Chapter 34
(c) 2006

My boss drove his two young sons, Brett and me to a rocky reef down the coast. Our first real SCUBA experience was supposed to be a wreck dive; however, we were not sufficiently skilled for that. Instead, the boss chose a spot for a reef dive.

"Hey, Kyle," Brett whispered, "I'm not sure I wanna do this."

"Chicken shit. If you bail out now I'll drown you myself."

Neither of us owned diving suits so the boss loaned us each a vest and pair of dive pants, those that buckle up under the crotch. I felt like one of King Arthur's knights wrapped in rubber instead of chain mail.

First, we tested the SCUBA gear: tank pressure, various hand signals, breathing technique, etcetera. Then we jumped feet first off the rocks and into the water. Woohoo! No walls, no tiles! This was the genuine article! The dive was fairly shallow because we were on a shelf, but it was awesome nonetheless, immersed in a liquid world of dazzling colors, exotic fish and plant life. The current drifted like a silent wind that caused fern corals and various seaweeds to sway gently back and forth.

The boss' sons, resembling two tadpoles in their dive suits, styled through the water like pros, relegating us novices to pitiful shame.

It seemed an age underwater as we investigated all the nooks and crannies around the reefs, home to a myriad of exotic life but, in fact, it was just twenty minutes. During that time we observed jet-propelled seals and penguins darting this way and that, a pod of playful dolphins and, by contrast, a few cruising reef sharks; relatively harmless critters that, despite their reputation, suggested otherwise. Nonetheless, the experience was truly amazing, something like visiting a totally alien world. For one thing, we were weightless, just as we would be in space.

A few days later, I stopped by Brett's place on my way to Melanie's house. He was about to leave for work at the Pizzeria. "Yeah, I know," I explained. "Had a shit day at work and I needed to see you."

"What's the prob?"

"Downers. I got trashed last night. My dad's pissed off, my boss is pissed off, and I found a joint in Graham's pocket."

"You're scratching around in his pockets now?"

"No, no. It fell out when he removed his shorts before a swim in the pool. I quizzed him and he lied about it. That's what got to me."

"Is that why you got trashed?"

"I got trashed because everyone was out last night and I was on my own some. Went to the pub to play pool and nobody was there. Got into a hassle with the barman for giving shit to some bloke--can't even remember what it was about. Can't even remember what I was drinking. Then Graham saw me when I got home--fine example I am."

"Drinking on your own is no bloody good, mate."

"At least it gave me time to think about us."


"You and me."

"Whoa!" he said, glancing at his bedside table. "Check the time, man. I gotta move."

"Saved by the bell, huh?"

At 2am, returning home from Melanie's house, I saw the light on in Brett's room. I went to his open window. "G'day, mate."

"Hey, what are you doing up this late?"

"Just come from Melanie's and took a chance you'd be here."

"I just got back from Susan's. What's up?"

"Nothing. Just wanted to say g'night and ... and I love ya."

"Same. See you for coffee in the morning?"

"Yeah. See ya."

"See you, Kyle. Thanks for stopping by."

"Cool. `Night." I turned to leave when Brett asked me if I was all right. "Not really."

Brett jumped from the window and joined me on the lawn, where we sat side by side. "So what's wrong?"

"Not sure--I think about us a lot."

"So what's the prob?"

"I get the downers when I don't see you for a whole day."

"Me too. You're the best mate I got, but we both have lives to get on with, yeah?"

"I know that, but I worry about what will happen in the future."

"Like what?"

"Us--you going your way and me going mine. Maybe us losing contact."

"I don't think that will happen, Kyle. Even if I go to Perth or somewhere, we won't lose contact."

"Why do you say that? Perth, I mean."

"No particular reason. It's just that a bloke visited the yacht yard and offered me a job earning twice what I make here, working on boat building in Perth."


"And nothing. I told him I'd think about it. My living expenses would be paid for so it's not like I'd pay for accommodation or whatever." By that stage, I was a sniveling wreck. "Oh, fuck, Kyle! Don't do that. If it weren't for you and Susan I'd have fuck all to think about. I'd just pack up and go. It's not that easy."

"But you're thinking about it."

"I have to, Kyle."

"Where will you stay?"

"I could stay with my dad but that would sour within days. This bloke has a spare room in his house. He lives alone but he travels a lot." He paused while I took a long noisy sniffle. "Bloody hell, Kyle! Stop that!"

"I can't help it," I sobbed. "I can't stand the idea of you not being here in Byron. I couldn't even stand one day without seeing you, and got into deep shit. What's gonna happen now?"

"Hey, you've never needed any help getting yourself into shit."

"I love you so damn much."

"I love you too, mate, that's why I just can't get up and go."

"Yeah, but I don't want you telling me you can't do what you want just because of me."

"It's not like that. If I need to go I'll tell you first."

"I don't wanna know about it, though."

"Then I'll have to go without telling you."

"Then I'll have to hunt you down and kill you."

"You?" he laughed. "Yeah, I guess you would."

I placed my hand on his thigh and felt the night chill settling on his skin. "You're cold. Wanna go back to bed?"

"Nah, let's sit here a while." His hand gave my leg a squeeze, then a comforting rub. We sat in silence for a while, each keeping our thoughts to ourselves. Then he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close. "Guess we'd better get some shut-eye, Kyle."

"When I get home and get into bed, I'm gonna think about you."

"Don't worry, Kyle. Okay?" He pressed a finger to my chest. "I'll be right here."

One night Susan and Melanie decided to go see a `girl's' flick--which guaranteed an overdose of romantic mush--so Brett and I hit the local pub to play pool. Two other guys asked if we'd like to play doubles, the losing team to provide the drinks. My mate and I didn't buy a drink all night. Ha!

