by Jeff Booth <jeffboy70@hotmail.com>

I stirred slowly in the early morning.  The room was still in darkness.  Although there was a slight chill in the air, I was snuggled warmly under the doona.  But the warmth was not mine alone.  A bare arm was draped over my shoulders, and I could feel bare skin pressed against my naked back, legs snuggled against mine, and against my naked buttocks...

A moment's bewilderment soon focused into clarity, as the events of the last night, day, week fell into place, and I began to contemplate the amazing events that had evolved...

Whoa there.

It's a long story so I'd better introduce you to some characters.

First, there's Mike.  Everyone loves Mike.  All the girls seem to have a crush on him, and I reckon half the boys probably have a crush on him too.  I certainly do.  He's not what most people might call 'classically good looking' (he's about my size, 5'8", and very thin, with a shock of brown hair and soulful eyes) but he seems to have this great magnetism that draws people to him.  He's cute, he's gentle, he's generous, he's funny and intelligent and I count him as my best friend.  At 23, he's about three years younger than me, but that doesn't mean we can't get on fantastically.

Next, there's Stuart, a friend of mine from high school.  We were both on scholarships together, went to the same Uni, and he shared some of my interests.  The longer we knew each other, the closer we became.  Stuart was brilliant, but beneath his amiability and friendliness was a quiet and pensive soul looking out fearfully onto the world.

Lastly, Stuart's sister Kate.  Of late I had been feeling protective of Kate.  She was just about to turn 20, six years my junior.  She was in the process of turning from Stuart's Little Sister into a confident and mature woman and I couldn't but help but be swept away by her charms.  OK, I was falling for her too -- almost as much as I'd fallen for Mike.

Problem was, she had fallen for Mike too.  And after a promising beginning, Mike had left her for another girl closer to his age.  This had hit Kate hard.  Kate and I had spent several long sessions together, steeped in irony.  Kate would sob about how much she missed Mike and how loveable he was.  Silently, all I could do was agree with her about Mike, and wish that her intentions were turned elsewhere.

Complicated?  You just have to read it, you don't have to live it.

The story starts with us all living in beautiful Sydney, Australia.  Stuart, fresh from his success at University, was offered a job overseas at Berkeley for two years.  This was both a big achievement and a big step for him.  Stuart had always lived with his family, never done the washing or cooked a proper meal, and here he was jetting off to the other side of the world, leaving all of us -- and particularly Kate -- behind.

A lot of his friends held a big party to send him off, which was great fun.  But the party was to start off what would set off shockwaves that would forever change our lives.

The following week went something like this.

Saturday: Stuart leaves.  He's not going direct to Berkeley, he's stopping off first in Paris to go to some big-league conference.  I don't go to see him off.  I figure he wants -- and needs -- to be with those closest to him.
Sunday: I go out with Kate and we walk along the coast a bit, to cheer them up about Stuart leaving.  We went back to Kate's place, and somehow ended up lying on Kate's bed talking for a long time about Stuart, how this was his first time away, how the family had always done everything for him.  I said I was sure he would cope and would be fine.

Monday: I sent an e-mail to Stuart in Paris, telling him about the weekend and how everyone was getting on well.

Tuesday: I got an e-mail back from him, saying how great it was over there, meeting all sorts of legends in the field at the conference.  I sent an e-mail to Kate.

Wednesday: No e-mail back from Kate.  She usually replies right away.  Funny.

Thursday: I get a call, it's Kate.  "Hi, what's up?" I say.  "Stuart's dead" she sighs.

The words hit me with a terrific blow.  Oh man.  I couldn't believe it.  She tells me it was a car crash, it happened on Tuesday, he's dead, they're bringing the body back from Paris and the funeral will be next Monday.

I sit there stunned for about 45 minutes.  I don't cry, I just don't believe it.  I realise that a few of us who knew Stuart were meeting that evening.  I will have to tell the others.

I go to the meeting and, shaking, tell the others the bad news.  Just as I finish, the door opens and Kate comes in, with Mike.  Kate and I run to hold each other.  I can't believe how strong she is to be here.  But she wanted to be with her friends.  We sat for a long time holding each other, Mike Kate and I.

Why is Mike mixed up in this?  Well, despite their problems, Kate still saw Mike as the one to turn to first for comfort - and I don't blame her.  He's a really good comforter...as I was to find out...

