Mental Games

Another Milestone

After Adam was settled in at Johns Hopkins again, Mike gave him a very passionate kiss and energetic embrace, but then he had to leave right away so he could get back to DC and get everything organized for the next day.  Adam walked Mike down to the car and gave him another quick kiss and hug before he sent his boyfriend on his way.  They were both a little sad about having to be separated again, but the semester would be over before they knew it. 

Adam had been right to worry about his final semester, because it was one of the toughest and most demanding parts of the program thus far.  Not only was there a lot of reading and studying to keep up with, but he also had to contend with simulations, leadership training,  advanced communication skills and financial management, as well as participation in discussions about maintaining his emotional health. 

Mike called every couple of weeks to let Adam know what he was currently doing and to see how Adam was holding up.  Even though they exchanged texts in between and had a general idea about what was going on, they would discuss these matters in more depth during the phone calls.  The first one took place in the middle of January.  "Hey, sweetie, are things starting to settle down for you?"

"No, it's still rough," Adam replied.  "How are you making out with your internship, babe?  I know you said it was going well, but are you really enjoying what you're doing?" 

"It's pretty interesting and I actually like what I'm working on," Mike replied.  "Like I said when I texted you, the firm started me out with one of the lawyers who concentrates on real estate law.  In just the couple of weeks I've been with him, I've had an opportunity to learn all sorts of things that should be considered when buying or selling a house.  I know all of this will come in handy after we're married and ready to buy our own place." 

"Great!  I'll let you take care of all that stuff and I'll concentrate on keeping us healthy," Adam quipped back. 

Adam told Mike he was learning a lot too, although the subject matter wasn't always in his comfort zone, since it wasn't just about medicine.  It also included topics he would need to be aware of when running his own practice.  He'd never thought much about this part of becoming a doctor before, but he would also be required to supervise his staff, buy or rent office space, furnish it, meet payrolls and make sure he had the supplies he needed, as well as dealing with the patients and their health problems.  He would also have to prepare himself for the eventuality of losing a patient or patients, since he realized that would probably happen at some point too. 

Mike did his best to keep Adam from worrying about all of that for now and attempted to remain really upbeat.  He didn't want Adam to feel overwhelmed by the information he was learning and the thought of performing the various tasks he would be required to take on later. 

"Hey, love, don't spend your time worrying about any of this.  I know you and you'll do fine," Mike assured him.  "I'll even help out and do whatever I can to make it easier for you." 

"I know you will, babe.  Thanks," Adam replied. 

On Mike's next call, Adam sounded more like himself and a little less stressed.  After telling Mike about how things were going, he wanted to know more about what his lover was up to as well.  "So what have you been working on?" 

"I just finished up a stint concentrating on family law with another lawyer," Mike replied.  "During that time I helped him with divorce cases, custody disputes, support agreements, domestic violence, restraining orders and a whole bunch of other issues too.  It was interesting, but it could be a real drag at times.  Most people we dealt with were really angry and basically looking for revenge, while others just wanted us to put an end to the problem they were having.  It made me realize this area of law is not what I want to be involved with for the rest of my life." 

"It's good you learned that early, and I'm having my own share of second-thoughts as well," Adam confessed.  "Becoming a doctor is a lot more complicated than I first suspected.  I can handle the medical issues, but it's everything else that I'm not so sure about." 

"Like I told you, don't worry about that.  I'll help you out as much as I can," Mike confirmed. 

"I don't think you'll be able to help me deal with some of the egos I'll have to work with," Adam shot back.  "Even though we aren't doctors yet, I can already see that I wouldn't want to have to work with some of these people on a regular basis.  They already think they know it all and have all the answers." 

"Yeah, we've got those here too," Mike admitted.  "I know exactly what you mean." 

Johns Hopkins spring break was starting in the middle of March, so Adam talked Mike into driving over to pick him up the first weekend and then taking him to back to D.C. with him, so they could spend more time with each other.  Adam realized that other than on the weekend, Mike would only be free at night, but they'd have that time, as well as both weekends to be together before spring break ended.  Mike definitely didn't have a problem with doing this and was anxious to spend some quality time with Adam again too. 

Even though Mike worked long days Monday through Thursday, the lawyers he worked with liked to quit at a decent time on Friday and then have the weekend to spend with their families.  This worked out well for Mike, so he set out for Baltimore just as soon as he got out of work on Friday afternoon.  The traffic was horrific though, so this trip took much longer than normal to complete, but both boys were thrilled when he finally showed up at Adam's door. 

"I thought you'd be here earlier than this," Adam told Mike after they finished kissing. 

