

"I'm tired. I'm sure I'll see you next time."

"But I've only been here a few minutes."

Cody wanted to blurt out that it had been a few minutes too long, but decided against it. Besides he had learned from experience his thoughts didn't help matters.

"Cody honey, please. How about we talk about something else, your grandmother sends her love."

Cody leaned up against a tree and stared out into the landscape. Effectively distancing himself from his mother, at least mentally if not physically. He thought about the pictures he'd seen. He thought about the betrayal and the heartbreak. His happiness had been destroyed within a shattering heartbeat. The images on that disc still gave him nightmares. But that's the way Zack wanted it. And he was happy. So Cody had no choice but to leave, to extract his brother's image from his mind and heart. And maybe he'd feel better once he could think clearly again. Think normally. At least that's what his mother had said. So maybe he wasn't in such a bad place after all.

"Cody, Cody. Please stop ignoring me."

"I have to go. It's been fun. See you in a couple weeks." Cody started walking and didn't look back. He didn't care if she watched him go, or left for that matter. He just needed to be alone with his thoughts.


He'd gotten about a mile out when he came to his favorite clearing. He stood there for a minute and closed his eyes breathing in the fresh morning breeze that skated off the grassy hill tops. In that brief moment he felt free and the world once again made sense. He's thoughts returned to Zack and he could almost feel two arms enfold him from behind, and a familiar warmth enter him.

"You always did look beautiful in the early morning light." Cody smiled as he let his head fall back and rest against Zack's shoulder.

"Hmmm…where have you been?"

"Waiting, searching…longing." Zack whispered as he took Cody's earlobe between his lips.

Cody sighed and let his day dream take him where it wanted to go. He knew it was all in his mind but God it felt so real, so good. He felt himself spin around and two soft lips make contact with his own. He drowned in the feel and the sensations invading every part of him. Not wanting it too end he wrapped his arms around Zack's neck and buried his hands deep into that blond hair as he felt to arms snake around his waist. Before he knew it he was lying on the grass as he felt himself being pressed deeply into the softness of the earth. When Zack left his mouth Cody whimpered in protest. Then moaned as Zack left a trail of fevered kisses down his chest and torso. Cody cried out to him and in that moment he wanted this to be real so badly that it hurt. "Zack please, it's been so long."

"Oh baby."

"Zack…yes. God yes."

When he felt Zack enter him he was shocked. His mind still filled with longing and need. But something told him this may be real. Otherwise he had a very vivid imagination. At the moment he didn't know which and frankly he didn't care as Zack continued to drive into him only to pull back and penetrate him deeper and harder. All Cody could do was hold on and close his eyes too everything else around him as he let his senses take over. Their lovemaking was fierce and yet there was a tenderness there that he could always rely on, for it always existed.

When Cody opened his eyes he could see the passion in Zack's and it drove him wild. Turning so that their positions were reversed, Cody began to ride him until thinking became a chore and all that could be heard were the sounds of pure ecstasy and bliss. Their bodies filled with wild abandonment and the echoes of their love making could be heard just beyond the wind. Cody took a hold of his own erection only to feel a hand gently brush his aside. When Zack took a hold of him Cody was in heaven. Turning them back over Zack continued to drive into him and stroke him at the same time, their bodies and minds locked into a rhythm that transcended all others. Soon it was too much. He needed release as his body began to convulse and his walls tightened around Zack. Bringing him so close to the edge but not quite making it over. Not yet, not just yet. He wanted more, he wanted this, he wanted Zack! As his nails dug into the soft flesh on his lovers back and the strain of holding back surfaced he cried out Zack's name over and over. Finally he couldn't take it anymore and he released his seed with an earth shattering cry as Zack did the same, collapsing onto Cody and burying his face in the croak of his neck.

Their breathing still ragged as they held on. Cody felt the dampness and the soft kisses on his cheeks before he opened his eyes again and saw a look of complete fulfillment and adoration. Cody smiled and ran a hand through Zack's hair as Zack gently kissed his arm in response.

"So that was quite a welcome."

"Zack…are you real?"

"Really, you have to ask me that after what we just did."

Cody laughed. "Just checking," Zack chuckled as he once again he laid his head down, ignoring the world around them for the moment.

"Well look what we have here."


AN: Thank you for all the alerts and favs. I have been suffering from writers block and at a loss as to how to continue. But I'm slowly getting back to writing. I've been working on a few small projects, I'm hoping they will help me and hoping to post them soon as well. :)