For Oliver, there's always been Tommy.

Even in Oliver's first memory (it must have been his fourth birthday party), Tommy's there, with his bad self-inflicted haircut and huge grin. Tommy, who's been playing tee ball for a full summer, is the one to smack the pinata hard enough to spill its candy guts everywhere and he trades Ollie the big box of Nerds he'd managed to grab for a pack of Twizzlers.

Oliver can remember staring at the huge G.I. Joe cake that someone had thought needed more candles than he had birthdays and thinking he 1) had to pee really, really bad and 2) would never be able to blow out so many candles by himself. Standing beside Oliver, maybe sensing his childish terror, Tommy had grabbed his hand and said, ″I'll help, Ollie,″ just as everyone had stopped singing Happy Birthday and the two of them managed to extinguish the miniature forest fire in three hard blows without Oliver wetting himself.

Right then, Oliver decided he could probably do anything in the world he wanted as long as Tommy Merlyn (just like the magician in the King Arthur stories the nanny told him) was by his side.