"I would have been, if the traffic wasn't bumper-to-bumper when I was trying to get out of D.C.," Mike confessed.  "I've never had to drive in anything like that before and it was ridiculous, slow and frustrating.  I hope it's not a sign of things to come for me." 

"Even if it is, we'll get through it just like we do everything else.  We'll just help each other out and make things seem better, even when they're not," Adam retorted with a smile. 

Once the door to Adam's room was closed the boys were all over each, as they kissed, hugged and slowly undressed their partner.  As soon as they were both naked, Adam urged Mike to make love to him first and Mike eagerly complied.  Even though he was horny, Mike did his best to make it a slow and passionate undertaking, to maximize their enjoyment.  It obviously worked, because they were both totally satisfied when it was over. 

After they'd had time to enjoy their post orgasmic glow, the boys went out for a bite to eat.  It wasn't anything fancy, just something to quiet the rumblings in their bellies, and then they returned to Adam's room. Almost as soon as the door shut. Mike urged Adam to return the favor and make love to him next.  Adam had no objections with doing that and they spent the next hour involved in this intimate activity.  Once their lovemaking session had ended though, the boys cuddled together on Adam's bed and fell asleep. 

After waking up the next morning, they went out for a late breakfast and then Adam made a suggestion.  Since he knew how much Mike enjoyed historical excursions, he thought they should go over to the Maryland Historical Society next.  Mike was pleased and honored that Adam had suggested this and followed Adam's directions on how to get there.  Then, they spent the next few hours making their way through the assortment of displays and exhibits offered.  When they were done, Adam turned to Mike and spoke. 

"I thought you would like seeing these things, so what did you think about this place?" he asked with a huge grin.

"It was awesome!" Mike enthusiastically confirmed.  "I really loved getting to look at the things they'd recovered out of the time capsule from Mount Vernon's Washington Monument.  I also really enjoyed two of the exhibits - the one of 'Maryland during the Revolutionary War' and the other of 'Maryland during the Civil War'.  They were absolutely fascinating!"

"I liked seeing those things too, but I was fascinated by the three lead caskets," Adam agreed.  "It just amazes me how much things have changed in just 200 years."

"It amazes me how much things have changed since our parents were our age," Mike shot back, as he thought back to some of the stories their parents had told them.

As they were getting into the car, Adam had something else to tell Mike.  "Tomorrow they're having the St. Patrick's Day parade, so I thought maybe we could go to that before we drove over to D.C." 

"Yeah, that sounds like fun too," Mike concurred. 

Since that had been agreed to, the boys returned to Adam's room and kicked back for a while.  After they went out to dinner, the boys decided to go over to the Drinkery again, where they danced and threw back a few cold ones before the night was over.  Mike let Adam do most of the drinking this time, since Adam had allowed him the privilege the last time they were there, so Mike switched over to soda about halfway through the night.  He certainly didn't want to get picked up for drunk driving, because that would definitely put a kink in starting his legal career. 

Once they got back to Adam's room later, they hurriedly undressed so they could sixty-nine with each other before calling it a night.  As soon as they both had their release, they cuddled together on Adam's bed and spent the rest of the night peacefully clinging to each other in their sleep. 

The boys had another late breakfast on Sunday before heading over to find a good spot to watch the parade from.  They were really glad they did this too, because it was one of the better parades they had ever seen.  It included some great bands, such as an Irish bagpipe and drum band with everyone dressed in kilts, but there were also some interesting floats and other attractions as well. 

When the parade ended, the pair went back to Adam's room so he could grab a few things to take with him and then they drove to D.C.  When they got there, Mike took Adam over so he could see where he had been working, even though the office wasn't currently open, but it gave Adam an idea about the place and the daily commute Mike had to make. 

Starting that evening and continuing throughout the week, the boys would go out to dinner together first and then return to Mike's room, where they would alternate making love to one another.  It almost seemed as if they were a married couple and it gave them a brief look at what their lives might be like if Mike was able to get a job close to where Adam would be doing his residency.  At least that's what both of them were hoping for. 

After having breakfast on Saturday, the boys agreed to go over to check out Mount Vernon, the plantation home of George Washington that stands along the banks of the Potomac River.  Over the course of the day they toured the main house, with all of its furnishings and artifacts, but they also saw the two other buildings as well.  One was the servants hall and the other the kitchen.  They also walked around the grounds and gardens, but they also spent a few moments in the family mausoleum, where George and Martha's bodies lie in rest in marble sarcophagi. 

"I just love seeing things like this," Mike stated as they were walking back to the car.  "It just seems to make history come to life for me." 