Mike drove Kate home that night.  On the weekend, Mike and I were committed to go to something out of town, and though we both really wanted to stay Kate urged us to go.  There were others relying on us being there as we were partly organising it.  I still think I probably shouldn't have gone.  I had a really rotten time, was very depressed all weekend, could hardly sleep, spent most of the nights tossing and turning.  All that consoled me was the e-mail I had got from Stuart the day he died saying what a great time he was having.  At least he had died happy.  It was all probably over so quickly that he barely had an opportunity to see his death coming.

On Sunday I came back and went to visit Kate.  The house was so sad.  Stuart and Kate's mother was devastated and there were lots of crying relatives.  Eventually, most people had left and the house was quiet.

Then Kate took me into the kitchen to tell me something.  Stuart didn't die in a car crash, he committed suicide.  He took a massive overdose of pills.  Aside from his family, the only other friend Kate had told was Mike.  She wanted me to keep it a secret.  "It can be like last Thursday night -- just the three of us together - a little circle of strength" she said.

The two of us hugged each other for a long time in silence.  I felt so sorry for her and her family.  When someone close to you who you care for commits suicide you feel terrible and guilty - was it something I did?  Was it something I said?  What could I have done to stop him?

I went home and cried most of the night.  Stuart hadn't died happy at all, he had been so miserable he couldn't bear to live.  What a terrible thought for someone so young with such a promising future.  What shocked me most of all was that I hadn't seen it coming, hadn't been able to do anything to change things.

The funeral the next day was pretty intense; funerals often are.  The service was OK but the burial was really bad.  Stuart was Jewish, and at a Jewish funeral family and friends come forward, take shovels of earth and dump it on the coffin.  It was so weird to be shovelling dirt onto Stuart's coffin - I'd known him half my life.  I walked away and stood at a distance, sobbing.  Lots of my female friends came up and hugged me for a while, and that felt good, but they had to move on after 30 seconds or so.  It was so bad.  I needed someone there for me, I didn't have a girlfriend, but I wanted comfort and love so much.

A few of us younger ones sat under the trees in the cemetery for a while, quiet.  Then some of us went to have a late lunch.  Most people were a bit more relaxed and joking but Stuart's secret was really nagging me.

That night there was a wake at Kate's house.  There were prayers and singing and candle lighting and stuff, all very solemn.  However, afterwards things loosened up, we had a little to drink, and we were chatting away.  I felt a bit better, though still very upset.  Mike and I live nearby and I asked him to share a taxi back home with me.  We got talking together and ended up at Mike's place.

Mike lived with his family then, but they were away for a couple of months and he was minding the otherwise empty house.  This was good, it was my first time to talk to Mike properly about what had happened.  He was really cut up about it too.  We went back to his place and went inside.  We went into his room and sat on his big double bed and talked, talked lots.

Mike was particularly upset because he couldn't tell his girlfriend about how Stuart really died.  Kate had been very specific: for the time being, this was going to be our secret; we weren't to tell anyone else until she was ready.  I didn't know what was worse, me not having anyone to care for me, or him having her to care for him but he couldn't tell her what was really on his mind.  We both really appreciated the opportunity to talk to one another.  It was really weird for him too because of the support Kate needed from him.  I was so glad it was Mike who was the other guy who knew; he is such a great guy.  As I cried, and he cried, he put his arm round me and held me.

I felt so comforted having him there...and my mind went back about eight months previously to the other time we had been really close...

We were on a walking trip together.  Mike, Kate and some others had gone off walking for the day and were late returning.  I just knew something was wrong.  I set off with someone else to see if there was something wrong.  From where we parked the car, it was a 45-minute walk to where we found Mike at the side of the track, sitting on a rock with some kind tourists bandaging his leg.  He had had a bad fall, and had had to crawl up several hundred metres of steep slope with his sore knee.  He still had a long way to go back to the car.  Some of the others took me aside and told me that we shouldn't carry Mike, but let him walk (make that limp) back, as carrying would be bad for his self-esteem.  I am ashamed to say I agreed.  Mike started limping back with Kate and someone else supporting him.  The rest of us helped carry their equipment to the car.

