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Chapter Nine
Family, Friends, and Love

Two weeks after he was arrested came the weekend. Wagner had spent his days at the campus cleaning the cafeteria building, exercising whenever he had the chance…and hasn’t spoken to anyone since that day.

Everyone noticed this, especially Guile. They weren’t sure how to approach him, but when the weekend came, the time when Wagner had a break, Guile had an idea.

“Jane,” said Guile. “Cook up some Hunan beef tips tonight for dinner.”

“That’s Wagner’s favorite,” replied Jane. “Well, luckily, I had some extra beef in the freezer so I’ll start cooking some this afternoon.”

“All right.” He kissed her before making his way up the stairs where Wagner was. Wagner slept in on the weekends so Guile knew he was still going to be asleep. After all, it was only 9 in the morning.

Guile opened the door to his room and peered in. Wagner was still asleep in his bed.

“Wagner?” Guile whispered.

Wagner moaned a bit before saying in his sleep, “No Guile, I don’t wanna do push-ups…”

Guile smirked a bit. Even in his sleep, Wagner was still grumpy about certain things.

“Wagner, wake up,” Guile said a little louder this time.

Immediately at that response, Wagner grabbed one of his pillows and placed it over his head.

Guile sighed. He then did something he hadn’t done since Wagner was a teenager…he took his blankets and yanked it off of him. Wagner was forced to roll out of the bed and fell on the floor with a ‘oof!’

Wagner was now completely awake and looked up at Guile with sleepy eyes. “Ugh, what did I do this time?”

Guile chuckled, “Nothing. It’s a beautiful day, birds chirping, bees buzzing, all that good stuff.”

The young man’s eyes widened a bit but Guile‘s sudden perkiness. “Who the hell are you and what did you do with Guile?”

Guile laughed more. When he stopped, he continued, “I know the last two weeks have been hard on you Wagner. You shouldn’t be down about it.”

Wagner managed to get himself up and sat on his bed rubbing his eyes. “I know…but I don’t know…I feel like everyone here is against me.”

The older man sighed and sat next to Wagner. “Don’t be so hard on yourself. Jake forgave you and he had to do his job on punishing you. You also hung out with the wrong crowd, but you learned your lesson…it happens. Now, since it’s the weekend, why don’t you and I do something. I’ve already asked Jane to cook up some Hunan beef tips.”

“Sweet!” Wagner cried out. “So, what should we do?”

“Miniature golf?”

“I hate golf.”

“So do I.”

They both laughed a bit.

“Basketball?” Wagner suggested.

“That’s better,” Guile replied.

Wagner got himself ready. Soon, they went to the gymnasium and played a few rounds of basketball. Both were quite evenly matched, but Wagner ended up winning.

“Ha, I beat ya!” Wagner cried out.

“Oh yeah,” Guile said. Suddenly he grabbed Wagner and began rubbing his head with his fist.

“AH! My hair!” Wagner cried out.

“Don’t be such a baby,” Guile replied.

“Well if I touched your hair, you’d ground me!”

“I know, haha.”

After basketball, they decided to go downtown to enjoy some burgers from Burger King before going to the movie theater to see an Action/Adventure movie. After that, they returned to the base and to Guile’s home, where Jane had just finished preparing dinner.

“Just in time you to,” Jane said as the men kicked their shoes off. “I thought dinner would get cold by the time you showed up.”

“I wouldn’t miss this dinner,” said Wagner. “And it smells good too.”

It was then that Guile and Jane’s daughter Amy came down the stairs. “Wagner! Daddy!”

“Hey there Amy,” said Wagner as he bent down to give Amy a hug. They shared one before she went over to Guile, who picked her up.

“Dinner’s ready Daddy!” Amy exclaimed.

“Yes it is,” Guile replied as the three of them met with Jane in the kitchen.

As they enjoyed dinner, Wagner looked at the three at the table. Even though they didn’t share the same blood, the Guile family had always been, well, family to him. He couldn’t ask for a better family.


The next day, Liz had called the house, asking Wagner to meet her at a large fountain in uptown LA. Wagner accepted her invitation and headed down there that evening.

It was quite breezy that night, which was not the usual. Wagner wore his father’s jacket as he met with Liz, who wore a green windbreaker jacket over a white shirt and blue jeans. Her red hair was down which the breeze blew softly.

Wagner realized how stunning she was, even if she wasn’t dressed fancy. He got out of the jeep he drove and walked over to her. He stopped about a foot from her. “Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” she replied. “I’m glad you came tonight.”

“Me too.”

They fell silent for a minute before Liz spoke again. “I was worried about you the last couple of weeks.”

“I needed time to think…plus after what I did that night…”

“Wagner, I forgive you. We all do, even Jake. Please come back to us.”

Wagner sighed. “Well, I do have another week left of my ‘community service.’”

“I can help.”

“Don’t do that Liz. It’s my punishment, not yours.”

Liz sighed. “I…I just miss you Wagner…”

Suddenly, being called Wagner didn’t sound right to him when she said it. “Liz…you can call me Scott.”

Liz smiled. “Okay Scott.”

Wagner smiled. It sounded much better when she called him by his first name.

“But remember,” Liz continued. “You’re my friend, and I’ll always be there.”

Then, without thinking, Wagner replied, “What if I told you that you were more than a friend to me?” After that he thought, ‘Lord, that was very corny…

Liz looked into his eyes then. Wagner did the same until they leaned in to share a kiss. The kiss was as though they were now letting their feelings out after so long. After all, they had feelings for each other since the day they met.

They wrapped they arms around each other and held one another close deepening their kiss. Neither one of them wanted it to end, but it soon had to when Liz pulled back to catch her breath.

Wagner smiled at her. “So is this why you wanted me here?”

Liz laughed a bit. “Actually, I made dinner reservations at this Italian restaurant. My treat.”

“No, we’re splitting the bill this time,” Wagner replied. “By the way…will your Dad approve this?”

“Well, he won’t like the idea at first, but he knows you’re a good person on the inside,” Liz replied. “Come on, let’s go eat.”

Wagner smiled as he and Liz began walking down the street. Family, friends, and love…it was all he really needed.

To Chapter Ten


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