Back at Brett's house, we ate leftovers, fooled around, wrestled a bit and listened to music in the den. I asked him about his `treasure trail', the thin line of hair from his navel to his pubes. "Do you shave your stomach?"

"Yeah, and my nipples. I get little bushes there. You know what puzzles me about you, Kyle? When we were out in the courtyard just now, I wondered why you think my bod is more special than anyone else's. Check yourself out."

"You're being freaky. It's not normal for you to make those kinda comments about my bod."

"Just stand up, I want to show you something." I hesitated before he repeated his order more aggressively. "Okay, okay," he continued as I stood, "check this out, and listen up, I'm gonna tell you what Melanie sees." He placed his hands on my chest. "Smooth, good-looking pecs--defined--nice nipples--and getting hard. Strong neck and muscular shoulders. Let's check the biceps." He grabbed my upper arm. "C'mon, make a muscle for me." I obliged and formed my bicep into a ball. "Hmmm, hard and perfect. Okay, guts." He placed his hands on my stomach.

"You're examining me like some biology class project," I giggled.

"Shut up. Okay, hard, flat. Hmmm, so the six-pack went for lunch."

"You're tickling me."

"Ah! There it is," he remarked as the giggling flattened my stomach. "Hmmm, nice. Melanie's a lucky chick." He then backhanded my gut and asked me to about face. I hesitated again so he gave me another backhand. "Turn, dork!" I felt his hands cruise my back, then down my lats to my hips. "Definitely your strong point, wide shoulders, strong muscular blades, narrow hips, smooth. Okay, about turn." I faced him wearing a silly grin. "Stop smiling, soldier, this is no laughing matter."

"You're crazy, Brett."

"Shut up, no back chat. Let's check the legs." He untied my shoelaces, then unbuckled my belt. I obliged by lifting one leg at a time while he undressed me down to my boxers.

"I feel like a total geek," I complained. But he ignored me, stood back, placed a hand on his chin and studied my bod for a minute. Then he knelt before me and rubbed his hands up and down each leg.
"Hmmm, nice shape, strong, hairless..." He looked closer. "And SHAVED!"

"Only the bottoms," I explained with some embarrassment. "The tops don't have hair."


"Only the bloody bottoms, Brett. Piss off!"

"Poodle legs," he cried, rolling around on the floor and holding his gut.

"Shut up! I should have taken a clean shave before I went out tonight."

Then, without warning, he sent my boxers to my ankles. "Okay, so what else do you shave?" As soon as my boner was freed, it slapped against my gut. "NOW I KNOW WHAT MELANIE SEES," he laughed. "A steel pin!"

"Brett, I'm feeling fucking stupid now. Are you finished?"

"Be quiet. Not by a long shot. Stay there." Brett took his beer to the couch and sat down, sipping his drink and scrutinizing my bod. I asked for another beer. "Don't move," he ordered before dashing into the kitchen and returning almost instantly with another Fosters. After an eternity, Brett rose from the couch and stood before me. "See? There's nothing wrong with your bod. But you go crazy about mine for some inexplicable reason."

A period where eyes searched eyes followed, then his face drew closer to mine. First, lips then tongues. I removed his jeans as we descended slowly to the carpeted floor, open mouths still joined. He then moved away and used his tongue to trace circles around my nipples while his hand slid toward my crotch, electrifying my groin with the most incredible sensations.

"Oh, my God, Brett! What's happening here?"

"I don't know."

What followed surprised us both--oral sex, sixty-nine style, with me on the bottom. However, unlike me, Brett was reluctant to dine on several wads of protein, so he wore mine in his hair.

Eventually, Brett rolled to one side, stood and offered his hand. We retired to the garden where he retrieved a joint from a flowerbed (SFB's private stash) and lit it. He offered it to me. Surprise number two--I took a puff. "You know this won't last forever, Kyle."

"Shhhh. Let's not talk about that."

"You're unbelievable ... and I love you, Kyle."

I turned my head at the sound of a car door closing. "What was that?"

"Oh, shit!" We ran to the den, collected our clothes and blasted into Brett's room. Panic set in as Brett struggled with his briefs and jeans. I wobbled all over the place trying desperately to get into my pants. "Kyle! Quick! Get under the bed!"

Like a disoriented crab terrified out of its wits, I clambered under the bed. Brett's heel followed, kicking the rest of my gear out of sight. I heard the door open and recognized SFB's voice. "Hi, Brett."

"G'day. You guys have a good time?"

"So, so. What are you up to? You're sweating like a pig."

"Sit-ups and stuff."

"You're unfit, boy, totally out of breath--it's all the shit you smoke."

"I take after you then, don't I."

"Fuck you. Your mother wants coffee."

"I'll be there in a sec."

Once SFB left, Brett asked if I was okay. "Jesus! My breathing sounds like a steam train. And my heart sounds like..."


"Hi, Brett."

"Hi, mom."

"You alright? You're totally out of breath."

"I'm fine. I was exercising. I'll make you coffee in a sec."

"Great. I want to take a bath." I heard the sound of a kiss, then she left the room.

"Kyle! Wait until I'm out of here, then climb out the window. Dress first, though! Jesus!"

Brett switched off the light as he exited. Bloody great! Now I had to fumble around in the dark to find my clothes. I quickly dressed, ducked out the window, and jumped the wall. What a way to end a perfect evening. I was still breathing heavily from the fright when I stopped at a tree for a leak. Something tackled me and sent me sprawling. I almost shat myself.

"Hey," Brett grinned, "I couldn't let you leave without saying good night. I just wanted to let you know that what happened tonight was totally special, and that you're special. Hey, coffee's percolating, I gotta jet."

"Love ya."

"Me too, Kyle. Me too."