When Mike got to the car he was shivering - he was just wearing a light t-shirt and shorts, night had fallen and because he was moving slowly he was getting really cold.  The walk had ground him down and he was spent.  My heart went out to him.  I took off my jacket and wrapped it round him.  We had a big van, and Mike lay down gingerly on the seat.  He lay his head on my thigh and put his arm in my lap.  I reached down and patted him consolingly as his warm breath panted on my thigh (I was wearing shorts too) and he started to sob.  He was in pain but he had made it, the walk was over.  I felt so disgusted at not having offered to carry him - boy, in his position I'm sure I would have snapped it up - and Mike is such an obliging fellow he would never have asked to be carried.  "That was a shit of a walk" was all he could sniff out, as I placed one hand on his side, and one on his head, while Kate held his hand, and the van drove slowly back to our hut.  It was the closest we had ever been.  And in the emotion of the moment, I felt strange stirrings...

And now here we were together again.  This time it was Mike comforting me, holding me and rubbing my hair softly as I cried against him, wrapped in his arms.

You make your mind up about what happened next...it went something like this...

"Oh Mike, I'm so glad you're here," I sniffed.

"That's OK man," he responded.

"You're such a good friend and a great guy - I'm so glad its you I have to share this with."

"Me too," he responded.

"It feels so good to have someone holding me.  You don't mind?"

"No, lets just hold each other.  I really need someone too."

A long pause.

"Um, Mike man..."


"Uh..."  Should I say it?

"Come on, tell me, what is it?"

"I'd really better leave it."

"Don't be silly," Mike said.  "I'm here for you."

"Um - it could make you cross, and I couldn't bear you to be mad with me."

"Tell me, whatever it is, I promise I won't be mad."


"I promise."

(Pause.  Swallow.  I almost couldn't believe I was saying this.  But my grief had put me in a daze and Mike's company was so needed.  Well, here goes!)

"Could we, like, um, get into the bed and hold each other there?"

There was a long pause.  My head reels.  I think...Oh God, what have I done?  I've just ruined our friendship!  What a fucking stupid thing to say.  I've gone and thrown away something dear to me, that is even more necessary at this time of crisis...

Eventually, Mike broke the silence.  "Would you like that?"

"Yes man, very much."

(A pause again.  I'm still not quite sure what that means.  Perhaps I haven't ruined things after all.  I hold my breath as Mike starts to speak again.)

"Well...I...um...we won't be naked will we?"


"...'cause I'd want to keep my underpants on."

Internally I was screaming Oh man, Mike you are a legend!  Instead my relief was shown with a more circumspect "Thank you so much man."

Now I should pause here to tell you - I'm not really sure what I had in mind when I asked Mike if we could get into bed together.  One thing's for sure - I wasn't really thinking straight.  I think what I had had in mind was that we would just get under the covers so that we would be comfortable, but still in our clothes, and just hold each other a bit.  I hadn't really thought about getting undressed; but of course that's what you normally do when you go to bed and it's not surprising that that's what Mike thought I was asking for.  But - well, maybe, in the back of my mind, this was what I really wanted...

He took his hand from my shoulders and we drew apart.  Rising to our feet on opposite sides of the bed, we stood up and began to undress.  We've got undressed together plenty of times before, and have done since, like for going swimming or changing clothes on camping trips, and have seen each other naked, but it never was or has been quite like this.  I kept glancing across at Mike, kicking off his shoes and socks, taking off his jumper, unbuttoning his shirt, slowly lowering and stepping out of his pants...baring his body just for me to touch and hold an caress...

It was not long before we stood on either side of the bed in our underpants.  I remember it so well.  In a way, it was both terribly sexy, and terribly unsexy.  This guy I had a big crush on, agreeing to get into bed and cuddle me, stripping off his clothes and standing before me in his underpants - so sexy!  But our hair was all tousled, our eyes were red from crying and we were so sad - so unsexy!  And as neither of us had expected company we certainly didn't have sexy underpants on.  Mike's were particularly tatty around the legs and had ridden up the sides of his cheeks a bit.  There was a thin frayed patch just above the base of his testicles where a little bit of pink skin of his scrotum showed through the pale blue briefs.  (And he has beautiful testicles, which hang nice and low between his pale thighs when he's naked...)  The outline of his circumcised penis head was just visible as it pressed against the material.  (Oh, that penis, which rests on his scrotum below a tight clump of dark brown pubic hair...)  If anything, these teasing hints of his fully naked body barely concealed by his tatty underwear as he stood there displayed before me were outrageously sexy - in normal circumstances, well, I don't know what I would have done, but I just smiled weakly.