"I have to admit, I felt the same way while walking around the place and thinking of Washington," Adam confessed.  "I guess you must be rubbing off on me." 

"Yeah?  Lucky you," Mike teased. 

The boys spent the night together and made love again, but what they enjoyed the most was the intimacy they were able to share with each other.  This included the simple touches, impromptu kisses and playful banter, which was far more important to them than just the sex.  Making love was merely the icing on the cake. 

On Sunday, the boys agreed to go over to Madame Tussauds so they could check out the wax figures there.  What many people aren't aware of is that Marie Tussaud learned her trade from a French physician in the mid-1700s and then became so popular that she was even invited to spend time with King Louis XVI at Versailles.  During this same time, she also became familiar with some of the future Revolutionaries, which placed her in a very uneasy position.  During the Reign of Terror, Madame Tussaud was arrested and her head was shaved in preparation for her to be taken to the guillotine, but one of her powerful friends in the revolution saved her life and got her released.  She was then employed to make the death masks of those that had been executed and used this to perfect the skills she would later use to her benefit. 

During the course of their visit, the boys went to see the Presidents Gallery and observed the likenesses of all 44 Presidents.  They also toured the Civil Rights Gallery, where they saw the images of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Malcolm X, followed by the Glamour Room, which contained the likenesses of many Hollywood celebrities.  Next, they visited the Sports Zone and saw the images of notable athletes, before going to the Media Room to look at the many notable figures from TV.  They ended up by going to Behind the Scenes, which gave them a look at how all of the figures had been created, but this area also included a wax figure of Madame Tussaud. 

"That was definitely fun and interesting," Adam confirmed as they were leaving the building. 

"Yes, it certainly was," Mike agreed.  "I actually felt as if I got to meet all of those people, except for the fact that they couldn't talk to us.  It was like a walk through history, especially after seeing every one of the Presidents." 

As Mike drove Adam back to Baltimore, they continued talking about their week together and agreed they'd both had a fantastic time, but that was about to come to an end.  Unfortunately, Mike had to turn around and drive back to D.C. as soon as he'd dropped Adam off, because he had to get ready for work the next day.  The boys took several minutes kissing and hugging each other before they parted, and that only made them anxious to be able to spend more time with each other again. 

Mike and Adam kept in contact throughout the rest of the semester as well, and some of their conversations were more upbeat than others, but they were both gaining confidence about their futures.  During this time, Mike told Adam about the experiences he'd had while working with the lawyers dealing with accident and personal injury law, bankruptcy, estate planning, litigation and business law.  Even though it sounded quite boring to Adam, he noticed Mike seemed to be enjoying what he was doing and that was what mattered.  Adam was sure Mike would probably feel the same way listening to him go on about some of the things he'd be involved with during his residency too, but it didn't matter, as long they were both happy following their dreams. 

Near the end of the semester, Adam finally got an email on his JHU account.  He was hoping it wasn't anything too involved, since he was really bogged down with other things at the time, as he hesitantly opened the email and read it. 

'I've got a problem and I sure hope you can help me,' it began.  'I'm a history major and I wrote a paper for one of my classes.  I don't know how it happened, but somehow a student in another section turned in the exact same paper.  We were both given an 'F' and then called in to speak with the professor, one at a time.  Now, that same professor wants to meet with us together to see if he should recommend further disciplinary action against one or both of us.  Do you think you could possibly do something to help me out with this matter?'

Right away, Adam began composing his reply.  'I will do my best to help you with this problem, but I will need you to send me a phone number I can reach you at and the best time to do it.  I will discuss this situation in more depth with you then.'

A reply arrived a short time later, which told Adam the person was available then or later that same evening.  Since Adam was free at the moment too, he decided to address this problem immediately. 

"Hello.  This is the person you contacted to help you," Adam began.  "I want you to tell me the complete truth about what happened."

"Actually, I'm not sure how it happened," the guy replied.  "I wrote the paper myself and I've got all of my research notes to prove it." 

"Do you know the other person or do you have an idea about how he was able to get a copy of your research paper?" Adam followed, trying to get to the bottom of this. 

"I have no idea who this person is, because the professor wouldn't tell me his name," the guy admitted.  "Since I don't know who did this, I have no way of knowing how it was done either." 

"Ok, what's your name, and when and where is this meeting?" Adam asked next. 

"My name is Wyatt Sanford and the meeting will be in Dr. Burdick's office at 3:00 on Friday," Wyatt replied.  "Will that give you enough time to help me?"