It was a cool August night (August is in Winter here in Australia of course, though it never gets really, really cold in Sydney) and Mike's board floor was cold under our feet.  We had stood there for a few seconds, me with my arms by my side, Mike with his folded a bit self-consciously in front of his chest.  I was shaking a bit - and I'm sure it wasn't just from the cold, I was nervous about this.  Well, something had to be done.  I stepped forward, pulled back the doona and slid inside under the covers.  Mike nimbly jumped in too.  He reached across and turned out the lights then rolled back toward me.  He reached out an arm and said "Come on then".

I crawled across and we touched.  He laid an arm on my side with his hand on my back and I did the same.  We didn't draw our hips together but just held each other gently for a while, with our hands lying comfortingly over each other's backs and shoulders.  I closed my eyes and felt the energy conveyed by his touch, and feeling the warmth of his skin under my hand.  I started moving a hand across his chest, gently brushing against his lovely nipples, which were hard (from the stimulation?  >From the cold?  Who knows...) to come to rest between us.  He did the same and I felt his light and tender touch ever so lightly on my nipples.  Our breathing, the only sound in the room, was pretty steady but it seemed ever so slowly to be getting quicker.  I moved the hand on his back across his waist, to just above his hips - longing to travel lower, down to stroke the soft flesh of his backside through his thin underpants, to trace the path of the leg-band across his thighs - but just returning up his body again.  It was so good, and I was sort of happy, but couldn't get over being so sad for Stuart, and Kate, and Stuart's family.

I pulled in closer, and buried my teary face in his chest as we wrapped our arms around each other's backs.  We still kept our crotches apart, although I slid a leg in between his thighs and I think my thigh may just have been brushing his balls.  I could feel myself getting quite hard as the extreme sexiness of the situation started cutting deeply through the grief and took hold of me.  I kept my arm round him, breathing in his male scent as he ran his hand down to my hip where it rested at the edge of my bum for a moment before going back to safer territory.  We held together like that for ages, hardly moving, just occasionally moving arms across another.  It felt so good to be safe in his arms, to know that he cared.

I rolled onto my stomach, and as I did so my bare thigh, without me meaning it, brushed across the front of his briefs where his cock lay hiding.  I fancied at the time that he might have been a bit hard but a quick brush with the thigh isn't the best way to tell.  Anyway, he quickly rolled onto his stomach too, and I put my arm across and drew his body close.  My arm across his back, his over my shoulders with his hand on my hair, and our sides touching.  I could feel his thigh next to mine and the sides of our bum cheeks touched, with our briefs the only thing between.  My cock was really hard now.  One small part of me wanted to tear off our briefs and fuck like mad, kissing him deeply all the time.  But the other part, which wanted us to keep comforting each other in that weird sexy-but-not-sexy way, won.  And must have been how we fell asleep, sprawled together in the bed, just touching, not embracing, content in each other's company.

The next morning I stirred gently as the rays of early morning filtered through the curtains.  As the haze slowly cleared from my mind I became aware of the warm skin under my arm.  What the...?  I snapped into realisation as the previous night came rushing back.  I was on my side next to Mike, one arm across his chest, and my legs entwined with his as he lay on his back.  I slowly withdrew my arm, with a strange mixture of guilt and reluctance.  I wanted so much to keep holding him, but at the same time...

Oh FUCK!  I suddenly realised that it was Tuesday morning and I was due at work in an hour.  I didn't have my work clothes with me, I'd have to go home and pick something up - lucky it was on the way.  I slid out of bed.  Mike didn't stir as I gathered my clothes and raced down the corridor for the briefest of showers.  I looked in on him before he left and he was still dead to the world - lucky bugger, still a student, no need for him to be anywhere at 8:30.  I penned a quick note to him on the kitchen table "Had to go to work - thanks for last night - will call - Jeff".

Another difficult day keeping my mind on my work - but this time, it was not so much Stuart as what had happened last night with Mike that was preying on my mind.  Had we gone too far?  Had I pushed our friendship that dangerous extra inch?  Had I used him, abused his friendship and generosity?  Would he wake up and regret what had happened?  I had said I would call him, but kept putting it off.  What if he was pissed off?  Would it aggravate things?  Midday ticked around, then 1pm.  I couldn't do it.

Then, just as I was staring at it, the phone rang - it was Mike.

"Oh, er, hi," I said ineffectually.

"Hey Jeff, everything OK?"

"Uh, yeah...coping, y'know"

"You said you'd call, I was getting worried."

Well, that was promising, wasn't it?  "Oh, well, lots of work to do, it sort of slipped- um, that is to say..."  Shitshitshit.  Pull yourself together Booth, you're a more together man than that!

"That's all right, I just wanted to know you were all right, and to say, thanks for keeping me company last night.  I...I don't think...being alone would have been..."

So, it was going to be all right!  "Hey no problem...uh, I should be thanking you, your place and all...I hope I didn't, um, that everything was..."

"Thats OK man, I appreciated it too."


"Actually Jeff..."


"I was thinking - if you wanted to come over again tonight I'd, well, I'd like that.  If you wanted to."

Oh, did I ever!  "Yeah, sure, if it's no trouble."

"OK, well I'll be home by 4:30, just any time."

"Sure, I'll see you after work."  Click.  Shit.  Oh man.  What did this mean?  Despite a whole afternoon of totally unproductive screen-staring, I was none the wiser by the time I arrived on Mike's doorstep that evening.

Despite some initial feelings of apprehension and nervousness, I quickly slipped into the pleasant embrace of Mike's company, and we were soon in the kitchen getting in one another's way and laughing as we ran around trying to cook dinner.  A couple of beers did nothing to help our coherence.  Before too long we were on the couch together eating our slap-up pasta meals in front of the TV; then after dinner, with a CD on, just chattering away about nothing in particular.  Just another casual night round at Mike's.

I have never quite been able to put a finger on just what it is about Mike that makes being with him different to being with anyone else.  The closest I can get is -- it's only with Mike that I feel I can actually be `myself', whatever that means.  I feel there's no pressure on me to behave in any particular way, no need for social niceties, no need to watch my language or sense of humour so that he isn't offended.  We have similar tastes and know where each other is coming from.  Most things that come into my head I feel I can just blurt out without caring.  We spark off each other, we can relax with each other, we are safe with each other.

The only thing that ever dampened the otherwise idyllic nature of our time together was that there was one thing I couldn't talk to him about -- my secret feelings for him.  Sure, that did put a dampener on the experience every time.  I often imagined that the way I felt with Mike was the sort of feeling one would have from being with a partner you loved and trusted completely -- with the added bonus of being able to put an arm around them, touch them, caress them, kiss them with carefree abandon.  Every now and then at my most relaxed in situations like this I would feel the need to put an arm around Mike, or rest my head on his shoulder or in his lap -- but would always manage to catch myself just in time.  The only times we had had that sort of close physical contact were those years ago in the back of the car, and last night...  Somehow, though I had been mulling over it for most of the afternoon, I managed to banish from my thoughts my questions as to what would happen later that night.

We put on a video that Mike had lying around, just a bad sci-fi film that we'd both seen before, and provided a non-stop commentary over the top fuelled by another beer or two, pointing out the holes in the plot, screaming out "Behind you!" in unison to warn the terrified actors of their imminent demise at the hands of the evil aliens -- y'know, guy stuff.  It was all good fun and served well to take our minds off the loss of Stuart.

That couldn't last forever though.  After the film was ended, somehow we got onto swapping Stuart stories.  I could tell many from school that Mike hadn't known about.  We weren't overly morose, just remembering a good friend and some of the fun times we had had together, somehow wishing he was with us kidding around that night and making jokes too.  Dammit, what had we done wrong?  How could we have let him down?

Boy, doesn't time fly.  It was 11.  Not that late, but I did have to get to work the next morning.

"Hey Mike, I really should be getting to bed..."

"Yeah sure man, it is getting a bit late."

We wandered out to the hall and as I picked up my bag I realised it was time for one question that could not be put off any longer.  "Uh, where...?"

"Umm, in my room is fine again."

A little thrill ran through me.  "You don't mind?"

"No, I, uh, I appreciate the company."