"I think I'll be able to find out who the other person is, how he did this and then be able to convince him to admit to what he's done by then," Adam responded.  "Just bring everything with you when you go to this meeting, including all of your research.  I'll also need you to tell me where Dr. Burdick's office is located."

Once Adam had that information, he began devising his plan to help this student out.  He was positive Wyatt was telling him the truth, so he would start the process the following day. 

The first thing the next morning, Adam went over to Dr. Burdick office to see the listing for his office hours.  Once he noted that information, Adam planned on going over there again at one of the listed times so he could speak with Dr. Burdick.  That happened later the same day. 

"Dr. Burdick, I need you to tell me the name of the other student that turned in the same paper as Wyatt Sanford," Adam told him quite forcefully.  "You will give me this information and then forget that we ever met." 

Although Dr. Burdick looked at Adam rather oddly at first, he did what Adam had requested.  "The other student's name is Reggie Van der Roos.  He's one of our international students." 

As soon as Adam had the name, he thanked Dr. Burdick for his help and left.  He then went over to the admissions office and convinced the office assistant to share all of the information she had on this boy.  Adam soon discovered that Reggie came from a very wealthy family and it appeared that Reggie felt as if everything should be handed to him on a silver platter, including his degree.   Now, Adam had a pretty good idea about what had happened, he just didn't know how. 

Adam made sure he would be free for the meeting and got there early so he could wait for the others to show up.  It wasn't difficult to tell which one was Reggie, because he strolled down the corridor as if he didn't have a care in the world and everyone else was there to do whatever he wanted.  That's when Adam decided to burst his bubble. 

'Reggie, when you go into this meeting you will tell the truth and admit to whatever you did,' Adam instructed him mentally.  'You will do this, because if you don't you will force me to contact some very vicious individuals I know.  Either you confess or I will have them kidnap you and then hold you for ransom, but unfortunately you will never be seen again, whether or not the ransom is paid.'

Suddenly, Reggie's entire demeanor changed.  He stopped dead in his tracks, the color drained from his face and he lost all traces of the self-assuredness he'd been exuding only seconds before.  This let Adam know that Reggie had gotten his message and would be more than willing to do as he was asked. 

Adam stuck around outside just in case, but twenty minutes later the other boy came out of the office smiling and looking relieved, so Adam was fairly certain that his plan had succeeded. 

The next afternoon, Adam received another email from Wyatt and it explained what had happened at the meeting.  'I don't know how you did it, but the other dude admitted to what he'd done.  He was from another country and somehow knew me.  I guess we'd been in a couple of other classes together, although I don't remember him at all, but with his attitude he probably didn't show up that often. 

'Anyway, He also knew I was in the other section and was getting good grades, so he felt copying my paper would work best for him.  It seems that he paid my roommate to take a flash drive from him and then copy my paper off of my computer.  My roommate claims that he thought the guy was only going to use the information to write his own paper, not turn the same paper with only a couple of minor changes having  been made. 

'He didn't even change the title and only changed a handful of words, so it was obviously the same paper and Dr. Burdick would have had to be blind not to notice.  Maybe if he'd used it next semester, but not the same semester I turned it in too.  After the guy confessed, Dr. Burdick cleared me completely and said he'd grade my paper now, especially after I showed him the research I'd done.  I'm not sure what's going to happen to the other guy now, but I don't really care though, as long as I'm not involved in this mess any longer.  Thank you so much for whatever you did to get me out of this. Wyatt'

For the rest of the night, Adam was feeling really great, but it only got better when Mike called the following morning. 

"I'm just about finished with my internship and this last part has been a blast, because I'm working with an attorney who deals in criminal law," Mike announced.  "So far I've been involved with a bunch of different cases that have dealt with a wide range of criminal conduct and it has been really interesting.  In fact, when I was helping out with one of the cases I found a fairly obscure precedent that the lawyer used and later claimed it was what had helped to win the case.  He was totally impressed with my work and thought I did such a good job that he recommended a possible job opening to me.  He has also agreed to write a letter of recommendation and send it to them too.  You won't believe what I'd be doing or where the job is, provided I get it." 

"Are you going to tell me or do I have to guess?" Adam teased when Mike didn't respond right away. 

"Oh, yeah," Mike continued, sounding slightly embarrassed.  "It's for an Honors Law Clerk, but it's for Baltimore County and I'd be working in the city." 

"No way!  Really?" Adam gasped, totally surprised. 

"Yes, but I'll be just one of a bunch of people applying, at least that's what I imagine," Mike replied.  "I'm just hoping the recommendation the lawyer writes for me will help, since I'm told he has a really good reputation in this area."