No more than that -- but I slung my bag into his room and wandered into the bathroom to brush my teeth.  As I did so I wondered what would happen next.  When I stopped off at home to pack my bag I had covered a couple of bases.  I had packed a pair of satin boxer shorts that I usually wore when sleeping in the company of others in my bag, but wasn't going to produce those unless necessary.  I had also changed that afternoon into my favourite pair of `lucky' underpants, a pair of very tight white boxerbriefs that hugged my body tightly, displaying well the twin globes of my buttocks and the outline of my genitals.  Furtively I had been hoping for another night in bed with Mike, rather than being relegated to another bedroom, and it looked like my hopes were being answered...

After emptying some of the excess liquid from my bladder into the toilet bowl, I zipped up and wandered into Mike's room.  He already had his shirt off and was kicking off his shoes and socks.  I started disrobing too, trying not to pay too much attention to the display as he unbuttoned and lowered his jeans.

He gathered his clothes and wandered over to deposit his shirt and socks in a pile of dirty washing, and then hang his jeans on a hanger in his cupboard.  Last night we had both been wearing blue underpants, tonight we were both in white.  I don't know whether he, too, was trying to make a subtle impression with his undergarments as I was, but he certainly looked much snappier than last night.  His white briefs clung tightly to his body and the elastic on his legloops and waist hugged his body tightly.  As I started unbuckling my belt he turned and walked back past me, and I could not help but notice the neatly wrapped package presented by his penis and testicles.  No telltale glimpses of skin this time but the fabric of his briefs was pulled snugly around their precious cargo, the shape of which was unmistakably outlined.  He pulled back the covers and slid into bed.

I dropped my trousers and stood for a moment folding them before wandering over to place them on a chair.  As I turned back a slightly guilty glance told me that he had probably been enjoying the view of my scantily clad bum as much as I had his.  Another little thrill ran through my body.  I paused for a moment and looked around a little puzzled, as if trying to resolve whether I had forgotten something, but really to give him the opportunity, if he so chose, to check out my well-presented genitals.  Nervous as I was, I rather enjoyed the thought that Mike might be turned on by looking at my body, so I walked over to the bed and, rather than getting in right away, looked down at him with my hands on my hips and asked "So, can I come in?"

There was a flicker of his eyes that he probably thought I didn't notice, then "Of course", he smiled, and reached across and pulled back the doona cover.  He pulled it back far enough that the side of his body was exposed, down as far as the white elastic at the top of his underpants.  As I climbed into the bed I was sure his eyes went down to my waist once more.  I pulled the doona up, reached up and turned off the bedside light.

A few moments passed.  I wanted him to make the move.  I knew he would make the move.

"So, do you want to hold each other like last night?"

"Yeah, sure."

Immediately there was a rustling and I rolled across to meet an eager arm outstretched to receive me.  I raised my own and wrapped it around the warm bare skin of his body.  As I drew close to him I fancied I slipped behind some protective aura that emanated from him.  Somehow, my nervousness seemed to be dissolving away in the sheer radiance of his presence.

"Hey Mike?"


"Last night...it was OK with you?"

"Sure...It was nice."  And I felt his hand stroke my back slightly.  "I felt...safe?" he said, slightly uncertainly.

Wow.  That connection.  "Me too", I replied, and gave his back a little stroke too.

His response was to pull me a little closer so that our chests almost met.  Our heads were side by side in the darkness.  My eyes were closed as I absorbed the touch and smell of him flowing through my senses.  There was not silence - I heard his gentle breath, felt it against my cheek and chin.  He must have likewise felt mine.  It was a magic moment.  I lost myself in the simple yet divine task of counting.  Five breaths.  Ten.  Fifteen.  Twenty five.  Forty five.  It can't have been more than a minute or two, but we seemed to lie there for eternity.  Then somehow, some invisible hand, some unseen and unknown force, moved my head forward the few centimetres necessary for my lips to gently brush his.  Just once.  And as my heart suddenly paused in its rhythm, and the earth stopped, as the heavens spun, in the world's longest fleeting moment, in the darkness another ethereal pair of lips sought out mine to plant an answering kiss, and the universe sighed and time started once more.  My hand stroked down his back as I felt his leg hook over mine and draw his body tightly against me while our lips met again in a longer, more lingering embrace.  The time had come.