"That would be fantastic and we could get an apartment together," Adam gushed.  "I'll be doing my residency here at Johns Hopkins Hospital, so we could find a place somewhere between where we both work." 

"I was thinking that too," Mike agreed.  "I just hope I get really lucky and end up with the job." 

"Me too!" Adam concurred enthusiastically. 

Things were definitely looking up for the two of them and as the semester was drawing to a close, Adam suddenly became more upbeat about his future and everything he had been exposed to over the past couple of months.  They were going to find a way to make this work after all.

The boys finished up the final couple of weeks of the semester and then Mike packed up a few things to go spend the weekend with Adam, now that everything had come to an end.  Neither one of them was going home just yet though, because they would stay for the graduation ceremonies.  Adam's graduation would be the following Saturday and Mike's would be held on Sunday, so they would just stay there until then.

The boys were happy to see each other again and had a lot to talk about, but they understood that could wait.  Before they did anything else, Mike pushed Adam back into his room, shut the door and then they began making out.   That led to other things and they spent the rest of the night alone in Adam's room and didn't even go out to get anything to eat.  They had each other and that's all they needed.

When they woke the following morning, both boys were famished, so they got ready quickly and ran out to have a very large breakfast.  Once they were finally stuffed, Mike told Adam he had someplace he wanted to take him and followed the directions he had written down.  He wouldn't tell Adam where they were going until they had reached their destination. 

"This is where I'll be working if I get the job as Honors Law Clerk," Mike announced, as he pointed toward the building. 

"Damn, that's not bad at all and it won't be that far away from the hospital," Adam stated, once he saw where the office was located.

"No, it's less than a two mile drive from where you'll be working too and that's only about half the distance I commute now," Mike stated as he looked over at Adam.  "I've already checked out all of that, so I really hope I get the job now." 

"Me too!" Adam quickly agreed.  "This would be perfect." 

The boys spent the rest of the week together, and besides all of the sex and cuddling, they even found time to talk about the various things they'd been involved in over the past semester, including the fact that Adam had come to the rescue of someone else. 

Both sets of parents showed up on Friday night so they would be there for both graduation ceremonies and the boys met them at the hotel when they arrived.  Mike's parents had driven to Adam's house and then rode the rest of the way with George and Rita. 

Of course there were a lot of hugs, kisses and handshakes being exchanged, and then once they got their parents settled into their rooms, they all went out to have dinner together.  While they were eating, their parents let their sons know how proud they were of them.

"It's been a long haul, but you boys have finally made it," Dave stated as he looked at the two young men.  "I guess you already know how proud we all are of both of you." 

"Yes, both of you will be getting your doctorate degrees and we will now have a doctor and a lawyer in the family," Rita gushed.  "How much prouder could a mother be?"

"And to think we once changed their diapers," Judy quipped, which caused both boys to groan. 

"Mom, that's not an image we need this weekend," Mike whined. 

"Yeah, let's concentrate on the present and future, not on the past," Adam chimed in.

"She just means that it's hard for us to realize that those little boys we raised are now about to start their careers and become accomplished professionals," George offered in explanation.  

"Ok, that's better," Adam agreed. 

The graduation ceremonies were very similar and both boys looked so handsome in their caps and gowns.  Not only did they wear the traditional black gowns and mortarboards, but they also had on the academic hoods that signified an advanced degree.  No, they weren't hoods that covered their heads, but the kind that draped around their necks and hung down their backs, with a velvet 'V' in the color of the discipline they were receiving their degree in.

Adam's academic hood had a hunter green velvet 'V', which indicated the medical profession, as he was awarded his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree.  There was another piece attached to the hood that was decorated in light blue and black, which were the colors of Johns Hopkins University. 

The 'V' on Mike's academic hood was purple, for the legal profession, as he received his Doctor of Law (J.D. or Juris Doctor) degree.  His hood also had another piece attached to it that was dark blue and gray, which were the Georgetown school colors.  Needless to say, both sets of parents took a great many photos of the boys as each day progressed, which included the time before, during and after their graduation ceremonies.  After each ceremony had concluded, the parents took the boys back to their residence hall and helped them pack up and load their belongings in Adam's car.  

Once both ceremonies were behind them, the families loaded into the two cars and drove back to Adam's house.  Fortunately, Mike's parents weren't in a hurry to continue on to their house, because they had both taken the following day off so they could travel then.  Now, the two sets of parents took the boys out to eat and to celebrate the big event one final time. 

"To a wonderful future for two very special young men," George toasted them after they finished eating. 

"Here, here!" the other three chimed in, as the boys smiled and reveled in the wonderful feeling of accomplishment.