Our hands started to stroke each other slowly.  My fingers stroked his back as he did likewise.  I moved up to his side, running my fingers down to tease at the top of the taut waistband of his underpants and stray over his hip to his thigh before wandering back upwards.  His hand moved around to my shoulders and down across my chest, brushing past my left nipple to nestle against my stomach and up to my waist.  Moving southwards again I gently massaged his thighs with my fingers tracing the line of his legbands, before moving up to rest on the smooth, cotton covered mound of his ass and squeezing ever so slightly.

"Do you like that?" I asked.

"Oh yes," came the response, and he hugged me tightly as we kissed once more.  I squeezed more firmly, first one cheek then moving across the cleft to the other, as his body moved close against mine and for the first time felt the bulge of his erect penis pressing against my belly next to my own as he slowly rubbed against me.  I imagined the view from the ceiling above us if the covers had been stripped off - two young men, near nude, in snowy white underwear, snuggling, cuddling and kissing as they explored their long-held but new-found love for one another and the excitement of the uncharted regions of one another's bodies..

The kissing and caresses continued for a short while until Mike broke the near-silence:

"Jeff, you know what I said last night about my underpants..."

Slight pause, then I gave a little giggle as I remembered.  "Hehe, yes."

"Well - it doesn't have to be that way tonight, if you want."

My response was to slip three fingers down past his waistband to come into contact for the first time with the smooth skin of his buttocks and to dance back and forth across the top of the fleshy canyon that ran between them.  He sighed appreciatively and started running his own digits under my own legbands and brushing against my encased testicles.  Before too long, the protective cotton was working its way down each of our legs to be lost at the bottom of the bed, as our naked bodies met once more.

Our lovemaking was as sweet, as slow, as tender as I had always imagined it might.  His body was always close to mine, our lips never strayed far from one another except to explore some other corner of skin, our actions never sudden, always caring, invested with the twin joys of discovering and conveying pleasure.  After a long session of caresses, with the bedclothes kicked off for added freedom, we rolled in our embrace, taking it in turns to lie on the other and slowly undulate over each other's writhing bodies feeling hands dancing and exploring our backs, our necks, our shoulders, our nipples, thighs, buttocks, scrotums, cocks.

Finally we could wait no more for the release we had been delaying so long to savour the pleasure.  Mike began grinding on top of me more passionately and I felt his buttocks tense before they bucked in a staccato fashion spewing his milky seed onto my belly as he moaned and gasped.  I was very close myself and quickly rolled on top of him to urge on the wave of orgasm and mingle my juices with his between us.  I lay on top of him, panting, flushed, and kissed him gently once more as my hand touched and stroked his hair and brushed it from his eyes while his tender caresses ran down my back.

As I rolled off him to one side, we faced each other and our eyes could only now begin to trace the human geography that had been charted by our hands.  Though the rapid sleepy torpor of the male after sex was overcoming us, I could still appreciate the slightly rising and falling chest of my friend; the line of his body; the glow of his skin in the low light; the dark patch of his pubic hair, matted with semen; the slender rod of his penis draped across his thigh.  With some difficulty I reached down to the foot of the bed, located my boxerbriefs, and used them to wipe the sticky liquid from our stomachs as his eyelids fluttered shut and he purred slightly.  Our bodies tolerably dry, I pulled up the doona once more over our bodies and snuggled in tightly next to him, my groin against his hip, arm across his chest, leg across his thighs and crotch as he wrapped an arm around my shoulders.

"We won't regret this, will we?" I asked quietly.

"How could we ever?" he murmured in response, as we drifted into slumber.


There is so much more that could be told, but stories like this never truly end.

Mike and I slept together for the next two weeks, until his parents returned.  We made furtive plans to see one another on occasion, but that was not enough.  As soon as we could arrange it, we moved into a small two-bedroom unit together.  The second bedroom might have had a bed, but its sheets never needed laundering - we spent each night cuddling together in Mike's big bed.  We have never formally 'come out' although I am sure many of our friends must have guessed at the truth behind our incredibly close friendship, which still endures.

In our years together we have pushed many personal boundaries, given our bodies completely to one another and found untold stores of pleasure and love.  For innocence, mystery and beauty, however, you can't go past that incredible first time.  The manner in which we finally became united and acknowledged our true feelings for one another may have been tragic, but the legacy behind the pain and sadness of Stuart's death is the birth of a great and enduring love.

Let me know if you enjoyed this story or have any comments.